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  • Richmond, Kentucky

    Gentlemen,
    I would like to open a discussion about the potential of the annual event at Richmond, Kentucky.

    Thankfully in 2001, the event organization was turned over to one that has a better idea of what an authentic event is. Mr. Chris Propes took on the task of getting the Richmond event off the ground authentically. I attended in 2002 and was sorely disappointed. I can honestly say that I have never been to a less enjoyable or less authentic event. Two days were spent camping and fighting in a field maybe the size of a football field alongside cavalry covered in neon yellow kepis and attrocious outfittings.

    Since I go to school in Richmond, some pards and I reluctantly looked into the event again, for a season wind-down so to speak. After getting with Chris about the event for 2003, I became a tad excited about it. It had turned out that Chris decided to stage an authentic weekend re-creating the battle at Richmond. The Rebs were to camp campaign style three miles outside the main site and break camp early in the morning to begin the march toward town with fighting along the way (as per the 1862 battle). All participants, mind you, were to be by invite only.

    Though Chris has the right ideas, the event hasn't had enough experience or publicity with authentic living historians. Half of the Rebs I camped with could not have been by invite due to their terrible disorganization and neglect for safety. No weapons inspections were held, and we began our march about a mile in the opposite direction we supposed to in a late summer downpour. ("No Presbeteryian rain either, but a genuine Baptist downpour"). Not to mention that no fighting took place on the march because our disorganization and blind manuevering disabled the Yanks to engage us properly. Sorry Billys.

    Anyway, enough bashing. The truth is that I had an enjoyable time in 2003 because of the change in attitude and effort portrayed by Chris Propes. The event at Richmond has the potential to rank as a very good spot for a later season "must" on the schedule of reputable organizations. It was good to see Paul Calloway and some members of the WIG in attendance fighting for the Union that weekend too. So, word has seeped out to a few, but it needs to make its way around.

    Again, this event has GREAT, GREAT potential and all it needs is some help. The landscape appears much as it did in 1862 through the rolling hills of central Kentucky tobaccoo fields. The battle history marks a small, but nonetheless significant piece of the Perryville campaign.

    My suggestion to you boys that are intersted in helping out to make this event better, get with Chris Propes and let him know you're on board. Call him. E-mail him. And let him know that you would be honored to attend the Richmond event and do your part in correctly living the history of Richmond, Kentucky in August of 1862!

    http://battleofrichmond.org/default.htm

    Chris Propes: blackfaceminstrel@yahoo.com

    Pards, Thank you for hearing me out and for your interest,
    Last edited by dusty27; 01-04-2004, 06:03 PM. Reason: To make reading easier

  • #2
    Re: Richmond, Kentucky

    I agree,
    An authentic event at Richmond, Kentucky could potentially be great.

    I attended the 2003 event on the Federal side. If you blinked, you might have missed us! While disappointed with the event, I have certainly seen worst events than here. With the right planning, backing and support, an authentic event at Richmond could work. Even if it meant having two separate events. Having one for the mainstream and a better one for those more inclined with authenticity. I believe it would be worth trying.

    Considering the lay of the land, preservation efforts would really be good here too. Anyone that attended the event will recall being in viewshed of “Battlefield Estates” and their golfcourse. I’m still sickened by the sight.

    I hope the 2003 event at Richmond didn’t turn too many people off to future events here. If you haven’t seen a more mediocre event than the 2003 one, then PERHAPS you haven’t been in the hobby long enough or maybe you have just been fortunate enough to attend more authentic events exclusively. It could have been really worse than what it was.

    I, for one, am not ready to give up on a potentially good event held at Richmond, Kentucky. I hope it will happen.
    Last edited by dusty27; 01-04-2004, 06:04 PM. Reason: Ease of reading
    Matthew Rector

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    • #3
      Re: Richmond, Kentucky

      I agree with Matthew totally. Preservation is one of the important aspects of this event I failed to mention. What is left of the original ground reflects what it most likely did in 1862. However much of the ground has been taken over by the Bluegrass Army Depot which we can nothing about.

      But houses and golf courses have been a threat to this place and it would be great to see sophisticated opposition to that. Madison County is one of the fastest growing regions in Kentucky and the battlefield is being overlooked.

      The event in 2003 was not toally bad, which is what restored my hope in it. It had obviously come a long way since 2002.

      - Jim Conley
      Bluegrass Rifles
      Last edited by dusty27; 01-04-2004, 06:04 PM. Reason: Ease of reading

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Richmond, Kentucky

        Bluegrass Army Depot is actually closing in the not so distant future I believe. It is my understanding that The Battle of Richmond Association and the DOD might have an understanding of some sort in regards to transfer or selling of property. Not sure if I read this or heard it somewhere. In other words-that information may or may not be totally correct. The portion of the battlefield that is currently being "used" by the Army is on the National Register of Historic Places.

        A fairly decent preservation plan was developed concerning the properties associated with the Battle of Richmond Kentucky. Mr. Conley posted The Battle of Richmond Association website above and that plan can be viewed there.

