An interesting question and I think you have to All I need today is a little bit of Kentucky and a whole lot of Jesus shirt know a lot about Kentucky to understand the answer. Kentucky was split on slavery for cultural and religious reasons. The mountain counties of eastern Kentucky and the counties in northern Kentucky did not really mesh well with the plantation culture of the bluegrass and western Kentucky. In many ways, it was similar to what happened in Virginia when West Virginia broke away. There is a novel called “The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come “which is really an awful book but it illustrates the divide very well. The protagonist raised in the mountains travels to the Bluegrass is taken in by an aristocratic family and falls in love. When the war breaks out he has to choose which side he will sign up with. In the end, primarily because of religious reasons,
He enlists in the Union army There was a similar divide in All I need today is a little bit of Kentucky and a whole lot of Jesus shirt Tennessee where the mountain counties of East Tennessee tended to be unionists while the rest of the state was secessionist. An excellent book on the topic is William Davis, “The Orphan Brigade: The Kentucky Confederates who could not go home. “ Any biography of Cassius Marcellus Clay, the outspoken and militant Kentucky abolitionist, would also be helpful in understanding this gloriously contradictory state. Interestingly, the divide continued in voting patterns after the war. Some of the mountain counties were rockribbed Republican counties from 1860 until the 1930s.