Civil War in Tennessee and Kentucky

The featured speaker for the Aug. 20 meeting of the Auburntown Historical Society will be Dr. W. Calvin Dickinson. He will discuss the recently published book Sister States, Enemy States: The Civil War in Kentucky and Tennessee, which he co-edited with two other historians.
“Dr. Dickinson’s presentation to the AHS about historic roadways earlier this year was such a success, the group invited him back to discuss his new book on the Civil War,” said Danny Nichols, president of the Auburntown Historical Society. “We know there is much interest in the Civil War, and we encourage AHS members and visitors alike to attend.”
Socially and politically, the slave states of Tennessee and Kentucky had much in common during the antebellum period. Additionally, during the Deep South's rush to secession in late 1860, strong unionist majorities held sway in both states. Yet, with the firing on Fort Sumter, their fates diverged. Why Tennessee moved toward secession and Kentucky remained in the federal union is just one of the complexities explored in Sister States, Enemy States: The Civil War in Kentucky and Tennessee.
“The book is a collection of essays about when the Civil War erupted and Tennessee chose to secede while Kentucky remained part of the Union,” Dickinson explained. “Loyalties in each state were closely divided between the Union and the Confederacy, making wartime governance, and personal relationships, complex.”
Appointed by the Governor to the Tennessee Historical Commission, Dickinson is professor emeritus at Tennessee Technological University, where he taught history for 30 years until his retirement in 2000. A prolific writer, he has authored dozens of papers and articles on various topics for a large number of journals and publications and is the author or editor of 21 books.
In editing Sister States, Enemy States, Dickinson was joined by colleagues Kent T. Dollar and Larry H. Whiteaker. The book is available on and at Barnes and Noble. Dickinson will have copies to sign at the AHS meeting, which will be held at the Fellowship Hall of Auburntown Church of Christ at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20.
Nichols said that membership in the AHS is open to anyone and is $15 per year. The Society recently published its third book and has hosted a number of lecturers over the past year on a variety of topics at its monthly meetings. For more information visit

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