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Plain Folk's FightThe Civil War and Reconstruction in Piney Woods Georgia$
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Mark V. Wetherington

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780807829639

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877043_wetherington

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Prologue | Plain Folk

Prologue | Plain Folk

(p.1) Prologue | Plain Folk
Plain Folk's Fight

Mark V. Wetherington

University of North Carolina Press

This book tells the story of white plain folk during the Civil War and Reconstruction in southern Georgia's piney woods, part of a unique subregion that stretched along the coastal plains from North Carolina to eastern Texas. Playing on the phrase “rich man's war, poor man's fight,” it suggests that planter self-interest was responsible for secession, the war, and the Confederate defeat. It highlights the plain folk's critical role in and responsibility for secession and their decision to support the Confederacy, along with their determination to fight for their own concept of freedom, white manhood, and nationhood. The book also examines how race consciousness influenced the way plain folk—who believed that whites were inherently superior to blacks and understood that their own slightly elevated social status was dependent on racial slavery—sorted out their neighborhoods from others and from the rest of Georgia and the South and reshaped their identities as Southerners.

Keywords:   plain folk, Civil War, Reconstruction, Georgia, piney woods, secession, Confederacy, whites, blacks, slavery

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