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December 23, 1861, the Confederate Government authorized the act of raising 20 companies of troops in Kentucky. The Civil War in Kentucky by Lowell H. Harrison
December 23, 1862, John Hunt Morgan’s Raiders began their Christmas Raid. Nearly 4,000 men crossed into Kentucky near Tompkinsville. They captured Glasgow on Christmas Eve before the first real Union resistance took place on Christmas Day at Bear Wallow near Cave City. Then it was on to Elizabethtown. Morgan and his Raiders came into Kentucky on numerous occasions; three of the most significant were the First Kentucky Raid, The Christmas Raid, and the Great Raid of 1863.
December 23, 1883, Marshal Harlan Taylor, Morganfield Police Department, was killed while attempting to arrest a man for public intoxication. The suspect, who shot Marshal Taylor in the head, was sentenced to ten years at hard labor. Marshal Taylor had served with the agency for only 11 months.
Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Trenton native Edward Franklin Camp Jr., born in 1905 in Todd County. He served as the head football coach at the University of Louisville from 1946 to 1968, compiling 118–95–2 (.551) record. He brought Louisville football back following a three-year absence caused by World War II. Coach Camp has the most wins of any head coach in school history. Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas was among the players he coached.
December 23, 1907, the temperance movement broke up a whiskey parade in Paducah. The dry team destroyed all of the banners and smashed several whiskey bottles on the street as they passed. The next day, Christmas Eve, the marchers were back on the road with another parade. However, this time, one of the marchers who served as drum major carried a pickax instead of a baton. Under his armed direction, the band played “It’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight.”
December 23, 1908, Deputy Sheriff Robert B. Smith and Deputy John Brooks, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, were killed while attempting to serve a warrant on three men wanted for robbing a miner. He had deputized four men, including John Brooks, to assist with the arrests. As Deputy Smith read the warrant to the three men one of them produced a handgun and opened fire, striking him in the abdomen. A shootout ensued between the three suspects and the posse, Deputy Brooks and one of the suspects were killed. The other two suspects fled the scene but were both quickly arrested.
December 23, 1919, Deputy Sheriff Dolie Clifford Harmon, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and a private detective were shot and killed by the brother of a man they had just arrested for desertion. They located the man near the headwaters of Daniels Creek and placed him under arrest. Several neighbors notified the man’s brother, who then came to the scene, where the detective was detaining the deserter while Deputy Harmon returned to the man’s home to obtain some belongings. When the brother approached he immediately opened fire, killing the private detective, a short time later Deputy Harmon returned to the scene and was also shot and killed by the brother. Both men fled the scene. The deserter was arrested two years later in Virginia. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role in the murders. It is unknown if the other brother was ever arrested.
December 23, 1928, Town Marshal Mat Holland, Combs Police Department, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a miner in front of the mine commissary at Domino in Perry County. Despite being wounded he was able to return fire and killed the subject.
December 23, 1928, Deputy Sheriff Mack Summers, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a drunk person who was firing a gun. A citizen had contacted the deputy, who was at home, to inform him of the incident. Deputy Summers had served with the agency for seven years. He was survived by his wife and four children.
December 23, 1931, the Kentucky basketball team hosted Berea in Alumni Gymnasium for the fifth time. The Cats won 52-27. John DeMoisey #00 from Walton, was high scorer with 16 points. His jersey is retired. Kentucky played Berea nine times, all in Lexington. The average margin of defeat was 26 points and the last time they played in 1939, Kentucky won by 50.
December 23, 1933, Deputy Game Warden James Claxton was shot and killed in Carroll County. He and two other wardens served a warrant on a fisherman for using a double wing net in the Kentucky River, violation of state game laws. When the wardens entered the man’s house boat, the man said he would kill Claxton. The man picked up a double barreled shotgun and pointed it at the officers. Warden Claxton opened fire on the man, missing but wounding his son. The subject fired his shotgun, striking Warden Claxton. Despite being mortally wounded, Claxton returned fire and seriously wounded the subject.
December 23, 1934, Deputy Sheriff Guy Rogers, Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a miner for public drunkenness near the Three Point Coal Company mines. The subject pulled out a .32 caliber handgun and shot Deputy Rogers in the face, killing him instantly. The man was taken into custody following Deputy Rogers’ murder. A month later the 23-year-old suspect, who claimed self-defense, was tried and acquitted.
Kentucky Trivia: Red Maple is the most common individual tree species accounting for 12.2% of all trees in Kentucky. Most of the forests (75%) is composed of oak-hickory forest type and we still have one of the most diverse hardwood species mix in the nation (second only to Florida).
December 23, 1991, Marine Corps Colonel William Richard Higgins’s remains were recovered from Beirut after being murdered in 1988. The Danville native is buried in Quantico National Cemetery in Virginia.
December 23, 1995, Kentucky coach Rick Pitino talked with forward Antoine Walker during the #4 Wildcats’ 89-66 win over #25 Louisville at Rupp Arena in Lexington. UK would finish the year 34-2 and claim the program’s sixth national title. During his eight years at Kentucky, Pitino had a 6-2 record against the Cardinals and as coach of the Cardinals; he had a losing record against the Cats.
December 23, 2019, Kentucky State Police Troopers responded to a call at 638 Southlawn Dr. in Shelbyville. When Troopers arrived, they found Jon Kerry Monroe shot to death just inside the home. Jon Monroe was shot multiple times. The Kentucky State Police request your help resolving the murder of Jon “Kerry” Monroe, 53, of Eminence.