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Despite Kentucky's aim to keep a neutral position in the Civil War and Paducah's Confederate tendencies, the Union captured the town soon after Confederate troops occupied Columbus. As a result, the Tennessee River and the Cumberland River became permeable entry points for infiltrating farther south and maintaining supply lines deep into Confederate states. That strategic advantage was halted when Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest invaded the town during the Battle of Paducah. Ultimately, a combination of guerrilla warfare tactics and General Eleazer Paine's Reign of Terror contributed to the Union's final victory over Paducah. Historian John Cashon recounts the tumultuous struggle for Paducah during the War Between the States.
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