By James W. Finck
On May sixteen, 1861, the Kentucky state legislature handed an ordinance pointing out its neutrality, which the state's governor, Beriah Magoffin, proven 4 days later. Kentucky's announcement and supreme aid for the Union stood at odds with the state's social and cultural history. After all, Kentucky was a slave kingdom and loved deep and significant connections to the hot Confederacy. a lot of what has been written to give an explanation for this curious selection concludes Kentucky harbored robust Unionist emotions. James Finck's freshly written and deeply researched Divided Loyalties: Kentucky's fight for Armed Neutrality within the Civil War shatters this conclusion.
An in-depth learn of the one year that made up our minds Kentucky's destiny (November 1860 - November 1861), Divided Loyalties persuasively argues that the Commonwealth didn't aid neutrality out of its deep Unionist's sentiment. in truth, it was once Kentucky's both divided loyalties that caused its choice to stay impartial. either Unionists and Secessionists could come to help neutrality at varied occasions once they felt their aspect could lose.
Along the best way, Dr. Finck examines the jobs of the nation legislature, the governor, different top Kentuckians, and usual electorate to appreciate how Kentuckians felt in regards to the clients of warfare and secession, and the way bloodshed may be shunned. The finely styled prose is outfitted upon a origin of fundamental assets together with letters, journals, newspapers, govt files, and released experiences. by way of focusing completely on one nation, one factor, and 365 days, Divided Loyalties presents a degree of aspect that would deeply curiosity either Kentuckians and Civil conflict fanatics alike.
Kentucky's ultimate choice was once the results of intrigue and betrayal in the Commonwealth whereas armies accumulated round its borders looking ahead to any chance to invade. And it was once inside this heated surroundings that Kentuckians made an important choice of their history.
"Divided Loyalties is ready . . . survival. The main issue and the battle that have been everyone's contest, and everyone's tragedy, but in Kentucky the alternatives have been more durable, and the stakes larger, as males and brothers confronted the grim prospect of getting to decide on now not opposed to a few far-off enemy, yet opposed to friends and family. it doesn't matter what path to survival a Kentuckian selected, it was once absolute to placed him at the street to a collision with the folks most beneficial to him. - William C. Davis, award-winning writer of Jefferson Davis: the fellow and the Hour and The Orphan Brigade: The Kentucky Confederates Who could not move Home
"Kentucky throughout the secession difficulty of 1860-61 has lengthy been a slightly complicated secret tough for historians to completely comprehend. Dr. Finck's severe exam of the subject in Divided Loyalties unravels a lot of that secret whereas whilst delivering a historic reinterpretation that demanding situations the normal ideals within the bluegrass state's loyalties. What emerges is a much more advanced and dynamic photograph that extra properly locations Kentucky in the context of the upper-South." - Dr. Scott Tarnowieckyi, historical past Professor, Weatherford university