Showing posts from October, 2009

Book review: The Civil War At Perryville

Published in The Courier-Journal,  October 23, 2009

Ric Manning's photos from Perryville's 150th anniversary 2012 

Kentucky's turn in the Civil War spotlight in 1862 may have been brief, but it was far from uneventful. In the weeks between late August, when Confederate forces invaded from Tennessee, and Oct. 8, when both sides fought to a draw in the fields near Perryville, the outcome of the war and possibly the future of the nation hung in the balance.

Kentucky was a slave state that did not leave the Union and tried to stay neutral. But that was a daunting challenge with Federal troops controlling Kentucky's rivers and cities, including Louisville, and Confederate armies occupying the Bluegrass from Bardstown to Richmond.

Both sides desperately wanted Kentucky's allegiance. For the military, it offered critical access to the roads, rivers and horses needed to invade or defend the South.

Politically, it was the key to holding or losing other border states.