Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trek to Wildcat Mountain, Part Two

Part Two. After exploring Hoosier Knob, we broke for lunch at the Gazebo. The weather continued to be prefct all day, warming up nicely for the afternoon walk along Infantry Ridge. One of the treats of Wildcat Mountain is that the park area also encompasses portions of the original Wilderness Road, the route through the Apapalachians into Kentucky for Boone, Harrod and so many others who came after. This is a new trail, so new the interpretive signs written by Chris Kolakowski aren't installed yet. Having seen Union infantry trenches (some of the earliest of the Civil War) and signs of Confederate burials on the Hoosier Knob trail, on this portion of the trail we visited artillery placements and 2 Union soldiers gravesites. The soldiers' identites are known today, but were lost at the time and both are now buried in unkwown graves at Crab Orchard. The heights of the Rockcastle Hills were stunning and indicative of the difficult terrain.

Chris did a great job of interpreting not only the troop movements, but also showing us the effect the difficult terrain had on the action, as well as the logistical significance of the location, and the part this small battle played in the larger scheme of the battle for KY.

After a productive afternoon, we adjourned to the gazebo with members of the Camp Wildcat Battelfield Preservation Assoc. for a social hour and the traditional post tour cigar for them that smokes 'em.

At the base of the Rockcastle Hills

On the Trail to Hoosier Knob

Chris on the Wilderness Road

End of the Infantry Ridge Trail

Social hour at the Gazebo

Chris Kolakowski and LCWRT Member John Davis enjoy a post tour cigar

For more information on Camp Wildcat and the Battle of Wildcat Mountain:

USDA Forest Service, London Distrct, 761 South Laurel Drive, London KY 40744, phone: 606-864-4163
Mr. James Cass, Camp Wildcat Preservation Foundation P.O. Box 1510 London, KY 40743

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