Response of Kentucky to the Mexican War, 1846 - 1848

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Scholarship on any war naturally tends to center on military events and military personalities. Political history is often mingled with military history as to how the political actions are reflected on the battlefield. Only recently have military historians begun to examine the social ramification of war on the soldiers of the battle front and the civilians of the home front. This study examines the impact of the Mexican War on both the public and private lives of Kentucky citizens. Coming only a little more than a decade before the titanic struggle we call the American Civil War, the Mexican War has been overshadowed by the greater conflict. While some fine overview and good biographies exist, regional and state studies are far more difficult to come by. This study looks at the deeply divided state of Kentucky and its response to the Mexican War. Kentucky’s division reflects the larger American division. Hopefully, more regional and local studies about this critical era in American history will be forthcoming.


"Kentucky became known as a border state during the Civil War, but its divided soul was already evident by the era of the Mexican conflict ... The Korean conflict has been labeled America's 'forgotten war,' but the term can apply to the 1846-48 fight with Mexico as well. There are a few decent books on the subject, but most often it is mentioned in as many studies as merely a prelude to the Civil War. That it was, but it was also important in its own right, both nationally and for Kentucky ... This study is the first book-length treatment of the Bluegrass State's response to the Mexican War and a welcome addition to the literature." - Kenneth H. Williams, Editor, The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Table of Contents

1. A Time of Enthusiasm: The Response of Kentucky to the Call for Troops in the Mexican War
2. A Time for War: Kentucky’s Mexican War Service
3. Trials of Military Service: Kentuckians in the Mexican War
4. A Time to Gain Honor: Kentucky Soldiers in the Mexican War
5. A Time for Maturity: Kentucky Volunteers and Their Attitudes Toward the War, Mexico, and Mexicans
6. The Disintegration of Unity: The Response of Kentucky Politicians to the Mexican War
Appendix and Figures

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