Kentucky town to honor War of 1812 militiaman
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 8:00 pm
GREENVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A western Kentucky city is planning to erect a bronze statue to a War of 1812 hero known as the “Kentucky long rifleman.”
Greenville City Administrator Ben Van Hooser said a 13-member committee wants to have a monument to Ephraim Brank, with his rifle pointed south toward the Gulf of Mexico, ready to be unveiled by the summer of 2013. Van Hooser told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (http://bit.ly/Km6ByR ) the statue would be the first life-sized statue in Muhlenberg County and the first monument to the War of 1812 in the state.
Brank served in the Kentucky militia and is said to have defeated mounted British soldiers with an American flintlock long rifle during the Battle of New Orleans, earning him the nickname the “Kentucky long rifleman.”
The city also gives the “Ephraim Brank Award” to people with extraordinary talent or who makes an outstanding contribution to the city.
“Kentucky lost more soldiers during that war than any other state in the Union,” Van Hooser said. “There’s no more appropriate place to start than here in our county for such a hero.”
The project, including the limestone base, bronze and plaques, totals about $100,000. Though they found no grants to support the project, Van Hooser said the committee trusts that local and national donations will fully fund it.
The committee met challenges in finding firsthand accounts of Brank’s actions while fighting under Gen. Andrew Jackson of Tennessee, but members were re-energized by documents within a collection from the Filson Historical Society in Louisville.
“The day we unveil it will be monumental,” Van Hooser said.
Information from: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, http://www.messenger-inquirer.com Published in The Messenger 5.16.12