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Table of contents
The next morning enlisting still went on. Volunteers began to flock in from Somerset, Straitsville, and other parts of the county. Meetings were held at the Court House almost every day and night. Judge Whitman, of Lancaster, came over and made a memorable two hours speech at the Court House, urging the right and necessity of maintaining the integrity of the Union at every hazard and to the last extremity.
In a few days, the roll of the military company was full, and the enlisted men assembled at New Lexington and elected Lyman J. Free, First Lieutenant, and Benjamin S. The company after organization, remained at New Lexington several days; the men were constantly drilled by the Captain and Lieutenants, and other persons.
A large quantity of red flannel was purchased, and a shirt made for each man of the company. The ladies met at the Court House, and with shears, needles, thimbles, and sewing machines, soon had all the garments completed. These, when donned by the boys, and worn without coats or vests, made quite a striking uniform.
The weather was warm, and the company was drilled, ,dressed in this style, and, when off duty, the boys walked about the streets, or stood in groups, clad in the same novel and picturesque costume. The sound of the fife and drum was almost incessant, and the very air appeared to be full of the pomp, grandeur and circumstance, if not the woes and horrors of war. One Sunday was spent in New Lexington after organization. It was passed in drill and warlike preparations, very much the same as other days, with the exception that on the green, in front of the M.
Church, at the regular hour of service, Rev. Drake preached to the soldiers and people from the text: Take it all in all, this was the strangest and most memorable Sabbath ever spent in the town. Captain Jackson's company was ordered to report at Camp Anderson. Lancaster, Ohio, at which place it was mustered into the service for three months, as Company E of the Seventeenth O.
A very large crowd was present at the depot when the boys left for Lancaster, and the scene was truly a memorable one. The boys gave a long, continued cheer, as the cars moved away. The regiment was soon after ordered- to join the forces under General McClellan, then operating in Western Virginia. Just before this battle, General McClellan called for the Seventeenth Ohio, but the regiment had been divided and separated, and when that fact was reported to him, he ordered the Nineteenth Ohio in its place, which regiment was engaged in the battle.
Company E participated in a number reconnoissances, and a memorable expedition to Ravenswood. The company, in connection with others of the Seventeenth, was engaged in breaking up rebel camps and recruiting stations, and driving recruiting officers out of that part of Virginia. In this way it did good service. They were in a number of skirmishes, and on one occasion encountered a force under O.
Jennings Wise, son of Governor Wise, and worsted it. Young Wise was glad to get away. On one of these scouting expeditions, Lieutenant Free and a detachment captured a number of influential and active rebels who were taken to Camp Chase under Free's charge, and consigned to the military prison there.
In a number of ways, these three months men did effective service. At the expiration of about four months, instead of three, as enlisted for, the Seventeenth regiment was withdrawn from the field, and mustered out at Camp Goddard, Muskingum county. These raw troops returned to their homes bronzed, fatigued, and almost worn out by the A majority of the company soon after enlisted in three year regiments, and served in all parts of the country, where the war waged.
The men of the old original Company E are dead or widely sundered now. Of the hundred men or over, who marched down the hill to the depot on that April day in , probably less than a dozen could now be mustered together in Perry county. The living are widely scattered, but many are dead, and their graves are about as widely separated as the abodes of the living.
The following is a correct copy of the muster roll of the Company: Jackson, Captain; William H. Free, First Lieutenant; Benjamin S. SergeantsOliver Eckles, William S. Warren; Lucas, Peter P. Free of New Lexington was doing business at Straitsville, and had been elected Captain of an independent military company, organized at that place under the laws of Ohio. The celerity with which this body of brave men was enlisted for the service, Not many persons knew the fact that Mr.
Free was authorized to raise a company, until it was announced that it was full. The men were enlisted principally in Saltlick, but Monroe, Pike and Monday Creek townships also contributed. It should be remembered, too, that the company was raised just after the Bull Run disaster, when the whole country was depressed and it was known that enlisting for the war meant business, and that of the most serious nature. Captain Free came up home on Saturday evening, announced that the ranks were full, the enlistment roll completed, and that his men would be in New Lexington the ensuing Tuesday morning to take the cars for Camp Chase, Columbus, for active service.
That a full company, for so long a term of service could be raised in so short a time, it was almost impossible to believe; and many, no doubt, were impressed with the idea that matters were exaggerated. But the sequel proved that everything reported was solid fact. Many of the people of New Lexington knew nothing of the enlistment of the company, and those who did know something of it, were wholly unprepared to witness such a demonstration as followed.
It was produced by the members of Captain Free's company and their friends, in buggies, expresses, carriages, wagons, on horseback and afoot, preceded by a good martial band, altogether making a procession of nearly two miles in length. In many cases, not only fathers and brothers, but mothers, sisters, cousins and sweethearts accompanied the boys to this place.
As the imposing and altogether unprecedented procession moved into town, windows, doors, balconies and sidewalks were filled with spectators, handkerchiefs and flags were waved, and cheer upon cheer was given for the Union and the starry banner that symbolized it. Just such a demonstration the town never saw before or since, and probably never will again. When the volunteers got aboard the cars, there were many tearful words and sad farewells, as well as many a jovial laugh and cheerful, kind goodby. As the train slowly moved away, from platforms and car windows came a half tremulous yet loud and exultant cheer, that will linger long in the memory of those who heard it.
Many of those brave boys never saw home or friends again; and of those who did, on furlough of some kind, many died afterward in hospitals, on the march, in their tents, or amid the awful carnage and surroundings of the battle field. Many of them repose in unknown graves. A few days later, and early in September, , W. This company was recruited principally in Pike, Saltlick, Monroe and Clayton townships, in Perry county.
A few of the men were from over the border in Athens and Hocking counties. Greiner and James W.. Martin, filled up the company, which came to New Lexington and took the cars for Camp Chase, where it was assigned as Company G of the Thirty-first. On the 21st of September, the regiment was ordered to the field. Companies A and B had been previously detailed for duty at Gallipolis, Ohio, but they were also ordered to join the main body of the regiment at Cincinnati, from which place it soon after went to Camp Dick Robinson, in Kentucky, where it remained several months, preparing by drill and discipline for more active and dangerous service.
The regiment was ordered to Mill Springs, to assist Gen. Thomas; but the roads were very bad, the rivers were swollen, and it failed to reach Thomas in season to participate in the battle fought at that place. After this the Thirty-First went down the Ohio and up the Cumberland river to Nashville, Tennessee, where it was among the first Union troops to march into that city. The Thirty-First was engaged in various service in Tennessee and Alabama, until the race between Buell and Bragg for the North opened, when the regiment marched through Murfreesboro northward to the Ohio river at Louisville.
From this point the regiment again turned its steps southward. At the battle of Perryville, the division to which it belonged was partially under fire, and could plainly see the bursting shells and hear the awful roar of battle, and stood anxiously waiting the order to advance into the fight. But the order never came. This was perhaps one of the most trying hours the boys of the regiment ever experienced. The Thirty-First was actively engaged at Stone River, but the enemy on this part of the field gave way before a bayonet charge, and there were no severe losses.