        Mr. Conley, I misread your comment about the 2002 event. Got it confused with the 2003. I was not at the 2002...so I cannot comment on that event.
        Sorry about that! I have heard similiar comments regarding this last year's event. So going with your statement, it sounds as if this event has already improved to some degree. Why not work to make it even better?
        Matthew Rector

        Comment


        • #5
          $.02

          I think with the right sort of central leadership that there could be a few excellent opportunities for a handful of civilians. It has some potential to say the least.

          Jim, weren't all participants supposedly there by "invitation only" last time?
          Katie Vogel

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Richmond, Kentucky

            Kate,
            It is my understanding that all who were present at the 2003 event were there by invitation, but Chris lowered the bar because he wasn't getting the numbers he had hoped for. Too, he even set a limit as to how many could participate on both sides, and that number was not even near to being reached even after letting his guard down on who he would invite. Not to point any fingers or bad mouth any particular organization, but it was just my thought that if higher numbers of authentic historians were interested, this event could be very good.
            - Jim Conley
            Bluegrass Rifles

            Comment


            • #7
              Richmond and Civs

              I'm going to jump in here on Chris's side, I know for a fact that he was up against some major problems from day one. The event had been VERY mainstream in the past, the mainstreamers were very reluctant to give up their foothold and still are. I know that a couple of people were attending the annual meeting from a local farb unit just because they wanted to "take back" the event. I know that Chris had to really show the battlefield association that the progressive community would be interested, I don't know if we succeeded or not!!!

              What we may need to do is stage a completely separate event from the farbs, and that way we wouldn't have to compete with them for the approval of the association. I hate to say it, but we all know that farbs are very good at being squeaky wheels!!! I know there were several people, especially civilians that muscled their way in that had no business being at this event!!! I know on the civilian side that Beth Crabb really tried to do a good job, but with so many local units that couldn't accept the fact that they should actually be asked to submit an application rather than just be allowed in because of "who they were." It was virtually impossible. And some of the sutlers, eye ye yeh!!! There were a couple that were decent but the rest!!! Remember the SPAM? Yikes!

              What I would love to see for this event for the civilians at least is the authority for the coordinator to be the "be all and end all" as far as who gets in, who stays there and what they do. I would also like to see the number of wall tents and farbery on the civilian side gone! A camp of convenience in which the civilians stay and then leave during the day, only to return at night would be so much better! No tent sitters!!! It really could be a decent event! Maybe just not on Labor Day weekend!!!

              Miche' - Please sign all of your posts with your full name - Mike Chapman
              Last edited by dusty27; 01-04-2004, 09:27 PM.
              ~Miche' Todd
              ASGAS

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Richmond, Kentucky

                Miche,
                I agree with you totally. Chris is a heck of a guy and has had some trouble getting this off the ground. I'm not for turning anyone away from an event that has the right attitude and proper direction at what the event calls for. Gear is always something that can be lent out if someone needs a little help in certain areas of their physical impression. But to put your nose up and act as if this is a fight is wrong. If people want to go out and drain a few cases of beer over some plastic wrapped t-bone steaks, do it elsewhere. This isn't a camping trip for buds to come hang out and talk about child support and their wife's new car. I think many forget why this hobby began in the first place, REMEMBERING THE CIVIL WAR! No matter what aspect one comes into this growing hobby, we can all agree on that. If you don't want to do it right and follow the guidelines of what the event calls for, then don't bring up opposition to those that do.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Richmond, Kentucky

                  Something that I find equally offense are the civilian reenactors that profess to be progressive, but in fact are just there to watch their hubbys!!! If you are truly progressive, 1) Develop an impression that is event specific. 2) Leave the wall tents, flys and kitchen sinks at home and 3) Do something other than just sitting under the tent talking about how bad everyone else's clothing is!!! It is people like this that give ladies that are actually making an attempt to have a good impression look bad! Those of us that want to try and be historically accurate get lumped into a mass with these tent sitters!! Sorry, I don't mean to offend or harp, but this is just something that really bothers me!!!

                  ~Miche' Todd
                  Last edited by dusty27; 01-04-2004, 10:23 PM. Reason: Double posting deleted
                  ~Miche' Todd
                  ASGAS

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Richmond and Civs

                    "Remember the SPAM?"

                    How could we forget such a shining beacon of potted period meat ( an authentic 19th century reproduction, mind you) in the midst of a hot, muggy August afternoon?

                    Honestly, I'm going to be nicer in the New Year. ;)
                    Katie Vogel

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Richmond, Kentucky

                      In response to Mr. Rector, the Bluegrass Army Depot's closing in a "short while" means eight to ten years due to the chemical demil program. There is an article in today's Lexington Herald-Leader that the Battle of Richmond Association and Madison County have bought dibs, thanks to a bank's contribution, to the golf course & subdivision that screwed up the "public" part of the battlefield.

                      Fritz Jacobs
                      Fritz Jacobs
                      CPTFritz@aol.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Richmond, Kentucky

                        Here is the article Fritz is referring to.....


