By Justine Barati (Joint Munitions Command)October 2, 2008
BLUE GRASS ARMY DEPOT, Richmond, Ky. - The Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Ky., has its own Indiana Jones, and because of his efforts and work with the Historic Properties Director of Madison County, Ky., the public will soon be able to enjoy some of the treasures he has unearthed.
Nathan White is the Depot archeologist and cultural resource manager. "If it wasn't for Nathan, we never would have gotten them [the artifacts]," said Phillip Seyfrit, the Historic Properties Director for Madison County.
"The majority of archeological research in the country takes place on military installations, on federal land, or as a result of federal undertakings," said White.
Consequently, the Depot has accumulated a large inventory of historical and prehistoric artifacts from archeological digs conducted through the years. Many of these artifacts date back to the Civil War and the Battle of Richmond, which took place on the Depot in the summer of 1862.
"We have recovered horse shoes, mule shoes, horse tack, scabbard tips, pieces of canister shot, Minie balls, round shot, the sorts of things people dropped as they were running away or pursuing the enemy," said White. "Some collectors have even identified which side they [the artifacts] came from," he said.
Some of these treasures are being loaned to the soon-to-be-opened Rogers House - The Battle of Richmond Visitors Center in Richmond for public display.
"I've been on dozens of digs while I've been here," said White. The artifacts being loaned to the visitors center were recovered during a survey with the University of Kentucky in 1999.
"The Army has been very cooperative and amenable to any request we have and has offered things we didn't even dream of getting. Army employees have worked with us hand-in-hand on this project," said Seyfrit.
"I showed Phillip artifacts that we found in metal detector sweeps here on the Depot. We talked about it and thought it would be a good idea to bring some over here. Phillip will curate them and keep them available for research. It's nice to have them available for public display. It's a win-win situation -- we provide artifacts, and they show them to the public," said White.
White is happy the Civil War relics will be on display to the public. "You feel like you're doing something to benefit the community. I believe in public archeology," he said.
The restored Rogers House - The Battle of Richmond Visitors Center will have its grand opening Oct. 4.