Cumberland Gap Tip Line
Help protect your national park! Report any crimes or suspicious activity including damage or theft of park resources. More »
No Cave Tours or Hensley Tours on September 27
There will be no Gap Cave or Hensley Settlement tours offered on September 27, 2014 due to special Heritage Walk program. For more information please call the park visitor center at (606) 248-2817, extension 1075.
Back the Bears!
Support the park's "Back the Bears" campaign and help keep our bears wild and safe! More »
Acclaimed Civil War Historian to Speak at Cumberland Gap
Contact: Martha Wiley, (606) 248-2817, extension 1051
Program One of Many in the National Park Service's Sesquicentennial Commemoration
Dr. Earl J. Hess, associate professor and Stewart W. McClelland Chair in History at Lincoln Memorial University, will be presenting the program, "The Civil War Comes to Cumberland Gap," on Saturday, September 17th at 2:00 p.m. in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park's visitor center auditorium.
The talk will explore the history of Cumberland Gap in the first year of the Civil War, addressing the first Confederate occupation from the summer of 1861 to June 1862. Hess will talk about the people on different levels of command who occupied the Gap, and relate how the Federals captured it bloodlessly, and generally examine the Gap itself as a strategic position during the war.
Dr. Hess has been a student of Civil War history since he was a teenager, growing up in rural Missouri. He completed his B.A. and M.A. degrees in History at Southeast Missouri State University. His Ph.D. in American Studies, with a concentration in History, was awarded by Purdue University in 1986. He has taught at a number of institutions, including the University of Georgia, Texas Tech University, and the University of Arkansas. Since 1989, he has been at Lincoln Memorial University. Hess has published 12 books, 23 articles, and more than 100 book reviews. Among his publications are Into the Crater - the Mine Attack at Petersburg; Trench Warfare under Grant and Lee - Field Fortifications in the Overland Campaign; Pickett's Charge - The Last Attack at Gettysburg; and Banners to the Breeze: The Kentucky Campaign, Corinth and Stones River. Immediately after the program, he will be signing copies of Banners to the Breeze and his latest book, Lincoln Memorial University and the Shaping of Appalachia.
Hess's program is the third of four being offered this year in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park's Hidden History Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the Friends of Cumberland Gap. For additional information on Cumberland Gap National Historical Park's programs, please call 606-248-2817, extension 1075 or visit
Did You Know?
Between 1775 and 1810 some 300,000 settlers crossed Cumberland Gap and began settling the land west of the Appalachians. These brave pioneers were following dreams of prosperity in the wilderness of Kentucky.