                        Battle of Richmond site returning to government hands

                        PURCHASE IS KEY STEP TO CREATING CIVIL WAR TOURIST ATTRACTION

                        By Peter Mathews, CENTRAL KENTUCKY BUREAU

                        01/06/2003 Lexington Herald-Leader

                        http://www.kentucky.com/mld/heraldleader/7641772.htm



                        RICHMOND - More than 140 years after Gen. Kirby Smith's Confederates
                        wrested the land from an inexperienced Union force, part of the Battle of Richmond site is in government hands again.

                        Yesterday, National City Bank executives bid $1.4 million for a 206.6-acre parcel on behalf of Madison County. The bank held a $2.6 million lien on the property from developer Jerry C. Fritz.

                        The purchase is a key step in an effort by the Battle of Richmond Association and Madison County to create a tourist attraction that could generate $8 million or more a year, with walking trails and exhibits at the historic buildings in the area. The parcel includes Battlefield Golf and Country Club, which will now be open to the public.

                        "I'm elated," said Judge-Executive Kent Clark. "Five, 10, 20 years from now, this will be one of the five or six things the county did" that people will remember.

                        "It's something everybody's proud of," he said.

                        It is the first time that preservationists have reclaimed a major battle site after development, said James Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Preservation Trust. The non-profit national group lists the Richmond site as one of the nation's 10 most endangered battlefields.

                        "This is big. This is historic preservation in a very creative way," he said.

                        Many consider the battle, fought Aug. 29 to 30, 1862, the most devastating rout of the war.

                        With Union Maj. Gen. William "Bull" Nelson away in Lexington, Brig. Gen. Mahlon Manson, whom Nelson had ordered to stay put, clashed three times with the advancing rebels.

                        He was outmaneuvered by Confederate Brig. Gen. Patrick Cleburne near the tiny Kingston community, between Berea and Richmond. Just across U.S. 421 from the now-closed Kingston Market, Civil War buff Bob Moody can point out the spot where Cleburne was shot in the mouth.

                        The two sides clashed again at a farm 2 miles north and at Richmond Cemetery, but the outcome was the same. The Union forces, mostly raw recruits from Ohio and Indiana, retreated north in disarray.

                        A contingent of Confederates captured most of them north of Richmond. More than 4,300 were taken prisoner; more than 1,000 were killed or wounded. The Confederate casualties were about half that.

                        Besides the money the county is spending for the golf course area, the Battle of Richmond Association is working to raise $1.5 million to develop a museum, visitors center and Battlefield Park. Its members hope to have some exhibits ready by Labor Day, with a grand opening by Labor Day 2005.

                        Much of the battle site is now part of the Blue Grass Army Depot. Civil War buffs hope to obtain it after the depot's chemical weapons are neutralized.

                        The depot has agreed to donate the Rogers-Terrill House, which was a field hospital during the battle, for use as the visitors center.

                        The museum will be at the Barnett-Gibbs-Herndon estate, where phase 1 of the battle raged. The Madison County Historical Society bought the house and 62 acres in 2001.
                        When a new Interstate 75 interchange is built at Duncannon Lane, tourists will have easy access to the area.

                        They could be numerous. Lighthizer notes that more than 2 million people visit Gettysburg annually and 500,000 go to Antietam, though neither is easy to get to.

                        In addition to the golf course, the land also includes a sewage treatment plant.

                        Because the sewer plant needs $150,000 to $200,000 in upgrades, the county is negotiating a $1.275 million purchase price with the bank. It plans to sell $1.5 million in bonds to pay for the land.

                        The effort is a rare example of elected officials, business people and private citizens working together, Lighthizer and others said, noting contributions from the bank, the county and the state. Under former Gov. Paul Patton, the project received a $500,000 federal grant in October 2002.

                        "I'm just delighted for them," Lighthizer said. "They're not only preserving history, but they're enhancing tourism, too."

                        Reach Peter Mathews in the Richmond bureau at (859) 626-5878 or
                        pmathews@herald-leader.com.
                        Mike "Dusty" Chapman

                        Member: CWT, CVBT, NTHP, MOC, KBA, Stonewall Jackson House, Mosby Heritage Foundation

                        "I would have posted this on the preservation folder, but nobody reads that!" - Christopher Daley

                        The AC was not started with the beginner in mind. - Jim Kindred

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Richmond, Kentucky

                          Check out the article and help make a difference!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Richmond, Kentucky

                            Thank you to those of you that took the time to read and respond to my post. That's just the type of feedback I wanted. Preservation of this ground, and as we know, many others is vital if we are to protect our history. Spread the word and let the Battle of Richmond Association know you're there in support! And let Chris Propes know you want to make his event better!
                            www.battleofrichmond.org

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Richmond, Kentucky

                              I would say this event is pretty much going to be 'stream from now on. I I called the association for an update and was told that this year it will be open to everyone, not just a certain few. Pity.
                              ~Miche' Todd
                              ASGAS

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