The regiment was next engaged at Hoovers Gap, where it behaved splendidly and assisted in driving the rebels from a strong position. Chickamauga came not long after, and the Thirty-First was sharply engaged on both days, and suffered severely, especially on the first day of the fight. Company A was fearfully depleted. The other companies from Perry suffered almost as much.
A battery that had been captured by the rebels, was recaptured by a detachment of the Thirty-First Ohio, led by Captain W. On the second day of Chickamauga, after the disastrous rout and disorganization of most of the Federal army, many of the Perry and Fairfield boys, members of the Seventeenth and Thirty-First, kept together, as well as they could, and when orders were given by General Thomas, commander of the army of the Cumberland, to which they belonged, to form a second line of battle, and throw up temporary breast-works, they joined heartily in the movement.
Stinchcomb, born and brought up in Thorn township, Perry county, but in command of a Fairfield county company, was very active and conspicuous in the formation of this famous second line of battle. So much so, in fact, that he is mentioned His loud hoarse voice was heard above the din, rallying the scattered soldiers, and his stalwart form almost tottered beneath an incredible load of rails.
Walker, of the Thirty-First, was under arrest that day, and without a sword, in consequence of some red tape disobedience; but when the army was disorganized he appeared to have as much command as anybody, and worked bravely and effectively for the establishment of the second line of battle. The successful forming and holding of this second line was what saved the remnant of Rosecrans' army Chattanooga and all south of the Ohio. Thousands of soldiers, of course, formed on this famous second line, but the author only attempts to sketch the part taken by a group of Perry soldiers and those acting directly with them.
The side of the hill was strewn thick with the dead, wounded and dying. General Longstreet has lately said that when this assault failed, the Confederate cause was about the same as lost. No Union soldier who witnessed or encountered the charge of Longstreet's men on this memorable Sabbath afternoon, ever had or expressed any doubts of their heroism. The Federal soldiers after the rout, and retreat of several miles, had become desperately cool, and the deadly volleys they fired into the approaching columns of the foe, were among the most fearfully destructive of the whole war.
As night drew on, and Longstreet's command failed to take the ridge, the dream of invading the North forever vanished from the minds of the Southern Generals. Two young neighbor boys, members of Company A, not fully comprehending the reason for rapidly retreating to a better position, and vexed and crying at the condition of affairs, declared that they did not go to war to run this way, and that they would not run from those men any longer.
In spite of all remonstrances they lingered behind, loading and firing at the advancing foe, until they were shot down, at the same time. Their two graves, with head-boards giving their names, name of Company and number of regiment, to which they belonged, situated some distance from any other graves, have been seen by more than one traveler and newspaper correspondent. Their remains were afterward disinterred and transferred to a national cemetery. Soon after Chickamauga came Mission Ridge.
The Thirty-First Ohio was one of the first regiments to ascend this eminence, in advance of order by the Commanding General. The firing was heavy and continuous, but the boys pushed up the hill; the rebels first overshot and then became panic stricken, and the loss was not severe. It is well to remember that the successful battle of Mission Ridge was fought and Soon after Mission Ridge the Thirty-First re-enlisted and came home on veteran furlough.
The reception of the Perry county Companies will not soon be forgotten. A telegram from Columbus gave the time they would arrive. Walker, of Findlay, Ohio, wishing, as he said, to visit the county that furnished more men for his regiment than any other, accompanied by some other officers of the regiment, came home to New Lexington with the boys. The National and Regimental colors were in the hands of soldiers from Perry, and the flags also came along.
Hundreds of people assembled at the depot, short as the notice had been. The veterans at once formed, and preceded by a band of martial music, and the color-bearers holding aloft the torn and tattered flags, marched up the hill and into the Court House, where a reception speech was made by Judge R. Colonel Walker responded on behalf of the veterans in a thrilling and eloquent speech.
The Court House was full to overflowing, and altogether it was a very memorable occasion. The soldiers then broke ranks for a bountiful supper that had been prepared for them by the ladies of New Lexington. For thirty days the veterans had a good time at home, where the regiment received about as many recruits as it had veteran members. When the regiment returned to the field, with ranks well filled up, it almost immediately entered upon service in the Atlanta campaign under the general direction of General Sherman.
In a few days after reaching the front it was in the assault upon Resaca and encountered serious losses. The regiment subsequently took part in all the important battles of the Atlanta campaign, with the single exception of Jonesboro. When Atlanta was gained the regiment marched into Alabama in pursuit of Hood, but the chase was given up and the National troops returned to Atlanta.
After the surrender of Lee and Johnson it marched with the main army to Richmond and then to Washington City, where it took part in the general review. After this it was transferred to Louisville, Kentucky, where it was mustered out, July 20th, , The The regiment was at once sent to Camp Chase, Ohio, and the men paid and discharged. The Perry soldiers of the Thirty-first O. As previously stated, the regiment received many recruits while at home on furlough, and the Perry companies obtained more than their full quota. Company A, especially, had been fearfully decimated in the service, and came home on veteran furlough with thin ranks.
This Company received many recruits, but they were mostly boys, many of whom were not over thirteen or fourteen years of age, and several of Company A received about thirty young recruits. When on their way to Newark to enlist the group of young striplings looked very unlike soldiers, but when they returnee in the evening, dressed in soldier clothes, they did not look like the same squad of boys.
An incident which occurred in the early part of the war, at Camp Dick Robinson, is worthy of preservation. The Thirty-first Regiment, at that time had a splendid band, and Captain Bill Free and others thought they would get up a serenade for General Sherman. Accordingly, twenty or thirty soldiers, under the direction of Captain Free, repaired to Headquarters and blew a melodious blast of music upon the stillness of the night air. General Sherman was more prompt than the serenaders anticipated, and appeared before the sweet and captivating strains of music had ceased.
The 1929 Depression: Hey! That’S Perry County!
Who are you, anyway? Just about that time General Sherman was reported crazy, and the detachment at first thought there must be some truth in the report, whatever their opinions may have been later. He also learned to make a creditable speech, as the world knows. However, when President Lincoln issued the proclamation for volunteers for three years or during the war, Captain Fowler, who in the meantime had returned, applied for and obtained permission to raise a company; and assisted by James Taylor and William Massie, who were commissioned Lieutenants, went heartily to work, and in a few weeks the company was raised, and promptly reported at Camp Chase near Columbus, and was mustered into the service as company D of the Thirtieth O.
Two days after the regiment was ordered to the field. On the second of September, , the regiment reached Clarksburg, Virginia. It then marched from Charleston to Weston, and there received its first camp equipage. September 6th, the regiment joined the command of General Rosecrans, at Sutton Heights. The detachment at Sutton was not idle. The men were kept constantly on the alert, and were frequently engaged in sharp conflicts with the bushwhackers.
The skirmishes were almost continual, and the force was none too strong to hold the position.
