By Bill Robinson
The Texas Historical Commission will erect a monument in Madison County’s Battlefield Park on May 23.
Made of sunset-red granite, the 8-foot tall structure will list the Texas units involved in the August 1862 battle and recount the role they played in what was likely the most complete Confederate victory of the Civil War.
“We are gratified to have Texas erect the first state-sponsored memorial on the Richmond Battlefield,” said Phillip Seyfrit, Madison County historic properties director.
“Texas troops played a decisive role in Churchill’s draw, the flanking maneuver that surprised Union forces and turned the tide of the battle’s first stage.”
The monument will stand by a paved pathway in Battlefield Park, near the ravine from which Confederate troops emerged to charge the Union’s right, causing the Union line to fall back. An interpretive sign already stands near the site.
Most older Civil War Battlefields, such as Perryville in Boyle County, are dotted with monuments commemorating the action of troops from various states, Seyfrit said.
“Because Texas troops figured so prominently in the Battle of Richmond, it is fitting that Texas be the first state outside Kentucky to erect a monument to its troops here.”
The county, which owns battlefield park, looks forward to other states erecting monuments in the park, Seyfrit said.
Although sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission, the monument’s cost will be paid entirely by private donations.
“The THC already has raised nearly all of the monument’s $10,000 cost,” Seyfrit said.
The Madison County Civil War Round Table contributed $100, and the Civil War Preservation Trust also supported the effort.
THC plans to erect a series of new memorials as the American Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011–2015) approaches, according to its chairman, John L. Nau III.
The first was dedicated Dec. 17 at Rowlett’s Station near Mumfordville in Hart County, a ceremony which Seyfrit attended.
The historic Rogers House, which has served as the Battle of Richmond Visitors and History Center since October, recently was recognized by Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation.
A BGT plaque attached to the structure denotes its historic and architectural value and recognizes Madison Fiscal Court’s preservation effort, Seyfrit said.
The Federal style home, built in the early 1800s, witnessed fierce fighting during the Battle of Richmond.
Owned at the time of the battle by Adam Rogers, the house was a rallying point for the Federal forces and a hospital for both sides after the battle.
The county took possession of the Rogers House in late 2005 from the Blue Grass Army Depot, in a transfer arranged by U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky.
The house served as the depot commander’s residence for many years.
After a complete renovation, it features state of the art displays, a laser topographical map, a locally produced documentary film and temporary exhibits. It is located near the intersection of Battlefield Parkway and Berea Road.
Bill Robinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 623-1669, Ext. 267.