Exhibit Preview - A Local Fight

For many the Civil War conjures up images of huge armies colliding on legendary battlefields such as Gettysburg, Antietam, and Shiloh. Those battles were very real and significant. But Civil War also meant smaller clashes that bitterly divided neighbors in places such as Pilot Knob, Missouri; Lawrence, Kansas; and Goodson, Virginia

  • Who was involved in these fights?

  • How did they start?

  • And how did they help shape the war?

Records from the National Archives document it all—the major battles as well as the skirmishes, guerrilla raids, and occupations in communities with divided loyalties

Proclamation Ordering the Arrest of Confederate Sympathizers

Holding hostages in Kentucky.

Kentucky never formally left the Union, but its population was deeply split. The state declared itself neutral until the Confederates invaded in 1861. Kentucky was accepted into the Confederacy and given a star on the Confederate flag. By 1864 intense Confederate guerrilla activity led Governor Thomas Bramlette to issue this proclamation ordering the arrest of Confederate sympathizers, who were held as hostages in retaliation for the kidnapping of Unionists.

National Archives, Records of U.S. Army Continental Commands, 1821 - 1920

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confederate constitution