Piarist School freshman Jacob Ison and eighth grader Hannah Stephens were among the thousands of reenactors recreating important Civil War Battles this year in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Both Ison and Stephens participated in the local reenactment of the January 10, 1862 Battle of Middle Creek, which brought Col. James A. Garfield to national prominence. Confederate General Humphrey Marshall, who was headquartered in Paintsville, raised 2,500 men for the Confederate 5th KY, which was assisted by the 29th and 1st Confederate Virginia, but he could only partially equip them. Col. Garfield had 2,100 men, including the 14th and 22nd KY and the 1st KY Calvary and was ordered to force Marshall to retreat back to Virginia. The Confederates lost 65 men and the Union lost 27 men. The Battle was technically a draw, but Garfield succeeded in carrying out his orders, and he helped cement Union control of Eastern Kentucky and position Union armies to invade Middle Tennessee.
As was typical of the Civil War times, during the reenactment, the two school mates served in opposing armies. Ison played a Confederate infantryman who fired from the tree line and killed three Union troops, shooting two and hitting another repeatedly over the head with his gun. Stephens served as a historical interpreter the first day, explaining to school groups what women wore during that time period. On the second day, she served in the Union Army artillery as a powder monkey.
Earlier in the summer, Ison travelled to Pennsylvania to participate in the historical reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg. There, he played a Confederate drummer and participated in the infamous Pickett’s Charge. Pickett’s Charge was an infantry assault ordered by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee against Maj. Gen. George G. Meade’s Union positions on Cemetery Ridge on July 3, 1863, the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.