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Kentucky and the Civil war

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  1. Kentucky and the Civil war

  2. Slavery in Kentucky during the Civil War • When the Civil War began in 1861, Kentucky remained in the Union • What is unique about Kentucky in regards to other states in the Union? • Kentucky slaveholders trusted Lincoln to protect their property…better known as? • They also believed that slavery could survive the stresses and strains of war.

  3. In 1862, large numbers of fugitive slaves flocked to Union army garrisons • What happened to many of these runaway slaves? • Lincoln tried to persuade Kentuckians to accept a plan a voluntary compensated emancipation • When this failed, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation • What did this do? • What did this mean for slaves in Kentucky? • The Emancipation Proclamation linked the Civil War to a moral cause--- African American liberation

  4. By 1863, many Union troops refused to return runaway slaves • Because of this, entire families of slaves ran for the safety of U.S. Army camps. • In the spring and summer of 1864, thousands of Kentucky slaves descended upon Camp Nelson and other recruiting posts • What allowed African Americans to enlist in the military? • Why would they want to fight in the Civil War? • By the wars’ end in 1865, 23,703 Kentucky blacks had entered the army • 57% of the state’s black men between the ages of 18-45

  5. Camp Nelson was the third largest recruitment and training center for U.S. Colored Troops in America. Eight USCT Regiments were founded at Camp Nelson. In 1865, the federal government and missionaries established the Home for Colored Refugees following the tragic expulsion of African Americans living in shantytowns at the camp.

  6. U.S. Colored Troops in formation at their barracks in Camp Nelson, 1865

  7. Barracks, cottages, tents and huts at the Home for Colored Refugees at Camp Nelson, 1865

  8. The End of Slavery in Kentucky • By 1865, the war had greatly weakened the bonds of slavery in Kentucky • In March, Congress freed the wives and children of the state’s black troops • But because Kentucky, unlike Maryland and Missouri, refused to free its slaves by state action, the status of thousands of black Kentuckians remained unsettled • The situation worsened when Kentucky rejected the 13th Amendment. • What did the 13th Amendment call for?

  9. Many slaveholders hoped that they would receive compensation from the government for the loss of their slave property • Did this happen? • It was not until December of 1865 (when the 13th Amendment was ratified) that all African Americans in Kentucky were freed. • Slavery remained a legal institution longer in Kentucky than in any other state except Delaware

  10. Kentucky’s Role in Fighting the Civil War • "I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky." In a September 1861 letter to Orville Browning, Lincoln wrote "I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game. ... We would as well consent to separation at once, including the surrender of the capital."

  11. In May of 1861, Kentucky legislature declared the state would take “no part” in the Civil War • This would lead you to believe that the state declared itself to be _______________? • However, many Kentuckians would travel to neighboring states to enlist • Some men would form armed bands, with weapons smuggled into the state by both the North and South.

  12. Divided families • One of the major negative impacts of the Civil War in Kentucky was divisions among family members. • It was very common for one family to have siblings fighting for both the North and the South • Churches and businesses would also be divided during the conflict, forcing Kentuckians to choose sides.

  13. The divisions eventually led to a rift between state government. • Confederates- Governor George W. Johnson in Bowling Green • Union- Governor James F. Robinson in Frankfort • Both administrators claimed to be the state’s rightful government

  14. Battle’s in Kentucky • Mill Springs- Jan. 1862, took place near Somerset, Union victory

  15. Battle of Shiloh • Confederate commander in Kentucky, Albert Sidney Johnston, ordered his troops to retreat into Tennessee • While he was stationed there, rebel forced attacked the Yankees at the Battle of Shiloh • KY Significance- General Johnston and Governor Johnson were both killed • 1,400 Kentuckians died • 18 Kentucky regiments (13 Union, 5 Confederate) fought in the battle • Kentuckians fought each other at several point in the battle line

  16. After the Battle of Shiloh (April 1862), the rebels tried to regain Kentucky • Kentuckian John Hunt Morgan led cavalry raids across the state and encouraged southern sympathizers to join the effort • In the fall, two Confederate armies entered Kentucky • Edmund Kirby Smith’s army captured Richmond, Lexington and Frankfort • Braxton Bragg’s army took Munfordville, appointed Richard Hawes the new Confederate governor in Frankfort and fought Union commander Don Carlos Buell at the battle of Perryville

  17. General Buell (Union) General Bragg (Conf.)

  18. Battle of Perryville • October 8, 1862 • Known for it’s blundering generals, short duration and high rate of casualties • Was last major battle fought in Kentucky • The house, tents, and yard were full of wounded Federal and Confederate soldiers. I can never forget he groans, wails, and mans of the hundreds of men as they lay side by side, some in the agony of death, some undergoing operations on the surgeons table in the corner of the yard. Near the table was a pile of legs and arms; some with shoes on, others with socks, four or five feet high…(T)he dead were… in a row three hundred feet long, every one with eyes wide open with a vacant stare. • - William McChord, reflecting on what he saw at a Perryville field hospital • After Perryville, the Confederate army left Kentucky


  20. For the next two and a half years after Perryville, the war in Kentucky was one of harsh Union military rule, frequent raids by Confederate armies, and bitter political conflict • In 1863, martial law was placed on Kentucky • What is martial law? • What were the effects? • The Union army began to interfere with state and local elections • How so?

  21. Confederate cavalry led by Nathan Bedford Forrest led raids across the state • Guerrillas, such as Marcellus Jerome Clarke and William Clark Quantrill, caused Union officials to arrest and sometimes execute Kentuckians said to be pro-Confederate • The states biggest political crisis arose with the issue of freeing the slaves and the recruitment of African Americans in the army.

  22. Results of the War • The Civil War caused Kentucky an enormous loss. • Property damage was extensive, but the cost of lives lost was worse • Of the 100,000 Union soldiers and the 25,000-40,000 Confederates from Kentucky: 1/3 (46,667) died from battle wounds, accidents, or disease • Most who died were young