HISTORY OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA HOMEPAGE
|Map reflecting Western North Carolina
|(Western, aka, Mountain, Region is shaded in red)
Recommended Reading: Western
North Carolina: A History from 1730 to 1913 (Hardcover: 679 pages). Description: From the introduction to the appendix, this volume is filled with interesting
information. Covering seventeen counties—Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson,
Jackson, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, and Yancey—the author conducted about ten years
searching and gathering materials. Continued below...
the Author: John Preston Arthur was born in
1851 in Columbia,
South Carolina. After relocating to Asheville,
North Carolina, in 1887, he was appointed Secretary of the Street Railway Company,
and subsequently the Manager and Superintendent until 1894. Later, after becoming a lawyer, he was encouraged by the
Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) to write a history of western
Recommended Reading: Touring the Western North Carolina
Backroads (Touring the Backroads). Editorial Review: This guidebook, unlike most, is so encyclopedic in scope that I
give it as a gift to newcomers to the area. It is also an invaluable reference for the visitor who wants to see more than
the fabulous Biltmore Estate. Even though I am a native of the area, I learned nearly everything I know about Western
North Carolina from this book alone and it is my primary reference. I am still amazed at how much fact, history
and folklore [just enough to bring alive the curve of the road, the odd landmark, the abandoned building] is packed in its
300 pages. The author, who must have collapsed from exhaustion when she finished it, takes you on a detailed tour, laid out
by the tenth of the mile, of carefully drawn sections of backroads that you can follow leisurely without getting lost. Continued
is completely absent from the text. The lucid style will please readers who want the facts, not editorial comment. This book,
as well as the others in this publisher's backroads series, makes an excellent gift for anyone, especially the many seniors
who have relocated, or are considering relocating to this fascinating region. It is also a valuable reference for natives,
like me, "who didn't realize how much they didn't know about the region."
Recommended Reading: The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers' and Civilians' Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865. Volume 2: The Mountains
(Civil War in North Carolina) (Hardcover). Description: As with The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers' and Civilians' Letters
and Diaries, 1861-1865. Vol. 1: The Piedmont, this work presents letters and diary entries (and a few other documents) that tell the experiences of soldiers and
civilians from the mountain counties of North Carolina during
the Civil War. The counties included are Alleghany, Ashe, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee,
Clay, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon,
Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Surry, Transylvania,
Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey. The book is arranged chronologically, 1861 through 1865. Before each letter or diary entry, background
information is provided about the writer. Continued below...
The Civil War
in North Carolina: Soldiers' and Civilians' Letters
and Diaries, 1861-1865 (Volume 2): The Mountains, is the soldier's story. It is an A-to-Z compilation of what the "rank and
file soldier" experienced during the American Civil War. The Western North Carolina
soldiers express their hearts to their loved ones and friends, thus allowing the reader the most intimate and personal view
of the war. From triumph to tragedy, the "soldiers' letters" express what few authors or writers can achieve--realism. According
to cartographic and demographic studies, Southern Appalachia comprised
a unique indigenous people, and by isolating these rare letters it allows the reader the most detailed insight to their experiences.
The soldier experienced various traumatic stressors in the conflict: such as witnessing death or dismemberment, handling dead
bodies, traumatic loss of comrades, realizing imminent death, killing others and being helpless to prevent others' deaths.
Plain, raw and to the point: The reader will witness the most detailed insight to the so-called American Civil War. Intimate
and personal: diseases, privation, wounds, loneliness, exhaustion, heartache, and death are all explored. This book includes
a lot of information about: Western North Carolina Civil War History (North
Carolina mountain troops), soldiers' photos (some tintype photographs too), and rare pictures.
For example, on page 143, there is a photo of Gov. Zeb Vance's brother, Robert, at Fort Delaware Prisoner of War Camp; he
had been captured by Pennsylvania cavalry in East Tennessee.
You may see rare photo or letter of an ancestor. The maps, which reflect the region, have keys which place
each regiment to each western county (where the troops were raised). The soldiers
- collectively - also present a detailed North Carolina
Civil War History. By reading the letters, you will easily form a timeline that is filled with first-hand facts.
