Link: The Proposed "State of Nickajack"...
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    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    The Proposed "State of Nickajack"...

    A little insight into extreme northern Alabama:

    LINK
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

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    Re: The Proposed "State of Nickajack"...

    Shaped a little like California.

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    Re: The Proposed "State of Nickajack"...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    A little insight into extreme northern Alabama:

    LINK
    I have seen you post information on this subject before and, an honest question, would you say that this is a passion to find information on the pro union activities of North Alabama (particularly northern Walker County and Winston County) or is it something that is romanticized? I am not trying to be a butt asking that but I have seen you post information before and I had read and been told things that makes many of these people not the kindest of neighbors or people. Granted, every society has bad elements who will commit the most heinous of acts for their personal gain. My late maternal grandparents (both born in nineteen teens) came from towns that stretch between Walker and Winston Counties and things that their families knew and passed down along with research from others points to some pretty bad people who were not so much pro Union but looking out to gain their own fortunes at anyone else's expense. I don't say that to paint with a broad brush. This even hits my ancestry as there was a distant relative of my maternal grandmother who served as a Union spy during the Civil War (possibly did it for his own financial gain or did it out of pro union sympathies-who knows) who was lynched by members of one of these North Alabama pro union gangs thinking they had just caught some guy with a little wealth (cash on his person and riding a healthy horse). Granted, I am sure that he would not divulge that he was a spy with not knowing who the men were he was dealing with, but he also had no Confederate military papers, no uniform, nor a branded or marked Confederate horse. The murder was done strictly for gain of his possessions.

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    Re: The Proposed "State of Nickajack"...

    Very interesting.

    We always go over Nickajack Lake on our way to our vacation in the Smokies each year.

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    BamaNation Hall of Fame Bodhisattva's Avatar
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    Re: The Proposed "State of Nickajack"...

    I am vehemently opposed to the State of Nickelback.
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    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: The Proposed "State of Nickajack"...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    A little insight into extreme northern Alabama:

    LINK
    Better be glad that did not pan out, otherwise you might've gone to the "instate" school in Knoxville and would be enjoying a long drought of your Volunteers against the hated Crimson Tide.

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    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: The Proposed "State of Nickajack"...

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatMarch View Post
    I have seen you post information on this subject before and, an honest question, would you say that this is a passion to find information on the pro union activities of North Alabama (particularly northern Walker County and Winston County) or is it something that is romanticized? I am not trying to be a butt asking that but I have seen you post information before and I had read and been told things that makes many of these people not the kindest of neighbors or people. Granted, every society has bad elements who will commit the most heinous of acts for their personal gain. My late maternal grandparents (both born in nineteen teens) came from towns that stretch between Walker and Winston Counties and things that their families knew and passed down along with research from others points to some pretty bad people who were not so much pro Union but looking out to gain their own fortunes at anyone else's expense. I don't say that to paint with a broad brush. This even hits my ancestry as there was a distant relative of my maternal grandmother who served as a Union spy during the Civil War (possibly did it for his own financial gain or did it out of pro union sympathies-who knows) who was lynched by members of one of these North Alabama pro union gangs thinking they had just caught some guy with a little wealth (cash on his person and riding a healthy horse). Granted, I am sure that he would not divulge that he was a spy with not knowing who the men were he was dealing with, but he also had no Confederate military papers, no uniform, nor a branded or marked Confederate horse. The murder was done strictly for gain of his possessions.
    The short answer is "no." I don't know where on earth the stereotype of pro-Union people being a bunch of trash or criminals comes from. They were after all the majority, not the minority. The secession and following war were seen as a futile and self-serving movement for south Alabama slaveholders, who were a minority of the state at the time. It was a difference of opinion over the value and ideal of union, pure and simple. There were, as in most human conditions, an equal number of upstanding citizens and miscreants on each side. I didn't post this as an advocate for either point of view. I posted it as a matter of interest because I was unaware that such a state was ever proposed, although it did represent sentiment in this area. BTW, my father was born in 1895 and my grandfather Self in 1860. When I was growing up, these matters were discussed almost as a matter of current events. I have my great grandfather's diary from 1867, describing conditions immediately following the war...
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    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: The Proposed "State of Nickajack"...

    The was a book I read a while back called The Heart of Confederate Appalachia by Inscoe and McKinney.
    The authors drew a distinction between eastern Tennessee Unionists and western North Carolina Unionists. The former genuinely preferred the Union. The latter were just wanted to be left alone and, due to military draft and Confederate taxes-in-kind, were anti-Confederate (but if they had been under Union occupation and suffered Union military draft and Union taxes in kind, would probably have been anti-Union.
    Not sure how north Alabama Unionists fit into that.
    It is interesting to me that all the counties north of a line from Talladega over to Tuscaloosa (except for Calhoun County) were opposed to immediate unilateral secession. Then, if you realize that most of the agricultural exports of northern Alabama (corn and mules) went north on the Tennessee River, and secession would have put a tariff barrier between north Alabama farmers and their Tennessee & Kentucky customers, it makes a bit more sense that they were reluctant to abandon the Union.

    Just went and checked, and there were 14 slaveholding families (out of 651 families) in Winston County in the 1860 census.

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    Re: The Proposed "State of Nickajack"...

