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McKinley teaches Civil War

By By Matthew Nascone
Canoe Station may seem like a quiet, peaceful town now, but the city's residents should be glad they did not live there in the year 1865 because it would have been a little bit of a different story.
The events that occurred in and around Canoe Station have sparked Kevin McKinley's interest to get a historical highway marker on Highway 31 in downtown Canoe. McKinley, a Civil War historian, said the area has seen much action through the years.
"I am heading up a project to get a marker out there because that area deserves to have people come through and see the historical significance of the area," McKinley said.
McKinley explained that significance Sept. 18 in the front room of the Peavy-Webb Building during the bi-monthly meeting of the Atmore Historical Society.
"What I hope to do is foster an atmosphere for the history in this area," McKinley said. "And I don't want to limit that to one group of people because there are many groups of people in this area who have been involved in many different events."
While speaking to the Atmore Historical Society McKinley talked briefly about when the Union troops came through the Atmore area during the Civil War. He said this area played a fairly large role in the end of the war.
McKinley used his membership in the Sons and Daughters of Confederate Veterans group to begin his research into the Civil War. He has a column in the Tri City Ledger out of Flomaton about his exploits in Civil War research.
His column focuses mainly on the military and social events in southern Alabama and northeastern Florida from 1861 until after the Civil War.
McKinley has since published a collection of his columns in book form. The book is titled, "Shadows and Dust The Journal of the Confederate Experience in Northwest Florida and Southwest Alabama."
The love for genealogy and history catapulted McKinley into the Civil War historian business, he said. And he said he does not want to stop with the history of the Civil War, he wants to dig deeper into the history of this area.
"I feel like the South is a mosaic of different people and groups and over time I want to tell their stories," McKinley said.