We don’t live in a war zone. Of course the semantics of this statement could be easily argued for the alternative depending how the parameters of “war zone” are defined, but, for all intents and purposes, it can be agreed that our current River City landscape is free of any and all lions of battle. It is something we in our cozy homes are fortunate enough to escape – especially in a world besotted with conflict and violence. We are lucky little gluttons. For now.
But the world outside our Kentucky doors has not always been so tranquil; previous generations were not immune to the machines of war and suffered quite directly the destruction of combat. In this vein, local Civil War expert Stuart Sanders brings the Kentucky town of Perryville to center stage and explores the effects of our state’s bloodiest battle on the residents who survived. Join him tomorrow, Tuesday, September 11th at The Filson Historical Society  as he presents his new release Perryville Under Fire: The Aftermath of Kentucky’s Largest Civil War Battle at noon.
A conflict that resulted in 7,500 casualties, the Battle of Perryville laid to waste not only human devastation but a significant toll on the surrounding landscape. With low supplies, an infrastructure of rubble and a small handful of battered Union soldiers left in the aftermath, the task of rebuilding property, restoring livelihoods and caring for the wounded fell to the shoulders of the locals. Telling this story with unprecedented detail, Stuart Sanders explores the resilience of the Perryville community with his new book Perryville Under Fire: The Aftermath of Kentucky’s Largest Civil War Battle.
The former Executive Director for of the Perryville Preservation Association, Stuart Sanders has long been documenting the Civil War history of Kentucky. In addition to Perryville Under Fire, Sanders has also authored pieces for Civil War Times Illustrated, America’s Civil War, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, as well as several others. He is currently pursuing work as a public history administrator for our own dear Commonwealth.
While cannon fire may not rattle your windows (at least, I sincerely hope not) and the cavalry may not give chase to your morning commute, the history of the land bleeds otherwise. Honor their stories and their efforts with Stuart Sanders tomorrow at noon, and send some silent gratitude to the cosmos that we may all continue to enjoy our lives and our lattes in relative peace.
Image: Courtesy of Louisville Free Public Library website www.lfpl.org