    I remember hearing about Nickajack in Alabama History classes in school.

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    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: The Proposed "State of Nickajack"...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    The short answer is "no." I don't know where on earth the stereotype of pro-Union people being a bunch of trash or criminals comes from.
    Boy, I do. Democrats were the pro-secession party and they liked to foster the idea that everyone favored secession in 1861. University of Alabama's Professor George Rable (emeritus now, I believe) wrote in Confederate Republic about the southern search of unity, calling secession a "revolution against politics."
    Plus, the unbelievable misconduct by the Republicans after the war made it darn hard for anyone to admit they had sided with the Union in 1861-1865. Not saying families like the Selfs did not speak approvingly of Union war service in north Alabama counties, but go to Montgomery and sing the praises Republicans in 1870, and you'd likely find someone to take issue with that interpretation.
    Anyway, the idea that every Unionist was white trash was a Democratic party invention after the war. "Every decent white man supported the Confederacy. Only the miscreants were disloyal to Alabama..." It was not true, but that was the myth.
    Plus, there were some ne'er-do-wells amongst those dodging the draft, and those dodging Confederate conscription officers were cast as "anti-southern" and criminal.

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    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: The Proposed "State of Nickajack"...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidewater View Post
    The was a book I read a while back called The Heart of Confederate Appalachia by Inscoe and McKinney.
    The authors drew a distinction between eastern Tennessee Unionists and western North Carolina Unionists. The former genuinely preferred the Union. The latter were just wanted to be left alone and, due to military draft and Confederate taxes-in-kind, were anti-Confederate (but if they had been under Union occupation and suffered Union military draft and Union taxes in kind, would probably have been anti-Union.
    Not sure how north Alabama Unionists fit into that.
    It is interesting to me that all the counties north of a line from Talladega over to Tuscaloosa (except for Calhoun County) were opposed to immediate unilateral secession. Then, if you realize that most of the agricultural exports of northern Alabama (corn and mules) went north on the Tennessee River, and secession would have put a tariff barrier between north Alabama farmers and their Tennessee & Kentucky customers, it makes a bit more sense that they were reluctant to abandon the Union.

    Just went and checked, and there were 14 slaveholding families (out of 651 families) in Winston County in the 1860 census.
    Good question. I would venture that the north Alabama Unionists probably fit in the mold of the East TN, or, at least those living north of the TN River would. I would say that it was a mix of self-interest (trade, as you say) and ideology. In the case of the GGF, whose diary I have, I know that it was ideology, since he held slaves himself. He was a UVA graduate and his thinking, like most of that time, was heavily biblically-influenced. His favorite term for the Confederates was "vipers." In the end, I think that the north Alabamians just didn't feel that much commonality with the south Alabamians, with whom they had been grouped whimsically by pen on paper at a point in history. They came by a different migration route and were separated ethnically, primarily Scot/Irish, as opposed to primarily English. I grew up with the north/south Alabama schism being a fact which was discussed regularly...
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

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    I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is. Albert Camus

    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

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    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: The Proposed "State of Nickajack"...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidewater View Post
    Boy, I do. Democrats were the pro-secession party and they liked to foster the idea that everyone favored secession in 1861. University of Alabama's Professor George Rable (emeritus now, I believe) wrote in Confederate Republic about the southern search of unity, calling secession a "revolution against politics."
    Plus, the unbelievable misconduct by the Republicans after the war made it darn hard for anyone to admit they had sided with the Union in 1861-1865. Not saying families like the Selfs did not speak approvingly of Union war service in north Alabama counties, but go to Montgomery and sing the praises Republicans in 1870, and you'd likely find someone to take issue with that interpretation.
    Anyway, the idea that every Unionist was white trash was a Democratic party invention after the war. "Every decent white man supported the Confederacy. Only the miscreants were disloyal to Alabama..." It was not true, but that was the myth.
    Plus, there were some ne'er-do-wells amongst those dodging the draft, and those dodging Confederate conscription officers were cast as "anti-southern" and criminal.
    That's not what I meant. I'm well aware of the great consolidation following Reconstruction when people whose antecedents were Union found it convenient to forget that heritage. What I was referring to was his description of all such people as being criminals or nearly so. I never heard that growing up. He obviously did...
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

    'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' - Steve Jobs

    I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is. Albert Camus

    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

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    BamaNation All-American sabanball's Avatar
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    Re: The Proposed "State of Nickajack"...

    Interesting to consider how this (pro-unionists throughout the area) could have impacted Streight's Raid through the area in 1863 (2 years after the Free State of Winston is declared)



    Streight's Raid took place from April 19 to May 3, 1863, in northern Alabama. It was led by Union Col. Abel D. Streight, whose goal was to destroy parts of the Western and Atlantic Railroad, which was supplying the Confederate Army of Tennessee. The raid was poorly supplied and planned, and ended with the defeat and capture of Streight and his 1,700 men at Cedar Bluff, Alabama, by Confederate Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest who had 500 men. Streight was additionally hindered by locals throughout his march, while pursued by Forrest, who had the advantage of home territory and the sympathy and aid of the local populace, most famously Emma Sansom.
    Probably a long complicated list of happenings, lost to history, not in that quote from wiki.

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