Josie discovered that the major topic of conversation in her hometown, as in Memphis, concerned the pros and cons of secession upon her return to Bowling Green. She repeated the fears and opinions expressed by her parents and praised the attempts of rational residents to curb the growing hostility to her friends. Josie lamented the refusal of others to measure their words in light of their explosive potential. The April 12 firing on Charleston's Fort Sumter marked the beginning of war, and throughout the summer Kentucky's opposition to secession increased, as did the fear of invasion. Kentucky's governor and the legislature proclaimed that the Bluegrass State would never send troops to fight against its southern sisters; the commonwealth would remain neutral.
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