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Lincoln and Bull Nelson

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  • carlw4514@juno.com
    In Mr. Wakefields recent post, he says ... Nelson was from a politically prominent Kentucky family who were early allies of Abraham Lincoln (his brother Tom
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 25, 2001
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      In Mr. Wakefields recent post, he says "... Nelson was from a
      politically prominent Kentucky family who were early
      allies of
      Abraham Lincoln (his brother Tom was named Minister
      to Chile by
      Lincoln). Many months prior to the end of Kentucky
      neutrality William
      Nelson was sent by Lincoln into the state to organize
      and establish
      Camp Dick Robinson which was the central rallying
      place in the state
      for the forces loyal to the Union. ...."

      In a civil war chatroom recently someone made the charge that Lincoln
      and Nelson's activities are regarded by himself and others to have
      been the first violation of Kentucky neutrality, that they were
      bringing in weapons secretly to arm and organize unionist sympathizers
      in violation of Kentucky's wish for neutrality, forcing a
      pro-confederate counter-organization. In a chatroom, it is hard to
      tell how well informed someone is, but it did seem that this person
      was drawing on a concrete source, valid or not. I was wondering if Mr.
      Wakefield or others would have more information on this.

      Carl
    • Bob Huddleston
      Carl, Both sides were arming their partisans and claiming the other side were the bad guys! But both also were careful to keep organized units out of the
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 25, 2001
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        Carl,

        Both sides were arming their partisans and claiming the other side were the
        bad guys!

        But both also were careful to keep organized units out of the state.

        That chat group person sounds like one of those whose side is *always* right
        an the others *always* wrong!

        It is significant that *at the time* both US and CS supporters recognized
        Polk's "invasion" to occupy Columbus as the first violation of Kentucky
        neutrality. Davis did not repudiate his old friend but was regretful. And
        Grant quickly responded to Polk by crossing the Ohio and securing Paducah
        and the surrounding territory. The Kentucky legislature also called on the
        Confederates to withdraw -- but then they were as un-biased as that chat
        group person! Pro-union!

        Of course the entire idea that Kentucky could remain neutral was a farce
        anyway. Grant had been communicating to St. Louis about the wisdom of a
        "pre-emptive" strike to seize Paducah and Columbus before the Confederates
        did.

        Those Kentuckians who were truly on the fence decided that it was the
        Confederates who had broken the neutrality and reacted by throwing their
        support to the Federals.

        Polk's movements were the first demonstration of his incapacity as a
        general. And Grant's quick response (which included a letter to the Kentucky
        legislature) the first demonstration of his ability to take advantage of
        changing circumstances and his willingness to take a risk.

        Lincoln never said it, but the apocryphal story about his response to the
        ministers who wanted him to quickly declare for emancipation because the
        Lord willed it was on the point and showed *his* political abilities: "I
        would like to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky's!"

        Take care,

        Bob

        Judy and Bob Huddleston
        10643 Sperry Street
        Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
        303.451.6276 Adco@...

        SNIP

        In a civil war chatroom recently someone made the charge that Lincoln
        and Nelson's activities are regarded by himself and others to have
        been the first violation of Kentucky neutrality, that they were
        bringing in weapons secretly to arm and organize unionist sympathizers
        in violation of Kentucky's wish for neutrality, forcing a
        pro-confederate counter-organization. In a chatroom, it is hard to
        tell how well informed someone is, but it did seem that this person
        was drawing on a concrete source, valid or not. I was wondering if Mr.
        Wakefield or others would have more information on this.

        Carl
      • Margaret D. Blough
        There is no legal basis of which I am aware for a state to stay neutral when the nation was engaged in hostilities, particular when the national government
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 25, 2001
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          There is no legal basis of which I am aware for a state to stay "neutral"
          when the nation was engaged in hostilities, particular when the national
          government was fighting a rebellion. The argument would run very much
          afoul, IMHO, of the provision in Article VI of the US Constitution, "The
          Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the
          several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both
          of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or
          Affirmation, to support this Constitution." The decision to respect
          Kentucky's "neutrality" was, IMHO, very much a policy choice rather than a
          legal one.

          Regards,

          Margaret
          -------------------------


          Message text written by INTERNET:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
          >Carl,

          Both sides were arming their partisans and claiming the other side were the
          bad guys!

          But both also were careful to keep organized units out of the state.

          That chat group person sounds like one of those whose side is *always*
          right
          an the others *always* wrong!

