Monday, June 27, 2011

Kentucky History: Who knew?

I live in Kentucky.  I've lived there for 12 years now.  Before that, I lived across the river from Kentucky, in Ohio. I went to school in Ohio, and didn't take Kentucky state history, so I have an excuse for my ignorance, but...

Did you know that Kentucky was NOT a confederate state during the civil war? 

I didn't, not until Friday.  I have this  idea for a historical story set in Kentucky, during the reconstruction period, just after the end of the "War of Northern Aggression".  And there is a doctor in it, so I thought I'd see what I could find out about the history of medical schools in the region, and one thing led to another, and all of a sudden, I'm reading that Kentucky was not a confederate state, it was a Union state. 

I suspect there are an awful lot of other people out there with the same misconception.  Why is that? Well, for one thing, although KY didn't leave the Union, it was still a slave state, and so it was still a big deal for slaves to make it across the Ohio River on their way to freedom.  That's why the National Underground Railroad Freedom MuseumNation is in Cincinnati.

Apparently, Kentucky wanted to stay neutral, because they thought they'd be better off financially.  Even though a lot of people owned slaves in Kentucky, the economy wasn't as dependent on slavery as the deeper South.  It's all very complicated.

So aside from the whole slave thing, why would I think Kentucky had been a confederate state? I am exaggerating here, but it seems like half of everyone in the state with a pick up truck has a confederate flag hanging in their rear window (FYI, the other half have "Dale Earnhardt #3 stickers). 

I actually found a book someone wrote about how Kentuckians kind of created a confederate history for themselves after the Civil War, so it's not just me who is confused.  And a third of the soldiers from Kentucky fought for the Confederacy, so there was some definite rebel sentiment...but 2/3 is more than 1/3, so you'd think that the majority would have ruled after war, especially since the UNION WON THE WAR (there are those who, apparently, haven't yet been informed that it's over). 

Anyway, now that I have THAT straightened out, I am on a quest to learn more about Kentucky.  I wonder what else I am misinformed about?  Secretariat was really a girl with a strap-on?

Bo and Luke Duke weren't related to Daisy?  Wouldn't that have made the series more interesting? 

My brain is shutting down. 


  1. I really had something smart & enlightening to share with the group, but then read about Secretariat and her strap-on and lost it.

    Makes me think of that old HBO series "Real Sex" with the fetishes where people dressed up like horses and got rode.

    And...I'm done. (You're welcome)

  2. I did NOT know that.

    I'm a Yankee who just moved to Georgia, I'll use that as my excuse. :-)

  3. This statement is true of Kentucky and her history during the Civil War, Kentucky was Union and Confederate. You see, during the Civil War Kentucky had two governments even two capitals. The Union captial would remain in Frankfort and the Confederate capital would be located in Bowling Green. In September 1861 a Confederate government would meet and set up in South Central Kentucky (Russellville). This meeting would eventually lead Bowling Green to be chosen as the capital beginning in November of 1861. By December of the same year Kentucky would even be recognized by the CSA as a state member with voting representation in the Confederate National Government. Kentucky would also be represented as the Central star on the Confederate Battle Flag. Bowling Green would remain the capital until February 14, 1862.
    Also, in the Autumn of 1862, Frankfort was Captured by the Confederates and the Confederate flag flew over the captial of Kentucky for a very short time. During this time, General Braxton Bragg attempted to install this government as the permanent authority in the Commonwealth. However before the government could be permanently set up, Union General Don Carlos Buell ambushed the inauguration ceremony and drove Kentucky's Confederate government from the state. From then on Kentucky's Confederate government would only be in action on paper and would be completely dissolved at the closing of the war.