Sunday, October 7, 2012

Kentucky's Confederate Representatives

Although Kentucky's legally elected legislature stood by the Union, and their congressmen remained in Washington D.C., the divided state also had a Confederate provisional government that sent representatives to Richmond. 

The above item is the credentials for those men appointed to the Confederate House of Representatives who were named on December 14, 1861. The Kentucky Confederate state government first met in Russellville in October 1861. Later Bowling Green was established as the state's Confederate capital city.

In late November this Confederate state government, which had delegates from only 68 of the states 100 counties, petitioned to be admitted to the Confederacy and were formally admitted on December 10, 1861. The men named on the document above were designated as representatives four days later.

The Kentucky Confederate government remained in Bowling Green until General Ulysses S. Grant's twin military successes to the west at Forts Henry and Donelson in February 1862. As Confederate commander Albert Sidney Johnston retreated from Kentucky into Tennessee, the Kentucky Confederate government had to follow by necessity. Kentucky Confederate governor George W. Johnson was present when the armies fought at the Battle of Shiloh in April, where he was wounded and died. Richard Hawes was named as Johnson's successor and was actually inaugurated as the provisional governor of the state when the Confederates captured the state capital of Frankfort in the fall of 1862. But, his stay in the state was short as the Rebels were forced to flee the city the same day Hawes was sworn in. After the Battle of Perryville on October 8, 1862, the Confederates retreated from the state and did not return as an organized force.
Image courtesy of the National Archives

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