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Xxxvii. Kentucky.


we have seen1 that Kentucky emphatically, persistently, repeatedly, by overwhelming popular majorities, refused — alike before and after the formal inauguration of war by the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter--to ally herself with the Rebellion, or to stand committed to any scheme looking to Disunion in whatever contingency. Her Democratic Governor and Legislature of 1860-61, with most of her leading Democratic, and many of her Whig, politicians, were, indeed, more or less cognizant of the Disunion conspiracy, and were more or less intimate and confidential with its master-spirits. But they looked to very different ends. The Southrons proper, of the school of Calhoun, Rhett, Yancey, and Ruffin, regarding Disunion as a chief good under any and all circumstances, made its achievement the great object of their life-long endeavor, and regarded Slavery in the territories, fugitive slaves and their recovery, compromises, John Brown raids, etc., only as conducive to or impeding its consummation; while [609] the ‘State-Rights’ apostles of the Border-State school contemplated Secession, and everything pertaining thereto, primarily, as means of perfecting and perpetuating the slaveholding ascendency in the Union as it was. Hence, we have seen Gov. Magoffin2 protest against the secession of South Carolina and the Cotton States, not as a treasonable repudiation of their constitutional duties, but as a chimerical futility, and as a betrayal of the slaveholding Border States into the power of the “Black Republicans.”

Kentucky, as we have shown,3 nine weeks after the reduction of Fort Sumter, gave an aggregate of 92,365 votes for Union to 36,995 for Secession candidates, in choosing, at a special election, her representatives in the XXXVIIth Congress, while, as yet, no Federal soldier stood armed on her soil, and while her Legislature, Governor, and most of his associate State officers, were the Democratic compatriots of Breckinridge, Burnett, and Buckner. Only a single district elected a Secessionist, by four-sevenths of its total vote; and he its old member, who had hitherto received far larger majorities, running as a Democrat, in a district where the Democratic party had, since 1826, uniformly commanded overwhelming majorities. That district, at the western extremity of the State, hemmed in between West Tennessee, Southern Missouri, and that portion of Illinois widely known as “Egypt,” and traversed by the great Southern rivers Tennessee and Cumberland, had, in fact, for more than a quarter of a century, been alien from Kentucky in character and sympathies, as it proved itself in this case. The residue of the State elected only Unionists to Congress, by a popular majority of almost three to one.

This majority was very nearly maintained at her regular State election (August 5th), when — Magoffin being still Governor, Buckner commander of the State Guard, and the local offices mainly held by ‘State-Rights’ Democrats, with the recent Union rout and disaster at Bull Run tending still further to unmask and develop all the latent treason in the State--a new Legislature was chosen, wherein Unionism of a very decided type predominated in the proportion of nearly three to one.4 [610]

A determined Union Legislature having thus been elected but not yet assembled, Gov. Magoffin, feeling that his time was short, and that any further mischief to the Union cause at his hands must be done quickly, addressed to the President of the United States, by the hands of two “Commissioners,” the following cool epistle:

commonwealth of Kentucky, Executive Department, Frankfort, August 19, 1861.
To His Excellency, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States:
Sir: From the commencement of the unhappy hostilities now pending in this country, the people of Kentucky have indicated an earnest desire and purpose, as far as lay in their power, while maintaining their original political status, to do nothing by which to involve themselves in the war. Up to this time, they have succeeded in securing to themselves and to the State, peace and tranquillity as the fruits of the policy they adopted. My single object now is to promote the continuance of these blessings to the people of this State.

Until within a brief period, the people of Kentucky were quiet and tranquil, free from domestic strife, and undisturbed by internal commotion. They have resisted no law, rebelled against no authority, engaged in no revolution; but constantly proclaimed their firm determination to pursue their peaceful avocations, earnestly hoping that their own soil would be spared the presence of armed troops, and that the scene of conflict would be kept removed beyond the border of their State. By thus avoiding all occasions for the introduction of bodies of armed soldiers, and offering no provocation for the presence of military force, the people of Kentucky have sincerely striven to preserve in their State domestic peace, and avert the calamities of sanguinary engagements.

