During the Civil War, the majority of Kentuckians supported the Union, but one part of the state presented a striking exception. The Jackson Purchase—bounded by the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the north, and the Tennessee River to the east—fought hard for separation and secession, and produced eight times more Confederates than Union soldiers. Supporting states’ rights and slavery, these eight counties in the westernmost part of the commonwealth were so pro-Confederate that the Purchase was dubbed “the South Carolina of Kentucky.”
Berry Craig, professor of history at West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah, is the author of several books, including Hidden History of Western Kentucky. He lives in Mayfield, Kentucky.
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