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Plain Folk's Fight: The Civil War and Reconstruction in Piney Woods Georgia

Plain Folk's Fight: The Civil War and Reconstruction in Piney Woods Georgia

by Mark V. Wetherington
Plain Folk's Fight: The Civil War and Reconstruction in Piney Woods Georgia

Plain Folk's Fight: The Civil War and Reconstruction in Piney Woods Georgia

by Mark V. Wetherington

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Overview

In an examination of the effects of the Civil War on the rural Southern home front, Mark V. Wetherington looks closely at the experiences of white "plain folk--mostly yeoman farmers and craftspeople--in the wiregrass region of southern Georgia before, during, and after the war. Although previous scholars have argued that common people in the South fought the battles of the region's elites, Wetherington contends that the plain folk in this Georgia region fought for their own self-interest.

Plain folk, whose communities were outside areas in which slaves were the majority of the population, feared black emancipation would allow former slaves to move from cotton plantations to subsistence areas like their piney woods communities. Thus, they favored secession, defended their way of life by fighting in the Confederate army, and kept the antebellum patriarchy intact in their home communities. Unable by late 1864 to sustain a two-front war in Virginia and at home, surviving veterans took their fight to the local political arena, where they used paramilitary tactics and ritual violence to defeat freedpeople and their white Republican allies, preserving a white patriarchy that relied on ex-Confederate officers for a new generation of leadership.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807877043
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 01/20/2011
Series: Civil War America
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 400
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Mark V. Wetherington is director of the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, Kentucky, and author of the award-winning The New South Comes to Wiregrass Georgia, 1860-1910.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

An authoritative analysis of one remote section of rural Georgia. . . . For those scholars and general readers more interested in the intricacies of the Confederate home front than in the dryness of battlefield tactics, Plain Folk's Fight is a must-read.—H-CivWar



A gracefully written, scholarly work that will appeal to specialists as well as casual readers of southern or Civil War history. . . . It is insightful work that deserves close attention.—H-South



Wetherington's analysis is nuanced, and his scope is wide, ranging from politics and economics to religion and the cultural effects of battle casualties. . . . A necessary addition to Civil War historians' libraries.—Journal of American History



Impressive research supports Wetherington's refreshing reconsideration of common southerners' perceptions of the war and Reconstruction. His book is certain to attract attention from Civil War scholars and will prove entertaining for the interested public. . . . Highly Recommended.—Choice



Enriches knowledge of the Confederate South.—Journal of Southern History



In Plain Folk's Fight, Mark Wetherington demonstrates the importance of giving agency to rural Americans whose voice has, until recently, been often overlooked. . . . For those scholars and general readers more interested in the intricacies of the Confederate home front than in the dryness of battle tactics, Plain Folk's Plight is a must-read.—H-Civil War



[Plain Folk's Fight] remains a well-crafted monograph and appears even more impressive in light of Wetherington's ability to reconstruct the often elusive voice of the plain folk. . . . Its focus on a neglected region . . . marks it as a worthwhile endeavor into the larger historiography of antebellum and postbellum study.—Southern Historian

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