Lieutenant-Colonel Phil Lee, of the Second Kentucky, was quite a wit and something of a wag as well, and after the Fifth came to use, he characterized the five regiments as follows: The "honest ninth," the "theiving fourth," the "supple sixth," the "invincible second" and the "simple fifth." The fifth had been recruited in the mountain counties of Kentucky, and we called them "seng diggers" when they first came to us, but we soon learned to respect them for their prowess, their indomitable courage notwithstanding their want of culture.And in so doing, Garrigus joined what was, by then, a cultural phenomenon that considered the American mountain South another America, a retarded frontier, the contemporary ancestors of the country permanently locked in their Elizabethan past. This is not surprising for 1914 as many scholars who study the evolution of the idea of Appalachia will point out. But what is most interesting is that Garrigus' claims are backed up by wartime accounts that disparage the soldiers of the Fifth as jeans wearing, uncultured, ginseng digging, persons outside the mainstream Kentucky. The development of an Appalachian other has been linked to mountain unionism during the war, but I can't help but wonder if there are also roots of an Appalachia-as-other in intra-Confederate criticism of the mountaineer as well. I have decided to start poking around this idea this semester in a seminar with Dwight Billings to see if it has legs.
My exploratory steps thus far has been to see if the 5th was really a "mountain" regiment. Using E.Porter Thompson's 1868 annotated rosters, here's where the Orphans hailed from. Update: New maps! Red counties sent a company-sized contingent, Orange counties sent a significant (~15+) group, and Yellow counties sent a small number of soldiers into the unit:
The "Simple Fifth." While there are the large groupings from Morgan and Breathitt (2 companies in that case), there are certainly large contributions from non-stigmatized Northern Ky. Certainly, though, the 5th is the most tightly grouped of any of the units.
The "Honest Ninth"