By Jonathan Dean Sarris
Most american citizens give some thought to the Civil battle as a chain of dramatic clashes among big armies led by way of romantic-seeming leaders. yet within the Appalachian groups of North Georgia, issues have been very varied. targeting Fannin and Lumpkin counties within the Blue Ridge Mountains alongside Georgia’s northern border, A Separate Civil warfare: groups in clash within the Mountain South argues for a extra localized, idiosyncratic knowing of this momentous interval in our nation’s background. The ebook unearths that, for lots of individuals, this struggle was once fought much less for summary ideological reasons than for purposes tied to domestic, relatives, pals, and community.
Making use of a big trove of letters, diaries, interviews, govt files, and sociological facts, Jonathan Dean Sarris brings to lifestyles a formerly obscured model of our nation’s so much divisive and harmful conflict. From the outset, the chance of secession and warfare divided Georgia’s mountain groups alongside the traces of race and faith, and battle itself in simple terms heightened those tensions. because the accomplice govt started to draft males into the military and grab offers from farmers, many mountaineers turned extra disaffected nonetheless. They banded jointly in armed squads, battling off accomplice infantrymen, country armed forces, and their very own pro-Confederate associates. a neighborhood civil warfare ensued, with either side seeing the opposite as a chance to legislation, order, and group itself. during this very own clash, either factions got here to dehumanize their enemies and use tools that surprised even pro infantrymen with their savagery. but if the conflict was once over in 1865, each one faction sought to sanitize the previous and combine its tales into the nationwide myths later popularized in regards to the Civil battle. by way of arguing that the cause of deciding upon aspects had extra to do with neighborhood matters than with competing ideologies or social or political visions, Sarris provides a much-needed difficulty to the query of why males fought within the Civil War.
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Additional resources for A Separate Civil War: Communities in Conflict in the Mountain South
On a visit to Enchanted Mountain, Stephenson described a barren, beautiful landscape, populated by none but Indian ghosts and wild animals. The capstone of the trip was the discovery of ancient Cherokee footprints left in the stone, some of which, Stephenson claimed, measured over seventeen inches and contained six toes (“a descendant of Titan,” the good doctor asserted). ” 46 Thus, during the decade before the Civil War, Lumpkin County residents, and especially Dahlonegans, had achieved a degree of commercial development and gentrification quite at odds with their frontier roots.
Whether they worked on farms or in households, in town or in the countryside, most black highlanders suffered the harshest aspects of bondage at one time or another. “Old Marster . . ” Although some masters reserved whippings for certain identifiable infractions (stealing, running away), arbitrary punishments were not uncommon. indb 25 4/24/06 11:15:03 AM 26 / A Separate Civil War “if you crossed him or Mistress . . ” Of the punishments themselves, enslaved mountaineers later spoke in horrifying detail.
The majority of Fannin and Lumpkin residents shared similar work patterns, religious beliefs, and political allegiances.