20 Facts About Basil Duke


Basil Wilson Duke was a Confederate general officer during the American Civil War.

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Basil Duke's most noted service in the war was as second-in-command for his brother-in-law John Hunt Morgan; Duke later wrote a popular account of Morgan's most famous raid: 1863's Morgan's Raid.

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Basil Duke took over Morgan's command after Morgan was shot by Union soldiers in 1864.

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Basil Duke's lasting impact was as a historian and communicator of the Confederate experience.

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Basil Duke wrote numerous books and magazine articles, most notably in the Southern Bivouac.

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Duke's parents died during his childhood: Mary, when Basil was eight, and Nathaniel when Basil was 11; save for an instance in his Reminiscences, he seldom mentioned them.

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Basil Duke attended Georgetown College and Centre College, before studying law at Lexington, Kentucky's Transylvania University.

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Basil Duke quickly became the leader, despite being only 23 years old.

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Basil Duke formed the organization into five companies and sought to acquire the federal arsenal in St Louis for the secessionist movement.

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Basil Duke made a habit of placing secessionist flags at prominent locations, looking to start fights with pro-Union forces.

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Basil Duke was indicted for arson and treason but managed to escape back into Kentucky.

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Once back to Lexington, Kentucky, Basil Duke married Henrietta Hunt Morgan, sister of John Hunt Morgan.

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Basil Duke was with Jefferson Davis shortly after the Confederate President fled Richmond.

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Basil Duke loved fighting, was steadfast during difficult moments in conflicts, and was described as a "spit-and-polish" officer.

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Basil Duke returned to practicing law later that year, with his primary client being the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.

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Basil Duke served as the Fifth Judicial District's commonwealth attorney from 1875 to 1880.

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Basil Duke became greatly involved in writing the history of the Civil War and related topics.

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Basil Duke helped to found Louisville's Filson Club in 1884, writing many of their early papers.

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Basil Duke was named in the plot to assassinate the posthumously inaugurated State Governor, William Goebel for having allegedly attended a clandestine meeting at Galt House prior to the then state representative's untimely death, along with the U S Senator representing Kentucky, William Joseph Deboe, the 27th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky, John Marshall, John McDougal Atherton, Alexander Pope Humphrey, and David W Fairleigh.

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Basil Duke was buried beside his wife in front of the John Hunt Morgan grave in the Hunt family plot in Lexington Cemetery.

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