Recently, a large body of soldiers have been enlisted in the United States Army, and collected in military camps in the central portion of Kentucky. This movement was preceded by the active organization of companies, regiments, etc., consisting of men sworn into the United States service, under officers holding commissions from yourself. Ordnance, arms, munitions, and supplies of war, are being transported into the State, and placed in large quantities in these camps. In a word, an army is now being organized and quartered within the State, supplied with all the appliances of war, without the consent or advice of the authorities of the State, and without consultation with those most prominently known and recognized as loyal citizens. This movement now imperils that peace and tranquillity which, from the beginning of our present difficulties, have been the paramount desire of this people, and which, up to this time, they have secured to the State.

Within Kentucky, there has been, and is likely to be, no occasion for the presence of military force. The people are quiet and tranquil, feeling no apprehension of any occasion arising to invoke protection from the Federal arm. They have asked that their territory be left free from military occupation, and the present tranquillity of their communications left uninvaded by soldiers. They do not desire that Kentucky shall be required to supply the battle-field for the contending armies, or become the theater of the war.

Now, therefore, as Governor of the State of Kentucky, and in the name of the people I have the honor to represent, and with the single and earnest desire to avert from their peaceful homes the horrors of war, I urge the removal from the limits of Kentucky of the military force now organized and in camp within the State. If such action as is hereby urged be promptly taken, I firmly believe the peace of the people of Kentucky will be preserved, and the horrors of a bloody war will be averted from a people now peaceful and tranquil.


The President, declining to receive Magoffin's Commissioners otherwise than as private citizens, returned this terse and pungent reply to their master's request: [611]

Washington, D. C., Aug. 24, 1861.
To his Excellency, B. Magoffin, Governor of the State of Kentucky:
Sir: Your letter of the 19th inst., in which you “urge the removal from the limits of Kentucky of the military force now organized and in camp within that State,” is received.

I may not possess full and precisely accurate knowledge upon this subject; but I believe it is true that there is a military force in camp within Kentucky, acting by authority of the United States; which force is not very large, and is not now being augmented.

I also believe that some arms have been furnished to this force by the United States.

I also believe that this force consists exclusively of Kentuckians, having their camp in the immediate vicinity of their own homes, and not assailing or menacing any of the good people of Kentucky.

In all I have done in the premises, I have acted upon the urgent solicitation of many Kentuckians, and in accordance with what I believed, and still believe, to be the wish of a majority of all the Union-loving people of Kentucky.

While I have conversed on the subject with many eminent men of Kentucky, including a large majority of her members of Congress, I do not remember that any one of them, or any other person, except your Excellency and the bearers of your Excellency's letter, has urged me to remove the military force from Kentucky or to disband it. One other very worthy citizen of Kentucky did solicit me to have the augmenting of the force suspended for a time.

Taking all the means within my reach to form a judgment, I do not believe it is the popular wish of Kentucky that the force shall be removed beyond her limits; and, with this impression, I must respectfully decline to remove it.

I most cordially sympathize with your Excellency in the wish to preserve the peace of my own native State, Kentucky; but it is with regret I search for and cannot find, in your not very short letter, any declaration or intimation that you entertain any desire for the preservation of the Federal Union.


The Legislature convened September 3d, but was not fully organized till the 5th, when Magoffin submitted a Message based on the assumption of Kentucky's proper and perfect neutrality between the belligerents North and South of her; complaining that she had suffered in her commerce and property from the acts of either; but more especially that a Federal force had recently been organized and encamped in the heart of that State without the permission of her lawful authorities--(Beriah Magoffin, to wit ;) whereupon he proposed to so amend an act of the late Legislature as to enable the Military Board to borrow money for the purchase of arms and munitions for the defense of the State, etc., etc. lie desired the Legislature authoritatively to request all Military organizations within the State, not under her authority, to be disbanded forthwith; and complained of the introduction of arms by the Federal Government and their distribution among private citizens, which — considering that the incipient Rebels obtained a large proportion thereof, and in due time carried them off to the camps of the Secession forces — was unreasonable. On the main question at issue, he said:

Kentucky has meant to await the exhausting of all civil remedies before she will reconsider the question of assuming new external relations; but I have never understood that they will tamely submit unconditionally to the aggressions of the North; that they renounce their sympathy with the people of her aggrieved sister States; nor that they will approve of a war to subjugate the South. Still can I not construe any of their votes as meaning that they will prosecute a coercive war against their Southern brethren. They meant only that they have still some hope of the restoration and perpetuation of the Union; and, until that hope is blasted, they will not alter their existing relations. Their final decision will be law to me; and I will execute every constitutional act of their representatives as vigilantly and faithfully as though it originated with myself.

