The Richmond Register

Local News

March 4, 2009

Civil War bill passes senate committee

Panel would mark 150th anniversary

FRANKFORT — In little more than two years, the United States will mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and a bill co-sponsored by state Sen. Ed Worley, D-Richmond, was voted Tuesday out of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Tourism and Labor.

Senate Bill 129, also co-sponsored by Sen. Dan Kelly, R-Springfield, now moves to the floor of the state Senate.

The legislation would create a Kentucky Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission under the umbrella of the Kentucky Historical Society.

Prior to the committee’s Tuesday action, Worley and Philip Seyfrit, Madison County historic properties director, addressed the panel.

“It is important that we educate those who do not realize our state’s significance in this historic era and recognize our ancestors for their roles in the war and its aftermath,” Worley said.

“The Civil War is a defining event in our nation’s history, and our state played a pivotal role,” he said. “Among Civil War events that history has proven to be significant are the battles at Richmond and Perryville.”

Kentucky, a border state both geographically and politically, was located on the dividing line between the north and south and its citizens were intensely divided, with family members taking opposing sides over the issues and the war itself, Seyfrit said.

“Kentucky’s economy was dependent on the Mississippi River in the south and the railways in the north,” Seyfrit said. “Kentuckians even called both of the two Civil War presidents their own; Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were both native Kentuckians and born less a little more than 130 miles apart and within nine months of each other.

The state and nation are in the midst of observing the bicentennial of both leaders’ births.

The Battle of Richmond, Aug. 29-30, 1862, part of a Confederate invasion of Kentucky that year, was one the greatest Confederate victories of the entire war, Seyfrit. It resulted in more than 80 percent losses by the Union forces.

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