The Song of Lancaster, Kentucky - to the statesmen, soldiers, and citizens of Garrard County.
by Eugenia Dunlap Potts
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In eighteen hundred sixty-seven, Fell the second central court-house, In the middle of the city; Fell the tall and stately locusts, With their grateful, cooling shadows, Fell the ruined iron railing, Once so rich and ornamental. And a grand, imposing structure, At the open southwest corner, Now extends its costly apex Far above the churches' steeples, Reaches forth its white cupola, High into the azure ether. And the central, broad arena, Of the square, right-angle outlines, Has been leveled to the surface Of the streets and roads around it, Bears no pile of architecture,[9] To be seen afar and nearer, To be seen from hill and valley, By the traveler wand'ring hither. On the summit of the tower, Of the octagon bell-tower, Of this new and gorgeous building, With its porticos and stairways, With its halls and council chambers, Is a high observatory, Whence is viewed the distant landscape, Whence is seen the rural beauties Of this land of agriculture. Near this pinnacle so lofty, Is the ever-warning town-clock, Is the pendulum vibrating, To diurnal revolutions, Is the fire-alarm resounding, Over hill and dale and meadow, Is the heavy bell sonorous, With events of varied import.

It was in this year of changes, Eighteen hundred sixty-seven, That a fearful conflagration, Tore away a block of buildings, At the city's southeast corner; Razed an ancient block to ashes, On a wintry Saturday evening, On a night of snow and tempest, In the month of February. Soon a handsome row replaced it, Soon the enterprising people Cleared the debris and the rubbish, Cleared away the silent ruins, And rebuilt the last possessions. Silent? Aye, but speaking ever Of events and actors vanished, In the history of Lancaster. Of the offices and store-rooms, Of the dwellings and the households, Of affairs of public moment, Of the hidden and domestic, Of the groups of Mystic Brothers, Of the Masons and Odd-Fellows, Of ye ancient Sons of Temperance, All the secrets of the bygone, Speaking from the smoking ruins. So there rose another structure, Phoenix-like, upon the ashes. Where the merchants and the tradesmen, Can pursue their avocations. And the store-rooms are surmounted, By a Hall of spacious model, Where the city's merry-makers, Find an evening's recreation, Where the weary men of business, Often seek an hour's diversion; Where the order of Good Templars, Held their rites and ceremonies, Where the skating-rink and concert, Where the festival and supper, Where the theatre and lecture, And the dancing-school and tableau, —All the public entertainments, Have beguiled the times of leisure.

Eighteen hundred nine and sixty, Came the hissing locomotive, Came the train of rumbling coaches, Dashing through the quiet city; Came the smoking iron monster, Of the "Louisville and Nashville," Sounded loud the shrill steam-whistle Of the railroad "On to Richmond." And the Old Church walls so sacred, Fell beneath the stormy cargo, Our Republican ancestress Bent her hoary head in shrinking; All the rank and mouldy ruins Fell before the thund'ring onset. Never more the timeworn benches Shall reecho words of wisdom; Never more the brick and plaster Shall have grace from text and precept, Ne'er alas! her slumb'ring children Give her earthly praise and homage. Gone forever, church and pastor, Gone, all gone, her saints' communion, Dust to dust the crumbling mortar, Earth to earth the human body, Air of air the ghostly phantoms, Heav'n of heav'ns the final meeting. * * * * * In this section, once a wildwood, Now are clustered many buildings; Now hotels, depots, and warerooms, Tell of industry and labor; Now the loud mill-whistle pierces Through the fogs of early morning, Now the neat and tasteful cottage Takes the place of tree and grapevine, And a porter's lodge adorning, Guards the modern cemetery, Guards the modern double entrance, To the home of sleeping loved ones. All about this busy section, Are the signs of swift progression; Swift progression towards profit, In the thrift of living workmen, Swift advance to time eternal, In the fast increasing graveyard. In this year the game of Base-ball, Occupied the young athletics, Occupied maturer players, Gave the city's "men of muscle," Daily rounds of fun and frolic. And the ball and bat and score-book, Answered oft a neighbor's challenge, Won the palm in match and test games, Won the victor's crown of laurel.

