View Full Version : THE FOURTH AT THE MAMMOTH CAVE (Horse Cave, KY 1860)

07-04-2008, 09:51 AM
Louisville Journal
July 9, 1860

Out city was represented on the late anniversary of national independence at the most wonderful and attractive of the works of nature by a large number of her youth, beauty, and chivalry. On the evening of the 2d the National Blues, Capt. Symmes, and the Orpheus Society, one of our most accomplished musical organizations, left by the Nashville cars. They were wheeled along the smooth iron track under the careful command of Conductor Paul, and reached Cave City just sufficiently jaded to enjoy the elegant supper that Mr. W. H. Miller, the clever landlord, had prepared. Then there was a packing of baggage-wagons and soon the word “march” given. The Blues stepped briskly forth, their bright Minie muskets gleaming in the moonlight. It was not long, however, before their quick gait was changed to a slow tramp, and the weary miles lengthened out for until the distance seemed twice as great as it really was. All marches, however, have an end, and by daylight the tents were pitched and Camp Hunt, named in honor of the Major of the Battalion, a fixed fact.
The day was spent resting from the fatigues of the journey. At night the Orpheus Society gave a concert in the ball room, which was attended by large and delighted audience.
The “glorious fourth” was ushered in by a salute of thirteen rounds, the Blues displaying remarkable dexterity in the discharge of their pieces. They entered the cave wit ha large number of ladies and gentlemen. Matt, who has been a guide the past twenty years, said that it was the largest party he has ever conducted though the sublime recesses of this subterranean wonder. There were one hundred and sixty-four in all, but only ninety-six crossed Echo river, in consequence of the scarcity of boats. With music, refreshments, and the soft voice of woman, the beauties of the cave were greatly hightened. That evening all the passages and avenues were brilliantly illuminated as far back as the Star Chamber, and the Orpheus Society gave another concert, their rich music rolling in majestic cadences through the vaulted arches and lofty halls. After these delicious experiences the Blues were prepared for home. They first drained bumpers of champagne sent them by Mr. Hughes, proprietor of the hotel, and then fired a salute, the voices of the fine quartette band ringing out a farewell song. Stages were employed to ride back to Bell’s and then by the easy going cars to Louisville by early dawn.
Such was one of the most pleasant excursions of the week, and one that will long be remembered by all who participated in its delights.