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Contested Borderland

Author: Brian D. McKnight
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813141451
Size: 28.48 MB
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During the four years of the Civil War, the border between eastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia was highly contested territory, alternately occupied by both the Confederacy and the Union. Though this territory was sparsely populated, the geography of the region made it a desirable stronghold for future tactical maneuvers. As the war progressed, the Cumberland Gap quickly became the target of invasion and occupation efforts of both armies, creating a chaos that would strain not only the soldiers but all those who called the area their home. Contested Borderland examines the features of the region's geography and the influence of the attacks on borderlands caught in the crossfire of the Union and Confederate forces. The land surrounding the Kentucky-Virginia border contained valuable natural resources and geographic features considered essential to each army's advancement and proliferation. While the Appalachian Mountains barred travel through large parts of the region, the gaps allowed quick passages through otherwise difficult terrain and thus became hotly contested areas. Brian D. McKnight explores the tensions between the accomplishment of military goals and the maintenance of civilian life in the region. With Kentucky remaining loyal to the Union and Virginia seceding to the Confederacy, populations residing between the two states faced pressure to declare loyalty to one side. Roadside towns found themselves the frequent hosts of soldiers from both sides, while more remote communities became shelters for those wishing to remain uninvolved in the conflict. Instead of committing themselves to either cause, many individuals claimed a neutral stance or feigned dedication to whichever side happened to occupy their land. The dual occupation of the Union and Confederate armies consequentially divided the borderland population, creating hostilities within the region that would persist long after the war's conclusion. Contested Borderland is the first Civil War study exclusively devoted to the border separating eastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia. McKnight's unprecedented geographical analysis of military tactics and civilian involvement provides a new and valuable dimension to the story of a region facing the turmoil of war.

Confederate Outlaw

Author: Brian D. McKnight
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 0807137707
Size: 73.19 MB
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In the fall of 1865, the United States Army executed Confederate guerrilla Champ Ferguson for his role in murdering fifty-three loyal citizens of Kentucky and Tennessee during the Civil War. Long remembered as the most unforgiving and inglorious warrior of the Confederacy, Ferguson has often been dismissed by historians as a cold-blooded killer. In Confederate Outlaw: Champ Ferguson and the Civil War in Appalachia, biographer Brian D. McKnight demonstrates how such a simple judgment ignores the complexity of this legendary character. In his analysis, McKnight maintains that Ferguson fought the war on personal terms and with an Old Testament mentality regarding the righteousness of his cause. He believed that friends were friends and enemies were enemies -- no middle ground existed. As a result, he killed prewar comrades as well as longtime adversaries without regret, all the while knowing that he might one day face his own brother, who served as a Union scout. Ferguson's continued popularity demonstrates that his bloody legend did not die on the gallows. Widespread rumors endured of his last-minute escape from justice, and over time, the borderland terrorist emerged as a folk hero for many southerners. Numerous authors resurrected and romanticized his story for popular audiences, and even Hollywood used Ferguson's life to create the composite role played by Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales. McKnight's study deftly separates the myths from reality and weaves a thoughtful, captivating, and accurate portrait of the Confederacy's most celebrated guerrilla. An impeccably researched biography, Confederate Outlaw offers an abundance of insight into Ferguson's wartime motivations, actions, and tactics, and also describes borderland loyalties, guerrilla operations, and military retribution. McKnight concludes that Ferguson, and other irregular warriors operating during the Civil War, saw the conflict as far more of a personal battle than a political one.

The Civil War In Appalachia

Author: Shannon H. Wilson
Publisher: Univ. of Tennessee Press
ISBN: 9781572332690
Size: 19.77 MB
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During the Battle of Perryville, fought in Kentucky in October 1862, participants experienced an unusual phenomenon known as an "acoustic shadow": this peculiar combination of wind and terrain muffled the sounds of the fighting in such a manner that nearby soldiers were unaware that the battle was even taking place. As the editors of this pioneering collection of essays observe, a figurative acoustic shadow has long fallen on the study of the Civil War in Appalachia. Regional stereotypes, cursory generalizations, and a neglect of geographic context have too often replaced detailed analysis and innovative interpretation.

Sister States Enemy States

Author: Kent Dollar
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813139228
Size: 38.99 MB
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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.

Washington County Virginia In The Civil War

Author: Michael K. Shaffer
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
ISBN: 1614233128
Size: 32.54 MB
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The citizens of Washington County, Virginia gave up their sons and daughters to the Confederate cause of the Civil War. Contributing six Confederate generals as well as Union officers, the region is emblematic of communities throughout the nation that sacrificed during the war. Though the sounds of cannon fire and gunshots were only heard at a distance, Washington County was the breadbasket for Confederate armies. From the fields surrounding Abingdon to the coveted salt works in Saltville, Union Generals were constantly eyeing the region, resulting in the Saltville Massacre and the burning of Abingdon's famous courthouse. Historian Michael Shaffer gives a detailed narrative of Washington County during the Civil War, painting vivid images of heroism on and off the battlefield.