Eighteen hundred one and seventy Brought a company of soldiers To protect the hillside city From the dreaded Klan of Kuklux; From this band of masking lynchers, Who defied the legal councils, Who withdrew the reins of power From the tardy, lenient, rulers, Who dealt quick and fearful justice, To all hapless state offenders. And the law-abiding people Called the U. S. A. to aid them; To disband the Regulators, With their penalties mysterious, To respite their guilty culprits, From deserved but lawless peril. And the garrison enlivens, With its neat and healthful barracks, With its drum and fife and bugle, With its tents and lofty flagstaff, With its officers and soldiers. Colonel Rose was first to answer The petition for assistance; Then the "Fourth" sent troops to guard us (The Fourth Infantry, C company.) Captain Edwin Coates commanding, Bubb and Robinson, Lieutenants, With the Surgeon S. T. Weirrick, Spent two years within our circles, Winning friends while firm on duty. Wolfe and Galbraith then succeeded, For a few months of probation. Colonel Fletcher, Major Barber, And Lieutenant Will. McFarland, Doctor S. L. Smith, the surgeon, Now control the troops among us, Now preserve the law and order.

Eighteen seventy-three was saddened, By another fire disaster,[10] Which consumed the new Bank building, Burned the late established "National," On the fated Southeast corner, Of the chastened hillside city. And two handsome halls were numbered With the property that suffered, With the storeroom of the merchant, The lamented H. S. Burnam; And the Masons and Odd-Fellows, Once again sustain misfortune, Once again construct new temples, For the gath'ring of the mystic. On the fifteenth day of August, Came the dreaded epidemic, Came the poisonous contagion, Came the cholera's gaunt spectre, Spreading woe and desolation, Ever bringing fell destruction. Forty deaths were soon recorded, Forty homes in sable shroudings, All the bells were ringing "softly," For the crepe was "on the door." A devoted band of nurses, Led by William H. Kinnaird, were Ready night and day to succor, Ready to confront the danger, Ready with true Christian courage, To invoke a balm in Gilead, To console ill-fated brothers.

Eighteen hundred, four and seventy Finds the city of Lancaster, In praiseworthy competition With the spirit of the present. Still the waxing, waning moonlight, Sees her changing with the cycle. Now the light'ning wires unite her With the world in speedy transit; The "Kentucky News" informs her, Of the moving scenes about her, Links her name with sister cities, In the tie of common welfare, Wafts her praises to the public, Casts her errors on the waters. Her rejoicings and enjoyments, Scarce know pause or diminution, And the Cornet Band musicians, (J. P. Sandifer, the leader), Serve the city's gala seasons, Furnish melody in numbers. All along the panorama Of her shiftings and adventures, Are peculiar memoranda, Dotting, here and there, the margin. Now the "Red Stars" have a meeting, With their weird, uncanny customs; Now the "Knights of Pythias" cluster 'Round a shrine of secret magic; Now the "Eastern Star" is dawning, With its cabalistic mottoes; Now the "Julipeans" revel 'Neath the awnings on the greensward, With their mighty dignitaries, With Sockdologers, Sapsuckers, With their Knockemstiffs, Lawgivers, With their Orators and Wise-Men, With their visitors and laymen— All their corps of jolly members 'Neath the cooling, woodland shelter. Strange societies and groupings, Hidden wonders and dark missions, Items fanciful and puzzling, Dot the margin hither, thither, Of the shifting panorama. Change and progress rule the city, Tearing loose her timeworn moorings; Now Excelsior, the watchword, Leads her prow forever onward; Now her streets are all encumbered With the architect's essentials; Now the rubbish from the burning, From the third great fire that swept her, On the first evening in April, Gathers in the northwest corner; And this row of ancient houses, Numbered with the things of yore, Soon will rise again to greet us, Soon resound with plane and trowel. All the city's luckless harbors Shall revive with added grandeur;[11] Now her handsome jail and court-house, Her new halls and spacious churches, Her improved suburban dwellings, And her central, model buildings, All betray the stride of fortune, All betray the march of knowledge; And the crumbling hall of science, The Academy of Garrard, Wears a modern dress and fashion, On the old revered foundation; New red brick and glossy mouldings Now invite th' aspiring student; No more ancient hallowed landmarks, Linger now to move the tear-drop; Yet a classic aura gathers, All about the hidden ruins. Shades of Caesar and of Virgil, Shades of Webster and of Murray, Manes of ye classic worthies, Gather ever o'er the ruins.

