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Sister States, Enemy States: The Civil War in Kentucky and Tennessee

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The fifteenth and sixteenth states to join the United States of America, Kentucky and Tennessee were cut from a common cloth — the rich region of the Ohio River Valley. Abounding with mountainous regions and fertile farmlands, these two slaveholding states were as closely tied to one another, both culturally and economically, as they were to the rest of the South. Yet when the Civil War erupted, Tennessee chose to secede while Kentucky remained part of the Union. The residents of Kentucky and Tennessee felt the full impact of the fighting as warring armies crossed back and forth across their borders. Due to Kentucky's strategic location, both the Union and the Confederacy sought to control it throughout the war, while Tennessee was second only to Virginia in the number of battles fought on its soil. Additionally, loyalties in each state were closely divided between the Union and the Confederacy, making wartime governance — and personal relationships — complex. In Sister States, Enemy States: The Civil War in Kentucky and Tennessee, editors Kent T. Dollar, Larry H. Whiteaker, and W. Calvin Dickinson explore how the war affected these two crucial states, and how they helped change the course of the war. Essays by prominent Civil War historians, including Benjamin Franklin Cooling, Marion Lucas, Tracy McKenzie, and Kenneth Noe, add new depth to aspects of the war not addressed elsewhere. The collection opens by recounting each state's debate over secession, detailing the divided loyalties in each as well as the overt conflict that simmered in East Tennessee. The editors also spotlight the war's overlooked participants, including common soldiers, women, refugees, African American soldiers, and guerrilla combatants. The book concludes by analyzing the difficulties these states experienced in putting the war behind them. The stories of Kentucky and Tennessee are a vital part of the larger narrative of the Civil War. Sister States, Enemy States offers fresh insights into the struggle that left a lasting mark on Kentuckians and Tennesseans, just as it left its mark on the nation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sister States, Enemy States: The Civil War In Kentucky and Tennessee"Comprised of a good mix of familiar and fresh subjects and analyses penned by specialist scholars well selected for the task, this is an important contribution to the western theater Civil War literature."— Civil War Books and Authors" —

"S ister States, Enemy States is recommended to those interested in the Civil War, Tennessee and Kentucky."— Oklahoman" —

"This book will be worthwhile for anyone interested in the wartime experiences of Kentucky and Tennessee, but it will be of special interest to those who had ancestors living here during that time." — Kentucky Ancestors" —

"Though the two adjacent states share the same historical roots and cultures, the Civil War constituted a break that could not be more profound, as Tennessee joined the Confederacy and Kentucky joined the Union." — Book News" —

"Civil War-era scholars and enthusiasts alike will find the original essays covering an often overlooked region a delight, and the historical community at large will benefit from the social, economic, and political perspectives offered by this well-edited volume."— Arkansas Review" —

"Students who are interested in the field can gain a great deal of information in a concise manner that will serve as a springboard for further research. It is perhaps this that is the greatest contribution of the book. It is a must-have work for students and scholars of the Civil War and Reconstruction in the Western Theater."— Register of the Kentucky Historical Society" —

"Anyone interested in Kentucky and Tennessee in the Civil War era will enjoy this book. The editors have done a superb job of recruiting authors and assembling good, in some cases outstanding, essays."— Journal of American History" —

"All in all, this is great tour-de-force for those interested in Kentucky and Tennessee history or in the political and social values that impacted those living in 1860 and continue to shape America today."— Journal of America's Military Past" —

"A very good book on the life of the two states during the Civil War, and particularly on the dynamics of secession."— Strategy Page" —

"This collection brings together sixteen essays by leading scholars on the Civil War in Kentucky and Tennessee. It sheds much new light on a region that — while recognized as critically significant during the mid-nineteenth century — is often overlooked in the historiography."— Journal of Southern History" —

"The essays in Sister States, Enemy States persuasively demonstrate that the Civil War was fought not among well-defined classes in the East, but inside the households and farmsteads of the economically hybrid western Upper South. This volume is a must for anyone interested in East Tennessee and in the Civil War in general."— Journal of East Tennessee History" —

"A personal and very readable book that increases our understanding of everyday life during an extraordinary event." —TOCWOC blog" —

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813133829
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 1/14/2011
  • Pages: 402
  • Sales rank: 1,452,292
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kent T. Dollar is assistant professor of history at Tennessee Technological University and author of Soldiers of the Cross: Confederate Soldier-Christians and the Impact of War on their Faith. Larry H. Whiteaker is professor emeritus of history at Tennessee Technological University and author of The Individual and Society in America. W. Calvin Dickinson is professor emeritus of history at Tennessee Technological University and coauthor of Tennessee Tales the Textbooks Don't Tell

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Looking at questions

    For many states, the decision on secession was not an easy one. With strong ties in both directions, the people held split loyalties creating questions with no easy answers. Even after making the decision or having it made for them, problems defying solutions existed. Kentucky and Tennessee went through a particularly difficult time during the Civil War. One seceded and fought with the Confederacy and the other waited to secede after the war ended.
    Collections of essays can be difficult reading unless the editors are careful. Including to wide a range of opinions or trying to cover to much may weaken the book. The editors have avoided these traps producing a cohesive work that captures the diverse experiences of these two states. Organized into sections on secession, the experience of war and war's aftermath we gain a fuller understanding of events. Each section contains five or six essays on an issue or an individual. The editors Introduction and Afterword set the stage and sum up our reading.
    Marion B. Lucas provides a look at Kentucky's Black population in "Freedom is Better than Slavery". Which ties into "After the Horror", B. Franklin Cooling's look at Kentucky after the war. This is just one example of how different essays reinforce each other. More is made of the day-to-day war than the movements of armies or the big battles. The book's emphasis is on bushwhackers, burnt homes and occupation not on Shiloh or Perryville. This excellent idea makes for a personal and very readable book that increases our understanding of everyday life during an extraordinary event.
    Each essay has notes. Most have illustrations. There is a full index and information on the contributors. The paperback has 392 pages and 368 of these pages are text.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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