Friday, October 21, 2016

Booknotes: Paducah and the Civil War

New Arrival:
Paducah and the Civil War
by John Philip Cashon (Arcadia Pub and The Hist Pr, 2016).

Paducah, Kentucky first came to national attention during the Civil War when the river town was seized by Union forces in the wake of the Confederate occupation of Columbus. U.S. control of Paducah and nearby Smithfield, and thus ready access to the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, is often interpreted as largely negating any advantage the Confederate might have gained from holding Columbus. As the war spread south, Paducah largely moved into the background, only to reemerge into the limelight briefly during Forrest's 1864 raid on the town. As far as I know, Cashon's study is the first book length study of Paducah's Civil War history. Chapters cover the early occupation period, the role of Paducah resident Cesar Kaskel in getting Grant's infamous General Orders No. 11 rescinded, the 1864 Paducah battle, and Union general Eleazer Paine's harsh military rule.

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