Two or three of the detachment were killed and several wounded, while at Sutton. On the 23d of December, the companies that had been stationed at Sutton, joined the regiment at Fayetteville, and went into winter quarters. In April, , it broke up winter quarters and went to Raleigh. The troops were conveyed in transports to Parkersburg, there boarded the cars, passed through the National capital and joined the army under command of General Pope. The regiment was under fire at the second battle of Bull Run, though not very actively engaged.
After this disaster to the National cause, and the subsequent crossing of the Potomac by the rebel army, the regiment marched through the city of Washington by the way of the city of Frederick, and on toward South Mountain. At the battle of South Mountain, which quickly followed, the division to which the Thirtieth belonged, was among the first to be engaged.
Company D was in the hottest of the fight and suffered severely. Five or six of the company were killed outright, and twice as many wounded, several of whom died in a few days in consequence of their wounds. The company was subsequently in the hottest of the fight at Antietam, but did not meet with such severe losses as at South Mountain.
Captain Fowler was wounded in the battle, and one private instantly killed, being shot in the head. After remaining a few days near the Antietam battlefield, the Thirtieth, with the division of which it was a part, was ordered back to West Virginia. Here it remained until about the first of December, when the command to which it belonged, was ordered to join the great army under General Grant, operating with a view to the capture of Vicksburg. This was an unhealthy locality, and there was much sickness in consequence, from which the Perry boys did not escape.
Captain Fowler was seriously sick for several weeks. When the time for action had come, the Thirtieth moved down the western banks of the Mississippi, and crossed with the army at Grand Gulf. During the investment of Vicksburg, the Thirtieth participated in the preliminary battles and in several assaults on the enemy's works, and suffered considerable losses. It was there at the surrender of the place. Soon after this the regiment was transferred to the army at Chattanooga, and bore an honorable part in the successful and decisive battle of Mission Ridge. In March, , the regiment re-enlisted, and, like other regiments, was sent home on veteran furlough, to have a good time and fill up its thinned ranks with recruits.
There was a reception After the memorable thirty days at home, and ranks greatly strengthened by recruits, the Thirtieth boys bade friends good-by and returned again to the front. They were in the long and arduous Atlanta campaign, and joined in the pursuit of Hood's forces into Alabama. In the battle of Jonesboro, the Thirtieth lost heavily. The regiment marched up through the Carolinas and took part in the battle of Bentonville, one of the last engagements of the civil war. Lieutenant Benjamin Fowler and others were wounded in the battle. The Thirtieth marched on with Sherman, up through Virginia, including the late rebel capital, and on to Washington, D.
Soon after the regiment was ordered to Louisville, Ky. On the thirteenth of August it was ordered to Columbus, Ohio, where the men were paid and discharged on the 22d of the same month. The regiment was in the service about four years, and it is estimated that, during its term of service, it traveled a distance of thirteen thousand miles. Hatcher of Company D in this regiment, had some remarkable episodes in his military life.
He was captured in the neighborhood of Vicksburg, early in , and with others forwarded to Richmond, and placed in the celebrated Libby prison. He had not been there long until, as he states, a fellow prisoner came rushing down stairs and inquired: Of course they shook hands heartily, and had much to talk over. They had never seen each other before, but their fathers were acquainted; they came from the same county, and could talk over familiar things. This Spencer was Captain in a Wisconsin regiment. He was a son of E. Spencer, formerly of Somerset, and State Senator in Hatcher and Spencer both remained in Libby for several months in the year They were both singers, and when the inmates of Libby learned by the colored grapevine line, that Vicksburg had fallen and Gettysburg was won, they were of those who crowded around the prison windows, and roared out in song, under the lead of Chaplain McCabe of Delaware, Ohio, Mrs.
Hatcher and Spencer afterward, with other officers, were sent to Charleston, South Carolina, and placed under the fire of the bombarding fleet, in retaliation for something done on the Federal side, alleged to be in controvention of the laws of war. When this confinement and exposure was over, they were put on the cars to be removed to Salisbury or Andersonville, as they supposed. Hatcher, Spencer and three other officers, determined to make an effort to escape.
They were being transported in box cars, and were not running at a very high rate of speed, and it was after dark. At an agreed signal, Hatcher and comrades pushed aside the guards and jumped out. The shots of the guards hurt no one, and the whole five escaped, with only slight bruises, while the train passed on. The five escaped men moved off at a rapid pace. They had to flank a dwelling, The two parties failed to meet as expected, and they did not dare to make any outcry.
After waiting and searching around for some considerable time, with no success, Hatcher and party resumed their journey. They had a weary, painful tramp of about forty days. They walked at night and secreted themselves in daytime. They lived on corn from the fields, or walked into the negro cabins in the night session and got corn bread and bacon.
They hesitated, at first, but hunger drove them and they walked boldly and trustingly into negro quarters, and were never betrayed. On one occasion they were delayed in finding a good hiding place, and were seen by a white man, a little after daybreak. They hurried on and concealed themselves the best they could. It was not long until they heard a commotion, and saw armed men riding about in search of them.
Some of the men and dogs came uncomfortably near, but the boys were not discovered. When Hatcher and Comrades reached the Tennessee river, they knew not what to do, and were almost in despair. There were no boats available, and their negro aids were also disheartened at the prospects. Finally, a negro came who thought he could procure a boat some distance away. The fellow run a great risk. He had to take it clandestinely, and return it before day-break. The boat was secured, and, in company with four or five blacks, the three weary, half-starved men crossed to the northern side. They told them that they had no money or anything else to give them; even the brass buttons from their coats had been presented, one by one, to other negroes, until all were gone.
The colored men said they did not expect or want anything, and were glad to be able to help the soldiers on their way North. The weary, discouraged boys once more had recourse to the blacks. Seeing an intelligent looking negro, one of the party accosted him and asked how he thought they might reach the Union lines. They were citizens of Northern Georgia, who adhered to the Union. The Commander, with a number of his men, escorted Hatcher and companions to the Union lines.
Their two comrades, from whom they became separated the first night of the long tramp, came in the next day, about thirty miles farther down the line. The two parties had only been from twenty to thirty miles apart all the way through, but heard and knew nothing of each other, until they reached the Union lines. There were three distinct companies from this county and two other companies of the regiment were composed of men about half of whom were from this county. Poundstone resigned his position as Superintendent of the New Lexington schools, and, in connection with Lieutenants Harry S.
Harbaugh, of Saltlick, and Samuel B. Larimer, of Mondaycreek township, recruited Company C of the regiment. The enlisted men of the company came chiefly from Pike, Saltlick, Mondaycreek and Clayton townships. Company D was recruited principally in Reading township, by Captain B. Thomas, assisted by the Lieutenants. Company H was raised by Captain N. Hufford and Lieutenants, the most of the men probably coming from Saltlick, but several other townships also contributed men.
