Kentucky’s Neutrality Violated
When the crisis over secession had occurred earlier in 1861, Kentucky could not make a choice. It was a border state, and their sympathies were divided between North and South. So they issued a Declaration of Neutrality, declaring that they would remain aloof from the Civil War which was occurring.
This neutrality was preserved for several months, but it came to an end 150 years ago today. The Confederate General Polk ordered troops to occupy Columbus, on the Mississippi River. Union gun boats were gathering in the area, and he gave as reason for the movement the fact that the town needed to be defended. In response to this movement the Union commanders ordered General Grant to occupy Paducah. The Civil War in Kentucky had officially begun.