Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Trip to "Dixie"

From the Covington Journal of July 20, 1861. This paper made no secret that its sympathies lie with the South, and this article, listed as "correspondence of the Journal" is no different, but in the second paragraph it does mention Union supporters favoring staying in the Union while their property was protected. In Anne Marshall's Creating a Confederate Kentucky, the author pointed out that many Kentuckians had similar feelings and when Abraham Lincoln released the Emancipation Proclamation (referring to a specific kind of property, though it did not take affect in Kentucky), some Kentuckians felt betrayed and that's when the transformation of Kentucky's image into a Southern state began. In that regard, the author of this article does make an important observation.

We took the cars at Covington, thinking to pass through the interior of the State, and see how things were politically, agriculturally, &c. At almost every station our numbers were increased by way passengers, including many young men whose sympathies and feelings are with the Southern people and their cause, and hence were leaving home and friends to war for what they consider a just cause.

On our trip through the State we met with many Union men, and many more who were for Southern rights.  The Union men expressed themselves for the Union as long as their property can be protected, and as long as Kentucky maintains the position she now occupies; but when these are gone and they are compelled to decide either for the North or the South, they are almost unanimously in favor of our State taking part with her sister States of the South.

At Louisville we were met by hundreds of men who received us with open arms, and extended to us the hospitality of their houses. At 12 A.M. we took the cars, and the train moved off amid loud and prolonged cheering, with as manly and clever a set of Kentuckians as one could wish to see. Not much sleeping was done that night, but instead long yarns were spun and sweet songs sung.

The next morning when the smiling orb of day had dissolved the darkness, we looked out upon green fields and flourishing crops of corn, while shocks of smaller grain were standing thick upon the ground. In all that country, crops are said to be as fine as they have ever been known.

At Russellville we were greeted with a warm welcome, the ladies participating and presenting the "boys" with Confederate flags or bouquets.

At Haydensville we changed cars, it being the nearest place to the State line, and the rolling stock of the road not being permitted to go beyond the line for fear it might be held by the Tennesseans as contraband. Here the depot is filled with contraband goods - whisky (sic), pork, boxes, bales, &c., seized by a U.S. officer placed at this point for that purpose. 

A ride of five miles beyond the State line brought us to "Camp Boone." As we made our way from the cars we were greeted by the smiling faces and cordial welcomes of quite a number of our friends. The camp is situated about one mile from the railroad, in a beautiful grove, having a gradual slope, and extending to a cool and nicely shaded creek. 

After exchanging greetings, we were conducted to our quarters and requested to make our toilet for dinner (a toilet in camp without soap, water, comb or looking-glass was easily made.) The dinner was prepared by Messrs. Campbell and Herbst and to your humble servant it was quite palatable. Bill of Fare - Boiled beans, boiled pork, fried pork, potatoes, onions &c. We congratulated our friends for the proficiency they had attained in the culinary art, in so short a time.

After dinner we took a stroll around the camp. The grounds are of sufficient capacity to accommodate from five to seven thousand men. The camp seemed like a village, with its many tents and wide streets crossing each other at right angles. In front of the quarters of each company there is sufficient space for the forming of the company or for squad drill. The tents are all new and white, the straw sweet and fresh, the blankets clean and large, and provisions bountifully supplied. The boys all have the impress of health upon them, and say they would not exchange their present mode of life for any they have ever indulged in.

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