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Kentucky Fighting Men

Kentucky Fighting Men: 1861-1946

Copyright Date: 1982
Edition: 1
Pages: 140
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  • Book Info
    Kentucky Fighting Men
    Book Description:

    Kentuckians by the thousands have fought in all of the American wars of the industrial age. Fathers, sons, and brothers from the Bluegrass State spilled each other's blood in countless Civil War battles and skirmishes. Over the next century their descendants bore arms on the seven seas, the Far Western frontier, in the Caribbean and Philippine islands, and in China. Kentuckians took part in both world wars of the twentieth century in every capacity.Kentucky Fighting Men, 1861--1945features individual Kentuckians who represent the overall context of the American military experience from the Civil War through World War II. Richard G. Stone, Jr. presents accounts that illuminate the heroism, ennui, tragedy, ghastly horror, absurdity, and the infinite variety of warfare and military life.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-5033-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Prologue
    (pp. ix-xii)

    The british would attack at dawn. So ran the familiar folk yarn that improved with age, like Kentucky bourbon. In defense of New Orleans stood only a pitiful rabble of an American army, huddled behind a long, low rampart of mud and cotton bales stretching away from the Mississippi into a mucky cypress swamp. But the invaders took too lightly Old Hickory Jackson—and the hunters of Kentucky. Andrew Jackson felt no dread; he knew what a deadly bead his hardy, freeborn Kentuckians could draw with their graceful long rifles. Why, every Kentuckian there at Chalmette on that eighth of...

    (pp. 1-25)

    For generations “the war” meant to Kentuckians, as to all Americans, the horrendous tragedy unleashed in April 1861 when Maj. Robert Anderson of Louisville hauled down the stars-and-stripes at Fort Sumter. For months the steadfast major and his garrison had sat atop a figurative powder keg that might be exploded at any moment by South Carolina’s secessionist fire-eaters. Long denied provisions and reinforcements by the Rebel batteries ringing Charleston harbor, Anderson and his men endured for twenty-four hours the bombardment that began in the early hours of April 12. Their stand placed upon the infant Confederate States of America the...

  5. 2 REACHING ABROAD (1865–1918)
    (pp. 26-56)

    During the half-century after the Civil War the American armed forces arrived at the threshold of a professional maturity that of course reflected the economic and political modernization which was transforming all of society. By 1917 the United States had reached industrial full bloom; its 1861 population had tripled; and there was an organizational complexity to its governmental and economic structures that would have bewildered earlier generations. Over the same period, what had once been a frontier constabulary evolved into the nucleus of a twentiethcentury citizens’ army, and a tiny wooden navy became a powerful fleet. The principles of managerial...

    (pp. 57-92)

    Husband e. kimmel never lost his bitterness over 7 December 1941. “What’s kept me alive,” maintained the admiral from Henderson, Kentucky, “is to expose the entire Pearl Harbor affair.” On a balmy Sunday morning, Admiral Nagumo’s Japanese aircraft-carrier strike force had caught the United States Pacific Fleet lolling in port. The deadly surprise attack cost the United States nearly a score of sunk or damaged ships, numerous aircraft destroyed on the ground, and almost three thousand lives. As “CincPac” Kimmel commanded the fleet, holding the most coveted operational command in the American navy. Within hours after the Japanese onslaught, he...

    (pp. 93-115)

    On V-E day few Americans had any reason to know that Japan would surrender within four months—before the first invading Allied soldier had touched Japanese soil. Even discerning military analysts expected final victory in the Far East to require massive reinforcements from Eisenhower’s armies, plus help from the Soviet Union. Russia had promised in February 1945 to enter the war against Japan about three months after the surrender of Germany. Shortly after May 7, certain American units and higher headquarters staffs returned home from Europe in anticipation of early reassignment to the Pacific. High on the list of divisions...

  8. Epilogue
    (pp. 116-118)

    On 2 september 1945, as civilization ended its most titanic war, General MacArthur accepted the surrender of the Japanese Empire on the deck of the U.S.S.Missouri.The dawning of the nuclear age, MacArthur somberly acknowledged, had revised “the traditional concepts of war.... We have had our last chance. If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door.” Most of the Kentuckians reentering civilian life in 1945–46 had not yet cast their thoughts so far ahead. Whatever nuclear weapons might portend for future generations, men returning from the Pacific sensed...

  9. Acknowledgments and Sources
    (pp. 119-122)
  10. Index
    (pp. 123-126)