In Kentucky, the winter of 1861 through the fall of 1862 was quite an exciting period. The history books tell of battles at places like Middle Creek, Wildcat Mountain, Mill Springs, and Perryville. Family legends tell of fathers fighting against sons, brothers against brothers, and entire families being torn apart by the American Civil War.
Civil War heroes were born and retired during this time as well. Men like Robert Anderson and Felix Zollicoffer saw their military careers come to an end and sometimes tragically while other men like John Hunt Morgan and Don Carlos Buell caught the spark that launched them to fame or infamy depending on one’s perspective.
There is a little understood campaign that has rested quietly in the background of all of this. A campaign that, had it played out as designed, would have ended the American Civil War far earlier than our history books teach us. It was a campaign built on the foundation of liberty and salvation. It was a campaign with a singular geographic objective in mind but the taking of that objective would have effectively meant control of half of Tennessee and the fate of the Army of Northern Virginia. In this space the reader will learn about the 1862 Cumberland Gap campaign.