By Jonathan Dean Sarris
Most american citizens give some thought to the Civil warfare as a sequence of dramatic clashes among tremendous armies led through romantic-seeming leaders. yet within the Appalachian groups of North Georgia, issues have been very assorted. targeting Fannin and Lumpkin counties within the Blue Ridge Mountains alongside Georgia’s northern border, A Separate Civil battle: groups in clash within the Mountain South argues for a extra localized, idiosyncratic figuring out of this momentous interval in our nation’s background. The booklet unearths that, for lots of individuals, this conflict used to be fought much less for summary ideological reasons than for purposes tied to domestic, kinfolk, associates, and community.
Making use of a big trove of letters, diaries, interviews, govt files, and sociological information, Jonathan Dean Sarris brings to lifestyles a formerly obscured model of our nation’s so much divisive and harmful struggle. From the outset, the chance of secession and warfare divided Georgia’s mountain groups alongside the traces of race and faith, and warfare itself merely 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, combating off accomplice infantrymen, kingdom armed forces, and their very own pro-Confederate associates. a neighborhood civil battle ensued, with both sides seeing the opposite as a risk to legislations, order, and neighborhood itself. during this very own clash, either factions got here to dehumanize their enemies and use equipment that surprised even pro infantrymen with their savagery. but if the conflict used to be over in 1865, every one faction sought to sanitize the earlier and combine its tales into the nationwide myths later popularized concerning the Civil battle. via arguing that the cause of opting for aspects had extra to do with neighborhood issues than with competing ideologies or social or political visions, Sarris provides a much-needed hassle to the query of why males fought within the Civil War.
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Additional info for A Separate Civil War: Communities in Conflict in the Mountain South
Indb 24 4/24/06 11:15:03 AM Mountain Neighbors / 25 children were taken in by their masters and mistresses when their parents died. They worked, dined, and slept in the same physical space with their white owners. Morris Hillyer was owned by a prominent local judge and politician in north Georgia. Morris hunted rabbits with his master, often accompanied him into town, and was allowed to watch and listen as the judge “lounge[d] with his cronies” and talked politics. Indeed, some outside observers feared that mountain blacks mixed all too freely with whites, threatening to destabilize the racial caste system.
The supermasculine, Davy Crockett–like figure provided many with a believable image of the typical Appalachian man. Even Northerners who tried to be less critical and more understanding of their subjects ultimately perpetuated the same stereotypes of the isolated, backward highlander. When Charles Lanman of New York traveled through Lumpkin County in the 1840s, he found the locals “distinguished for their hospitality . . and sobriety,” people who gladly offered the stranger from the North the best food and forage they could offer.
And there were always community leaders who sought to make those connections firmer still. The editor of the county’s first newspaper, the Auraria Western Herald, was an early and tireless booster for local development. ” By the early 1850s, Dahlonegans had created a committee of almost one hundred men to agitate for extending the rail line from Marietta to their town. Led by rising elites such as Weir Boyd, A. G. 19 The institution of slavery was another force binding Lumpkin to the rest of Georgia, and indeed to the South as a whole.