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Cave Tour Alert!
White Nose Syndrome is a disease that is killing bats in great numbers and has been found in park caves. While visiting Gap Cave please do not wear or bring anything that has been in other caves. Skylight Cave is currently closed.
Friends of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Presents Historic Letter to Park
Document Confirms United States Colored Troops Presence at the Gap
A significant yet lesser-known chapter of the history of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (NHP) has recently come to light, in large part thanks to the Friends of Cumberland Gap non-profit group. A park supporter had noticed a Civil War letter for sale earlier this year, and purchased it. The Friends of Cumberland Gap NHP then learned of the letter and offered to buy it for the park's archives.
Written by Lieutenant Colonel James F. Wade of the United States Colored Troops (USCT), 6thCavalry, the letter is dated November 28th, 1864, and originates from Cumberland Gap. In the letter, designated "General Order No. 1," Wade "hereby assumes command of the 3rdBrigade, consisting of the 5thUSC Cavalry 13thKy Cavalry - 30th, 37thand 43rdRegts. Ky Mtd. Inf."
"This is a part of the Gap's Civil War history that is only just beginning to be explored," shared Superintendent Mark Woods. "Thanks to the generosity of our Friends Group, we are able to have this tangible link to the presence of the USCT here at Cumberland Gap."
Friends Chairman John Brown remarked, "The purchase and donation of this letter fits well with the mission of the Friends group, formed in 2009, as we strive to 'strengthen awareness of and assist the National Park Service in its mission to preserve, protect, and enhance the natural and cultural resources of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.' We are pleased to be able to bring this important historical find back home where it belongs."
For more information about Friends of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park visit their website at: www.friendsofcumberlandgap.org or find them on facebook at: www.facebook.com/friendsofcumberlandgap
Did You Know?
Gap Cave has also been called: King Solomon's Cave, Soldier's Cave, and Cudjo's Cave! The cave was originally referred to as "Gap Cave" because of its proximity to the Gap. When early pioneers saw the cave they knew they were about to cross the mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky.