Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Perryville in Boyle County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Soldiers’ Reaction to Lincoln's Emancipation

 
 
Soldiers' Reaction To Lincoln's Emancipation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 18, 2011
1. Soldiers' Reaction To Lincoln's Emancipation Marker
Inscription. Whether a soldier was Union or Confederate in his loyalties during the Civil War, there was not a unified reaction to Abraham Lincolnís preliminary or official Emancipation Proclamation. The individual reaction varied on either side of this struggle, both north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Southern Views

President Lincolnís Government seems to have exercised its ingenuity to dispel any such delusion. Its acts demonstrate clearly that the purpose is to subjugate us, confiscate our property, and emancipate our slaves. To attain this end the plainest provisions of the Constitution have been disregarded ÖIt has been superseded by the most odious despotism. If doubt can have lingered in the mind of any of this point it must be removed by President Lincolnís proclamation of the 22d instant. He not only declares his purpose to emancipate our slaves, but commands his officers, civil, military, and naval, to recognize and maintain their freedom.
– Major General Samuel Jones, Department of East Tennessee, September 30, 1862

The paramount causes which have controlled and influenced my conduct and opinions were love for the Union and an unshaken confidence that we had the best Constitution and Government in the world; but of all the acts of despotism of which the civil war in which
Emancipation Proclamation Markers image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 18, 2011
2. Emancipation Proclamation Markers
we are now engaged has been the prolific source there is not one which in the slightest-degree equals the atrocity and barbarism of Mr. Lincolnís proclamation, At one blow it deprives all the citizens of the slave States without distinction of the right to hold slaves, a right guaranteed by the very Constitution he pretends to uphold.

If you would save yourselves from a species of carnage unexampled in the history of North America, but unequivocally invited in Mr. Lincolnís proclamation, let every man who is able to fight buckle on his armor, and without awaiting the slow and tedious process of conscription, at once volunteer to aid in the struggle against him.

– Honorable Thomas A. R. Nelson to the People of East Tennessee, October 3, 1862.

Northern Views

Sister, you may think the above a singular confession for a Federal soldier but it is true. I enlisted to fight for the Union and the Constitution but Lincoln puts a different construction on things and now has us Union men fighting for his Abolition Platform, and this making us a hord [sic] of Subjugators, house burners, negro thieves, and devastators of private property.
– John T. Harrington, 22nd Kentucky Union Infantry Regiment, January 9, 1863

The boys are willing to fight for the Constitution, the glorious old Constitution, under
Hon. Thomas A. R. Nelson of Tenn. image. Click for full size.
circa 1865
3. Hon. Thomas A. R. Nelson of Tenn.
Library of Congress [LC-DIG-cwpbh-02118]
which we have acquired such a high position among the “nations on earth,” and if the abolition of slavery comes as a natural result of the war, all right, but if it is the intention of the Government [to] wage the war especially for the abolition of slavery, they are down on it.

– An anonymous soldier in the 81st Indiana, Daily Ledger, New Albany, Indiana.

It is difficult to see how they [the Confederates] can get out of the state without being utterly routed, if not utterly destroyed. Lincolnís emancipation proclamation makes them utterly desperate and if crushed now will never rise again here.

– Surgeon Stephen O. Himoe, 15th Wisconsin Infantry, letter to his wife about the battle of Perryville, Kentucky, October 10, 1862.

(sidebar)
Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail

1809 Abraham Lincoln born at Sinking Spring farm, in present-day Larue County, Kentucky.
1816 Lincoln family moved from Kentucky.
1841 Abraham Lincoln visited his friend Joshua Speed at Farmington, the Speed family plantation, in Louisville, Kentucky.
1842 Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd of Lexington, Kentucky.
1847 The Lincoln family visited Lexington, Kentucky, en route to Abrahamís only term in Congress.
1860 Abraham Lincoln elected
Portrait of Lieut. Gen. Leonidas Polk, officer of the Confederate Army image. Click for full size.
By Brady National Photographic Art Gallery, circa 1860
4. Portrait of Lieut. Gen. Leonidas Polk, officer of the Confederate Army
Library of Congress [LC-DIG-cwpb-06714]
President of the United States in November.
1865 Abraham Lincoln assassinated at Fordís Theatre in Washington, D.C.

www.kylincolntrail.com www.heritage.ky.gov www.kylincolntrail.org www.history.ky.gov www.transportation.ky.gov
A project of the Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission produced by the Kentucky Heritage Council in partnership with the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

 
Erected by Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial.
 
Location. 37° 40.486′ N, 84° 58.221′ W. Marker is in Perryville, Kentucky, in Boyle County. Marker can be reached from Park Road 0.3 miles west of Battlefield Road (Kentucky Route 1920). Click for map. Located in Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Perryville KY 40468, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Perryvile and the Emancipation Proclamation (here, next to this marker); Squire Henry P. Bottom (within shouting distance of this marker); Perryville Confederate Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Cemetery (within shouting distance of this
President Lincoln and his cabinet: in council, Sep 22, 1862. Adopting the Emancipation Proclamation image. Click for full size.
By Currier & Ives, circa 1876
5. President Lincoln and his cabinet: in council, Sep 22, 1862. Adopting the Emancipation Proclamation
Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-7275]
marker); Perryville Battlefield (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battle of Perryville (within shouting distance of this marker); Army of the Ohio (within shouting distance of this marker); Union Monument (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Perryville.
 
More about this marker. On the lower right are three images with the captions:

From the fact that all accounts agree in the great demoralization of Buellís army, arising from Lincolnís proclamation, and that putting it in motion is a measure of safety to him [Lincoln]. This does not look very promising for their cause. The information is furnished you for what it is worth.

–Letter from Major General Leonidas Polk to General Braxton Bragg, September 20, 1862, Bardstown, Kentucky.

Major General Leonidas Polk Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

The Honorable Thomas A. R. Nelson, a Unionist Tennessee congressman, was arrested by Confederate troops and became a prisoner of war in Richmond, Virginia, in 1861. This occurred following his reelection to Congress and while en route to Washington, D.C. He was paroled and allowed to return home to Tennessee. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

A Currier & Ives lithograph, circa 1876, depicting, “President Lincoln and his cabinet: In council, Sept. 22nd 1862, Adopting the Emancipation Proclamation, issued Jany. 1st 1863.” Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
 
Also see . . .
1. Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. Kentucky Department of Parks (Submitted on August 22, 2011.) 

2. Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail. (Submitted on August 22, 2011.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 880 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement