The head of WKU's Special Collections, Timothy Mullin talks about the Abraham Lincoln note
A new piece of American history is now on display at the Kentucky Museum, but if you don’t look closely, you might miss it.
The handwritten note from 1864 measures only three inches by three inches, but comes with enormous historical significance. It was written by Abraham Lincoln.
“If it were in anyone else’s hand, it would be insignificant,” said Timothy Mullin, head of the Department of Library Special Collections at WKU. “But because it is Lincoln, and because it refers to the oath and it really is the essence of how he wanted the war to end.”
The note is dated March 31, 1864 and is written on behalf of a Confederate prisoner of war. It indicates that he’s taken an oath of allegiance to the Union and is to be set free.
The Kentucky Museum has several Lincoln artifacts, but Mullin notes, this one is special.
A significant Civil War battle took place in Kentucky on October 8th, 1862. The Battle of Perryville claimed the lives of about 7600 soldiers, and some historians now say the battle was more important than some researchers thought in the past. Dr. Glenn LaFantasie of the WKU Institute for Civil War Studies and WKU Military Historian Dr. Jack Thacker say Confederate forces moved into the state, hoping to get Kentuckians to join their cause.
In his storied career as a federal judge and former director of the FBI and CIA, William Webster was guided partly by the great-grandfather he never knew who died on a Civil War battlefield. His ancestor, Union Col. George Penny Webster, was mortally wounded in savage fighting at the Battle of Perryville on Oct. 8, 1862, the biggest Civil War confrontation in Kentucky.
Eight Civil War battlefields, including three in Kentucky and Tennessee, are receiving more than $2.4 million in grants to help with land acquisition. The National Park Service said the grant money will help in the permanent preservation and protection of the battlefields. This year marks the 150 year anniversary of several important Civil War battles.
As Congress has struggled to move ahead with a variety of legislative packages in recent years, some WKU historians have drawn a contrast between contemporary lawmakers and those who made up the 37th Congress. That Civil War-era group of legislators were successful in passing several significant pieces of legislation at the same time the nation was split by the war between the Union and Confederacy.
Some of the largest troop movements of the American Civil War took place 150 years ago this week. WKU Military Historian Jack Thacker and Dr. Glenn LaFantasie of the WKU Institute for Civil War Studies say the Second Battle of Bull Run was significant for several reasons, including the emergence of Robert E. Lee's strategy for fighting the remainder of the war.
WKU Historians Dr. Jack Thacker and Dr. Glenn LaFantasie say many universities and colleges have cut back on course offerings that cover Civil War history. They say its part of a trend that's disappointing to many people who have a strong interest in the field, especially as the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
150 Years ago Union and Confederate forces were involved in some bloody fighting that became known as the "Peninsula Campaign." The Union developed a plan to attack the Confederate Capital of Richmond, Virginia, but a combination of factors, including indecisive command decisions, kept the North from succeeding with that plan. This fighting led to the emergence of Confederate Commander Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia, according to WKU historians Dr. Glenn LaFantasie and Dr. Jack Thacker.