Kentucky Life

Tonight’s Kentucky Life explores host Dave Shuffett’s Civil War ancestry

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tonight’s Kentucky Life is dedicated to host Dave Shuffett following in the footsteps of his great-great-grandfather Michael Shuffett, who in 1861 joined the 13th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the U.S. Civil War.

To start off the program, Dave speaks with family members and local historians in Green and Taylor counties as he traces the beginnings of the regiment. Formed in 1861 with 861 men, only 400 were left by early 1865 when the war ended.

“Michael’s story was a sad one that unfortunately was very common,” says Dave, who grew up in the same southern Kentucky county as his ancestor. Michael had three sons and died shortly after the war concluded.

The program heads to Shiloh, Tenn., where Michael and his regiment had their first taste of combat. The Battle of Shiloh took place April 6-7 in 1862. Dave explores the history and significance of the battle with Shiloh National Military Park Ranger Chris Mekow and traces Michael’s movements through this battleground. This Kentucky Life episode airs exactly 150 years to the day when Michael and his regiment fought their battle at Shiloh.

Dave then puts on the Union uniform himself: in an effort to better understand what his ancestor would have gone through, he joins the 6th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiment, a reenacting group out of South Central Kentucky.

The program then travels to Georgia, where Michael and his regiment joined General William T. Sherman in the Atlanta campaign for four hard months of battle. Warfare had changed drastically since their early days in Shiloh, and this, coupled with the mistakes of commanders, only led to greater bloodshed and suffering.

The program airs Saturday, April 7 at 8/7 pm CT and Sunday, April 8 at 4/3 pm CT on KET.

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