Friday, February 20, 2009

Civil War Act - 1862 Kentucky

Kentucky proclaimed itself a neutral state during the Civil War, but feelings among its citizens were far from neutral. Openly favoring the Confederate States of America was not acceptable and those who did had to face the consequences. The following Act, issued in 1862, stated that any person who entered into the service of the C.S.A. would no longer be considered a citizen of Kentucky. The Act is transcribed as it appeared in the 30 July 1862 issue of the Weekly Reporter, Henderson, Kentucky.

An Act to amend chapter 15 of the Revised Statutes, entitled “Citizens, Expatriation, and Aliens.”

*1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, That any citizen of this State who shall enter into the service of the so-called Confederate States, in either a civil or military capacity, or into the service of the so-called Provisional Government of Kentucky, in either a civil or military capacity, or having heretofore entered such service of either the Confederate States or Provisional Government, shall continue in such service after this act takes effect, or shall take up or continue in arms against the military forces of the United States or State of Kentucky, or shall give voluntary aid and assistance to those in arms against said forces, shall be deemed to have expatriated himself, and shall no long be a citizen of Kentucky, nor shall he again be a citizen, except by permission of the Legislature by a general or special statue.

*2. That whenever a person attempts or is called on to exercise any of the constitutional or legal rights and privileges belonging only to citizens of Kentucky, he may be required to negative on oath the expatriation provided in the first section of this act, and upon his failure or refusal to do so, shall not be permitted to exercise any such right or privilege.

*3. This act to be of force in 30 days from and after its passage.

Passed and became a law, the objections of the Governor to the contrary notwithstanding, March 11, 1862.

In June 1862, there issued from the Provost Marshall at Paducah to George Huston, Judge of the Union County Court an order that all persons appointed officers of elections must be “good, sound, reliable Union men and loyal Citizens.” When the list of such men was made, it was to be sent to the Provost Marshall for inspection. Candidates who were considered “disloyal” by reason of their allegiance to the C.S.A., were to withdraw from office. The warning was made that “Unless proper attention is paid to this order all concerned will be put under arrest and forwarded to the Headquarters of the U.S. Forces at Louisville. “ Judge Huston considered the situation, declined to comply and resigned his office.

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