These few words elicited no sympathetic response from the Legislature, fresh from the people, and imbued with [612] their sentiments. On the contrary, the House, six days thereafter, resolved--71 to 26--that the Governor be directed to order by proclamation the Confederate troops encamped on the soil of that State to decamp immediately. An attempt so to amend the resolution as to require all Union as well as Disunion forces to quit the State, was decidedly voted down; and the two Houses united in passing, by overwhelming votes, the following:

Resolved, That Kentucky's peace and neutrality have been wantonly violated, her soil has been invaded, and the rights of her citizens have been grossly infringed, by the so-called Southern Confederate forces. This has been done without cause: therefore,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, That the Governor be requested to call out the military force of the State to expel and drive out the invaders.

Resolved, That the United States be invoked to give that aid and assistance, that protection against invasion, which is guaranteed to each one of the States by the 4th section of the 4th article of the Constitution of the United States.

Resolved, That Gen. Robert Anderson be, and he is hereby, requested to enter immediately upon the active discharge of his duties in this military district.

Resolved, That we appeal to the people of Kentucky, by the ties of patriotism and honor, by the ties of common interest and common defense, by the remembrances of the past, and by the hopes of future National existence, to assist in expelling and driving out the wanton invaders of our peace and neutrality, the lawless invaders of our soil.

These resolves were adopted — in the House by 68 to 26, and in the Senate by 26 to 8.

Magoffin promptly vetoed them. The Legislature as promptly passed them over his veto by overwhelming majorities. Gen. Grant, commanding at Cairo, had already telegraphed to the Legislature, Sept. 5th, that Western Kentucky had been invaded by a large Rebel force, who were then holding and fortifying strong positions on the east bank of the Mississippi at Hickman and Chalk Bluffs. The Legislature referred this dispatch to a Special Committee, which telegraphed thereupon to Gov. Harris, of Tennessee, who thus responded:

The Confederate troops that landed at Hickman last night did so without my knowledge or consent; and, I am confident, also without the consent of the President. I have telegraphed President Davis, requesting their immediate withdrawal.5

Gen. Grant did not see fit to depend on the fair promises of Gov. Harris, nor the amenity of Gen. Bishop Leonidas Polk, nor yet of President Davis, for the safety of his department, but occupied, next morning, Paducah, on the south bank of the Ohio, near the mouth of the Tennessee, with two regiments and a battery, finding Rebel flags flying over many of the buildings in that little city, in anticipation of the speedy appearance of a Confederate force, reported [613] 3,800 strong, and but sixteen miles distant. He found there large quantities of prepared rations and of leather for the expected Rebel army, and put them to a better use. In his proclamation, thereupon issued, he said:

I have come among you not as an enemy, but as your fellow-citizen; not to maltreat or annoy you, but to respect and enforce the rights of all loyal citizens. An enemy, in rebellion against our common Government, has taken possession of and planted his guns on the soil of Kentucky, and fired upon you. Columbus and Hickman are in his hands. He is moving upon your city. I am here to defend you against this enemy; to assist the authority and sovereignty of your Government. I have nothing to do with opinions, and shall deal only with armed Rebellion and its aiders and abettors. You can pursue your usual avocations without fear. The strong arm of the Government is here, to protect its friends and punish its enemies. Whenever it is manifest that you are able to defend yourselves, maintain the authority of the Government, and protect the rights of loyal citizens, I shall withdraw the forces under my command.

U. S. Grant, Brig. General Commanding.

Bishop Polk had not then occupied Columbus, as Gen. Grant supposed; but he did so next day, with a force of ten regiments, six batteries, and three battalions of cavalry. Of course, the promise of Gov. Harris that he should be withdrawn was not fulfilled, and the fact that Grant had now crossed the Ohio was made an excuse for this invasion. In other words: the people of Kentucky, through their then freshly chosen Legislature, having decided to remain in and be loyal to the Union, the Confederates regarded this as justifying them in seizing any portion of that State of which they should deem the occupancy advantageous to their cause; and, in fact, Gen. Zollicoffer,6 commanding their forces in East Tennessee, had already occupied Cumberland Gap, and advanced through that pass into Kentucky, at least so early as the 5th; though no pretense of Federal invasion, accomplished or meditated, was, in that quarter, justified. But East Tennessee was earnestly and unchangeably loyal to the Union--had so voted by more than two to one at the recent State Election; and it had become necessary to surround her with Confederate camps, and cut her off from all communication with the loyal States, to prevent a general uprising of her hardy mountaineers in defense of the cause they loved.

