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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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The Land Is Full of Poverty and Misery

The Land Is Full of Poverty and Misery

(p.231) 8 The Land Is Full of Poverty and Misery
Plain Folk's Fight

Mark V. Wetherington

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the harsh reality faced by Georgia's white plain folk after the Civil War. The Confederacy's president, Jefferson Davis, was captured on May 10, 1865, in the Irwinville neighborhood. The Confederacy's funeral procession moved through the countryside, with blacks and whites watching. Whereas Union soldiers returned to a victorious North with its legacies of emancipation and preservation of the Union, mourning, poverty, and thwarted national ambitions awaited the Confederates in the defeated South. The chapter considers the physical and psychological damage wrought on Southern manhood by the war. It also describes the opportunity offered by white belt neighborhoods, through a mix of farming and herding, to returning Confederate veterans. Finally, it looks at plain folk's pursuit of household self-sufficiency and personal accountability in the postwar era, along with its political and economic implications.

Keywords:   plain folk, Civil War, Confederacy, Union, soldiers, North, poverty, South, farming, Georgia

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