TIP# 61 - CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR WINNERS FROM KY AND A LOOK AT EARLY POLITICAL PARTIES IN KY:
The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration bestowed by the United States Government for extraordinary personal heroism. It has been awarded since 1861 and here are those who have won this medal from Kentucky 1861 to 1900 (must have been born or actually resided in KY). It will shown the name of the soldier, city/county of residence, the date and place of action resulting in this commendation. All served US Army unless otherwise noted.
Bell, Col J Franklin Shelbyville 9 Sept 1899 Porac, Philippines
Black, Cpt William P Woodford Co 7 Mar 1862 Pea Ridge, AR
Callahan, Pvt John H Shelby Co 9 Apr 1865; Ft Blakley, AL
Cruse, Lt Thomas Owensboro 17 July 1882; Big Dry Fork, AZ
Darrough, Sgt John S Mason Co 10 Oct 1864; Eastport, MS
Davis, Pvt John Carroll Co 17 June 1865; Culloden, GA
Day, Sgt William L Barren Co 12 Apr 1875; Apache War
Given, Cpl John J Daviess Co 12 July 1870; Wichita River, TX
Hardaway, Lt Benjamin
Franklin Benleyville 1 July 1898; El Caney, Cuba
Harris, Pvt William M Madison Co 25-26 June 1876; Little Big Horn, MT
Holt, George, USN KY 3 July 1871; U S S Plymouth - Quarter Gunner
William H Newport 21 May 1862; Corinth, MS
Hudson, Pvt Aaron R Madison Co 17 June 1865; Culloden, GA
Hughes, Cpl Oliver Clinton Co 26 June 1864; Weldon RR, VA
Kerr, Cpt John B Fayette Co 1 Jan 1891; White River, SD
Mattingly, Pvt Henry B Marion Co 1 Sept 1864; Jonesboro, GA
McDonald, Pvt Franklin Bowling
M Green 31 Aug 1872; Ft Griffin, TX
McMillen, Sgt Francis M Bracken 2 Apr 1865; Petersburg, VA
Nash, Pvt James J Louisville 1 July 1898; Santiago, Cuba
Rood, Pvt Oliver P Frankfort 3 July 1863; Gettysburg, PA
Scott, Pvt Georg D Lancaster 25-26 June 1876; Little Big Horn MT
Shaw, Sgt Thomas Covington 12 Aug 1881; Cairezo Canyon, NM
Steinmetz, Pvt William Newport 22 May 1863; Vicksburg, MS
Stevens, Pvt Thomas W Madison Co 25-26 June 1876; Little Big Horn, MT
Sullivan, Pvt Thomas Covington 20 Oct 1870; Chirichua Mountains, AZ
Voit, Saddler Otto Louisville 25 June, 1876; Little Big Horn, MT
Weston, Maj John F Louisville 13 Apr 1865; Westkumpa, AL
Williamson, Col James A Columbia 29 Dec 1862; Chickasaw-Bayou, MS
Woods, Sgt Brent Pulaski Co 19 Aug 1881, Cairezo Canyon, NM
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY:
In reading through the biographies of the early Kentuckians, it quickly becomes quite obvious that politics played an important role in their lives. Here is just a thumb-nail sketch of the Democratic party. Democrats have tended to be the dominating party in Kentucky almost from its birth of a state in 1792. Early Kentuckians seemed to be categorized as Whigs (which came out of Alexander's Federalists) and Thomas Jefferson's anti-Federalist Republicans, who became known as Democrat-Republicans - then eventually just Democrats. The Kentucky Resolutions spelled out, in 1798, the general "doctrines" of the Democratic party as written by Jefferson and John Breckinridge. Kentucky Democrats were generally pro-slavery; they felt that the least amount of government was the best government; and felt that the local and state government was the "soundest." Until the era of Andrew Jackson (1828) Kentucky Democrats seemed to favor Jefferson, Madison and Monroe. With the election of Jackson, the party dropped the "Republican" portion of their name.When the Civil War erupted, Kentucky's Democrats and the Whigs, along with their successors, the Know-Nothings were divided on the question of slavery. The Civil War widened the split among the Democrats where, in the western and southern portions of Kentucky and parts of Central Kentucky, pro-Confederate support was strong.
However, after the Civil War, Kentucky went through a period of sympathy for the Confederate cause including resentment of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. After the 13th Amendment was enacted, Kentucky Democrats realized a surge of popularity. But, former Confederate officers swept elections across the state of Kentucky and for the next 30 years, Republicans ruled in the areas where the Democratic party was split on issues.
The next major split came when the Democrats divided camps into the Bourbons and the New Departures. The Bourbons did not accept the loss of their slaves and had difficulty in handling economic conditions after the Civil War. They were anti-black, anti-tax, anti-industry and anti-progress to quote the Kentucky Encyclopedia. The Bourbons owned most of the tollways at this time and they fought out against state construction of freeways and weren't too happy about the railroad. The New Departures were spearheaded with leaders such as Henry Watterson, editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal. They favored close market ties with the industrial north, and development of new industries in KY. They urged fair treatment of the freed slave. Despite their splits, the Democratic party dominated State elections from the Civil War until 1895.
THE REPUBLICAN PARTY:
"The party of Lincoln" is the title often ascribed to the Republican Party. It resulted from the bitter divisions created by the Civil War. Many Kentuckians became embittered with the Democratic party because of injustices they felt had occurred - martial law remaining too long after the close of the Civil War, uncompensated economic losses, partianship in the administration of military justice were just a few of the "problem areas". The eastern and southeastern mountain area of Kentucky offered the greatest resistance to slavery. Floyd, Magoffin and Breathitt Counties were the only counties that were not strongly Union. This area soon became a strong-hold of Republicans. Republicans were often called radicals during the Civil War and brought into their ranks adherents of the Whigs, Know-Nothings and Opposition parties. It was not until 1871 when the Kentucky Republicans made a serious bid for governor when Harlan ran - a Louisville lawyer and a former Whig. He lost by a resounding number against Gov. Preston H Leslie, formerly of Glasgow, Barren Co. William O'Connell Bradley was the first successful Republic candidate who made it to office in 1895.
Mentioned above were several other parties.
The Whigs was a party that aligned themselves on the Colonial side against the British in the Revolutionary War. This term carried into the campaign of Andrew Jackson when anyone against Jackson's principles was known as a Whig. They were considered conservatives.
Know-Nothings were prominent during the 1850's whose members wanted the government controlled by native born citizens only. They acquired their nickname by professing to know nothing about their party's principles or activities.
A Federalist was one who endorsed the adoption of the Federal Constitution - thus an Anti-Federalist was opposed to same.
(c) Copyright 24 June 1997, Sandra K Gorin, All rights reserved. email@example.com