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The Civil War in Kentucky

The Civil War in Kentucky

Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 144
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  • Book Info
    The Civil War in Kentucky
    Book Description:

    " The Civil War scene in Kentucky, site of few full-scale battles, was one of crossroad skirmishes and guerrilla terror, of quick incursions against specific targets and equally quick withdrawals. Yet Kentucky was crucial to the military strategy of the war. For either side, a Kentucky held secure against the adversary would have meant easing of supply problems and an immeasurably stronger base of operations. The state, along with many of its institutions and many of its families, was hopelessly divided against itself. The fiercest partisans of the South tended to be doubtful about the wisdom of secession, and the staunchest Union men questioned the legality of many government measures. What this division meant militarily is made clear as Lowell H. Harrison traces the movement of troops and the outbreaks of violence. What it meant to the social and economic fabric of Kentucky and to its postwar political stance is another theme of this book. And not forgotten is the life of the ordinary citizen in the midst of such dissension and uncertainty.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-2943-3
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. 1-13)

    As the sectional controversy moved along the path that led to secession and civil war, Kentucky occupied an extremely difficult position. Her citizens were sorely divided in their attitudes toward the problems for which the country was unable to find peaceful solutions. The public knew of family differences that divided such noted clans as the Breckinridges and the Clays; similar divisions split less well known families from the Jackson Purchase to the eastern mountains. Samuel McDowell Starling, a slaveholder from Hopkinsville, opposed secession so strongly that he volunteered for Union military service although he was past fifty years of age;...

    (pp. 14-32)

    With the end of Kentucky’s neutrality, Union and Confederate troops poured into the state as each side sought to control as much territory as possible. On September 18 the legislature called for the expulsion of the Confederates and gave command of the state volunteers to General Robert Anderson, the Kentuckian who had won fame by his defense of Fort Sumter. Thomas L. Crittenden was put in charge of the reorganized State Guard, Buckner having refused a Union commission. Anderson established his headquarters in Louisville, through which troops and supplies were pouring for the state’s defense. Never in good health after...

    (pp. 33-56)

    General Johnston was severely criticized for his retreat from Kentucky, and when he also abandoned Nashville and its vast accumulation of supplies to the enemy, his removal was angrily demanded by critics across the Confederacy. While Johnston assumed the entire blame for the disasters, Davis refused to remove him; and the general began to concentrate his troops at Corinth, Mississippi, where he was joined by Pierre G. T. Beauregard and Braxton Bragg. Unwilling to retreat farther, Johnston decided to strike Grant’s army at Pittsburg Landing before it was reinforced by Buell’s army from Nashville. The Confederates achieved a tactical surprise...

    (pp. 57-79)

    The 1862 invasion of Kentucky was the high-water mark of the Confederacy in the West. The state would be the scene of numerous minor actions during the rest of the war; but after Bragg and Kirby Smith led their weary troops into Tennessee, the Confederate threat to seize Kentucky was at an end. During the next two and a half years the most important Confederate incursions were those of John Hunt Morgan, but they were raids designed to destroy bridges and railroads, capture horses and supplies, gain recruits, and disrupt the Union war effort as much as possible by tying...

  8. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
    (pp. 80-106)

    Kentucky did not experience as much physical damage as some of the other states in which the war was fought, but there were few citizens of the commonwealth whose lives were not affected in some way by the demands of the great conflict. Kentuckians have long been noted for their unusual political behavior, and the waging of war intensified the political battles at home.

    The Unionist legislature elected in 1861 passed a series of measures in late 1861 and early 1862 designed to curb Confederate support and to lend assistance to the Union. Loyalty oaths were required of teachers, ministers,...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 107-113)
  11. A Note to Readers
    (pp. 114-116)
  12. Index
    (pp. 117-123)