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Fifth-grader finds mistakes on Harrison County historical markers

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By Kate Darnell

When Eastside Elementary teacher Jeff Kinney asked members of his history club to think about a significant Kentucky historical event, fifth-grader Joe Moss looked no further than Cynthiana.

“I thought about the Battle of Cynthiana,” Moss said at Eastside Thursday afternoon.

Moss, with 19 other members of Kinney’s history club, traveled to Frankfort Friday to showcase his exhibit on the Battle of Cynthiana at the annual Kentucky Junior Historical Society contest.

Moss received third place for his exhibit, which included photographs, newspaper clippings and artifacts placed on a large board, along with a summary of Moss’ findings.

And Moss’ findings may change the face of history in Harrison County.

It was Moss’ work on his historical exhibit that led him to find mistakes in historical markers around the county.

Documented in his exhibit, Moss noticed that the dates on the markers on US 27 North and South were conflicting.

While the marker on US 27 South reads that the first Battle of Cynthiana was July 18, 1862, Moss said the correct date is found on the US 27 North marker that dates the first battle to July 17, 1862.

Moss also noticed discrepancies with the date mentioned on a plaque in Battle Grove Cemetery.

While the second Battle of Cynthiana was fought at Battle Grove Cemetery, Moss said the plaque there denotes the date from the first Battle of Cynthiana.

“The people that did fight there, they want it to be remembered on the correct date,” said Moss.

While his mom drove him around to the historical markers around town, it wasn’t until Moss got home that he found the plaques’ mistakes.

“When my mom got the pictures developed, I started looking at it,” he said.

Moss said he researched the dates of the battles in several reference books.

“We were making sure we were correct about this,” he said.

Moss said he told Mr. Kinney, Harold Slade (from the Cynthiana-Harrison County museum) and Billy Grayson (from Battle Grove Cemetery) about his found mistakes.

“That’s what this is all about,” said Kinney, adding that plans were being made to change the plaques to read the correct dates. “They will be changed because of an 11-year-old kid...”

Other projects receiving excellence awards at the convention include: Josh Graves (2-D art project), Gus Garrison (2-D art project), Gracie Furnish (photography), Hallie Adams (photography), Gus Garrison (historical exhibit).

Ross Smith received a third place award for his impromptu composition, Caleb Marshall received second place for his 3-D art project, and first place awards were awarded to Devin Hubbard for his beginning genealogy project and Ross Smith’s performance.

Results from additional categories will be known at a later date.

“This club is not about reading something in a text book,” said Kinney. “This club brings history to life.”

All of the history club’s exhibits and performances will be shown to the Cynthiana-Harrison County Historical Society at their May meeting.

Moss is the son of David  and Kay Moss.