By Jonathan Dean Sarris
Most americans contemplate the Civil warfare as a sequence of dramatic clashes among significant armies led through romantic-seeming leaders. yet within the Appalachian groups of North Georgia, issues have been very various. targeting Fannin and Lumpkin counties within the Blue Ridge Mountains alongside Georgia’s northern border, A Separate Civil conflict: 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 finds that, for lots of individuals, this conflict used to be fought much less for summary ideological motives than for purposes tied to domestic, kin, neighbors, and community.
Making use of a giant trove of letters, diaries, interviews, executive files, and sociological information, Jonathan Dean Sarris brings to existence a formerly obscured model of our nation’s so much divisive and damaging battle. From the outset, the possibility of secession and conflict divided Georgia’s mountain groups alongside the traces 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 turned extra disaffected nonetheless. They banded jointly in armed squads, battling off accomplice squaddies, kingdom defense force, and their very own pro-Confederate acquaintances. a neighborhood civil warfare ensued, with either side seeing the opposite as a danger 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 infantrymen with their savagery. but if the conflict was once 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. by means of arguing that the cause of deciding on aspects had extra to do with neighborhood matters than with competing ideologies or social or political visions, Sarris provides a much-needed hardship 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
77 for Fannin in 1860. 57 For decades, observers allotted geography a determinative role in the constitution of Appalachian society. indb 40 4/24/06 11:15:29 AM Mountain Neighbors / 41 isolated Southern mountaineers from the outside world and either retarded their development or protected them from the encroachments of “civilization,” depending on the observer’s perspective. This myth has been overstated, as illustrated by the enthusiasm with which many mountaineers threw themselves into the regional and national markets.
50 From the outset, Fannin’s economy was oriented northward. Trading ties followed the lines of immigration, and Fannin residents engaged in a lively commerce with Tennessee and North Carolina. indb 36 4/24/06 11:15:07 AM Mountain Neighbors / 37 North Carolina, depending on varying economic trends. Sometimes the border was too porous—Fannin’s representatives in the state legislature had to propose bills to keep Tennessee livestock from crossing over onto Georgia farms and trampling crops. But the meteoric rise of the local copper-mining industry was too lucrative to ignore, and it fueled the cross-border economy even more.
When Garrett Andrews brought his black body servant to Auraria in the 1830s, he observed firsthand the racism of which mountaineers were so capable, and found that the yeoman and poor whites of Lumpkin County could be quite hostile to the blacks in their midst. One boisterous miner confronted Andrew’s slave Lewie in the streets of town: “This blurting young mountaineer . . stood in his shirt sleeves . . his wool hat jauntily to one side, his suspenders . . indb 29 4/24/06 11:15:05 AM 30 / A Separate Civil War bringing up his striped pants several inches above his bare feet .
A Separate Civil War: Communities in Conflict in the Mountain South by Jonathan Dean Sarris