Chautauqua performance by Harry Smith

Right after lunch, the KATH conference attendees watched a performance by Harry Smith who portrayed Private William Greathouse (1794—1876), a Kentucky militiaman in the War of 1812. Photos courtesy of Richard Greissman, DoubleTake Photography.

Harry Smith and his mother

Harry Smith with his mother who coached him in his research and portrayal of William Greathouse, Kentucky militiaman

Harry Smith plays William Greathouse, militiaman in War of 1812

answering questions about the uniform, described in Greathouse’s narrative

Harry Smith performing as William Greathouse, militiaman

thinking about a question whether Kentucky militia fought alongside with Ohioans

Harry Smith is William Greathouse, militiaman in War of 1812

tells how he researched Greathouse – and that his favorite teachers in school are history teachers

a short clip from the Kentucky Humanities Council video on the 2012 Chautauqua performers

William Greathouse was a still a teenager when he joined up among the 3,500 Kentuckians who were mustered in by Governor Shelby in 1813 to fight the British and the Indian Confederacy led by Chief Tecumseh. Greathouse, from a family of Indian fighters from Nelson County, joined Colonel Renick’s 5th Kentucky Regiment and took part in the Thames Campaign. In a battle that lasted less than an hour, the American troops, the majority of whom were from Kentucky, helped to destroy the Indian Confederacy.  For more information, read his narrative edited by John C. Fredriksen and published in the Register.

Greathouse, William. “Kentucky at the Thames, 1813: A Rediscovered Narrative by William Greathouse.” Edited by John C. Fredriksen. Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 83 (Spring 1985), pp. 93-107.

Return to 2012 KATH Annual Meeting.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: