August 22, 2013

Traces of Laurel: Civil War, Part 1



Officers of Co. K fluctuated as the war progressed, of course. Other Laurel Countians who held positions of authority at a later date were:  Joseph F. Baugh, Jesse C. Speak, Sidney C. Baugh, James B. Lawson (who deserted in Dec. 1862, according to Dyche), Sparks Jones, Humphrey T. Jackson, and Evan K. Chesnut.  The list of privates who served in this company is too long to publish here but you can find the list at the Laurel County Historical Society.

Co. K, 7th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry fought in several engagements of the Civil War, beginning with the Battle of Wildcat Mountain in northern Laurel County.  (I’ll do a separate column on that battle at a future time.)  After skirmishes at Cumberland Gap and retreat to Greensburg, Ky., Co. K began to move west and then south on the Mississippi River, fighting at various sites along the way and ending up at Young’s Point, Louisiana, in March of 1863.  From there they worked their way up to Vicksburg, Miss., where they were part of the siege of that city in the spring and summer of 1863.  A bust of T.T. Garrard may be found today on the Vicksburg battlefield.  Much more about this unit that would be of great interest to descendants of the men of Co. K may be found at the Laurel County Historical Society.

My own research on Co. K resulted in a novel titled “A Memory of Summer,” written in 1981 and based on my great-grandfather’s service.


 * * *

The Laurel County Historical Society is located at 310 W. 3rd St., London, (formerly the Laurel County Health Department).  The library is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 12 noon.  For further information, contact 606-864-0607 during library hours, or 606-224-3767 at other times.  Visit the historical society’s website:  Email the society at or Jan Sparkman at

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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