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The Civil War in Kentucky

Lowell Harrison

Publication Year: 1975

" 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.

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky


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The Civil War in Kentucky

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To my parents

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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

"The Civil war was one of the most important events in American history. Although studied intensively for more than a century, it continues to fascinate and bewilder those who examine its myriad aspects. Even today there is no general agreement on why a country that prided itself upon its pragmatic..."

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1 / A State Divided

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pp. 1-13

"As the sectional controversy moved along the path that led to secession and civil war. Kentucky occcupied 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."

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2 / The War Begins

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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..."

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3 / The Great Invasion

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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..."

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4 / The End of the Struggle

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pp. 57-87

"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..."

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5 / The Impact of the War

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pp. 88-114

"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."


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pp. 107-113

A Note to Readers

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pp. 114-116

lllustrations follow page

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pp. 117-123

E-ISBN-13: 9780813129433
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813114194

Page Count: 144
Publication Year: 1975