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Residents will honor fallen Confederate soldiers

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By Janell Oliver

What exactly does it mean to hold a "Confederate Memorial" and how can anyone who believes in equal rights for all attend such an event?
Some people might ask why we should have anything to do with the word "confederacy" at all.

But to Pewee Valley Historical Society director Suzanne Schimpler, Confederate Memorial Day is a commemorative event that allows us to take a historical look at who we are and where we come from.

"In the 1970s, it became unfashionable to talk about the confederacy or attend memorial services on behalf of the men who served in that particular war. But the heritage of the Civil War belongs to each of us regardless of skin color and should still be explored," said Schimpler.

Confederate Memorial Day falls on the Saturday in June closest to June 3  the birthday of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America.

That means this Saturday a memorial service hosted by the Pewee Valley Cemetery, the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy will take place at 2 p.m.

A section of the cemetery is designated for confederate soldiers who resided at the Kentucky Confederate Home in Pewee Valley following the war.

Over 300 men are buried in the cemetery and visitors come for two historical reasons: it is one of 61 Kentucky Civil War monuments on the National Register of Historic Places and it is the state’s only official burial ground for Confederate veterans.
The event is scheduled from 2 - 4:30 p.m. and the keynote speaker is Professor Doug Cantrell, chair of the history department at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.

Cantrell has taught American and Kentucky History classes for 23 years, specializing in immigration and ethnic history in the southern Appalachian coalfields.

The co-author of several books, his latest book is titled Kentucky through the Centuries: A Collection of Documents and Essays.

Also available to visitors will be a compendium of the Kentucky Confederate Home’s monthly newsletter that was published from October 1907 until December 1911.

The compendium, titled "Confederate Home Messenger," co-authored by James R. Hicks, will be available for purchase for $25.

The Pewee Valley Historical Society will be giving away free Civil War passport stamps depicting the Kentucky Confederate Home as well as offering for sale a booklet and two-disk video set about the Kentucky Confederate Home. The booklet sells for $5 and includes maps past and present. The video includes last year's Confederate Memorial Day service at the cemetery.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy will also have a tent onsite which will showcase photos of the men who served in Kentucky’s Orphan Brigade, which include the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 9th Kentucky Infantry, Cobb's Battery, Graves' Battery and Byrne's Artillery Battery.

All sales at the event will be cash or check.