Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tech Professors Edit History Book

Three Tennessee Tech University professors have edited a new book exploring the way the Civil War changed the relationship between the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. Kent Dollar, Larry Whiteaker, and W. Calvin Dickinson have put out a book called "Sister States, Enemy States." It's available from the University Press of Kentucky. The publisher says rather than focusing on the military campaigns or war heroes, this volume delves into the social, political, and economic issues which arose from the war, looking at both the similarities and key differences between these two states. Scholars such as Thomas C. Mackey, Robert Tracy McKenzie, and John D. Fowler explore the secession movement in both states, looking into divided loyalties, sectional divides within each state, and the political debates that roiled each legislature. Once the war started, it had a profound impact on various groups within each state. Kenneth W. Noe examines a group of Union soldiers from central Tennessee who literally took up arms against their brothers. Brain D. McKnight looks at the guerrilla movement by focusing on the exploits of Champ Ferguson. Likewise, the plight of African Americans and refugees are examined by Marion B. Lucas and Richard D. Sears respectively. As the war was ending, Lincoln looked to Tennessee as a model for how all other Confederate states could be readmitted to the Union, while Kentucky—never fully trusted by either Union or Confederate leaders—experienced a more difficult transition. Jonathan M. Atkins, Ben H. Severance, and B. Franklin Cooling each look at various aspects of reconstruction in each state, while Dollar and Dickinson examine the war’s impact on the lives of those who fought.