A few of the men were enlisted over the border, in Hocking county. Company A was recruited by Captain Edwards of Roseville, Muskingum county, and the Perry county portion of its men came principally from Harrison, Clayton and Bearfield townships. The Lieutenants were probably from Perry. The Sixty-Second rendezvoused at Camp Goddard, near Zanesville, and was there organized and mustered into service in November, The regiment remained in camp drilling and waiting until January, , at which time it was ordered to report to General Rosecrans, commanding a body of troops in Western Virginia.
It was not long in responding to the order, and was soon in actual service at the front. The regiment supported a battery in the first battle of Winchester, in which engagement Stonewall Jackson's men were worsted. Afterwards for months the Sixty-Second marched and counter-marched through Western and Northern Virginia. It was near at hand at the battle of Port Republic, but not actively engaged. In August, it was in the retreat down the peninsula to Yorktown. July 18th, , came the ill-advised, desperate and bloody assault upon Fort Wagner. In the unavailing and disastrous charge, the regiment lost one hundred and fifty men, in killed, wounded and prisoners.
A few facts in connection with the death of an enlisted soldier, killed in this charge, is worthy of relation here. Henry Sands, of New Lexington, was an educated and accomplished young man from the north of Ireland, who marrying here, left a wife and one child to risk his life for his adopted country. His letters, published in the Perry County Weekly at the time, and giving an interesting and graphic picture of the doings of the regiment up to the date of his death, were read by many who will read this sketch of the Sixty-Second.
The pictures, keepsakes, memorandas and other writings, found in his pockets, touched But the dead body of the young patriot was buried in a trench with many others, on the spot where they met their heroic death. In January, , the Sixty-Second, having re-enlisted, came home on veteran furlough. The writer witnessed the arrival of the regiment at Zanesville amid the welcome plaudits of assembled thousands.
With the steady, systematic tread of veterans, the regiment marched up Market and down Main streets to a point opposite the court house, where reception speeches and responses were made. After these ceremonies were over, a public dinner was given the returned veterans. The Perry county companies were to reach New Lexington about 4 p.
But the moving of the train was for some cause delayed, and it was nearly midnight when the cars reached New Lexington. At four o'clock, and for hours thereafter, the neighborhood of the depot was crowded with an expectant throng of people; but as the train did not come, and there was no news from it, the large assemblage dwindled away, and not a great many were present to receive the returning braves. But the court house was quickly lighted up, the bell rang, the drums beat, and before the veterans had marched up the hill from the depot, the court house was nearly filled with people.
Flowers made the reception speech and Quartermaster Craven W. Clowe responded in behalf of the soldiers. After this came the supper. When the veteran furlough expired the regiment was ordered to Washington City, and next to the front, near Petersburg, Virginia. During the summer of the regiment was almost constantly under fire, participated in frequent engagements and general battles, and nearly always suffered severely. Deep Bottom was a conflict that does not stand out very conspicuously in the Nation's annals, but it was a place of serious import to the Sixty-second Ohio and to friends at home.
Many of the brave sons of Perry were there laid low. The action was at first a successful advance, then it was not supported as intended, and the Union soldiers were compelled to fall back under a murderous fire. How much of it was bad generalship, and how much the unavoidable fortune of war, will probably never be known. A soldier just from the burial of his dead comrades at Deep Bottom, surrounded by the wives, mothers, and children of those so lately killed in battle, was one of the most distressing scenes in Perry county during the war.
Its a hard road to travel; but we'll go there. In the spring of the Sixty-second participated in the unsuccessful assault upon Petersburg. It was, also, in the charge upon Fort Gregg, where the regiment suffered severely. It was, also, a participant in the engagement at Appomattox Court-house, the last conflict between the veteran troops of Lee and the National forces. About the last of August, , the Sixty-second was consolidated The Sixty-second can bear upon its banners Winchester, Morris Island, Fort Wagner, Deep Bottom, Petersburg, Fort Gregg, Appomattox Court-house, and numerous other engagements, named and unnamed, along the lines in front of the rebel capital during the last year of the war.
Company H of this regiment came from Perry county. It was enlisted by Captain N. Hitchcock and Lieutenants Feeman and Selby. The regiment was completed and mustered into service August 28th, The next day it was on its way to the seat of war, and reported without delay to the commanding officer at Lexington, Kentucky. The regiment had a little rest at Louisville, and then followed after Bragg southward through Kentucky. It was near the battle of Perryville, but through some mistake the division to which it belonged was not ordered into action.
After the battle of Perryville the Ninetieth did much marching and counter-marching through Kentucky and Tennessee, often skirmishing with the enemy, and at one time taking over two hundred prisoners. In November, , the regiment went into camp near Nashville, Tennessee. In the latter part of December it moved with the main army in the direction of Murfreesboro. On the morning of the 31st of December, the first day of the Stone River fight, the Ninetieth became hotly engaged and behaved very gallantly, but the Federal forces were overpowered and obliged to fall back.
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The Ninetieth in this, its first engagement, suffered a loss of one hundred and thirty men in killed, wounded and missing. The regiment was also in the second day's fight, but fortunately the loss was not heavy. On the same day it occupied the hill on which was massed the forty pieces of artillery which drove the last considerable body of the rebel forces over Stone River. The Ninetieth lay in camp near Murfreesboro until about the last of June. When General Rosecrans again moved in the direction of the enemy, the regiment did its full share of hard marching that resulted in flanking the rebel army out of Tennessee.
It was engaged both days at the sanguinary battle of Chickamauga, and lost about ninety men in killed, wounded and missing. The regiment was engaged in various scouting duties, building fortifications, guarding rebel prisoners, etc. For over one hundred days, and throughout this harrassing and eventful campaign, the Ninetieth was constantly on duty and participated in nearly all the important battles which eventually resulted in the fall of Atlanta. The regiment returned almost over the very ground gone over during the advance toward Atlanta.
It was engaged in the battle of Franklin, one of the fiercest and most desperate struggles of the war. After the defeat of Hood the Ninetieth followed in pursuit as far as the Tennessee River. After this the regiment was successively encamped at Huntsville, Alabama, and Nashville, Tennessee, until the collapse of the Southern Confederacy in the surrender of Lee and Johnson, and the close of the terrible civil war.
The regiment was ordered to Ohio and mustered out at Camp Chase. Companies G and I were enlisted in Perry county. My father, Olma D. I talked to my older brother tonight, and he said that Dad ruined a '57 Mercury due to the flood. My dad, who passed in , said it was the worst flood eastern Kentucky had ever seen. I have heard a lot of stories about this flood. I cannot imagine how horrible it was to everyone involved in it.
All I know is that Richard, my twin, who died in , and I are known in the family as the twins born in the flood. Thanks to everyone writing on this website and letting me know what happened during that time. My brother Ronnie, who lives in London, KY. I shall get a copy since it is a part of my heritage. God bless you all. I was living on High St in the Burns Apts. My father was a U. Marine Recruiter in Hazard during this time. I just remember a lot of water. Have some pictures of my dad with Ishmael Stacy in front of his service station after the flood. Betty Thorpe, Christopher, KY.