[9]A brick engine-house was erected on the square in 1875, to shelter the new Champion Fire Extinguisher, called the "Undine."

[10]One year later a Hook and Ladder company was organized, with George W. Dunlap Jr., as Captain, and W. H. Wherritt and Theodore Currey as Lieutenants.

[11]A new Deposit Bank building was erected during the summer of 1874.


Nigh a hundred years are buried, In the endless sweep of ages, Nigh a total centenary Hangs its harp upon the willow, Since the rude log-cabin era, When the city on the hillside Was preempted by the stranger, By the stranger surnamed Paulding; Since the pioneer council Came to "Watty" Dunn's old spring, and Met in caucus and selected A foundation for their court-house: Chose a green and ample clearing Near the well-known Wallace cross-roads. Here alone in "God's first temples," Here with nature's wild communing, Henry Clay, a youthful trav'ler Through the wilderness, surprised them; Found the little band assembled, Paused, and shared their noonday luncheon. Thus beheld Kentucky's hero, The domain of future triumphs, Thus his eyes beheld the section, Destined soon to make him famous. And the pioneer council, All unconscious of his greatness, Bade their stranger guest a welcome To the tangled, gloomy woodland, Bade him break the loaf of faring, Bade him eat the salt of friendship. Then they pointed out the clearing, Where the building should be fashioned, Thus the ground was consecrated, In the statesman's august presence; Thus a halo of true glory Hung about the rude log court-house. 'Twas the first judicial movement In the city of Lancaster, 'Twas an impetus that prompted The erecting many houses, 'Twas the gath'ring of a people, A community of workers. Could the story of each household, In the city on the hillside, Be translated for my canto. For the ditty I am singing, Many a wail of grief and sorrow, Many a sigh of hope defeated, Many a smile of sweet fruition, Schemes for profit and for pleasure, Plans of varied speculation, Schemes and plans of thought and action, Would unfold their pages to us, Would reveal their secrets to us. Could the history unwritten, Of each hearth and home be given, Then I trow, the world of fiction, With its brilliant, stirring pages, With its "marvelous traditions," With its plots and strange denouements, With its tragedies unnumbered, And its comedies prolific—— Well I trow this world of fiction, Would be "light and airy nothings," In the scale of real pictures, By the light of life so earnest, Of the suffering and doing, Of the daring and enduring, We should find imparted to us. Could we lift the mystic curtain, From the holiest of holies, From the sacred, inner temple Of each soul's unseen communion, We should gather, we should garner, Many lessons full of profit, Lessons long and full of wisdom. We should see the struggling victim In the toils of the ensnarer; See the troubled spirit writhing 'Neath the lashings of detraction; See the burdened nature groaning 'Mid the polished shafts of envy; See the sinner's cunning malice, In the act of human torture; See the Christian's anxious fightings, Foes without, and fears within him. All these lessons we should garner From each spirit's veiled communion. Change is written on the landscape, Change is speaking from the hearthstone, All the work of sure mutation, Lays its impress on the city. Could the earliest explorer Of this Eden habitation, Tread once more the waving blue grass, 'Mid her rivers, rills, and streamlets, Not the aged Rip Van Winkle, Oped his eyes in greater wonder, Not the sleeper and the dreamer, E'er beheld in more amazement. Then the shaded, quiet woodland, Was the home of untamed creatures; Now the solitudes are teeming With mankind and man's inventions; Then the wolf, and bear, and panther, Held their orgies in the caverns; Now the silent grottoes foster Only Nature's radiant jewels; Then the rattle-snake's quick poison Nerved its fangs to fierce encounter; Now the bruised head lies harmless 'Neath the heel of the seed of woman; Then the canebrake and the thicket Harbored noxious weeds and vipers; Now the undergrowth has vanished, 'Mid the golden sheaves of harvest; Now the trees have laid their foliage, In the dust of human footsteps, Now the forest trees have fallen, At the bidding of the woodman. Oak and chestnut, hickory, walnut, Poplar, sycamore, and locust, Beech and elm and pine and cedar, Laurel, holly, ash and maple— All the trees have bent their growing To the husbandman's caprices. All the beasts have fled to westward; All the reptiles skulk in hiding; All the rivers and the brooklets Have subdued their wild, free rolling. Ancient mounds and Aztec relics, Mural signs and hieroglyphics, Toltec remnants and weird mummies, All the arts and queer devices Of a prehistoric people, Have entombed their sylvan phantoms, In an everlasting Lethe. Now the woods and plains are surveys, Of distinctive tracts and precincts, Now the wide, primeval limits Bound neat villages and districts. There are Bryantsville and Fitchport, Buckeye, Logan Town and Tyro, Duncan Town and Buena Vista, Hyattville, Paint Lick, and Lowell, Clustered round the mother city, The fair city on the hillside; Clustered 'mid the charming bowers Of the Garrard county woodlands. Now the wild flower's timid blooming Colors distant fields and by-ways, And the city's rare exotics, In the crystal greenhouse, flourish; Rose and lily and camelia, Tulip, fuschia, and verbena, Rear their gorgeous tints to gladden Many a sweet domestic picture. All the knotted thorns and briers, Serve in close-cut garden hedges; All the grapevine swings are curling Over tasteful, latticed arbors. Apples, pears, and plums, and peaches, Herbs and blossoms, fruits and berries, Swell the trade of horticulture, Birds and fowls and flesh and fishes, Now supply the city's market. Houses, homes of care and culture, Public buildings grand and costly, Deckings rural and artistic, All the mart and traffic symbols, Mark the once entangled wildwood, Deck the erst embowered valley. Nature views her splendid ruins, In a garb of man's creation; Smooths her rugged frowns and wrinkles, 'Neath the mask of modern pruning; Draws her cloven foot in hiding, Under skirts of art so simple; Buries all her savage spirit, In the graces of refinement; Merges wilderness and mountain, In the sea of cultivation. And her name, no longer rustic, Bears the soubriquet, Lancaster. 'Tis our birthplace, dear and sacred, In the heart of old Kentucky, 'Tis the pride of Garrard county, Fairest city of the hillside. May she never know misfortune, While the moons are waxing, waning, May her blessings ever linger, As the cycle brings its changes. May the strife of human passions, May all riots and dissensions, May disease and flood and fire, Lift their baleful shadows from her. Let her children cling unto her, 'Mid the wreck of mind and matter: Be her sons' and daughters' motto, Stand, united; fall, divided. God protect thee, fair Lancaster— Cherished city, pax vobiscum.




