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."
actual letters from July/August 2014
Dennis Feeback, Author
Of Many Interesting Articles
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
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
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
Role In The Civil War
I would like to share the following information which I wrote
for The Greenup Beacon. I would like to share it with Kentucky
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
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
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
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.