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"General E.A. Paine in Western Kentucky: Assessing ..." Topic

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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2018 8:27 p.m. PST

…the "Reign of Terror" of the Summer of 1864.

"When General E. A. Paine assumed command of the U.S. Army's District of Western Kentucky at Paducah in the summer of 1864, he faced a defiant populace, a thriving black market and undisciplined troops plagued by low morale. Guerrillas pillaged towns and murdered the vocal few that supported the Union. Paine's task was to enforce discipline and mollify the secessionist majority in a 2,300-square-mile district.
In less than two months, he succeeded where others had failed. For secessionists, his tenure was a "reign of terror"--for the Unionist minority, a "happy and jubilant" time.
An abolitionist, Paine encouraged the enlistment of black troops and fair wages for former slaves. Yet his principled views led to his downfall. Critics and enemies falsified reports, leading to his removal from command and a court-martial. He was exonerated on all but one minor charge yet historians have perpetuated the Paine-the-monster myth. This book tells the complete story"
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