I was only 6 years old in but I can remember certain things about the "big flood. I also remember staying in the Old Regular Baptist Church for days, the whole neighborhood seemed to end up there.
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I will always have those memories. Jennifer Wooton Overbee , Airport Gardens. I was only 3 years old, but I have extremely vivid memories of the "57 flood. I have had recurring nightmares for most of my life about this flood. The sights, smells and terror are etched into my memory. Nowadays, it is recognized that natural disasters have a lasting impact upon the individuals they affect. Post traumatic stress disorder is very common, especially in children. I vaguely remember you George Oliver, and Paul "Baldy" was my beloved brother. Sadly, he passed away in December of I will never forget how upset my mother was that he was out there on that bridge.
I don't think she knew he actually went into that raging water. Bless his heart, he was a dare-devil, but had the best heart of anyone I ever knew. Good to see the Hayes family posting, and many others that I remember. The main theme of these posts, surviving, is evident. I think it reveals so much about the character of southeastern Kentucky natives and inhabitants. I would like to wish the best to all my old friends, and family friends. We are truly survivors.
I live in Leslie County on Polls Creek, I hadn't really heard a lot about this flood until my Uncle and Mom started talking about it the other night. Flooding was always a big thing in my family. My grandma, Maxine Miller, ran a post office in Airport Gardens at the time of the '57 flood I think. She pasted away about a year ago. I remember her talking about when the power plant blew up and you could see the lights from Darfork.
Also about the water splashing the floor under the house. She lived in Darfork most of her life. She ran the post office there until the new post office in Bulan was built. She always knew by how much rain and how fast it came, if she was going to have to move the post office out or not. I remember her talking about walking through the hills from Airport Gardens back to Darfork during those floods and then having to run the post office out of the trunk of her car.
I was there in the '77, one around '88 and the last I think was We all have moved out of Darfork now and as hard as the times can be your heart is always home. This is really some great information from first hand accounts. All I can say is wow. Scott Feltner, Lexington, KY. My family lived in Lothair on what is now Apple Street so we were above the water. I remember going to school that morning at Lothair Elementary and you could just see that the river was about to leave it banks.
It wasn't to much later that everyone went home because of the water. The river would eventually stop at the school wall. My Mother, Grace Bingham Ewen, who was a teacher in Lothair stayed at the school because it was turned into a shelter. When the Mine Service store caught on fire I was sacred to death.
The black smoke and fire seemed to be everywhere. Later that night my brother, Bing and I were home with my father, Forrest Ewen when the power plant blew up when water got into the transformers. All of Lothair was lit up like an arc welders torch. It was the most eerie thing I can remember. Dad had worked for the plant as a fireman so he kept us calm but I remember the sky being a pale blue. It was bright as day outside. You could see across the river where people had taken shelter under the cliffs.
Mother was at school and when the plant went up. She said the people in the school broke out the windows trying to get out and get away from the terrible light and sound from the plant. Later when we added onto the house we found that the power surge from the power plant had melted some of the wires. We were lucky that the house didn't burn down. We were one of the few houses in the neighborhood which still had coal heat and we had a fire place. The women cooked on the hearth in our living room and a lot of people staved at our house.
For me it was like a camping trip. I think I saw my first real live helicopter fly into Lothair. I love the Hazard website. George Ewen, Lexington KY. I could get as close as Corbin, Ky on the train. I ran into a cab driver, a WW II veteran who gave me a break on the fare and brought me all the way to Hazard, on a lot of back roads I might say. I was standing on the old depot bridge with the Navy recruiter watching the North Fork rise a foot an hour. All the buildings on the river had gauges on the back of the building. It was a fearful time but the hard working people of Hazard and Perry County showed their true grit by just helping each other out.
I must say I was never prouder of the mountain people than I was then. He was a 1st Lt. I only attended Hazard High for two years but I still call it home. Estill Huff is my brother in law and Pat Stacey is my niece. Bob Reynolds, Richmond, KY. During the '57 flood I worked at the Bowman Methodist Church as secretary and youth worker. We opened the door of the church and fed several people daily, and people spent the night who did not have a place to stay. The lights were out in town.
Frances Pearlman and I went out in the dark of the night to gather food for people from those who could donate so the people could eat. We would sing hymns during the day for those who helped and those who were lonely. I remember the flood. I was 15 years old at the time. We lived on route 15 on Duane Mountain at the time of the flood. To the best of my memory it must of rained seven or eight days straight. Sam Combs and I were on Combs Highway and we watched it come up and wash a tavern right out into the flood waters. We went right down on it when it went into the water. We sure didn't stay on it long we got out real quick.
In reference to the one that was looking for the song "57 flood" my mom always told me that my uncle Ben Ritchie wrote the song. I don't know the words. Billy Ross Davis, Dayton, Ohio I was six years old at the time of the flood and I remember clearly the sadness and destruction. We weren't touched by the floodwaters, of course, being so high up, but I remember going to take food and clothes to someone she knew who lived near the river and had lost everything. I clearly recall the thick rancid mud that lay thickly all over everything. I remember my grandmother telling me that a fire was far easier to recover from than a flood.
We lived on the hill in Lothair right a across form the Black Goal railroad bridge. I was in the eighth grade. I saw the houses across the river by the bridge wash out and many houses float down to the bridge and bust up. I felt so bad knowing all the people that lost everything they had.
Lothair grade school was full of people displaced by the flood. We and a lot of people would go up in the mountain and get water from a spring. The National Guard flew in many things. No food, no water, no heat, no lights - it was rough for many people. We cooked on a open fire in the back yard. Our house was full of people displaced from Lothair bottom. When the power plant burned up that evening it lit as the noon day sun in Lothair.
That was a bad time for a lot of people. Everett Hall, Franklin IN. I remember the flood even though I was only 3 years old. I turned 4 on Feb 12, I remember staying a someone's house up on the hill across the railroad tracks from their house and watching them wade the rising water to carry things out of the house. I remember crying and begging to go and help them. Would love to get an email from anyone who knows any of my family. I was raised on Cutshin Creek in Leslie County. I was 4 years old and don't remember much. We woke up that morning with dad and mom screaming that water was in the house.
I remember seeing chickens and a dog on a house that was washing away. Edith Coots, Perry County daughter of Tinsley and Taffie Coots I was not born at the time of the flood, but I can remember my father and mother talking about the time. It saddens me to think we as a town had to go and suffer through such a tragic time. But you know at least in this area eastern Kentucky we pull together to help ourselves and our neighbors.
Thank you for letting me express my opinion. Eddie in Cumberland, KY. I remember the flood of I was 5 at that time and we lived at Combs next to a lumber yard. We lost everything except our family. Thank God for his blessings. My memories of the flood are the stories I heard from my family. I have pictures of the flood that they took.
