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This historical narrative set during the Civil War endeavors to explain the strong allegiance to the Union by the people from the Appalachian regions of eastern Kentucky.

The narrative was written as a labor of love, born from deep sentiments instilled during the author’s youth from stories by his grandfather.

The history centers on residents of Laurel, Jackson & Rockcastle Counties, Kentucky who almost unanimously supported the Union while holding cultural affection and commercial ties to their southern neighbors.

When the War started, four unique souls (George Freeman, White Freeman, Endeman Tussey and Hector Scoville) joined what would become the 24th Kentucky Infantry Regiment.

The author, James W. Freeman, is related to three of them.

The triumphs and tribulations of the brave men and women from that time period should not be forgotten. Future generations need to have a better understanding of the Appalachian Americans and their contributions to preserving the Union.

This is the story of those Boys of Laurel.
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In reading Boys of Laurel, I am constantly reminded of the incredible sacrifice of those who answered the CALL to preserve our Union during the Civil War. Dr. Freeman successfully documents the historical perspective of service rendered by the 24th Kentucky, while clearly illustrating the character and desire to solidify further the very essence of God, Family, and Country.
Donald C. Storm
Major General, USA
James White Freeman, a native of Laurel County Kentucky, currently resides in Lexington, Kentucky with his wife Ellen.

He holds a doctorate degree in Experimental Pathology and spent more than thirty years as a Professor of Oncology and Cancer Researcher.

The Boys of Laurel, his first novel, is a culmination of years of research about the role of the Twenty-fourth Kentucky Infantry Regiment (US) during the American Civil War.

Author's Thoughts

Battle of Resaca, Georgia - May 1864

Company A of the 24th Kentucky Vol Infantry Regiment (Union) was comprised of boys from Laurel County, Kentucky. They are often referred to as the Boys of Laurel or as Scoville’s boys after their captain, Hector Scoville.
One of the many battles they fought in was the Battle of Resaca, Georgia. The battlefield is enormous and comprises a long valley with ridges on either side with a creek running through the valley. Sherman’s Union Army occupied one ridge and Joe Johnston’s Confederate Army the opposing ridge.
The battle took place on May 14 and 15th of 1864, and is particularly noteworthy for the 24th Kentucky because they were forward in the attack and their Brigade (Manson’s Brigade, Cox’s Division of Schofield’s Corps) took heavy casualties.
Of the 1700 men in the Brigade, 615 were killed wounded, or missing. One reason for the high casualties of Manson’s Brigade was that their right flank was exposed because the advance of Judah’s Brigade was stopped due to the swampy terrain.
I visited the battlefield several times before but was unable to trace the movements of the Boys of Laurel. That all changed when I toured the battlefield this week with historian Tony Patton. We retraced the steps of the regiment from one ridge, across the valley, through the creek, and up ridges to the confederate lines where the battle took place.
A few photos are attached included. Panels from top to bottom, left to right shows → the entrance, a view of the valley, Camp Creek and Resaca historian Tony Patton, a map showing the movement of Manson’s Brigade including the 24th KY, and a ridge near remnants of Confederate rifle pits.
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Photos by James W. Freeman
JWF — Sunday, March 17th 2024
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