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The Great Hog Swindle is the term given to a Union program that purchased hogs from Kentucky farmers during the American Civil War.

According to the Kentucky Encyclopedia, on October 28, 1864, Stephen G. Burbridge, the military commander of Kentucky, issued a proclamation that was designed to get Kentuckians to sell their surplus hogs to the Union government at lower than prevailing prices. Interstate hog shipments were prohibited, permits were required for farmers to drive hogs to market, and other regulations were enforced. The scheme cost Kentucky farmers an estimated $300,000. President Abraham Lincoln ordered the program halted after one month, because it was widely reviled in a state that was at best a hesitant ally of the Union.

Further reading[]

  • Bush, Bryan S. (2008). Butcher Burbridge: Union General Stephen Burbridge and His Reign of Terror Over Kentucky. Morley, Missouri: Acclaim Press. ISBN 0979880254.