My Grandpa was jailer for many, many years. My mother was Dorothy Lee Kelly Collins. My Aunt Mabel ran the post office. I was born in so the stories and pictures are all I have but they are more than enough. The tops of school buses were about all you could see in the flood. I visited Hazard every summer as a child and I can't imagine how scared everyone was. I do know they talked about it all through my childhood and every time it rained, I'd check the creek across from the old jailhouse, which is where we stayed.
Denise Shaulis, Youngstown, Ohio. I was just a young kid but I remember it well. No Federal Aid at all. It really irks me about Hurricane Katrina. Sad but they got billions from the government. Gregory Wynn Hayes, Lebanon, Ohio. I was about two years when the '57 flood arrived on the scene so I don't have any real memories of it. My Mom kept pictures of the flood in our family album But I do know some of the people that have posted here and I want you to know the Hayes family especially my older siblings remembers most of you too and consider you all eternal friends.
I'm the youngest of Carl and Mildred Hayes. We lived in Walkertown behind the Texaco Station and our family moved to Ohio in We are all doing well God bless all of you and we will always love the good people of Hazard, Kentucky. There is no place on earth like Hazard in our hearts and minds. Johnny Hayes, Benton, KY. I was eight years old at the time. My dad worked at Cash Wholesale then. It later was called the Junction Bar and burned a few years ago.
We lived on Lotts Creek, out toward Bulan. The water was so high, you couldn't go any farther than Leslie curve. It was almost at the mouth of the holler. My dad would walk around the hill trying to get to work. I mean we had some high water. I am just 37 years old but I have heard my dad Lloyd Hill talk about it all the time he said he was in Storm King.
He said he saw garages coming down the river with cars on them and they would just roll off into the river, and he saw houses coming down the river and watch the sink. My name is Wayne Suttles and I was in the flood of '57 at the age of six and saw it up close from the back seat of my daddy's car, Jimmie L. Suttles as we drove next to the river that lead into Hazard.
I saw peoples homes, cars, live stock, trees, floating down the river. We lived in leatherwood Kentucky and had to leave our home as well fear of getting washed away. We packed up a few things and started driving unknowing where we where going. As a six year child this was a scary thing to see. We survived the floor without any damage to our home or loss of life.
I've talked about it all my life and will never forget the day the waters came down the mountain like a bat out of hell. I'm 55 now and have lived in Southwest Florida for the last 30 years and have seen all kinds of hurricanes but was never as frightened as I was that day the flood waters headed toward Hazard. Like "" I will never forget. Wayne Suttles, North Port , Florida.
I was in Indiana at the time of the '57 flood. I was mad at my husband and remarked 'I'm going home to Lothair, come Hell or high water! If you are still out there, Virginia, I believe we called you Ginney, let me hear from you. I lived in East McDowell in the back lane at the time. The water was bank -to- bank. I will never forget it. It was pretty bad all around. I was 18 years old and lived on Polls Creek in Leslie County at the time of the flood.
Water rose into several houses at the mouth of Polls Creek where it joins Cutshin Creek. My uncle Oley had a store there. He lived in the ground floor which was flooded. We carried everything we could up to the second level but that which we could not carry up the stairs was soaked. Several houses in that community were either damaged or washed away. A Stidham family lived in one of the houses that washed away. Their 6 year old son was drowned. I was in the search party that found the child. His clothes had gotten tangled in some tree limbs and when the water subsided his little body was left hanging near the ground.
That was certainly a sad time in Leslie County as well as Perry County. Schuyler Day, Kernersville, NC. I was 9 at the of the '57 flood. I had 2 chipmunks that we kept in a bird cage. We put them on top of the cabinets. After the water went down the chipmunks were very much alive. We turned them a loose and they high tailed it for higher and dryer ground never to be seen again.
I remember all the mud, the flood smell and the clean up. It seemed like no time had passed, then came the '63 flood and mud, the flood smell and the clean up. I was two years old during the flood and my father, Herman Maggard owned Maggard's Store in Lothair. I can't remember very much, except that a lot of people came up to our house because we lived across the highway.
Daddy didn't believe the water was going to get as high as it did, he was stranded at Maggard's Store. Someone had to come and get him in a boat. He climbed out through the second floor balcony. I also remember that he had baskets and baskets of soap that was ruined. He was not allowed to sell the soap, so we had soap in our basement for years. I thought I would never get to buy clean soap again.
I have seen many pictures of Daddy cleaning out the store, with many people helping him. I didn't live in Hazard during the flood, but my ancestors were from Perry County. I do remember that year. Our school took up canned food, clothes, and some good toys and furniture to send to the flood stricken areas. I think that was the first disaster I can ever remember. Seems like everyone looks out for each other.
I was seven years old almost when the flood came. At the time, we lived in Knott County, but mom's beauty shop Daskum's was in Vicco and it was flooded. I remember helping to sweep water and mud from her shop and there's no smell like that of flood waters. I remember mom being worried that we would get sick from having to clean the mess, but we survived and held our health in tact.
My brother and I thought it was cool to watch all the trash floating down the swollen river and he was heartbroken that he couldn't retrieve some of the many basketballs we watched float by! A few years after the '57 flood, we moved back to Vicco where I still reside and am very thankful for the Carrs Fork Dam. Daddy, Finley Walters, was a Greyhound Bus driver.
He had arrived in Hazard, and was unable to return to Louisville. He drove his bus and a couple other reserve busses to higher ground the Coliseum. He saved Greyhound Bus Lines a lot of money. He slept in the busses for heat , and would walk over to his sister-in-law and her husband Lewis and Violet Wyrick who lived on Laurel Street for his meals. We lived at Quicksand during those years.
Kathy Carter, Frankfort, KY. I was in the '57 flood. I was 11 years old and lived on the bottom street in the Airport Gardens. We thought we were safe because the flood waters had never got high enough to get into our house at that time. Mom had a cake in the oven and before we knew it we were wading out and the water was up to my knees. I have twin brothers that were 2 years old and we had to carry them. My grandmother had to be carried out of the house. It was a scary time but God was with us through it all. I was about 12 or 13 years old and a student at Walkertown Elementary.
We were dismissed from school early that morning and instead of going home, I stood and watched from the railroad tracks in Wabaco all the devastation. Fuzz Barger and maybe George Oliver were there also. My mother sent my brother to get me. I remember thinking I am in big trouble for not going straight home from school, but this was a very exciting time for a child.
I saw houses come down the river and break into when they hit the bridge. Our house was not close to the river at all so we were safe. My dad had a coal cook stove stored in an outbuilding and he set it up in the kitchen and invited neighbors in to cook and eat. Also, remember how muddy my bobbie socks got in that mud and had to scrub them on a scrub board to get them clean.
Will never forget the ' 57 flood and how devastating it was, but people helped each other in the clean up. We spent a lot of the day helping people move and when we went to help Ronnie Hayes' Family the water came up around us. I couldn't swim then and still cant so it wasn't a nice experience. The river had anything you could imagine floating by such as hogs, chickens, houses, sports gear, everything. Then at night the power company flooded and a huge light show went of from the arcs.
