Letters To The Editor

Each month, The Kentucky Explorer magazine receives literally scores of letters from our faithful readers. Whenever possible, we try to publish as many of them as possible in the 12 pages we have set aside for "Letters to the Editor."

Here are actual letters from July/August 2014

Dennis Feeback, Author
Of Many Interesting Articles

Dear Editor:
James Steed of Lexington, Kentucky, wrote a letter to The Kentucky Explorer about Dennis Feeback writing an article about big cats in Kentucky which appeared in the magazine in 2009. Dennis loved The Explorer and was constantly thinking about interesting subjects to write about.
Dennis, who was my brother in law, passed away on May 9, 2011. This was a great loss to our family, and we still miss him a lot. I had mentioned to him that I wanted to write about "water witching."
Water witching is something that my husband, Jerry Gipson, knows how to do. Dennis encouraged me to write an article. So I did. That article appeared in the May or June issue of 2011. Dennis's wife, Alice, Jerry's sister told me after the funeral, that Dennis got to read the story in the magazine a few days before he passed away and was preparing a letter to The Explorer in response to the article.
If readers can help me, I would like to know just how many articles Dennis wrote that appeared in The Explorer. I remember two, they were about Smithfield Roller Mill and Our Best Restaurant and the Old Folks Sausage Plant in Simpsonville. He was a great freelance writer, and I'm sure others would agree.
Lynda Combs Gipson
869 Lebanon Ridge Rd
Frankfort, Ky 40601

Greenup County's
Role In The Civil War

Dear Editor:
I would like to share the following information which I wrote for The Greenup Beacon. I would like to share it with Kentucky Explorer readers.
The impact of the War of Rebellion or The War of Northern Aggression on Greenup County, Kentucky, is measurable.
Greenup County, with its border position in Kentucky, was impacted because it was a border state.
It was just across the Ohio River from the Union state of Ohio. Kentucky wanted to stay neutral, but neither faction would allow it.
Lincoln sent in troops early and the Confederates wanted her just as bad. The battles of Richmond (Madison County) and Perryville (Boyle County) were the largest in Kentucky.
The Ohio River had fed the northern influx into Greenup County over the years, and many residents came out of Virginia and the Carolinas through the mountain's gaps.
Kentucky was divided in many ways and many feuds would stem from the war.
I will not delve into the reasons of the war, but I will say that slavery had little to do with it. No where in the Constitution does it say or even imply that a state cannot leave the Union if it were not satisfied.
Greenup County was affected in many ways with so many differences of opinion.
As for military action, there were no major battles fought here. The biggest army passed through Green-up County in October 1863.
The Union Army retreating from Cumberland Gap on its way to Camp Dennison, Ohio, arrived in Greenupsburg on October 3, 1862. The Confederates had cut the supply to the 8,000-man army, under General George W. Morgan, so they had to leave.
General John Hunt Morgan and his Confederates chased after the Union Army all the way to Greenup County. Local writer Judge Lewis Nichols has an account of this in his book, Masterful Retreat.
In December 1861 the 22nd Union Infantry was organized in Greenup County at Camp Swigert, as a recruiting and training base.
This was near modern-day Wurtland. The 22nd Union Infantry played a part in winning the Battle of Middle Creek in Floyd County in January 1863.
On May 31, 1863, Capt. Sid Cook led an Independent Confederate Calvary company into Greenup and wounded Private Jared gigs of the 10th KY US Calvary. He lived at Oldfield. On October 11, 1863, Greenup was raided again. They fought some home guards. Captain Cook lost three men to capture. There is no record as to casualties on either side.
General Order #143 established the Bureau of Colored Troops on May 1863. By 1864 the blacks were joining the Union Army. I must mention that there were some blacks also in the Confederate Army but they were not segregated as in the North. During the course, some 23,000 blacks from Kentucky joined the Union Army.
A group of Carter County black men and other counties joined in Greenup County. These men were with Burbage's Union Army in the raid on Saltville, Virginia. This assault failed as the Confederates turned back the Federals. Some say the Confederates were infuriated by seeing black men in Union blue and took no captives.
I must mention that the pig iron furnaces and ore miners of Greenup County contributed to the final outcome of the war. Iron was needed to make cannons and other needed supplies for the North.
I have a list of Confederates from Greenup County that served, but due to space I will not list them. My great-grandfather, David Crockett Whitt, grew up in Truittville Greenup County (Big White Oak Creek) but went back to Virginia just before the war. He served in the 29th Virginia Infantry and was captured near the very end of the war and was not released from Point Lookout P. O. W. Camp until June 22, 1865.
The full account can be read in my book, The Days of David Crockett Whitt (See Kentucky Explorer Book Page on page 104 for details).
Charles Dahnmon Whitt
P. O. Box 831
Flatwoods, KY 41139

These are just samples of the many letters in each issue of The Explorer.