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Kentucky Rebel Town : The Civil War Battles of Cynthiana and Harrison County (Hardcover) (William A.
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On April 22, 1861, within weeks of the surrender at Fort Sumter, fresh recruits marched to the Cynthiana, Kentucky, depot -- one of the state's first volunteer companies to join the Confederate army. The soldiers boarded a waiting train as many sympathetic city and county officials cheered. A Confederate flag was raised at the Harrison County courthouse but it was taken down within six months, as the influence of pro-Southern officials diminished. However, this "pestilential little nest of treason" became a battlefield during some of the most dramatic military engagements in the state.
In this fascinating book, William A. Penn provides an impressively detailed account of the region that saw more major military action during the Civil War than anywhere else in Kentucky. Because of its political leanings and strategic position along the Kentucky Central Railroad, Harrison County became the target of multiple raids by Confederate general John Hunt Morgan. Conflict in the area culminated in the Second Battle of Cynthiana, in which Morgan's men clashed with Union troops led by Major General Stephen G. Burbridge (the "Butcher of Kentucky"), resulting in the destruction of much of the town by fire.
Penn draws on dozens of period newspapers as well as personal journals, memoirs, and correspondence from citizens, slaves, soldiers, and witnesses to provide a vivid account of the war's impact on the region. Featuring new maps that clearly illustrate the combat strategies in the various engagements, Kentucky Rebel Town provides an illuminating look at divided loyalties and dissent in Union Kentucky.