“Put me on a horse and I could really be dangerous,” Paula White jokes.
Actually, “learning cavalry” is about the only item lacking in the Civil War education of this newly installed president of the Battle of Richmond Association (BORA).
White, who’s been involved in re-creating Civil War activities for more than 30 years, knows battle maneuvers, weaponry, uniforms and costumes. She also has coordinated re-enactments for the Battle of Richmond and is the long-time president of the Second Kentucky Infantry, a Confederate re-enactment regiment.
For the next two years, the Waco resident will lead the activities of BORA, a 10-year-old organization that seeks to preserve the history and heritage of the 1862 Battle of Richmond. That Aug. 29-30 battle, incidentally, was Kentucky’s second largest Civil War conflict and resulted in one of the most overwhelming Confederate victories of the entire war.
Other BORA officers for 2011-12 are President-Elect Sharon Graves, Secretary Greg Tipton and Treasurer Mary Kuhn. Directors include White, Graves and past presidents Patrick Ballinger, George N. Ridings and Ed Ford. Dr. Paul Rominger continues as managing director of the association.
Paula, as a youngster, began participating in Civil War events and re-enactments with her parents and two sisters and discovered the activity was a fun family-oriented hobby. She now participates in at least one Civil War re-enactment or activity per month from March through November and has served on re-enactment committees in seven southern states. In addition to Kentucky, she has participated in events in Indiana and Ohio, and, in 1991, spent more than two weeks in England with the American Civil War Society helping re-create the Battle of Shiloh.
What prompted the Louisville native’s interest in the Civil War was her work as a tour guide at Whitehall, the ancestral home of politician, ambassador and emancipationist Cassius Clay, one of Madison County’s most famous sons.
Through her study of the Clays, she found the county “absolutely crawling with history,” including a fascinating Civil War story.
White, an expert seamstress, lectures on Civil War clothing and has conducted many civilian activities of the period for women, including fashion shows, teas and workshops. Recently, she coordinated her second highly successful Civil War Cruise aboard the Belle of Louisville paddle wheeler.
On the military side, Paula can load and fire a .57-caliber Enfield rifle, roll cartridges, and discuss battle tactics and weaponry with the best.
Married and the mother of two sons, White is a Richmond cosmetologist.
ABOUT CLOTHING – New Battle of Richmond Association President Paula White talks with youngsters at a Living History program about Civil War clothing. Paula is an expert seamstress and makes most of her own
period dresses. – JK Photography (click on photo to enlarge)