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New Perspectives on Civil War-Era Kentucky (Hardback)

Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Pages: 360
ISBN: 9780813197463
Published: 1st July 2023
Casemate UK Academic

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As a Unionist but also proslavery state during the American Civil War, Kentucky occupied a contentious space both politically and geographically. In many ways, its pragmatic attitude toward compromise left it in a cultural no-man's-land. The constant negotiation between the state's nationalistic and Southern identities left many Kentuckians alienated and conflicted. Lincoln referred to Kentucky as the crown jewel of the Union slave states due to its sizable population, agricultural resources, and geographic position, and these advantages, coupled with the state's difficult relationship to both the Union and slavery, ultimately impacted the outcome of the war. Despite Kentucky's central role, relatively little has been written about the aftermath of the Civil War in the state and how the conflict shaped the commonwealth we know today. New Perspectives on Civil War–Era Kentucky offers readers ten essays that paint a rich and complex image of Kentucky during the Civil War. First appearing in the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, these essays cover topics ranging from women in wartime to Black legislators in the postwar period. From diverse perspectives, both inside and outside the state, the contributors shine a light on the complicated identities of Kentucky and its citizens in a defining moment of American history.

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