I would very much like to read Dr. Fisher's books about unionism in East Tennessee and hope to order it soon. What stands out to me about unionism in the South is that it typically takes place in country that is not conducive to large property holdings -- rough mountain country where people are eeking out a living.
While I am sure there were some plantation owners and slave owners who were unionists, most were threatened by Lincoln's election with the thought that their "peculiar institution" might somehow be taken away from them. At least, I think that was drummed into them and they came to believe it.
But to the upland yeomen who had nothing to win or lose by Lincoln's election or the call for secession that followed, they're probably thinking, "I don't have a dog in this fight. Why should I fight for some plantation owner to keep his negroes."
I suspect that was the prevailing mood of unionists throughout the South, whether they be in Northwest Alabama, East Tennessee, western North Carolina, or what became West Virginia.
Finally, I am toying with the idea of writing a novel or screenplay using Bill Looney, aka the Black Fox of Winston County fame, as the main character. I am trying to find out more about him, stories about him. Any information on him, legend or fact, would be deeply appreciated.
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