Guarding Greensboro: A Confederate Company in the Making of a Southern Community

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University of Georgia Press, 2003 - History - 325 pages
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Historian G. Ward Hubbs first encountered the Confederate soldiers known as the Greensboro Guards through their Civil War diaries and letters. Later he discovered that the Guards had formed some forty years before the war, soon after the founding of the Alabama town that was their namesake. Guarding Greensboro examines how the yearning for community played itself out across decades of peace and war, prosperity and want.

Greensboro sprang up as a wide-open frontier town in Alabama's Black Belt, an exceptionally fertile part of the Deep South where people who dreamed of making it rich as cotton planters flocked. Although prewar Greensboro had its share of overlapping communities--ranging from Masons to school-improvement societies--it was the Guards who brought together the town's highly individualistic citizenry.

A typical prewar militia unit, the Guards mustered irregularly and marched in their finest regalia on patriotic holidays. Most significantly, they patrolled for hostile Indians and rebellious slaves. In protecting the entire white population against common foes, Hubbs argues, the Guards did what Greensboro's other voluntary associations could not: move citizens beyond self-interest.

As Hubbs follows the Guards through their Civil War campaigns, he keeps an eye on the home front: on how Greensborians shared a sense of purpose and sacrifice while they dealt with fears of a restive slave populace. Finally, Hubbs discusses the postwar readjustments of Greensboro's veterans as he examines the political and social upheaval in their town and throughout the South. Ultimately, Hubbs argues, the Civil War created the South of legend and its distinctive communities.

  

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Contents

Autonomy
1
The Stone Soldier
3
A Land of Strangers
7
Cooperation
23
Voluntary Communities
25
Guards and Slaves
49
Guarding Greensboro
81
One Voice
83
The Loyal Community
199
The Stone Soldier
227
Population
235
Persistence
236
Wealth
240
Mount Hebron and German Creek Precincts
241
The Greensboro Guards
242
Rosters
245

Greene Countys Still
100
Beyond a Simple Calculus
120
Confidence and Despair
148
Defying the Machine
170
Loyalty
197
Notes
271
Bibliography
301
Index
315
Copyright

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Page 305 - A | digest | of the | laws of the State of Alabama: | containing | the statutes and resolutions in force at the end of | the General Assembly in January, 1823.

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About the author (2003)

G. Ward Hubbs is an assistant professor and archivist at Birmingham-Southern College and the editor of Voices from Company D: Diaries by the Greensboro Guards, Fifth Alabama Infantry Regiment, Army of Northern Virginia (Georgia).

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