Last month on a rainy Monday evening, Aug. 20, the meeting room at the Carnegie Public Library in Washington Court House went back in time 155 years. Our country was in the mist of the bloody Civil War. It was July 1863, John Hunt Sherman, the Confederate general, was making his way through southern Ohio.
General Sherman was eluding any opposition invading southern Ohio towns, and taking whatever he and his men wanted. Sherman’s raids through Ohio weren’t challenged until he and his men met Benjamin P. Runkle, a Union colonel, and his men in a battle at Berlin Cross Roads in Jackson County. This battle immensely slowed Sherman and his men and helped to end Sherman’s dream of establishing a true force in the north for the Confederacy.
Ron Salmons was in full Union uniform as Col. Benjamin P. Runkle when he presented “The Battle of Berlin Cross Roads” for the Fayette County Genealogical Society. Until recently the fighting at Berlin Cross Roads was recorded historically as a skirmish. Ron, with the help of his family and volunteers, gathered the evidence to prove it actually was a battle with the number of men, artillery, and fighting which occurred and it is now recorded as a battle. This was done by collecting artifacts such as bullets, cannon balls, and any other evidence of the soldiers.
Ron, a Jackson County historian, owns and lives on a property in Jackson County, which was the site of much of this battle. Ron along with his wife Carol, who was also dressed in Civil War era attire, brought many artifacts which added to the evening’s program.
At the upcoming September meeting of the Fayette County Genealogical Society, Lauran Perrill will present a program entitled, “Lincoln and the Military, the Commander in Chief”. Lauran, a Washington City Schools retired elementary school teacher, has been a lifelong student of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. Luaran is a descendant of Lincoln’s stepmother, Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln, whom Lincoln loved very much.
After learning of this as a child she has always studied Lincoln and his family and is a Lincoln authority. Luaran shares her knowledge in many informative and entertaining presentations. You won’t want to miss her program for the Society on Monday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. in the meeting room of the Carnegie Public Library, 127 S. North St., Washington Court House. Please use the doors on the Catholic Church side of the building.
For further information about this meeting or the Fayette County Genealogical Society, contact Cathy Massie White at 740-333-7227 or ReunionMassie@yahoo.com.