Sister States, Enemy States: The Civil War in Kentucky and Tennessee

Sister States, Enemy States: The Civil War in Kentucky and Tennessee

Brian D. McKnight

Language: English

Pages: 402

ISBN: 0813133823

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The fifteenth and sixteenth states to join the United States of America, Kentucky and Tennessee were cut from a common cloth―the rich region of the Ohio River Valley. Abounding with mountainous regions and fertile farmlands, these two slaveholding states were as closely tied to one another, both culturally and economically, as they were to the rest of the South. Yet when the Civil War erupted, Tennessee chose to secede while Kentucky remained part of the Union. The residents of Kentucky and Tennessee felt the full impact of the fighting as warring armies crossed back and forth across their borders. Due to Kentucky's strategic location, both the Union and the Confederacy sought to control it throughout the war, while Tennessee was second only to Virginia in the number of battles fought on its soil. Additionally, loyalties in each state were closely divided between the Union and the Confederacy, making wartime governance―and personal relationships―complex. In Sister States, Enemy States: The Civil War in Kentucky and Tennessee, editors Kent T. Dollar, Larry H. Whiteaker, and W. Calvin Dickinson explore how the war affected these two crucial states, and how they helped change the course of the war. Essays by prominent Civil War historians, including Benjamin Franklin Cooling, Marion Lucas, Tracy McKenzie, and Kenneth Noe, add new depth to aspects of the war not addressed elsewhere. The collection opens by recounting each state's debate over secession, detailing the divided loyalties in each as well as the overt conflict that simmered in East Tennessee. The editors also spotlight the war's overlooked participants, including common soldiers, women, refugees, African American soldiers, and guerrilla combatants. The book concludes by analyzing the difficulties these states experienced in putting the war behind them. The stories of Kentucky and Tennessee are a vital part of the larger narrative of the Civil War. Sister States, Enemy States offers fresh insights into the struggle that left a lasting mark on Kentuckians and Tennesseans, just as it left its mark on the nation.

Nothing Gold Can Stay: Stories
















the firing on Fort Sumter was reported in the newspaper. 6. Senate Journal of the Second Extra Session of the 33rd General Assembly (1861), 14, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville. 7. Republican Banner and Nashville Whig, May 8, 1861. The Banner reported a meeting in Jackson County on April 27 that had commended Senator Stanton and Representative Kenner for “their devotion to Southern rights” (Republican Banner and Nashville Whig, May 4, 1861). 8. Senate Journal, 83–91. 9. Ibid.,

saturnalia.” Spectators jammed the polls, and, as each voter cast his ballot, the crowds filled the air with chanting and cheers, and each voter had “his hand shaken ’till his very arm aches and tears of pain attest his heartfelt repentance at having voted at all.” The secessionists’ well-oiled publicity campaign led Unionist candidate Robertson Topp to leave Memphis when the polls closed, certain his side would be defeated. He was wrong.16 Tennesseans narrowly rejected the calling of a

South—in order to advance economic progress. His continuous efforts to mediate those differences in sectional perspective resulted in the concept of compromise becoming deeply rooted in the Kentucky psyche as an ideal of progress.5 Clay’s vision for the future of America and Kentucky was based on what was called the American System. The American System demanded progress through industrialization. Clay adroitly politicized the need for a larger federal monetary presence in developing the national

origins.20 In addition to ideology and camaraderie, other factors must be considered. Hatred of the enemy looms as one crucial element. Scholars from Bell Wiley to Jason Phillips have emphasized the role that it played in soldier motivation and maintained that blue-gray soldier solidarity has been overstated. McPherson, moreover, specifically discussed the ache to wreak vengeance on the part of Southern Unionists. While occasionally admitting that the Confederates in the field believed that they

with some of the guard” and was arrested. On his release, Wheeler attached him to the command of Col. George Dibrell.48 In early October, Ferguson reunited with Dibrell at Saltville, Virginia, where numerous small Confederate commands had congregated in an attempt to stop the raid of the Union cavalry commander Stephen Burbridge on the Confederacy’s most important saltworks. On the morning of October 2, 1864, the battle began with George Dibrell’s Tennesseans, including Champ Ferguson, facing

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