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Kentucky Confederates: Secession, Civil War, and the Jackson Purchase

by Berry Craig

Availablepaperback$28.00s 978-0-8131-7439-6
Availablecloth$45.00s 978-0-8131-4692-8
390 pages  Pubdate: 01/26/2018  6.125 x 9.25  32 b&w photos

LISTEN: Berry Craig stops by “Sounds Good” to chat with Todd Hatton:
"LISTEN online here.

During the Civil War, the majority of Kentuckians supported the Union under the leadership of Henry Clay, but one part of the state presented a striking exception. The Jackson Purchase—bounded by the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the north, and the Tennessee River to the east—fought hard for separation and secession, and produced eight times more Confederates than Union soldiers. Supporting states’ rights and slavery, these eight counties in the westernmost part of the commonwealth were so pro-Confederate that the Purchase was dubbed “the South Carolina of Kentucky.”

The first dedicated study of this key region, Kentucky Confederates provides valuable insights into a misunderstood and understudied part of Civil War history. Author Berry Craig begins by exploring the development of the Purchase from 1818, when Andrew Jackson and Isaac Shelby acquired it from the Chickasaw tribe. Geographically isolated from the rest of the Bluegrass State, the area’s early settlers came from the South, and rail and river trade linked the region to Memphis and western Tennessee rather than to points north and east.

Craig draws from an impressive array of primary documents, including newspapers, letters, and diaries, to reveal the regional and national impact this unique territory had on the nation’s greatest conflict. Offering an important new perspective on this rebellious borderland and its failed bid for secession, Kentucky Confederates will serve as the standard text on the subject for years to come.

Berry Craig, professor of history at West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah, is the author of Hidden History of Western Kentucky, True Tales of Old-Time Kentucky Politics: Bombast, Bourbon, and Burgoo, Hidden History of Kentucky in the Civil War, and Hidden History of Kentucky Soldiers.

Kentucky Confederates contains more than enough unique insights to unreservedly recommend it for placement in the essential Civil War Kentucky bookshelf. -- Civil War Books and Authors

Historian Berry Craig has written a book long needed in Kentucky history, Civil War history, and the history of the nation. -- Kentucky Monthly

Craig's extensive research and incorporation of a wide variety of primary documents ensure this book will become the definitive work on the political, social, and military climate of the Purchase region during the Civil War. -- Kentucky Libraries

This thoroughlyresearched book is an interesting history about a region of Kentucky too often overlooked. -- Bowling Green Daily News

This book should become the standard work on the Civil War in the Purchase Area. -- Civil War News

Kentucky Confederates clearly illustrates that western Kentucky was a cultural and political bellwether that the rest of the state followed postwar in assuming a Confederate identity. -- Civil War Book Review

This is the definitive work on Kentucky’s Confederates that will be the recognized
standard for many years to come. -- Lone Star Book Review

This book should become the standard by which any other books concerning the Civil War in the Jackson Purchase are judged. -- Journal of America's Military Past

[. . .] Kentucky Confederates is scholastically significant and proficiently executed Kentucky and Civil War border history. -- Matthew E. Stanley, Albany State University -- The Journal of Southern History

[. . .] Overall, this is a solid work presented by a knowledgeable scholar, and it is a must-read for those interested in Kentucky Civil War history. -- Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

[. . .] [In this] new and thorough examination of this Kentucky region and its critical role in the political and military operations of the war [. . .] Berry Craig does a very nice job of explaining the singular, and often disregarded, narrative of the Civil War in this corner of the Bluegrass State. He makes good use of a wide array of diaries, newspaper accounts, and personal letters, and his lively prose keeps the book moving along nicely even as he gets into detailed political and military machinations. The result is a vivid portrait of military and civilian actions and popular sentiment in an overlooked but important section of the Civil War West. Furthermore, Craig’s fully developed picture of the social, economic, and political development of the region offers readers more than just a standard Civil War chronicle. Kentucky
certainly stands as the definitive account of this maverick portion of the
Bluegrass state during the Civil War era. -- Civil War History

Kentucky Confederates is a masterpiece. Long overdue, it chronicles the history of a region of Kentucky that has received little or no attention by historians heretofore. It is my considered opinion Craig’s book will be the definitive work on his subject for many years. -- Kent Masterson Brown, editor of One of Morgan’s Men: Memoirs of Lieutenant John M. Porter of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry

Berry Craig's Kentucky Confederates is an interesting and significant contribution to Kentucky history, and a thoroughly instructive object lesson in loyalty studies in one of the many micro-regions of the Civil War era. It should instantly become, and remain the standard work on the subject. -- William C. Davis, author of Lincoln’s Men: How President Lincoln Became Father to an Army and a Nation