May 16, 1861 • Neutrality resolution adopted by Unionist-dominated legislature, though governor Beriah Magoffin was an advocate of secession.
May 20, 1861 • Kentucky, trying to remain neutral in the American Civil War, issues a proclamation asking both sides to stay off Kentucky soil.
May 29–31, 1861 • Delegates from 5 Jackson Purchase counties meet in Mayfield along with delegates of 12 Tennessee counties to discuss secession, but the plan is abandoned following Tennessee's secession.
September 3, 1861• Confederates under Leonidas Polk occupied Columbus, essentially ending Kentucky's bid for neutrality.
December 10, 1861 • Although Kentucky did not secede, a shadow government formed that favored secession. On this date the shadow government's hopes resulted in the Confederacy accepting Kentucky as its 13th Confederate state.
Yonkers, Charles E. "The Civil War Transformation of George W. Smith: How a Western Kentucky Farmer Evolved from Unionist Whig to Pro-Southern Democrat." The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society (2005): 661-690. in JSTOR
Hardin, Elizabeth Pendleton. The Private War of Lizzie Hardin: A Kentucky Confederate Girl's Diary of the Civil War in Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia (Kentucky Historical Society, 1963)
Peter, Frances Dallam. A Union Woman in Civil War Kentucky: The Diary of Frances Peter (University Press of Kentucky, 2015)
Reinhart, Joseph R., ed. Two Germans in the Civil War: The Diary of John Daeuble and the Letters of Gottfried Rentschler, 6th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry (University of Tennessee Press, 2004)