The Civil War in Western North Carolina
This critical period began with a secession crisis before the conflict began — more than two-thirds of the voters in the region opposed the coming of the Confederacy. Large numbers of volunteers joined both the Confederate and Union armies. As the Confederacy imposed conscription and the income tax, opposition to the South increased and desertion from Confederate armies became an epidemic. Violence became a source of anxiety throughout the region and resulted in episodes like the Shelton Laurel massacre. Zebulon Vance was the dominant figure in a political system that disintegrated under the pressure of the war. At the end of the conflict, the region was impoverished and many families and communities were unable to forget the hardships and animosities they had experienced.
Before the talk, you are invited to visit BRAHM’s exhibition of Romare Bearden’s art from Li’l Dan: The Drummer Boy, A Civil War Story for an exploration of another aspect of the Civil War.
About the Speaker
Gordon B. McKinney received his BA from Bates College and his MA and PhD in History at Northwestern University. He taught Appalachian History at Western Carolina University and Berea College. He is the author of several books, including Zeb Vance: North Carolina's Civil War Governor and Gilded Age Political Leader. He co-authored (with John C. Inscoe) The Heart of Confederate Appalachia: Western North Carolina in the Civil War.
Dr. McKinney will be bringing copies of his books to sign and sell.