Reconstructing Appalachia

Author: Andrew Slap
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813173787
Size: 20.10 MB
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Families, communities, and the nation itself were irretrievably altered by the Civil War and the subsequent societal transformations of the nineteenth century. The repercussions of the war incited a broad range of unique problems in Appalachia, including political dynamics, racial prejudices, and the regional economy. Andrew L. Slap’s anthology Reconstructing Appalachia reveals life in Appalachia after the ravages of the Civil War, an unexplored area that has left a void in historical literature. Addressing a gap in the chronicles of our nation, this vital anthology explores little-known aspects of history with a particular focus on the Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction periods. Acclaimed scholars John C. Inscoe, Gordon B. McKinney, and Ken Fones-Wolf are joined by up-and-comers like Mary Ella Engel, Anne E. Marshall, and Kyle Osborn in a unique collection of essays investigating postwar Appalachia with clarity and precision. Featuring a broad geographic focus, these compelling essays cover postwar events in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. This approach provides an intimate portrait of Appalachia as a diverse collection of communities where the values of place and family are of crucial importance. Highlighting a wide array of topics including racial reconciliation, tension between former Unionists and Confederates, the evolution of post–Civil War memory, and altered perceptions of race, gender, and economic status, Reconstructing Appalachia is a timely and essential study of a region rich in heritage and tradition.

Reconstruction S Ragged Edge

Author: Steven E. Nash
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 146962625X
Size: 75.24 MB
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In this illuminating study, Steven E. Nash chronicles the history of Reconstruction as it unfolded in the mountains of western North Carolina. Nash presents a complex story of the region's grappling with the war's aftermath, examining the persistent wartime loyalties that informed bitter power struggles between factions of white mountaineers determined to rule. For a brief period, an influx of federal governmental power enabled white anti-Confederates to ally with former slaves in order to lift the Republican Party to power locally and in the state as a whole. Republican success led to a violent response from a transformed class of elites, however, who claimed legitimacy from the antebellum period while pushing for greater integration into the market-oriented New South. Focusing on a region that is still underrepresented in the Reconstruction historiography, Nash illuminates the diversity and complexity of Appalachian political and economic machinations, while bringing to light the broad and complicated issues the era posed to the South and the nation as a whole.

Rebels On The Border

Author: Aaron Astor
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 0807143006
Size: 31.87 MB
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Rebels on the Border offers a remarkably compelling and significant study of the Civil War South's highly contested and bloodiest border states: Kentucky and Missouri. By far the most complex examination to date, the book sharply focuses on the "borderland" between the free North and the Confederate South. As a result, Rebels on the Border deepens and enhances understanding of the sectional conflict, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. After slaves in central Kentucky and Missouri gained their emancipation, author Aaron Astor contends, they transformed informal kin and social networks of resistance against slavery into more formalized processes of electoral participation and institution building. At the same time, white politics in Kentucky's Bluegrass and Missouri's Little Dixie underwent an electoral realignment in response to the racial and social revolution caused by the war and its aftermath. Black citizenship and voting rights provoked a violent white reaction and a cultural reinterpretation of white regional identity. After the war, the majority of wartime Unionists in the Bluegrass and Little Dixie joined former Confederate guerrillas in the Democratic Party in an effort to stifle the political ambitions of former slaves. Rebels on the Border is not simply a story of bitter political struggles, partisan guerrilla warfare, and racial violence. Like no other scholarly account of Kentucky and Missouri during the Civil War, it places these two crucial heartland states within the broad context of local, southern, and national politics.

Fateful Lightning

Author: Allen C. Guelzo
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199939365
Size: 69.66 MB
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The Civil War is the greatest trauma ever experienced by the American nation, a four-year paroxysm of violence that left in its wake more than 600,000 dead, more than 2 million refugees, and the destruction (in modern dollars) of more than $700 billion in property. The war also sparked some of the most heroic moments in American history and enshrined a galaxy of American heroes. Above all, it permanently ended the practice of slavery and proved, in an age of resurgent monarchies, that a liberal democracy could survive the most frightful of challenges. In Fateful Lightning, two-time Lincoln Prize-winning historian Allen C. Guelzo offers a marvelous portrait of the Civil War and its era, covering not only the major figures and epic battles, but also politics, religion, gender, race, diplomacy, and technology. And unlike other surveys of the Civil War era, it extends the reader's vista to include the postwar Reconstruction period and discusses the modern-day legacy of the Civil War in American literature and popular culture. Guelzo also puts the conflict in a global perspective, underscoring Americans' acute sense of the vulnerability of their republic in a world of monarchies. He examines the strategy, the tactics, and especially the logistics of the Civil War and brings the most recent historical thinking to bear on emancipation, the presidency and the war powers, the blockade and international law, and the role of intellectuals, North and South. Written by a leading authority on our nation's most searing crisis, Fateful Lightning offers a vivid and original account of an event whose echoes continue with Americans to this day.