Gen. Robert Anderson assumed command, at Louisville, of the Department of Kentucky, Sept. 20th; and the organization of Union volunteers [614] was thenceforth actively promoted. On the 25th, a bill calling out 40,000 volunteers for the defense of the State and Union passed the House by a vote of 67 to 13; the Senate concurring by a vote of 21 to 5. On that day, the Senate, by 16 to 10, passed a bill providing that any and every Kentuckian who shall have voluntarily joined the Rebel force invading the State, shall be incapable of inheriting any property in Kentucky, unless he shall return to his allegiance within sixty days; and, on the next day, the House Judiciary Committee, having reported that, in its judgment, Congress had not transcended its powers in imposing taxes for the preservation of the Union, was discharged from further consideration of the subject by a vote of 67 to 13; and the Senate concurred without a division.

On the 16th, Zollicoffer advanced to Barboursville, Ky., capturing the camp of a regiment of Kentucky Unionists, who fled at his approach.

The changed attitude and determined purpose of Kentucky encouraged the Federal Government to take some decided steps in defense of its own existence. Ex-Gov. Morehead,7 a most inveterate traitor, was arrested at his residence near Louisville, and taken thence to Fort Lafayette, in New York harbor, wherein he was long confined, and whence he should not have been released. Warned by this blow, ex-Vice-President John C. Breckinridge, Hon. Wm. Preston, late Minister to Spain, Thomas B. Monroe, sr., U. S. District Judge, Thomas B. Monroe, jr., Secretary of State, Col. Humphrey Marshall, late “American” member of Congress, Col. George W. Johnson, Capt. John Morgan, and several other prominent traitors, escaped about this time to the Rebel camps in Southern Kentucky, and passed thence into Tennessee or Virginia, where they openly gave in their adhesion to the Southern Confederacy. Judge Monroe formally renounced his office and his allegiance, and was adopted a citizen of the Confederacy in open court at Nashville, October 3d. Breckinridge and Humphrey Marshall were promptly made Confederate Brigadier-Generals.

Zollicoffer, on entering Kentucky, issued an order promising that no citizen of that State should be molested in person or property unless found in arms for the Union, or somehow giving aid and comfort to the National cause. Of course, this did not save active Unionists from seizure, abuse, and confinement, nor the pigs, fowls, cattle, etc., whether of Unionists or Confederates, from wholesale confiscation by his loosely organized and undisciplined banditti, who swept over the poor and thinly settled mountainous region wherein the Cumberland and Kentucky rivers have their sources, devouring and destroying all before them.

Mr. Breckinridge, on finding himself safely within the Confederate lines, issued an elaborate and bitter Address, announcing his resignation [615] of his seat in the Senate, and the dissolution of the Union; demonstrating, after his fashion, the unconstitutionality of struggling to uphold the Constitution; the atrocity of the despotism which had ventured to arrest a few of the many traitors actively at work to subvert the National Government; and charging the Legislature of his State with “woeful subserviency to every demand of Federal despotism and woeful neglect of every right of the Kentucky citizen,” etc., etc. Here is a specimen of his rhetoric:

I would speak of these things with the simple solemnity which their magnitude demands; yet it is difficult to restrain the expression of a just indignation while we smart under such enormities. Mr. Lincoln has thousands of soldiers on our soil, nearly all from the North, and most of them foreigners, whom he employs as his instruments to do these things. But few Kentuckians have enlisted under his standard; for we are not yet accustomed to his peculiar form of liberty.

I will not pursue the disgraceful subject. Has Kentucky passed out of the control of her own people? Shall hirelings of the pen, recently imported from the North, sitting in grand security at the Capital, force public opinion to approve these usurpations and point out victims? Shall Mr. Lincoln, through his German mercenaries, imprison or exile the children of the men who laid the foundations of the Commonwealth, and compel our noble people to exhaust themselves in furnishing the money to destroy their own freedom? Never, while Kentucky remains the Kentucky of old!--never, while thousands of her gallant sons have the will and the nerve to make the State sing to the music of their rifles!