WAR OF 1812.


J——s Anderson, James Ashley, Then John Ball, and William Bledsoe, J——s Ball, and Jerry Blalock, Aleck Boyle, and Henry Baker, Thomas Clarke, and Martin Baker, Rufus Carpenter, R. Curtis, Samuel Gill, and Francis Dunkard, William Hughes, and J——s Comely, Isaac Holmes, John Frame, James Denny, Henry Hews, and Moses Hubbard, Edward Holmes, and Samuel Hogan, Samuel Kennedy, James Hogan, John Kincaid, and J——h Harris, James Mershon, and Philip Hogan, Moses Moore, and Samuel Jackman, William Nicholson, John Hidrick, Posey Price, and Stephen Letcher, William Poe, and Roland Letcher, Ennis Quinn, and Thomas Lankford, Andrew Reid, and Edward Lethal, Jacob Robinson, John Letcher, William Ward, and Luther Mayfield, C——s Smith, and R. McConnell, James Shackelford, James McGarvin, Robert Smith, and William Nelson, Z——h Smith, and Ebsworth Owsley, Ozias Williams, and G. Oatman, Henry Williams, and John Preston, Humphrey Sutton, and John Pollard, Hugh M. Ross, and J——s Weldon, J——n Schuyler, and John Woolley, J——s Russell, and John Simpson, Lastly, Isaac Peckleheimer.


