Forest First! The Battle of Sacramento

Battle of Sacramento


Battle of Sacramento


There are those events that you attend where you feel appreciated and go away contented.  There are places were the people greet you with genuine friendliness and everyone drinks from the cup of fellowship.  There are those who put forth their best effort to make you feel at home.  The little community of Sacramento, Kentucky, is one of those special places and events.


On May 18-20, 2018, the 24th annual Battle of Sacramento took place. Friday witnessed several different events for the public. There were several living history stations.  The began with Civil War camp music with Pvt Lex Conatser along with camp musicians, Dr. Mary Walker’s presentation about her life as an abolitionist, prohibitionist, prisoner of war, surgeon and first female to be the recipient of the Medal of Honor, followed by the ‘School of the Soldier’ as instructed by Pvt Dennis Hutchinson.  At10:30, the spectators were privy to ‘sounding the calls’ by the 10th Il. Volunteer Cavalry.  Abraham Lincoln, as portrayed by David Wolfe, presented, followed by Michael Crutcher in the persona of Frederick Douglass. The next living historian was David Chaltas in the role of General Robert E. Lee.  He introduced a surprise guest speaker who had accompanied him: General Grant (Charles Michael)!  Colonel Dudley Wickersham presented the ‘eyes and ears of the Armies’. The Dismounted Calvary was demonstrated by Pvt. Mark Gelhausen.  Reverend Alan Farley presented the role of the ‘United States Christian Commission’ during The War Between the States. Retired Army General Scales discussed the tactical maneuvers of Nathan Bedford Forrest from his book entitled, Battles and Campaigns of General Nathan Bedford Forrest. The grand finale was ‘Hands on the Big Guns’ presented by Lt. Jeff Stokes of Cobb’s KY Battery.


The Mollie Morehead Chapter UDC #2605, held a dedication service in memory of Mollie Morehead and uncovered the latest addition to the garden:  granite benches.  Theresa Jones and Sue Berry were the Master of Ceremonies. The agenda included presentation of the colors, welcome, invocation, pledge to American Flag, salute to the Confederate Flag, posting of colors, history of the battle, dedication ritual, unveiling of benches, prayer, poem reading, reading the names of the casualties engraved in the granite marker, placing of the wreaths, volley by Union and Confederate soldiers, benediction, and retiring of the colors.


On Saturday, the ladies’ tea was once again exceptional, and as the band, Unreconstructed. Played.  For a brief moment, I was taken back to a time of chivalry and felt like I was in the 19th century.  Saturday’s living history continued, as preparations for the battle took place. The scenario script followed the historical battle lines of the Cavalry charges, with artillery being fired to the delight of the crowd. Prior to the battle, the traditional ride of Miss Mollie and her sister opened up the action.  Then she rode off to warn Colonel Forrest, an untested officer who rose from the rank of private to become a general.


Colonel Forrest had not seen action and had it not been for the keen eye and friendliness of a young lady to the cause, things might have turned out differently.  Forrest recorded the following: “A beautiful young lady, smiling, with untied tresses floating in the breeze, on horseback, met the column just before our advance guard came up with the rear of the enemy, infusing nerve into my arm and kindling knightly chivalry within my heart.” Forrest was to encounter his first action.  His opponent was an eighteen-year-old by the name of Major Eli H. Murray of the 3rd Kentucky.  He had under his command approximately four hundred men and was out on a scouting mission.  Instead of the Federals locating the Confederates, the Federal column was surprised by Forrest’s charge, which was a direct result of Miss Mollie’s ride.  The Federals fled the field being chased by a man who would become legendary.  Every year the town of Sacramento pays tribute to Forrest’s First Fight and to a young lady that saved the day for the soon to be ‘famed’ general.


On Sunday, the annual tribute to Mollie Morehead was offered at her gravesite and her story was once again shared. General Lee shared the poem, We Drank from the Same Canteen, and told of Christ’s passion on the cross.  Sunday church service was well attended and as usual, Reverend Farley preached the gospel with passion. Living historians roamed the area and talked to the audience.  Sunday’s battle was another picture-perfect event that those who have attended the Battle of Sacramento, have come to expect.  Well done committee members and staff.  For more information regarding the Battle of Sacramento 2018, contact the following: or Face book at