It is clear that Mr. Breckinridge, in his exodus from Kentucky, had perpetrated a serious blunder. As a declaimer in the Senate, in chorus with Vallandigham, Voorhees, and May, he was worth far more to the Confederacy than as a Brigadier in its military service; and even the election of Garret Davis in his stead did not fully compensate the Rebellion for the loss of its boldest and most unscrupulous champion in the Federal Congress.

Gen. W. T. Sherman, early in October, succeeded Gen. Anderson in command of the district of Kentucky. The Rebels, with an art which they had already brought to perfection, imposed on him, with success, as on Gen. McClellan and other of our commanders, a most exaggerated notion of the amount of their forces; so that, when Kentucky might easily have been cleared of armed foes by a concerted and resolute advance, Sherman was telegraphing furiously to the War Department for large reenforcements; and, when visited at Louisville, on the 18th, by Secretary Cameron and Adjt.-Gen. Thomas, he gravely informed them that lie should need 200,000 men to recover and hold Kentucky; when, in fact, there were not 40,000 Rebels in arms within the limits of that State.

Pollard, writing of the early part of November, says:

Despite the victory of Belmont, our situation in Kentucky was one of extreme weakness, and entirely at the mercy of the enemy, if he had not been imposed upon by false representations of the number of our forces at Bowling Green.

* * * About the middle of September, Gen. Buckner advanced, with a small force of about 4,000 men, which was increased, by the 15th of October, to 12,000; and, though other accessions of force were received, it continued at about the same strength until the end of November, measles and other diseases keeping down the effective force. The enemy's force then was reported to the War Department at 50,000; and an advance was impossible.

The Unionists of south-eastern Kentucky were mustering and organizing under Col. Garrard at a point known as Camp Wild-Cat, when Zollicoffer advanced (Oct. 20th) with seven regiments [616] and a light battery, to attack and disperse them. Gen. Schoepf, who had just reached the camp, assumed command of the Union forces prior to the attack, which was made on the morning of the 21st. The Rebels were superior in numbers; but the Unionists had a strong position, and very easily beat off their assailants, who made two attacks to no purpose, and were repulsed and driven away without serious loss on either side.

A considerable Rebel force, under Col. John S. Williams, having been collected at Piketon, the capital of Pike, the easternmost county of Kentucky, at the head of the Big Sandy, Gen. Wm. Nelson, commanding the Union forces in Eastern Kentucky, started from Prestonburg, Nov. 8th, in quest of them. Having not less than 3,000 men, while Williams reports his full strength at 1,010, Nelson had, at 11 o'clock, A. M., of the 7th, dispatched Col. Apperson, of the 33d Ohio, with nearly half his force, to gain the rear of Piketon by a circuitous route through that rugged, almost roadless region, so as to inclose the Rebels between two fires, and compel their surrender. It was first telegraphed that this movement had proved a perfect success; but Williams, who seems to have been thoroughly posted throughout, retarded Nelson's direct advance by smart, judicious skirmishing in the positions assuring him the greatest advantage, while he hurried off the cattle and other spoils industriously collected from that poor, thinly-settled region, on the road to Pound Gap, whither he retreated on the 9th--his rearguard of 400 leaving Piketon just as Nelson was entering it. The loss of either party in this affair was inconsiderable — not over 100--but the conduct of our soldiers was faultless, and their patient endurance of fatigue, exposure, and privation, most commendable. Williams — who appears to have admirably timed and managed his retreat — reported his force stronger at Pound Gap on the 13th than it was at Piketon on the 8th.

The heroic Unionists of East Tennessee, who had anxiously expected and awaited the arrival of a Union force since the opening of the struggle, were led to believe, after our successes at Camp Wild-Cat and other points, that its appearance would not much longer be delayed. Many of them stole through the woods and over the mountains to join it and hasten its march; while many of those who remained at home conspired to burn the more important railroad bridges throughout their section, in order to preclude the arrival of reenforcements to their Rebel oppressors during the struggle supposed to be just at hand. They succeeded in burning three or four, but failed with regard to others; and all of them who were captured by the Rebels while engaged in or escaping from these attempts were promptly consigned to an ignominious death.

