almost daily, dispatched to the mustering Rebel hosts in the South and Southeast; while, for months, nothing was done by that State for the cause of the Union
The first regiment of Kentuckians raised for the Union
armies was encamped on the free side of the river, in deference to urgent representations from professed Unionists
and to Kentucky
's proclaimed neutrality.
The meeting further resolved:
Eighth: That we look to the young men of the Kentucky State Guard as the bulwarks of the safety of our Commonwealth; and we conjure them to remember that they are pledged equally to fidelity to the United States and to Kentucky.
That “State Guard,” organized by Gen. Simon B. Buckner
, under the auspices of Gov. Magoffin
, became a mere recruiting and drilling convenience of the Rebel
chiefs — its members being dispatched southward so fast as ripened for their intended service.
Ultimately, having corrupted all he could, Buckner
followed them into the camp of open treason,1
and was captured at the head of a portion of them at the taking of Fort Donelson
The Legislature having reassembled,2 Magoffin
read them another lecture in the interest of the Rebellion
The Union was gone — the Confederacy
was a fixed fact — it would soon be composed of ten, and perhaps of thirteen, States; President Lincoln
was a usurper, “mad with sectional hate,” and bent on subjugating or exterminating the South
The Federal Government was rolling up a frightful debt, which Kentucky
would not choose to help pay, etc., etc. Whereupon, he again urged the call of a Convention, with a view to State independence and self-protection.
The Legislature had been chosen.
in 1859, and had a Democratic majority in either House
, but not a Disunion majority.
It could not be induced to call a Convention, nor even to favor such neutrality as Magoffin
Yet he presumed to issue3
a Proclamation of Neutrality, denouncing the war as a “horrid, unnatural, lamentable strife,” forbidding either the Union
or the Confederate Government to invade the soil of Kentucky
, and interdicting all “hostile demonstrations against either
of the aforesaid sovereignties
” by citizens of that State, “whether incorporated in the State Guard or otherwise.”
Had he been an autocrat, this might have proved effectual.
But the Legislature refused to indorse his Proclamation; refused to vote him Three Millions wherewith to “arm the State
;” and so amended the Militia Law
as to require the “State Guard” to swear allegiance to the Union
as well as to Kentucky
. Senator Louis H. Rousseau
among others, spoke5
decidedly, boldly, in opposition to all projects of Disunion or semi-Disunion; saying:
When Kentucky goes down, it will be in blood.
Let that be understood.
She will not go as other States have gone.
Let the responsibility rest on you, where it belongs.