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September 23, 2010

The French Art Colony
Gallipolis, Ohio

In the memoirs of General Sherman, he's now in Kentucky and in command of the central theater. He had previously commanded in one battle, Bull Run, where the outcome was embarrassing for him. He describes the country as being divided into 3 zones with Kentucky in the middle and largely unguarded and ignored by the government. Here in Kentucky we always have been told that the state was a neutral border state, Sherman describes it differently in his memoirs by saying they had sent soldiers out into the state to raise men for the army and they find most of the young folks supporting the South while the older generation just wishes to be let alone. This sort of agrees with family lore, where a story has been handed down through the generations that tells about soldiers coming to conscript my ancestors and they hide in a ditch covered with straw or brush. Sherman talks about how the young people were openly leaving for rebel training camps during the middle of the day, armed with weapons given by their 'neutral' father. He finds himself begging to the Secretary of War for help before Kentucky falls. Sherman outlines how easy it would be for the South to march into Louisville and then have captured the state, being accompanied by cheers from the citizenry. Quite opposite from what we were taught in school, or at least how I remember it. Maybe they left that part out.