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I serve as the project manager for the Shelby County Historical Society's project to identify and preserve the site of the Simpsonville Slaughter. This is the incident in which about 26 men of Co. E of the Fifth U.S. Colored Cavalry lost their lives in a skirmish with Confederate guerrillas near Simpsonville on January 25, 1865.
We have engaged UK's Kentucky Archeological Survey (KAS) to do the scientific work associated with finding the mass grave of 22 of the troopers. An important part of this work involved cleaning up an African-American cemetery operated for about 100 years by the Trim Lodge #2 of the United Brothers of Friendship. The cemetery likely located there because of the mass grave.
I want to thank Stephanie Barber, the Business and Community Liaison at the Whitney M. Young Job Corps Center (WMYJCC) for her assistance on this project. I especially want to thank the 14 students of Ms. Susan Elliott's Pharmacy Technologist class and the 18 Nursing Assistant students in Ms. Kathy Kaelin's class. These teachers and students, who come from all over the United States, carried away dead wood and downed trees. The students found several graves that had been covered by debris. Their work has been vital to allowing KAS to use their technology to properly map the graveyard.
Finally, I want to thank the administration of the WMYJCC for instilling in its students the value of public service. I look forward to more opportunities to partner with this organization that renders an important service to not only Shelby County, but to the entire country.
J.T. (Jerry) Miller,
Shelby County Historical Society