Cover

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Title page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

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pp. vii-viii

Research is “me-search,” as the expression goes. So goes this book. Most of my ancestors were “plain folk” who migrated to southern Illinois in the nineteenth century from North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. This study is in part my modest attempt to connect the protracted stories of families like mine with the southern Illinois I knew growing up—a place rich in hospitality with a strong sense of kinship, community, and local identity, but also a somewhat closed place of striking racial and religious uniformity,...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiv

A historian’s work, like all life, is deeply interdependent. As William Blake said, "Everything that lives, lives not alone, nor for itself." This is also true of books. As such, this book is only part mine. The other part belongs to the effort and influence of others.
Chris Phillips deserves first mention. I thought I had a bearing on what an academic mentor should be, and then I met Chris. His professional and personal advice, careful editing, and willingness to continuously go above and beyond greatly enriched my graduate experience and made me a much...

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Introduction: “The Geography Embodied”: Loyal Westerners in War and Peace

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pp. 1-11

The terms of peace were far from settled, the ink on the surrender documents was barely dry, and the battle over the meaning of the war that had just been fought was only beginning when in 1865 John W. Barber and Henry Howe published The Loyal West in the Times of the Rebellion at their Main Street offices in downtown Cincinnati. The “Queen City of the West” had been riven by racial and ethnic strife during the antebellum period and bedeviled by political faction during the war itself. Now, having won the late conflict, its victorious residents required a consensus narrative, one from...

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1. “The Progeny of Jamestown”: Racial Construction and Western Identity on the Dixie Frontier

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pp. 12-36

The mood in the nation’s capital was foreboding on March 4, 1861. It was Inauguration Day and the republic was on the brink of war. It had rained all morning, the weather mirroring the political climate, as seven states had already seceded from the Union. The president-elect, antislavery Illinoisan Abraham Lincoln, would soon have to confront the daunting task of enticing the defiant states and their staunch proslavery leaders back into the Union while concurrently preventing more from withdrawing. Lincoln, whose procession across the City of Washington was flanked by unprecedented...

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2. “The Boundary between Contending Nations”: Border War and Restraints on Western Unity

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pp. 37-56

In the fall of 1860, Jacob Hughes of Evansville, Indiana, looked to safeguard the political center as long as practicable. As the only region where all four western presidential candidates—John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky, John Bell of Tennessee, and Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln of Illinois—drew meaningful support at the county level, Hughes hoped the Lower Middle West would prove the political and geocultural “center of the sections.”1 Hughes and his family were slaveholders, owning land in Jefferson County, Kentucky, Evansville, Indiana, and Mt. Carmel, Illinois, prior...

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3. “The War Fattens on the Blood of Western Men”: The Limits of Practical Abolitionism on Slavery’s Western Border

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pp. 57-77

As a professed Union man who hoped to do his duty for the cause, Robert Perry Hoge enlisted as a corporal in the 104th Illinois Infantry in New Rutledge in August 1862. Although the wheelwright, farmer, and preacher was middle-aged, a family man, and born in the now-seceded state of Virginia, the second-wave volunteer’s conservative politics—antisectionalism, racial exclusion, and local attachments to place—were typical of Lower Middle Westerners, especially those born in Dixie.1 Hoge always carried a fondness for southerners and the South, feelings that surfaced when he was...

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4. “The Great Brotherhood of the West”: The Demise of the Antebellum West and the Construction of the Loyal West

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pp. 78-97

Henry Lane Stone was a westerner facing extinction. Born in Bath County, Kentucky, in 1842, and relocated to Putnam County, in central Indiana, when he was nine, his childhood called to mind that of Abraham Lincoln and other Kentuckians-cum-Hoosiers. The household patriarch, Samuel Stone, whose ancestors were early pioneers of Virginia and Kentucky, was a Union man, and the family sent three sons to the Union Army with the outbreak of hostilities in 1861. Henry, unable to shed his southern skin, was not among them....

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5. “Was It for This You Fought?”: Retreat from Reconstruction the New White Supremacy in the Loyal West

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pp. 98-129

John Carter opted not to fight. A Kentucky-born subsistence farmer living in White County, Illinois, at the time of the war, Carter sensed prejudice against servicemen of lower socioeconomic status in the Union Army, deeming the conflict a “rich man’s” war and assailing the draft. Although he tacitly supported the Union Cause, Carter resented pro-war political and commercial elites and feared loss of social status from newly emancipated black persons. Although his brother, Chillon Conway Carter, had volunteered in the 9th Kentucky Infantry at the beginning of the Civil War “to...

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6. “Never Checked—Always Victorious”: The Heyday of the Loyal West

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pp. 130-152

Reverend Petroleum Vesuvius Nasby was anathema to the Loyal West. A scathing white supremacist, secessionist sympathizer, western ectionalist, and conscripted Union soldier who deserted and briefly joined the Confederate Army, Nasby personified the stereotypical upland southern “Copperhead.” From Wingert’s Corners, Ohio, Nasby, who was only mostly literate, wrote in the vernacular style appropriated by Artemis Ward and, later, Mark Twain. He possessed exaggerated traits of antebellum conservatism and...

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7. “Solely to Suppress the Rebellion”: Commemorating Conservative Unionism in the Loyal West

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pp. 153-174

In December 1868, one month after the election of Ulysses S. Grant, an event without parallel in the East or South convened in the West’s new colossus, Chicago. The respective Union veterans’ societies—representing the western armies of the Cumberland, the Tennessee, the Ohio, and Georgia—gathered in joint assembly to commemorate their war. With military and political victory secured, this “Reunion of the Western Armies” featured speeches from an elite officer corps, including William Tecumseh Sherman, Jacob D. Cox, and John A. Logan. Rooted in conservative Unionism, the Loyal West...

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Epilogue. “No More Shall the Winding Rivers Be Red”: Reconciliation and the Passing of the Loyal West

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pp. 175-182

By the turn of the century, with Jim Crow entrenched, populism and socialism subdued and maligned, and United States foreign policy charting an imperial course in Latin America and beyond, civic culture and popular memory in the Lower Middle West created and reflected a familiar social order within new industrial capitalist conditions. On October 5, 1899, just days before the professed first national Blue–Gray reunion was set to begin along the Ohio River in Evansville, an aged group of Hoosier veterans crossed the old sectional divide—not in enmity, but as a gesture of peace....

Appendix

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pp. 183-190

Notes

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pp. 191-230

Bibliography

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pp. 231-260

Index

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pp. 261-270