By Jonathan Dean Sarris
Most american citizens give some thought to the Civil battle as a sequence of dramatic clashes among giant armies led through romantic-seeming leaders. yet within the Appalachian groups of North Georgia, issues have been very various. 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 knowing of this momentous interval in our nation’s heritage. The e-book finds that, for lots of contributors, this battle used to be fought much less for summary ideological motives than for purposes tied to domestic, kin, acquaintances, and community.
Making use of a big trove of letters, diaries, interviews, govt files, and sociological facts, Jonathan Dean Sarris brings to existence a formerly obscured model of our nation’s such a lot divisive and harmful battle. From the outset, the chance of secession and warfare divided Georgia’s mountain groups alongside the traces of race and faith, and conflict itself merely 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, scuffling with off accomplice squaddies, nation armed forces, and their very own pro-Confederate associates. a neighborhood civil warfare ensued, with either side seeing the opposite as a probability to legislations, order, and group itself. during this very own clash, either factions got here to dehumanize their enemies and use tools that surprised even professional squaddies with their savagery. but if the struggle was once over in 1865, every one faction sought to sanitize the prior and combine its tales into the nationwide myths later popularized concerning the Civil warfare. by means 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 worry to the query of why males fought within the Civil War.
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Extra resources for A Separate Civil War: Communities in Conflict in the Mountain South
But whatever their character strengths or flaws, the fact remains that grocers, miners, mill owners, merchants, hoteliers, and land speculators all made Dahlonega the center of their operations, bringing an ethic of entrepreneurship to the region. Store owners such as A. G. Wimpy stocked their shelves with goods imported from New Orleans, New England, and New York. In Auraria, miners could buy Spanish cigars, peach brandy from the Netherlands, and soap from London. And although a barter economy probably existed in north Georgia, most people purchased these goods with cash or gold dust.
The most accessible railhead to Dahlonega was Athens, Georgia. Fannin’s railhead was Cleveland, Tennessee. 58 Demographic realities reinforced geographical divisions. As stated above, a large number of Fannin residents had not been born in Georgia. Of Fannin’s 900 household heads, 739 were born outside of Georgia, the majority in North Carolina and Tennessee; 38 percent of free Fannin residents hailed from North Carolina, and fully half had been born outside the state. By contrast, a plurality of Lumpkin household heads were Georgia-born.
G. Fambrough to assert “southern rights” in defiance of “the military chieftain” Jackson. 37 While numerous local, familial, and traditional alignments influenced voting behavior in antebellum Georgia, economic concerns were also significant. In Lumpkin County, it seems probable that residents shaped their political sympathies in accordance with their relationship to and opinion of the market revolution engulfing the nation in the four decades preceding the Civil War. The relatively urban, commercial environment of Dahlonega provided fertile ground for the market-oriented Whig ideology.