“A strange conclusion to a triumphant war”
Marshall, Anne Elizabeth
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This dissertation examines the development of historical memory in Kentucky after theCivil War between 1865 and 1925. At the outbreak of the war, Kentucky first remained neutral,then joined the Union war effort. After the war, however, white Kentuckians appeared toremember the state’s Civil War role as a Confederate state. They embraced the Democraticpolitics, racial violence, and Lost Cause all associated with the Confederacy. They builtConfederate monuments in greater number than Union ones, and seemed to forget about theirUnion loyalties. While white Confederate memory dominated the historical landscape of post-war Kentucky on the surface, a closer look reveals and active political and cultural dialogue thatincluded white Unionists, Confederate Kentuckians, as well as the state’s African Americans,who from the last days of the war, drew on Union victory and their part in winning it to lay claimto the fruits of freedom and citizenship. Rather than focussing exclusively on short-termpolitical and economic factors, this dissertation looks at the long-term cultural practices ofKentuckians through which they recalled the Civil War, as well as how and to what end thesegroups employed their memories of the Civil War in the sixty years following the conflict.