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Making history come alive

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By Calen McKinney

History came alive Tuesday - with a bang.

Eighth-grade students from Campbellsville and Taylor County schools learned about the Civil War from those dressed in period attire Tuesday at Tebbs Bend - the site of a Civil War battle.

Several students "started" a battle by setting off a cannon after learning how the cannons were used during the Civil War.

Local historian and author Betty Jane Gorin-Smith helped organize a reenactment, which was part of the 2008 Central Kentucky Civil War Heritage Trail, scheduled for May 10-18.

According to Linda Beal, director of technology for the Taylor County School District, eighth-grade students from Campbellsville and Taylor County middle schools attended the Civil War reenactment events.

Members of several reenactment groups told the students about historical landmarks that remain from the Civil War battle, as well as about the weapons and other equipment used by soldiers who fought in the Civil War.

Beal said students at TCMS have helped Gorin-Smith preserve local Civil War history and competed in Lexington recently with Web pages and videos they made about Tebbs Bend, the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln.

The Civil War Heritage Trail is a cooperative effort to showcase Civil War heritage to the public.

At the beginning of what would become Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's Great Raid into Indiana and Ohio, a significant battle took place in Taylor County on July 4, 1863. This battle was fought just south of Campbellsville near a bend in the Green River known as Tebbs Bend.

The Tebbs Bend Tour began at the Green River Lake Visitors' Center. Speakers and guides led visitors and students on a tour of the Atkinson-Griffin House, which once served as a Confederate Hospital, the Tollgate House, Tebbs Bend Road, the 25th Michigan Campsite, a stagecoach stop once used as a Union Hospital, the site of the Green River Stockade and the main battle site.

Other events during the Civil War Heritage Trail event were set in Richmond, Perryville, Frankfort and other historical sites in Kentucky.

- Staff Writer Calen McKinney can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 235 or by e-mail at reporter@cknj.com. Comment on this story at www.cknj.com.