Civil War Turmoil
and a surprise GiveawayThe phrase “brother against brother” is often associated with the Civil War. The Crittenden family of Kentucky knew its meaning firsthand.
Brothers George Bibb Crittenden and Thomas Leonidas Crittenden fought on opposite sides of the conflict, and both rose to the rank of major general, Thomas for the North, George for the South.
|Gen. George B. Crittenden
start of the Civil War.
As a Confederate officer, he rose to the rank of major general in less than a year and commanded the District of East Tennessee. However, he was later transferred away from the front lines and then court-martialed because of a drinking problem. George resigned from the army, but later returned to it and fought the last part of the Civil War as an enlisted soldier.
Thomas, his younger brother, also had some rough spots in his military career. He had been a lawyer, and served as an aide to General Zachary Taylor during the Mexican War. Afterward, he served as U.S. consul in England. He stuck with the U.S. Army during the Civil War. In 1860 he was made a brigadier general of volunteers and commanded a division of the Army of Ohio. After serving with distinction at Shiloh, he was promoted to major general of volunteers. He served well at the Battle of Stones River and the Battle of Murfreesboro.
|Gen. Thomas L. Crittenden
portrait by Matthew Brady
Kentucky was a border state, and while families in every state were divided, Kentucky was perhaps one of the worst, so far as torn loyalties went. Another family deeply affected was the Breckenridge family. Robert Breckenridge had two sons fighting for the North and two for the South. Kentucky statesman Henry Clay had three grandsons fighting for the Union and four for the Confederacy.
|Photo by Charles Edward via Wikimedia Commons
About 100,000 men from Kentucky served in the Union Army, including almost 24,000 African Americans. The estimated number of Kentucky men who fought for the Confederate Army ranges from 25,000 to 40,000. The psychological toll on families divided in their loyalties can only be imagined.
One more example of a divided Kentucky family: in mid-1862, General Benjamin Helm took command of the First Kentucky Brigade. He died of his wounds received at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863. President Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky. Confederate General Helm was President Lincoln’s brother-in-law.
I’m now researching some aspects of the Civil War for an upcoming book. My Wyoming Brides novels take place just before and during in this period. Today’s giveaway is a copy of Protecting Amy, my first-ever published book, in either paperback or digital form. The winner will be chosen by random draw on Saturday (Oct. 26). To enter, comment here.
Susan Page Davis is the author of more than forty published novels. A history major, she’s always interested in the unusual happenings of the past. She’s a two-time winner of the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award, and also a winner of the Carol Award and the Will Rogers Medallion, and a finalist in the WILLA Awards and the More Than Magic Contest. Visit her website at: www.susanpagedavis.com .