Monday, March 16, 2009

Unpopular Much?

I may have mentioned it before, but I have next to no southern connections. There are some colonial Virginia branches in my tree and a branch that settled in southern Kentucky for a few years in the early 19th Century, but that is it as far my southern branches go. My one Kentucky branch left in 1850 for Iowa, but relatives of my ancestors remained in Kentucky and later went to Missouri (which is really a "border state"). Today I was researching these branches that stayed in Kentucky and came across a relative who not only remained in the region where my family lived (Pulaski, which is a very southern portion of the state), but he also fought for the Union during the Civil War. When I first read that, all I could think was how unpopular he must have been in his hometown for doing that. Research into the history of Pulaski revealed a surprising contradiction to what I had originally thought though. I know Kentucky was considered a "border state" during the war, uncommitted to either side but critical to both. I had just assumed that since Pulaski was so far south in the state, that it would have been Confederate. Boy was I wrong: "During the Civil War, Pulaski County openly supported the Union, even though many residents were Southern sympathizers. Two battles, Mill Springs and Dutton's Hill, resulted in Union victories, and for a brief time a Federal garrison was occupied in Somerset. Although the area was invaded by Confederate General John Hunt Morgan, Union troops held the county until the end of the war, even renaming the town of Point Isabel to "Burnside," in honor of the Union general." How 'bout that? Even an old history buff like me can learn something new! All of this just goes to show that assumptions have no place in genealogy- shame on me!

Source of the above quote is here. For better geographic understanding of Pulaski Co. and Kentucky during the Civil War, see here.

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