MAYTOWN – Civil war aficionados will have another opportunity to dive back into history this month when the Friends of Middlecreek recreate the desperate march of Humprey Marshall.
It was cold morning in January 11, 1862, and the frost hung thick in the air. It was no ordinary morning on the farm of William and Naomi Reffett’s in the Left Fork of Middle Creek. Scattered down the length of their holdings, 2,000 starving Confederate soldiers were encamped. Their retreat from the Battle of Middle Creek had led them this far. Most had not eaten for days: all were hungry. The air was filled with the smell of burning wood and roasting meat; the farm’s livestock having been slaughtered by the famished men to be roasted over fires burning with wood taken from the farm’s fences.
The troops’ commander, Humphrey Marshall, commended his troops’ performance in battle. Hunger, exhaustion, and disease had beaten his men, not the Yankee army. The Reffett Farm was too small to support such a horde for more than a few days, and Marshall knew that a more abundant source of food and fodder had to be found. For that he turned to the broad, fertile corn fields of Right Beaver Creek and the Grist Mill he referred to as “Martin’s Mill”.
On January 9, at 10:00 a.m. the Friends of Middle Creek’s 2016 Discovery March will retrace Humphrey Marshall’s trail down Right Beaver toward Martin’s Mill to obtain Corn for his horses and meal for his soldiers. Led by Friends Commander Michael Warrix, the march will depart from the 550/850 intersection at Midas at 10 A.M., January 9th, and will pass though Eastern and Maytown on its way toward Martin, following the route of Marshall’s wagons and foraging troops.
All who would like to walk with the Friends will be welcomed to join in reenacting this nearly forgotten episode in Eastern Kentucky’s Civil War History. For additional information, please contact Commander Michael Warrix at (606) 226-0066 or email Michael Warrix at [email protected]
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