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What if Kentucky declared for the Confederacy - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2008 01:12 am
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ole
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I was going to pooh-pooh the idea because of the preponderance of Union sentiment in Kentucky, but stranger things have happened.

It looks to me like AS Johnston did what he could with what he had.

ole



 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2008 12:12 pm
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izzy
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From the essay Lincoln, Grant, and Kentucky by John Y. Simon:

 

Pg. 4:  Despite having a native son on the ballot, Kentuckians gave their electoral votes to John Bell of Tennessee, representing the last gasp of the Whigs, now disguised as the Constitutional Union Party.  Although only a handful of Kentuckians (1,362) cast votes for Lincoln, this fact was far less significant than the failure of Southern Democrats to carry the state.

     For all his nationalism, Clay had represented a southern state, as did Crittenden.  Neither recognized a contradiction between support of the Union and support of slavery.  Clay had championed the American Colonization Society…

 

Pg 5:  Slaveholding made Kentucky so Southern that Northerners feared that when war came, Kentucky would join the Confederacy.

     Following Crittenden’s lead Kentuckians chose neutrality…Governor Magoffin, a rebel sympathizer, angrily refused to furnish “troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern States.”  Kentucky Unionists sympathized with Magoffin, hoping that some path to restoration might yet be discerned and bloodshed averted….At a large and enthusiastic public meeting in Louisville…The meeting resolved that the “duty of Kentucky is to maintain her present independent position, taking sides not with the Administration, nor with the seceding States, but with the Union against them both.”

 

Pg: 6:  The role of Kentucky in the inevitable conflict depended on statesmanship North and South.  Both Lincoln and Davis knew that whatever the futility of neutrality, disrespect for that preposterous policy would cost them potential Kentucky allies.

     Elections for Congress held on June 20 sent a covey of Unionists to Washington.  Unionists carried nine of ten districts with a total of 92,460 votes against 37,700 for States Rights candidates.  Supporters of neutrality joined supporters of the North in opposition to Confederate sympathizers.  Legislative elections in August gave Unionists a majority of 76 to 24 in the Kentucky House and 27 to 11 in the Senate.

 

Pg 16:  Fremont’s plan to occupy Columbus imperiled the Union cause in Kentucky, as did his proclamation of August 30 declaring martial law in Missouri and threatening to enforce the Confiscation Act passed by Congress against slave property of Missouri rebels.  Fremont’s popularity in the Republican Party led Lincoln to caution in opposing the proclamation.  He immediately pointed out, however, that the threat to liberate the slaves of traitors might “perhaps ruin our rather fair prospect for Kentucky.”

     Indeed, the day after Lincoln wrote to Fremont he heard from James Speed of Louisville that Fremont’s “foolish proclamation” would “crush out” Kentucky Unionism.

     Lincoln’s final response to Fremont was to remove him from command….

 

Ole – Kentucky apparently had a swing vote from the neutralists that could influence which choice the State of Kentucky would make: Union or Confederate.  Problem is the size of the swing vote is not denoted in Simon’s essay.  However, the threat of the neutral vote going for or against either side had both Lincoln and Davis treading on egg shells with regards to Kentucky.

 

Last edited on Mon Sep 29th, 2008 12:14 pm by izzy



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 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2008 01:44 pm
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izzy
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From Simon’s article, it looks probable that Kentucky’s allegiance was going to swing toward either the North or the South depending on who won the race to Columbus, KY:  Fremont or Polk. 

 

Back to A.S. Johnston’s defensive line:  The Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers need better coverage that they had.  Why did Johnston leave Polk at Columbus?  Why not move part or all of the Columbus artillery and troops to the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers?   As previously posted: (Simon pg 19)  “Fortification of Columbus confirmed an existing Confederate stranglehold on the Mississippi River without broader military advantages.”

 

And then there is Zollicoffer.  His response to move 6 regiments to Cumberland Ford, KY after receiving that obscure order from the War Department to “Take the arms. Return answer.” reflects his inexperience and desire to be “your obedient servant”, literally.  He took his largest concentration of troops, at Cumberland Gap, and moved them onto KY soil.  Without strategic guidance, he simply applied the directive to his previous assignment to ‘repel invasion’ of East Tennessee.

 

The “Take arms. Return answer” order never specified ‘where’ to ‘return answer’.  Zollicoffer would come to regret his impetuous move into that inhospitable corner of KY.  After being repulsed at Camp Wild Cat in the Rockcastle Hills in late October, Zollicoffer abandoned his use of the Wilderness Road into Kentucky.

In The Civil War in Kentucky, Kent Masterson Brown, editor, there is an essay on The Battle of Mill Springs by Ron Nicholas.  On page 51 he writes:  Formulating a new strategy, Zollicoffer strengthened the fortification at Cumberland Gap and left a small garrison there to guard that strategic site.  Explaining his new strategy to General Johnston, Zollicoffer wrote: “I propose to take and strengthen a position between commanding the Cumberland River and the Coal region supplying Nashville and etc.”  Toward this goal, Zollicoffer moved his army toward Jamestown, Tennessee.  Arriving at Jamestown on November 22, Zollicoffer immediately sent his engineers out to find a suitable location for defending the river and establishing a winter camp…They reported that they had found a good defensible location at Mill Springs, KY.

 

By moving into that region, Zollicoffer is now in a more supportive position with regards to Buckner at Bowling Green.  The TN/KY line is more compact with Zollicoffer at Mill Springs.  I’ve been wondering why A.S. Johnston approved of Zollicoffer’s move Cumberland Ford in the first place.  He doesn’t seem to have given his eastern flank in Tennessee much thought.  The Cumberland Plateau is a pretty good deterrent to invasion into East Tennessee.  He could have moved Zollicoffer out of Cumberland Ford much earlier.



 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2008 01:48 pm
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izzy
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JDC - I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know how to do that.  I'm a bit of a newby at the computer, too.:?



 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2008 06:39 pm
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izzy
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JDC Duncan – I checked in two locations in the “Save As” box.  I get the following choices:  Word Document (*doc),

XML Document (*xml), Document Template (*.dot), and a few Web Page choices.  I’m going to try to copy and paste this

Word Document onto Notepad then copy and paste it into the CWi post and see what happens.

 

That didn't work very well.  It is breaking up the sentences into fragments.  I can't find any options for changing a *doc to a *txt in any of the toolbars either.  I'm not sure what to do.  I would like to use Word because it gives me more time and flexibility.  Sorry about the long posts.  It is not exactly a "hot topic" so I put more reference material into the posts so others don't have to dig out a bunch of reference books.  I'm also ridding myself of a bunch of misconceptions that I had by looking more closely at the subject rather that glossing over it as usual.

Last edited on Mon Sep 29th, 2008 06:43 pm by izzy



 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2008 06:58 pm
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David White
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Return Answer= Acknowledge.



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