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.
Sugar Run Trail Closed to Horses
The Sugar Run Trail is temporarily closed to horse use due to the number of fallen trees as a result of recent storms. The trail is still open for hikers, but hikers should use caution.
Back the Bears!
Support the park's "Back the Bears" campaign and help keep our bears wild and safe! More »
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?
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.