          It is significant that *at the time* both US and CS supporters recognized
          Polk's "invasion" to occupy Columbus as the first violation of Kentucky
          neutrality. Davis did not repudiate his old friend but was regretful. And
          Grant quickly responded to Polk by crossing the Ohio and securing Paducah
          and the surrounding territory. The Kentucky legislature also called on the
          Confederates to withdraw -- but then they were as un-biased as that chat
          group person! Pro-union!

          Of course the entire idea that Kentucky could remain neutral was a farce
          anyway. Grant had been communicating to St. Louis about the wisdom of a
          "pre-emptive" strike to seize Paducah and Columbus before the Confederates
          did.

          Those Kentuckians who were truly on the fence decided that it was the
          Confederates who had broken the neutrality and reacted by throwing their
          support to the Federals.

          Polk's movements were the first demonstration of his incapacity as a
          general. And Grant's quick response (which included a letter to the
          Kentucky
          legislature) the first demonstration of his ability to take advantage of
          changing circumstances and his willingness to take a risk.

          Lincoln never said it, but the apocryphal story about his response to the
          ministers who wanted him to quickly declare for emancipation because the
          Lord willed it was on the point and showed *his* political abilities: "I
          would like to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky's!"

          Take care,

          Bob<
        • Bob Huddleston
          Margaret, Absolutely! Neutrality was just as legal as secession! : ) All of which shows how screwy and messed up things were! Take care, Bob Judy and Bob
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 25, 2001
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            Margaret,

            Absolutely! Neutrality was just as legal as secession! :>)

            All of which shows how screwy and messed up things were!

            Take care,

            Bob

            Judy and Bob Huddleston
            10643 Sperry Street
            Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
            303.451.6276 Adco@...


            There is no legal basis of which I am aware for a state to stay "neutral"
            when the nation was engaged in hostilities, particular when the national
            government was fighting a rebellion. The argument would run very much
            afoul, IMHO, of the provision in Article VI of the US Constitution, "The
            Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the
            several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both
            of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or
            Affirmation, to support this Constitution." The decision to respect
            Kentucky's "neutrality" was, IMHO, very much a policy choice rather than a
            legal one.

            Regards,

            Margaret
            -------------------------
          • carlw4514@juno.com
            Well, yes, basically the country went to war because there was a constitutional crisis: not all in those days were in agreement whether a state could secede,
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 25, 2001
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              Well, yes, basically the country went to war because there was a
              constitutional crisis: not all in those days were in agreement whether
              a state could secede, or whether it could stay neutral (essentially
              have its own foreign policy, as it were,) and the disagreement came to
              war. That Kentucky thought it could stay neutral implied that it
              agreed that a state could secede. It is especially interesting to
              imagine the war continuing to be fought with Kentucky neutral;
              Arkansas and Virginia proved to be difficult avenues for the invasion
              of the South, and the mechanism for outflanking Confederate forces in
              Tennessee was really Union control and use of the Tennessee and
              Cumberland rivers, both of which go through Kentucky.
              Had Beull or Grant violated Kentucky neutrality first (that they
              were about to do so was Polk's belief,) would Kentuckians have been
              outraged enough to cause the front line for the Confederacy to be the
              Ohio River, as many Confederate strategists desired? Possible, but
              always to be an unknown.

              --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Margaret D. Blough" <102505.271@C...>
              wrote:
              " There is no legal basis of which I am aware for a state to stay
              "neutral" .... "
            • Baron VonTecumseh
              On 25-Feb-01, carlw4514@juno.com wrote: In Mr. Wakefields recent post, he says ... Nelson was from a politically prominent Kentucky family who were early
              Message 6 of 6 , Feb 25, 2001
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                On 25-Feb-01, carlw4514@... wrote:
                In Mr. Wakefields recent post, he says "... Nelson was from a
                politically prominent Kentucky family who were early
                allies of
                Abraham Lincoln (his brother Tom was named Minister
                to Chile by
                Lincoln). Many months prior to the end of Kentucky
                neutrality William
                Nelson was sent by Lincoln into the state to organize
                and establish
                Camp Dick Robinson which was the central rallying
                place in the state
                for the forces loyal to the Union. ...."

                In a civil war chatroom recently someone made the charge that Lincoln
                and Nelson's activities are regarded by himself and others to have
                been the first violation of Kentucky neutrality, that they were
                bringing in weapons secretly to arm and organize unionist sympathizers
                in violation of Kentucky's wish for neutrality, forcing a
                pro-confederate counter-organization. In a chatroom, it is hard to
                tell how well informed someone is, but it did seem that this person
                was drawing on a concrete source, valid or not. I was wondering if Mr.
                Wakefield or others would have more information on this.

                Carl
                I'd like to know,how some one can think they can be neutral in a civil war, I have more respect for South Carolina,than Kentucky. The Baron




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