My direct ancestor lived in the northeastern Georgia mountains before moving his family (and most of his community) to central Texas in the early 1890's. When I asked my grandmother why the family moved, the only story she could tell me was "because of the constant violence in the area and the Klan." Unfortunately she could not remember any details (she had not been part of the family then).Conclusion:
By 1871 the Klan was able to stage large-scale raids on Unionist communities in the mountains. Villages that had once resisted their citizens being taken out by the Klan now shut their windows when a Klan raid took place, leaving their Unionist neighbors to their fates. Reconstruction crumbled in the mountains long before the election of 1876.
Nash does a good job of uncovering the unique aspects of Reconstruction in the western counties. Unlike many other modern Reconstruction studies, this book tells a largely white story due to the particular demographics of the regions. It was a history that I was previously only familiar with in the most general way, and Nash supplies many details that I did not previously know about.
Nash devotes the final parts of the book to the region in the 1880s and to the later memory of Reconstruction in the mountains. This was a welcome"afterword" on the subject.
I would recommend this book to those interested in the history of Appalachia, and North Carolina, as well as to students of the Reconstruction Era.
Stereotyping the southern Appalachia 'kinfolk' was on my mind from beginning to end. Judging just from these reviews you posted, I see I had a totally backward and ignorant idea concerning their 'worldliness' and knowledge of what was happening in America. Instead of being as I stated, an inkling that they kept abreast of national activities remains predominant now. The overall misconception of the civil war soldier seems that, if he cannot spell it, he does not know it, and maybe never heard of it. How does one define 'enlightened'?