David Blankenship, John Williams, Joseph Sprowl, and Joshua Martin, James Williams, Sr., and Charles Reynolds, Alexander Sprowl, John Ellis, Henry Smith, and Edward Nichols, Joseph Coffee, and John Northcutt, William Progg, and C——s Pointer, William Irvin, and James Trotter, Moses Embry, and James Williams, John McDowell, and James Connor, R. L. Pearl, and William Thresher, D. L. Myers, and John Irwin, William Campbell, and Cage Grimsley, Nicholas Owens, and James Russell, Beverly Clayton, and John Davis, R. L. Matthews, Joseph Connor, Robert Appleby, Joshua Grider, William Stockton, Jonathan Taylor, John Calhoun, and Charles H. Flower.



W. O. Lawless, and L. Henson, Oliver Yates,[12] and James G. Smiley, John J. Miller,[12] William Evans, John D. Miller,[12] Joseph Murphy,[12] George H. Miller, William Herndon, Robert White, and James F. Miller, Thomas Blackerby,[12] James Lawless, Horatio Arnold,[12] S. G. Evans,[12] T. J. Vaughan,[12] and Andrew Harlan, James Mershon, and Mason Logan, Thomas Shipley,[12] and Charles Southern, Ben Mershon,[12] and James B. Thornton,[12] John T. Grooms,[12] and Robert Collier, Richard Bruce,[12] and Daniel Banton,[12] J——s Brown,[12] and O. O. Banton, James M. Ford, and Jesse Batner,[12] Jackson Holmes, and John H. Cleaveland, William Forbes,[12] and J. Huffman, Jesse May,[12] and H. B. Terrill,[12] John Arbuckle,[12] and James Suel,[12] William Robinson,[12] George Turner, Then, George Baird,[12] Horatio Owens,[12] Patrick Williamson, A. Arnold, Next, George Robinson, H. Duggins, William Perkins, D. C. Alspaugh,[12] Sidney Hall, and Stephen Teater,[12] Thomas Conn,[12] and S. H, Renfro, Thompson Yates, and Joseph Harmon,[12] Joseph Scott,[12] and C. Smithpeters,[12] Hamilton Huffman, and James Hardin, And the last is Warren Lamaster.



Richard Anderson, James Stegar, Jeremiah Carpenter, James Sherrer, Henry Edgington. John Kerby,[13] Henry Grimes, and James Fitzimmons, Next, John Jones, and Daniel Sweeney, J. Kincaid, and John Forgaty, George Lamar, and Daniel Johnson, Harvey Merriman, George Copeland,[12] Henry Middleton, James Mochbee, John O'Keefe, Horatio Wilson, Tilford Rutherford, John Dismukes, William Wells, and L. J. Hammonds,[12] Then, George Forbes, and Thomas Norton,[12] Henry Hurt, and Charles H. Owsley,[12] Samuel Prim, and Edward Renfro,[12] Abram Blackerby,[12] John Renfro, Hugh Frizell,[12] and A. M. Renfro, Harvey Smith,[12] and A. J. Wilson,[12] Dennis Fox,[14] and W. H. Brady,[12] Next, John Hurt,[14] and Jesse Chartreen, Daniel Gaddis, Senior, Junior, Daniel Duggins, and B. Stroxdal,[12] Jennings Duggins, Walter Eason, Benjamin Holtzclaw, Milton Finley, William Madden, Albert Preston, Thomas Pumphrey, David Preston, Elijah Pumphrey, William Preston, Nicholas Tobin, Patrick Ryan, Joseph Williams, Michael Carroll.


John F. Baird, and Nelson Harmon, Simeon Henderson, John Hardin, Daniel Holman, and James Baker, Ancel George, and William Johnson, Jordan Holmes, James Church, George Lawson, Wesley King, and Thomas Foley, Allen Haggard, Joseph Baker, Benjamin Baker, Moses Lawson, Horatio Marksbury, James Graham, J. H. Ray, and Isaac Pointer, William Short, and Mason Pointer, Joseph Baird,[14] and William Runyan, Willis Pierce,[12] and Harvey Warren, Andrew Adams,[12] and George Simpson, Samuel Hall,[12] and Squire Wheeler, James D. Nave, and George M. Kerby,[12] Enoch Lunsford,[12] James D. Fletcher, George A. Brown, and Campbell Shiplet,[14] John Mulair, Elijah Simpson, William Baker, and John Ryan, William Scarbro,[12] William Warren,[12] James M. Temple,[12] Daniel Herring, Last, James Welsh, and Isaac Renfro.


