Muster on the Kentucky – an observance of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 – will feature a blend of living history portrayals and scholarly presentations to bring attention to that almost forgotten conflict.
The event takes place at various Frankfort locations on Friday and Saturday, June 22-23, and is sponsored by the Kentucky National Guard and the City of Frankfort’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Sites.
Following commemorative ceremonies at the Frankfort Cemetery and the Leslie Morris Park on Fort Hill on Friday afternoon, a gala dinner will be held in the ballroom of the Capital Plaza Hotel.
John Trowbridge, the command historian for the Kentucky National Guard, is the keynote speaker who will talk about Kentucky’s extraordinarily important role in the War of 1812. Some 62 percent of the casualties suffered in the war were from Kentucky.
Nicky Hughes, Frankfort’s Curator of Historic Sites, will follow with an in-character portrayal of Percival Butler, Kentucky’s first adjutant general and a commander of Kentucky troops in the war.
The main session of Muster on the Kentucky will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Grand Theatre, St. Clair Street. Lead-off speaker will be Frank Kuron, author of the book “Thus Fell Tecumseh.” Kuron’s book details the Battle of the Thames, a strategic victory for Kentuckians fought in Canada.
Harry Smith, a Kentucky Chautauqua presenter, will follow with a dramatic portrayal of Private William Greathouse, a youthful Kentuckian who took part in the hard-fought campaigns of the War of 1812.
At 1:30, the event will re-convene with a presentation by Glenn Stott entitled, “A Different Kind of War: An Uneasy Time in the Thames Valley.” That area of Canada was the objective of several expeditions northward by Kentucky troops, several of which failed dismally early in the war.
Bonnie Strassell will approach the War of 1812 from a very different and very dramatic perspective with her “Brothers at Dudley’s Defeat: A Mother’s Story.” Eddie Price will give the closing presentation, “Widder’s Landing: A Novel inspired by Kentuckians’ Sacrifice in the War of 1812.”
The authors on the event program will be available over lunch and after the program to autograph their books, which will be for sale onsite. There is no admission fee for any Muster on the Kentucky events, but the Friday evening buffet at the Capital Plaza Hotel costs $32 per person. Advance reservations for the buffet are required and can be made by calling (800) 960-7200.