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

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Jan 20, 2011 - History - 400 pages
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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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Well, there is one problem with Mr. Wetherington's story, which Features my relative John K. Whaley. If this person is my relative, and not someone Mr. Wetherington made up who accidently has my relatives name and life in GA and place of death, better research should have been done. For instance, he was NOT born in GA, but in NC, to a Revolutionary War soldier. And he was married and he had children, and his line seems to have given birth to a Governor or two. I hate it when people "fill in the blanks" when they don't know, especially when these are REAL PEOPLE, my people. How to believe any of the book if this is not true. Hmmm. 


Plain Folk
1 On the Cotton Frontier
2 Into a Revolution
3 We Will Be Ready to March
4 The Contest for My Country
5 I Represent the War
6 Not in the Flesh Again
7 We Done Honor to Ourselves
8 The Land Is Full of Poverty and Misery
9 We Lift Our Hat to the Wire Grass Region
Losing the Peace

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About the author (2011)

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.

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