General Joseph H. Lewis, commander of the famous Orphan Brigade, established, at the outbreak of the Civil War, a recruitment and training camp here in Cave City. Here he formed the Confederate 6th Kentucky Infantry Regiment, for which he received a commission of Colonel in September 1861. His first battle was at Shiloh, where two horses were shot out from under him and another wounded. He subsequently led regiments at Stone's River, Murfreesboro and the Tullahoma Campaign. As a result of his gallantry and strong leadership Lewis, after the Battle of Chickamauga, was recommended for promotion by General Breckinridge. On September 30, 1863, Lewis was appointed Brigadier General and took command of the first Kentucky Brigade (Orphan Brigade). The famous Orphan Brigade, under Lewis' command, took part in many other campaigns, including Missionary Ridge and the Atlanta and Carolina campaigns, and was credited with more victories than any other body of men in the entire Confederate Army.
Joseph H. Lewis was born in Glasgow, Kentucky, on October 24, 1824, and was educated at Centre College in Danville. He studied law and was admitted to the bar at age 21. After the war Lewis returned to Glasgow to practice law and continue his interest in politics. Having served Barren County, prior to the war, in the state legislature from 1850-1854,
Lewis was again elected to the state legislature in 1869, and then, in 1870, to the United States Congress, where he served until 1873. In 1874 Lewis was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, remaining there for 24 years, serving six years as Chief Justice of the highest court in the state. General Lewis died July 6, 1904. He is buried in Glasgow, Kentucky.
The Lewis monument in the Glasgow Municipal Cemetery
A monument for Joseph Lewis and for his son, jack, who also served in the Orphan Brigade, is located near the Lewis monument. Jack is buried near his father.