Kentucky Historical Society
Shelby County Historical Society Wins 2011 Kentucky History Award from KHS
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 22, 2011) – The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) honored outstanding achievements in the field of Kentucky history at the 2011 Kentucky History Celebration on Nov. 11 at the Old State Capitol in downtown Frankfort.
Among this year’s winners was the “Skirmish near Simpsonville” Project Team of the Shelby County Historical Society, recipient of the Volunteer Group Award, presented annually to volunteers who have made substantial contributions to state or local history organizations or projects.
The “Skirmish near Simpsonville” project involved many partners and sought to document, memorialize and publicize a nearly forgotten chapter in Kentucky’s Civil War history. It is an episode in which more than two dozen members of the 5th U. S. Colored Cavalry – comprising former slaves – were killed or wounded in Shelby County. During a snowstorm on Jan. 25, 1865, soldiers of the unit’s Company E were driving cattle from Camp Nelson to Louisville when they were attacked near Simpsonville by Confederate guerrillas. In the confusion that erupted, 22 cavalrymen were killed. They were buried in two mass graves near where they fell.
Thanks to the work of the Shelby County Historical Society and several partners, the site was identified, 22 veterans’ grave markers were secured and a monument area was created that includes a flagpole, a state historical marker and a dry-laid stone wall. With great community involvement, the site was dedicated last April.
The Kentucky History Awards program, presented annually by KHS, recognizes exceptional achievements in Kentucky history by individuals, business and civic leaders, communities, museums and history organizations throughout the Commonwealth. The program also honors individuals and groups that have demonstrated efforts to promote the preservation, awareness and appreciation of state and local history.
For more information about the Kentucky History Awards visit www.history.ky.gov/historyawards.
An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Historical Society, established in 1836, is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky's history. The KHS history campus includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit www.history.ky.gov.