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By Jonathan Dean Sarris

Most americans contemplate the Civil struggle as a chain of dramatic clashes among huge armies led through romantic-seeming leaders. yet within the Appalachian groups of North Georgia, issues have been very varied. concentrating on 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 publication unearths that, for lots of members, this warfare was once fought much less for summary ideological motives than for purposes tied to domestic, relatives, associates, and community.

Making use of a giant trove of letters, diaries, interviews, executive records, and sociological information, Jonathan Dean Sarris brings to lifestyles a formerly obscured model of our nation’s such a lot divisive and damaging conflict. From the outset, the possibility of secession and battle divided Georgia’s mountain groups alongside the strains of race and faith, and warfare itself in basic terms heightened those tensions. because the accomplice executive started to draft males into the military and grab provides from farmers, many mountaineers grew to become extra disaffected nonetheless. They banded jointly in armed squads, combating off accomplice squaddies, nation defense force, and their very own pro-Confederate pals. a neighborhood civil conflict ensued, with both sides seeing the opposite as a possibility 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 squaddies with their savagery. but if the battle used to be over in 1865, every one faction sought to sanitize the earlier and combine its tales into the nationwide myths later popularized in regards to the Civil conflict. via arguing that the cause of selecting aspects had extra to do with neighborhood matters than with competing ideologies or social or political visions, Sarris provides a much-needed problem to the query of why males fought within the Civil War.

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Extra info for A Separate Civil War: Communities in Conflict in the Mountain South

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Some contemporary white observers concluded that the close interaction between whites and blacks indicated a comparatively benign slave system in the mountains. They contended that mountain slavery allowed blacks more autonomy and equality than was possible on the plantations of the Black Belt. ” 33 For decades, one of the myths of Appalachia portrayed white highlanders as racially enlightened despisers of black bondage and proponents of a rough sort of frontier racial equality. Frederick Law Olmsted, the early chronicler of Southern society who traveled though the mountains in 1854, painted a more complicated picture.

The mint made Dahlonega a nationally known locale and connected the town to the patronage of the federal government. It also lent a gilded layer of sophistication to the town and represented an important victory for those who wanted to develop Lumpkin County as an important center of trade. Although Dahlonega and Lumpkin County remained somewhat remote and isolated during the 1830s, a number of factors brought the residents increasingly into the orbit of state, regional, and national trends. One of the most important of these factors was the growing market economy.

As one recalled: De timber was awful heavy in de river bottoms, and dey was one nigger dat run off from his master and lived for years in these bottoms. He was there all during de War and come out after de surrender. Every man in that county owned him at some time or another. His owner sold him to a man who was sure he could catch him—he never did, so he sold him to another slave owner and so on ’till nearly everybody had him. They would come in droves with blood hounds and hunt for him but dey couldn’t catch him for he knowed the woods too well.

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