The Pepsi Cola people had put their trucks in the Petrey Church lot. No one looted them or anything. I guess hillbillies aren't like Cajuns of today. I left Hazard over two years later and the streets still had lots of dirt on them, but there was no FEMA. It was, as it has always been, help yourself and your neighbors.
That will always overcome. Stiles kept walking down to the bridge at the end of the street to check how high the water was getting. He came in around noon and told us to start packing. We moved a lot of things to the rooms upstairs in the store. The showcases were moved to the courthouse lawn. We were working in water up to our knees by the time we finished. Stiles took us, three employees, to their home for the night and gave us a great dinner. I was living with my parents by the river, a short distance from the Blue Goose. I think they now call it Mother Goose.
I knew the water had gotten our home, it had come so close many times. I could not contact my parents. Later that night I was trying to find them. My friend, Cleo Young, who was a telephone operator, had been trying to locate me. She told me my parents were at her brothers house. The next morning I was able to get home. My dad and friends were able to get all of our things out of our house except my piano. I remember looking at our house and my piano setting on the porch with mud on it. I sat down on the road and cried, but I got up and like all of us in Hazard we started to build our lives again.
We lived with my aunt and uncle for a month. We moved back into our little house and my dad made it bigger and as always he watched the river when the rains came. I saw a pig swim in our house, shot bottles with 22's and saw a big white house hit the Woodland Park bridge. We had 5 feet of water in the Faulkner's Garage show room and over cars and trucks were flooded.
I saw the power plant blow up in Lothair and there was a boat sent to take me and my sister to Baker Hill to stay with my aunt Dot Tayloe but when the boat arrived my dad said just leave the kids here and we didn't go. The boat turned over at Falons garage and a man drowned. Guess we were lucky. The National Guard came in a gave us shots at the gym. A friend of mine and neighbor went to the Main Street and took a boat at first to help clean out the mud and debree.
Then as we worked to help the people clean up they gave us so many different things for our charitable help. Mind you I was only ten yrs old but at those times everyone pulled together, old and young. I got clothes, shoes, shells for my 22 to squirrel hunt, and so much more. At that time I can remember at our house we only had pie pans to eat from and commodity powdered egg cans to drink from but the people who lost and had insurance saw that we had china from then on.
Yep, we watched as the water got higher and higher and waited it out till the town was almost back to normal before we went back home. I had to get a shot from Dr Boggs so I could be in town to work but small and strong, we all pulled Hazard out of that mess. I was there only in and she still is Hazard to me. Thanks to you all who were there and who are still moving ahead. I lived with my dad, mom and younger sister on Defeated Creek in Letcher County. I remember it very well. I woke up early the next morning to the sound of a great roaring sound.
It was not day break yet. I walked out onto our front porch to see where the roaring was coming from and looked out into the yard. It was hard to see in the dark, but I knew it was the high water in the creek. Our house was high on the hill from the creek. I could not believe the water was nipping at our steps. My father was in dismay. My grandmother and uncle were visiting us from Dayton, Ohio. A couple of days later we tried to get out of the hollow, but could not get anywhere. The water had gone down quiet a bit. The water was still raging.
It washed out the main bridge across Linefork Creek. We could not get out that way, so my father tried to go up the hollow and cross the mountain but the road was still covered in places and culverts washed out. My uncle was attending Wright St. University at the time and desperately needed to return to Dayton. My grandmother was more than ready to get out of there. She had not seen this much water since the twenties, although she and my grandfather had lived on what is now known as The Lilly Woods in Letcher County.
My father went to our neighbor's house to ask Mr. Coy Ingram to help get my grandmother's car across Linefork creek. He had a team of horses. Coy hitched the team to my grandmother's car and pulled the car across the swollen creek with my grandmother Eula and uncle Jack in the car. This was a rare sight that made all of our adrenalin rush. Grandmother and my uncle drove all the way home to Dayton, Ohio with the car completely wet, seats, floor and all. We will never forget the flood and it's victims. My family was stranded at their work places, so I was alone and also pregnant with my first child.
The nightmare of that time will never be forgotten. I remember walking from the bedroom to the living room. When I stepped in to the living room, the water came up around my waist. My mom, Oma Jent, grabbed me and headed for the front door and daddy, Chester Jent, was out on the porch in a boat and we climbed in and headed out of there. I saw cats and animals in trees and I saw one preacher in a tree. We had to send someone back for him, no room in the boat.
When the water went down, mud was 2 or 3 feet deep and dad and my brothers had to try to shovel it out. The Red Cross gave us beds and what we had to have to survive until we could do better. It sure was a scary time! I for one will never forget the smell of the flood water. But I can remember after the waters subsisted, several stores in town had to sell their wears for little or nothing because of the water damage. There was also a song written about the flood, I cant remember who sang it, just that he was one of the old Bluegrass singers.
When I hear those sounds, it still takes me back home. We moved to Oregon in I heard about the water rising on the Kentucky River by short wave radio. I asked the navigator to fly over Hazard prior to making the bomb run on the radar site in Knoxville, Tennessee. Unfortunately, the sky was overcast and all we could see was a radar image of the area. Later my parents told me they could hear the airplane overhead. All of my high school and college memoirs were stored in a trunk in my parent's basement and were lost in the flood.
I woke that morning and water was around our house. My neighbor Newt Deeds house came floating down the river. It hit the bridge at the Slemp Post Office and broke apart. Trees were being uprooted. I was 21 at the time. Me and my friend were on a small boat and she had dropped her money in the river and tried to jump in and get it. I slapped her and told her she was crazy and pulled her back in the boat.
The water got in our basement so we were lucky and later the Red Cross brought a lot of goodies by like mops, brooms, food etc. Every time the water got up from there on, I was scared to death, it is terrible to watch that muddy water cover the only home I'd ever known. He told of an experience with the flood of , at Hazard. Does anyone remember this man? He was a missionary. I was very scared that it was the end of the world. My father is Nick Gillespie, anyone that knew him or his family, I would love to hear from you.
He lives in Louisville now. I had gone through a lot of floods when living in Combs, Kentucky. We had to move all the way to the railroad. We lived in Sun Fire Bottom, right next to the river. Been a long time. I was on a short vacation from where my husband and I lived in California. That was such a scary time. The water in the creek was up under the floor before it started to recede. I was 11 years old. We lived in the Lothair bottom in the coal houses.
I remember the transformer blowing up and burning the mine service building, it was scary. We were cooking beans on the stove when the flood came.
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I remember my daddy, Lee Lewallen, waded in water up to his knees and grabbed him some beans. We had just brought furniture and it was destroyed. We stayed with my aunt and uncles. We went to the school and got food and shots that day. My sister, Shirley, lost everything she had. My parents had to work like dogs getting the house back together. We had good people to help us out.
We lived by the Meltons, Carters and the Thomas family. We went to the Lothair school. I still live in Hazard and have seen more floods. We lived in Airport Gardens at the time and Mom and Dad said the water was in the basement of the Hospital just a few streets in front of our house. I do remember the flood of '63, the flood waters reached our back yard there in Airport Gardens. My brother, Danny, and I played in it until we got caught. I had been out of the service almost a year.