The hopes of the loyal Tennesseans were strangely and utterly blasted. Gen. Schoepf, in command of our army which, after the repulse of the Rebel attack on Camp Wild-Cat, confronted Zollicoffer, after advancing two or three days in the direction of Cumberland Gap, was induced, by a favorite stratagem of the Rebels, to believe that an overwhelming Confederate force was advancing on his [617] right flank from Bowling Green, and about to pounce upon and annihilate him. There was not a shadow of foundation for this story: the Rebels at Bowling Green were glad enough to keep still, and not expose their weakness, knowing well that Sherman might and would have crushed them, had he been aware of it; yet, without waiting to verify this absurd report, Gen. Schoepf faced about and raced two days toward the Ohio, as if for dear life, strewing the road with wrecked wagons, dead horses, baggage, etc., and leaving East Tennessee to her fate. The bitter disappointment and agony of her gallant sons in his army, who but now confidently supposed themselves about to see the old flag floating in triumph from the spires of Knoxville and Jonesville, can but faintly be realized.

On the 18th of November, the Kentucky Secessionists held a Convention at Russellville, in the southernmost of her counties, behind their principal camp at Bowling Green, and organized what they termed a “Provisional” Government — perhaps from their inability to make any provision for its support. Geo. W. Johnson, of Scott county, was here chosen Governor;8 the party having had enough of popular elections, in which they never had any success or made a respectable figure. They chose, likewise, a “Legislative Council,” which they clothed with ample powers; and this Council proceeded to appoint Commissioners to negotiate for the admission of Kentucky into the Southern Confederacy! No cavils as to the authority of these gentlemen to speak for Kentucky were raised at Richmond; and, on the 16th of December, The Louisville Courier (now issued at Nashville) gravely announced that said Council had this day chosen a full delegation to the Confederate Congress, composed as follows:

Henry C. Burnett,

John Thomas,

Thomas L. Burnett,

S. H. Ford,

Thomas B. Johnson,

George W. Ewing,

Dr. D. V. White,

John M. Elliott,

Thomas B. Monroe,

George B. Hodge.

How it happened that two of these persons--Messrs. Henry C. Burnett and Thomas B. Monroe--were, that same day, sworn in as Senators9 from Kentucky at Richmond, it is not easy to understand; but it is of no consequence. They had probably been appointed, several days before, by “Governor” Johnson. Suffice it that, since then, Kentucky has been regularly represented in the Confederate Congress, though no popular election thereto was ever held on her soil, and no shadow of consent ever given by her to such delegation of power. Of late, her representatives in that Congress have been chosen by the Kentuckians serving in the Rebel armies; which, though not very regular, seems straightforward and business-like. They represent bayonets; let them be chosen accordingly.10

1 P. 492-7.

2 See pp. 340-41.

3 P. 496.

4 Pollard, in his “Southern History,” fully admits, while lie denounces and deplores, the hostility of Kentucky to the Rebel cause — saying:

It is not to be supposed for a moment that, while the position of Kentucky, like that of Maryland, was one of reproach, it is to mar the credit due to that portion of the people of each, who, in the face of instant difficulties, and at the expense of extraordinary sacrifices, repudiated the decision of their States to remain under the Federal Government, and expatriated themselves that they might espouse the cause of liberty in the South. The honor due such men is, in fact, increased by the consideration that their States remained in the Union, and compelled them to fly their homes, that they might certify their devotion to the South and her cause of independence. Still, the justice of history must be maintained. The demonstrations of sympathy with the South on the part of the States referred to--Maryland and Kentucky--considered either in proportion to what was offered the Lincoln Government by these States, or with respect to the numbers of their population, were sparing and exceptional; and although these demonstrations on the part of Kentucky, from the great and brilliant names associated with them, were perhaps even more honorable and more useful than the examples of Southern spirit offered by Maryland, it is unquestionably though painfully true, that the great body of the people of Kentucky were the active allies of Lincoln, and the unnatural enemies of those united to them by lineage, blood, and common institutions.

Those who love and honor the name of Henry Clay will thank the author of the “Southern History” for the following undesigned but richly merited homage to the character and influence of that great man:

It is certainly defective logic, or, at best, an inadequate explanation, which attributes the subserviency of a large portion of the people of Kentucky to the views of the Lincoln Government to the perfidy of a party or the adroitness of its management. However powerful may be the machinery of party, it certainly has not the power of belying public sentiment for any considerable length of time. The persistent adhesion of a large portion of the Kentucky people to the Northern cause must be attributed to permanent causes; and among these were, first, an essential unsoundness on the Slavery question, under the influences of the peculiar philosophy of Henry Clay, who, like every great man, left an impress upon his State, which it remained for future even more than contemporary generations to attest.

