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Lincoln's Forgotten AllyJudge Advocate General Joseph Holt of Kentucky$
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Elizabeth D. Leonard

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835005

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869383_leonard

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Standing For the Union, 1861–1862

Standing For the Union, 1861–1862

Chapter:
(p.113) 4 Standing For the Union, 1861–1862
Source:
Lincoln's Forgotten Ally
Author(s):

Elizabeth D. Leonard

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807869383_leonard.8

This chapter discusses how Attorney General Edwin M. Stanton went to Holt's New Jersey Avenue home near midnight on December 31, 1860 to urge him to accept the position of secretary of war, at least on an interim basis, and to “impress upon him the grave nature of the exigency, and the need of a man in that place” whose Unionism was beyond question. Whatever others may have hoped or expected him to do, when Stanton came by that night, Holt immediately determined to make his stance on the integrity and indivisibility of the United States utterly clear. Certainly, he cherished his roots and family in Kentucky, as well as the many years of life and the multitude of positive experiences he had enjoyed in the South. He was hardly dismissive, either, of the benefits he had accrued in his home state and region, both personally and professionally, thanks at least in part to slavery.

Keywords:   Edwin M. Stanton, Holt, secretary of war, Unionism, Kentucky, slavery

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