James O'Lynn, James Kern, B. Merrill, Thomas Adkinson, John Asher, Thomas Austin, John H. Burton, Aleck Bland, Moreau B. Bruner, Thomas Blake, and William Cooley, John A. Dunn, and L. M. Elliott, Alexander Hicks, Charles Cummings, Thomas Hughes, and Gabriel Greenleaf, Absalom Jeffries, and James Hammock, John Mahar, and William Layton, Alexander Ross, Charles Simpson, Joseph Vaughn, and Daniel Miller, W. M. Vaughn, and Thomas Murphy, James B. Wall, and Edward Saddler, James P. Speake, and Michael Purcell, W. A. Stotts, and Sidney Tudor, Joseph Kennedy, John Purcell, William Hart, and D. R. Totten, John M. Anderson, A. Vincent, William Sherod, and J. Harvey, James F. Williamson, John Roberts, Samuel Fitch, John Hart, M. Teater, C. S. Bland, James Ball, R. Elkin, C. S. Buzd, and William Broaddus, Thomas Austin, and John Campbell, Thomas Doolin, Hebsom Layer, Sidney Murphy, Marion Warren, Humphrey Best, and Samuel Blackerly.


Oliver King, Joe Higganbotham,[14] Samuel Brown, John Higginbotham, William Middleton, A. Doty,[12] Simon Engleman,[12] Ross Comely, Thomas Kennedy, John Farris, Samuel Engleman, S. O'Bannon,[14] John Stormes, John Brown, John Byers, J. W. Brown, and T. L. Harris, R. McGrath, and Robert Daniel, R. L. Denton, Isaac Myers, Francis Curtis, R. C. Farris, Carroll Jennings, and Jack Thurman.


Doctor William Pettus, Surgeon, George S. Brown, and F. G. Peacock, Thomas Simpson, and John Salter, J. A. Doty, and Mack. Adams, C. L. Grimes, D. Rodney Adams, John E. Smith, and. J. A. Doty, Joseph Pettus, and John Alford,[14] William Grimes, and Archie Denny, Thomas Richards, O. P. Herring, Then Green Brown, and Richard Alford, William Embry,[12] William Baughman.


A. R. Pendleton, Jack Stagner, Clayton Anderson, John Merritt, Benjamin Ford, and T. M. Arnold, Jacob Brown, and C. A. Finley, Aleck Ray, and A. R. Harris, William Terrill, and John Mitchell, William Dismukes and James Thornton,[12] James H. Jennings,[14] Louis Sutfield,[12] Thomas Jennings,[14] W. H. Beazley, Benjamin Jennings, Stirling Willis, Gabriel Jennings, Alford Givens, Russell Jennings, Michael Elkin, Arabia Jennings, H. C. Buford, Thompson Denton,[12] Jennings Burton, James W. Adams, and George Bettis, A. B. Arnold, and John Beazley, Butler Hudson, John G. Doty, Jones L. Adams, and John Arnold, Thomas Leavell, and John Royston, Jesse Royston, and John Gardner.[12]


J. L. Robinson, Jos. Burnside, D. H. Arnold, Benjamin Tracy, W. G. Dunn, and James McQuery, W. McQuery, and Rush Elkin, Bowen Jones, John Jones, James Hyatt, James Jones, John Smith, and H. C. Thornton, Anderson Jones, John Pierce, James Comely, Benjamin Lear, and W. Campbell, Robert Wall, S. King, John Patton, H. T. Noel, and I. Curtis, A. Montgomery, B. Mullins, R. R. Noel, W. Owsley. Dudley Akin, C. C. Miller.


[13]Killed at Vicksburg.



The publication of the Song of Lancaster has been delayed eighteen months in order to obtain the names of the Garrard County Confederate soldiers. The author advertised extensively with this view, and one hundred and twenty-seven names have been procured. She hopes the list is complete.


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