MOUNT VERNON — The Wednesday, Nov. 7, meeting of the Knox County Historical Society will again honor area military veterans when students from St. Vincent de Paul School portray several of Knox County’s many Civil War veterans and tell about some of their experiences during that War.
Students from Beth Robinson’s seventh- and eighth-grade social studies classes have researched stories of Knox County’s involvement in the Civil War and then selected an individual whose story they wanted to share.
The Wednesday evening program will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the KCHS Museum, 875 Harcourt Road. Presentation of the colors will be given by the Knox County Career Center Air Force Jr. ROTC Unit, under the direction of instructor Lt. Col. Chris Salvucci.
Matt Brenneman will portray Col. Alexander Cassil, who served as Knox County Auditor, school board member, president of the Agricultural Society, and director of the Knox County Savings Bank. As Lt. Colonel of Company A of the 65th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, he commanded his regiment at the Battle of Stone River (Murfreesborough), Tenn. His letter to W.C. Cooper of Mount Vernon recounts the courage of his soldiers, details of the battle, and the names of those killed and wounded.
Alex Drews will represent Mount Vernon’s Osborn Hamline Ingham Oldroyd (O.H.I.O.), who was present throughout the siege at Vicksburg, Miss., in the spring of 1863. His detailed diary, recently reprinted by the Raymond, Miss., Historical Society, recounts the events leading up to Vicksburg’s surrender after more than 60 days.
Keith Robinson will tell the story of Dr. Joseph Gordon, who also kept a detailed diary, relating both the extreme boredom and the sudden action in the life of an infantryman. Gordon returned to Mount Vernon after the war to study medicine and begin his medical practice, and he later helped organize Knox County’s first medical society.
Will Smith, himself badly injured in an automobile accident in Nebraska in 2011, will represent a soldier from Knox County’s Company B of the 4th O.V.I. who was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. Will was especially chosen so that he could introduce President Abraham Lincoln, as he presents his famous “Gettysburg Address” to the gathering.
And St. Vincent teacher, Beth Robinson, will be portraying Knox County’s famous and beloved nurse, Mary Ann Ball “Mother Bickerdyke,” who established greatly improved medical facilities for wounded soldiers throughout the Civil War.
The museum will also have a new special exhibit honoring the veterans portrayed by the students and the battles in which they served. For more information, call the Knox County Historical Society Museum at 740-393-5247.
Published on November 2, 2012