5 Gov Magoffin communicated to the Legislature, Sept. 9th, a message to him from the four Commissioners of the Governor of Tennessee, in explanation of the reason why the Confederates had not been withdrawn from Kentucky, from which the following is an extract:

The undersigned yesterday received a verbal message, through a messenger, from Gov. Harris. The message was, that Gov. Harris had, by telegraphic dispatch, requested Gen. Polk to withdraw the Confederate troops from Kentucky, and that Gen. Polk had declined to do so; that Gov. Harris then telegraphed to Secretary Walker, at Richmond, requesting that Gen. Polk be ordered to withdraw his troops from Kentucky; and that such order was issued from the War Department of the Confederacy; that Gen. Polk replied to the War Department that the retention of the post was a military necessity, and that the retiring from it would be attended by the loss of many lives. This embraces the message received.

The messenger, it is true, in conversation, said that he had heard in Nashville that Secretary Walker had sent a dispatch to Gen. Buckner, giving Gen. Polk a discretion to hold to or withdraw from the occupation of the post in Kentucky.

6 Zollicoffer telegraphed, Sept. 14th, to Magoffin as follows:

The safety of Tennessee requiring, I occupy the mountain passes at Cumberland, and the three long mountains in Kentucky. For weeks, I have known that the Federal commander at Hoskins's Cross-Roads was threatening the invasion of East Tennessee, and ruthlessly urging our people to destroy our own road and bridges. I postponed this precautionary movement until the despotic Government at Washington, refusing to recognize the neutrality of Kentucky, had established formidable camps in the center and other parts of the State, with the view, first, to subjugate your gallant State, and then ourselves. Tennessee feels, and has ever felt, toward Kentucky as a twin-sister; their people are as one people in kindred, sympathy, valor, and patriotism. We have felt, and still feel, a religious respect for Kentucky's neutrality. We will respect it as long as our safety will permit. If the Federal force will now withdraw from their menacing position, the force under my command shall immediately be withdrawn.

“The despotic Government at Washington” could hardly, with reason, be blamed for refusing to recognize the neutrality of Kentucky, when Kentucky herself did that very thing with a decision and emphasis quite equal to those evinced in President Lincoln's reply to Magoffin. Zollicoffer's “religious respect,” therefore, was paid to something exceedingly convenient to his cause, but which, if it ever had been, no longer existed.

7 Charles S. Morehead, formerly a Whig representative in Congress from the Lexington district, afterward “American” Governor of the State from 1855 to 1859, was originally a Unionist of the Henry Clay school; but, having become largely interested in slaves and cotton-growing in Mississippi, was now and evermore a devotee of the Slave Power-hence a Disunionist. He bore an active and baleful part in the Peace Conference of February, 1861; and was thenceforth, though professing moderation, fully in the counsels of the Secessionists.

8 Johnson being killed in the battle at Shiloh next Spring, he was somehow succeeded in his shadowy Governorship by Richard Hawes — a weak old man who, some quarter of a century before, had twice represented, as a Whig, the Lexington district in Congress.

9 So announced next morning in The Norfolk Day-Book.

10 The Louisville Journal of Oct. 12th sharply said:

Hundreds of those exceedingly sensitive Kentuckians, who so eloquently proclaimed that they could never take up arms against the Southern States, inasmuch as those States were Kentucky's sisters, have now taken up arms for the conquest of Kentucky herself Isn't that enough to make the devil laugh?

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Paducah (Kentucky, United States) (2)
Cumberland Gap (Tennessee, United States) (2)
Columbus, Ky. (Kentucky, United States) (2)
Charleston (South Carolina, United States) (2)
Wild Cat (Kentucky, United States) (1)
Tennessee River (United States) (1)
South Carolina (South Carolina, United States) (1)
Prestonburg (Kentucky, United States) (1)
Ohio (United States) (1)
Missouri (Missouri, United States) (1)
Mississippi (United States) (1)
Mississippi (Mississippi, United States) (1)
Knoxville (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Kentucky River (Kentucky, United States) (1)
Jonesville (Virginia, United States) (1)
Illinois (Illinois, United States) (1)
Frankfort (Kentucky, United States) (1)
Cairo, Ill. (Illinois, United States) (1)
Bull Run, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)
Belmont, Ky. (Kentucky, United States) (1)
Barbourville (Kentucky, United States) (1)

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