Thursday, June 13, 2013

Governor Robinson's 1862 Invasion Proclamation

To the People of Kentucky

A crisis has arisen in the history of the Commonwealth which demands of every loyal citizen of Kentucky prompt and efficient action.  The State had been invaded by an insolent foe; her honor insulted; her peace disturbed; and her integrity imperiled.  The small but gallant army, raised upon the emergency of the occasion for her defense, under the brave and chivalric [William “Bull”] Nelson, has met with a temporary reverse [Battle of Richmond, KY], and the enemy is advancing to the accomplishment of his purpose – the subjugation of the State.  He must be met and driven from our borders, and it is in your power to do so.

I, therefore, as the Governor of the Commonwealth, deem it my duty to call upon every loyal citizen of Kentucky to rally to the defense of the State.  Not a moment is to be lost.  I appeal to you as KENTUCKIANS, as worthy sons of those who rescued the “dark and bloody ground” from savage barbarity [Native Americans]; by the memories of the past of our history, and by the future of your fame, if you are but true to yourselves – to rise in the majesty of our strength, and drive the insolent invader of your soil from your midst.

Now is the time for Kentuckians to defend themselves.  Each man must constitute himself a soldier – arm himself as best he can, and meet the fore at every step of his advance.  The day and the hour, the safety of your homes and firesides, patriotism and duty alike demand that you rush to the rescue.   I call upon the people then to rise up as one man and strike a blow for the defense of their native land, their property, and their homes.  Rally to the standard wherever it may be nearest, place yourselves under the commanders, obey orders, trust to your own right to bear arms and to the God of battles, and the foe will be driven back, discomfited and annihilated.

TO ARMS! TO ARMS! And never lay them own till the Stars and Stripes float in triumph throughout Kentucky!

I but perform my duty in thus summoning you to the defense of your State; and I am assured that it will be promptly responded to.  I promise that I will share with you the glory of the triumph which surely awaits you.

Done in the city of Frankfort the 31st day of August, 1862.

By the Governor:

D. C. WICKLIFFE, Secretary of State 

Map courtesy of the Civil War Trust

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