Our furniture wasn't but a year old. My then wife was carrying our second daughter at the tiem. I was working for the Power Company. We were busy trying to get things out of the way of the water. We kept noticing that the water was coming up rapidly. I knew that things at home were getting to the danger point. So I went to Gain Stidham and asked to borrow a truck to go and check on things at home.
He let me use a stake body truck. When I got there, you could look down the dead end street where we lived and the water was coming up the street. My Aunt Ettie lived nearby and water was almost in her house. My wife then helped me carry what we could out of that house although she couldn't lift much since she was pregnant.
What bothered me was the people who lived next door. They laughed at us for moving our furniture. We took what little we could get out of my sister in law's house, up to Lothair. When I went back for another load, the water was up to the bumper of the truck. The people across the street, who were laughing at us earlier, were working hard to get some stuff out but it was in vain because the water was coming up so fast. I had to get back down to the Power Company. It was three days before I got to leave and see my family. We had to move out quite often. But that was the worst thing I ever saw.
I sat at the Power Company and watched the houses just crumble up and lodge against each other. It was real sad watching that. I love it there. I had a good time growing up there. I lived on that river all my younger days. We had good times in that river. I would like to relive it again but we know it's not possible. I was stranded at the hospital until the flood receded enough until I could get home. My mom lived in the Lothair bottom and everything she had was destroyed, but the house remained standing. She stayed at my house until she could return to hers. The devastation was unbelievable.
I will always keep that vision in my mind forever. I was around 13 years old and lived in Allais. My Dad and Mom's house got flooded, water up to the roof line. Lost nearly everything in the house. I remember going out on the train bridge, the one that goes over to Wabaco, with Fuzz Barger and watching the houses come down the center of the river. They were lined up behind each other in single formation. We watched the houses hit the concrete bridge pillars, the water was about 5 feet or so from the top of the bridge and made such a roar that I can still hear it today. On the downstream side of the bridge, all that came out was boards and debris that had been smashed as the house hit the bridge.
It was an awesome sight and I will never forget it. There was all kinds of debris going down the center of the river and Baldy did it. Baldy had the hog by the ears and the hog was squilling. Then all the cleanup. Mud everywhere in the house. I'll always remember the '57 flood. We lived on the river in Woodland Park and had dog lots all over the river bank. We ended up with all of the beagles and a boxer in our upstairs bathroom, where one gave birth in our bathtub with my mother's help.
I stepped off the roof and into a boat and went to Lewis, Elizo and Vera Faye Hopper's house on the hill. There were many others there with us, at least the children We cooked on the fire place and watched the power plant blow up. The little ones us thought it was exciting and the teenagers thought it was the end of the world, literally.
Of course, it all ended and we all recovered, as we strong Kentucky people do, but I can still remember the smell of that flood-mud. My mother, Nola Begley, is still there and keeps me abreast of everything as it happens. I have also looked forward to getting my copy of the Hazard Herald every week for many many years. Visit home every few months if I can and love it. My brother, drowned in the flood. He had a car accident and ran off the road coming home from Hazard.
It took a week before we could get him to the cemetery to bury him because the water was everywhere. All roads down at Dry Hill were covered. We were lucky we lived in a hollow where we only had a creek to deal with. Most of the homes around Dry Hill and Confluence were washed away. Our grandparents home was washed off its foundation. It was moved to higher ground after the flood. My parents, Oscar and June Begley, said we were lucky we lived so far up the hollow.
They lived at the mouth of Darfork Holler. The water was so high in their house that the freezer floated around in the kitchen and cracked the upper corner of one of the windows. Gramma and Granpa had a warm house up in their garden, this is where they kept the food Gramma canned. It was built into the side of the hill, and that is where they had to take shelter, just the two of them. Thanks be to God they had someplace to retreat to, and that someplace was well stocked. They had a spring up the hill above the garden which supplied them with water.
After the flood receded, the task of cleaning up began. They eventually got things back to normal, and as long as I could remember, I would look at that crack in the window and marvel at the fact the freezer which continued to work for decades after could float, and I ponder what it must have been like for my grandparents as they waited out the flood together. I had a taste of what it was like during the flood of I was 11 years old then, and was there for that one.
We lived in the Leatherwood mining camp at the time of the flood. I remember my dad and mom, Bige and Lena Williams, talking about the water was up to so many floors of the funeral home. I'm thinking the third floor. At 3 days old, she was taken from the hospital in a boat. My grandfather, Denver Baldridge, used to tell stories of delivering groceries, etc.
He said that he would climb out of the attic window in order to get to the boat. He recalled reaching up and touching the red lights as he traveled through town. The stories he told were truly amazing. I can say it was a very scary time mostly because the water was under my house and almost to the county road. I hope no one has to go through this again.
We lived on Combs Road. The water got so high we had to go on Crawford Mountain. There was a song about the flood. It was called the '57 Flood. I was 19 years old. I saw a tavern go past our house. It washed out from Lotts Creek, between two other buildings. My parents, Odell and Clara Smith and I lived at leatherwood 1 camp. My little brother, Gary Lynden Smith, was born Jan. My father could not get to Hazard, and I remember the great concern in my family. My mother said she saw houses floating down the street past the hospital, and there was no power for lights or heat.
They put the babies with the mothers, and the National Guard brought food and blankets. My father, mother and little brother are all deceased now, but this memory is strong. It is a pleasure to read the memories of others about this trying time. I remember helping the Red Cross give out clothes and food to several families. I remember seeing the water halfway up the windows of Neal Mercer's home. After it was all over I remember Eunice Richie gave a candy party for the kids that helped during the flood. She is the mother of Frankie and Johnny Sizemore.
It was a terrible time for everyone affected. We lived in Pike County on Beefhide Creek. Although I was only 10 years old, I still remember the impact it had on our family. I hope never to be that close to something so terrible again. She only spoke of the flood that year a few times, that is was the worst they had ever seen.
I know she still feels the pain of that time because the only details she ever gave us was the memory of her standing in tears watching them burn her dolls for fear of typhoid. A horrible thing for an 8 year old little girl, and a tough memory. I visit the Hazard and Whitesburg area as often as I can. I love the mountains and the people of Eastern Kentucky. God Bless each and everyone there. I survived the flood in ; it nearly washed us away, and I saw my neighbors being taken out in boats with nothing but what they were wearing. That was very hard for a nineteen year old to see.
It makes no matter what year a flood hits, it's always hard to watch everything you've worked so hard for float away. My parents are Estill and Hattie Huff. My brothers name was Bobby. We lived in the backwoods section in Hazard. Mom and dad worked at the Mount Mary Hospital in the x-ray and the emergency room.
I remember the power plant lighting up the sky. Like every one else, I thought the end of time was here. We felt so sorry for those that lost so much. He had a heart attack while out on the train, and they could not get back to Hazard until the next day.