A couple of years ago, the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition contacted libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies across the United States in the course of a nationwide search for documents related to Kentucky’s five wartime governors, Union and Confederate. The project received many intriguing research leads and many more kind responses with best wishes for our project. The 10,000 digitized and searchable Civil War-era documents have now been made available on their new website (http://discovery.civilwargovernors.org). The site lets readers explore the lives of everyday people in a society torn by conflict.
The next phase of the project is to annotate every person, place, and organization found in each of these documents to assemble those annotations into a massive biographical glossary and interconnected social network. This ambitious goal of locating, researching, and connecting hundreds of thousands of historical individuals, businesses, military units, and places will only be possible with collaboration from libraries, universities, and networks of local and family historians across Kentucky and the United States.
For that reason, we ask you to review the new Civil War Governors site for connections to your own collections, community, and mission. Ohio researchers may be interested in a Cincinnati rebel raising a company of Union scouts to defend against guerrilla invasion, an Ohio soldier explaining his grievance with Salmon Chase, or Governor Anderson’s requisition for a fugitive on a murder charge.
Please share Civil War Governors with interested researchers you know, and contact Assistant Editor Whitney Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or comments to help improve the site. The Kentucky Historical Society hopes that Civil War Governors will not just be a research resource but also a vehicle for continued exploration of the past to better understand our shared present and future.