To be very candid, it is not only filled with primary accounts of the war, but it is one of the best books to read about the war...Creates an indispensable
historical timeline of events of the brave men from the Old North State.
Recommended Reading: Bushwhackers, The Civil War in North Carolina:
The Mountains (338 pages). Description:
Trotter's book (which could have been titled "Murder, Mayhem, and Mountain Madness") is an epic backdrop for the
most horrific murdering, plundering and pillaging of the mountain communities of western North Carolina during the state’s
darkest hour—the American Civil War. Commonly referred to as Southern Appalachia, the North Carolina
and East Tennessee mountains witnessed divided loyalties in its bushwhackers and guerrilla
units. These so-called “bushwhackers” even used the conflict to settle old feuds and scores, which, in some cases,
continued well after the war ended. Continued below...
were highly organized ‘fighting guerrilla units’ while others were a motley group of deserters and outliers,
and, since most of them were residents of the region, they were familiar with the terrain and made for a “very formidable
foe.” In this work, Trotter does a great job on covering the many facets of the bushwhackers, including their: battles,
skirmishes, raids, activities, motives, the outcome, and even the aftermath. This book is also a great source for tracing
ancestors during the Civil War; a must have for the family researcher of Southern Appalachia.
Recommended Reading: Encyclopedia of North Carolina (Hardcover: 1328 pages) (The University of North
Carolina Press). Description: The first single-volume
reference to the events, institutions, and cultural forces that have defined the state, the Encyclopedia of North Carolina
is a landmark publication that will serve those who love and live in North Carolina
for generations to come. Editor William S. Powell, whom the Raleigh News & Observer described as a "living repository
of information on all things North Carolinian," spent fifteen years developing this volume. With contributions by more than
550 volunteer writers—including scholars, librarians, journalists, and many others—it is a true "people's encyclopedia"
of North Carolina. Continued below...
volume includes more than 2,000 entries, presented alphabetically, consisting of longer essays on major subjects, briefer
entries, and short summaries and definitions. Most entries include suggestions for further reading. Centered on history and
the humanities, topics covered include agriculture; arts and architecture; business and industry; the Civil War; culture and
customs; education; geography; geology, mining, and archaeology; government, politics, and law; media; medicine, science,
and technology; military history; natural environment; organizations, clubs, and foundations; people, languages, and immigration;
places and historic preservation; precolonial and colonial history; recreation and tourism; religion; and transportation.
An informative and engaging compendium, the Encyclopedia of North Carolina is abundantly illustrated with 400 photographs
and maps. It is both a celebration and a gift—from the citizens of North Carolina, to the citizens of North Carolina.
"Truly an exhaustive and exciting view of every aspect of the Old
North State!” One reviewer
states: "[It is an] indispensable history of North Carolina
from the Coast (Coastal Plain) to the Piedmont to the Western
North Carolina Mountains...the
definitive study of the North Carolina Cherokee Indian History, the Old North State’s Native American Indians (including
Lumbee), the North Carolina ‘Founding Fathers’, early settlers and pioneers, and Colonial North Carolina…captivating
read regarding the key figures and early life in the original Colony.
Recommended Reading: The Tar Heel
State: A History of North Carolina
(Hardcover). Description: The Tar Heel State: A History of North Carolina constitutes the most comprehensive
and inclusive single-volume chronicle of the state’s storied past to date, culminating with an attentive look at recent
events that have transformed North Carolina into a southern
megastate. Integrating tales of famous pioneers, statesmen, soldiers, farmers, captains of industry, activists, and community
leaders with more marginalized voices, including those of Native Americans, African Americans, and women, Milton Ready gives
readers a view of North Carolina that encompasses perspectives and personalities from the coast, "tobacco road," the Piedmont,
and the mountains in this sweeping history of the Tar Heel State. The first such volume in more than two decades, Ready’s
work offers a distinctive view of the state’s history built from myriad stories and episodes. The Tar Heel State is
enhanced by one hundred and ninety illustrations and five maps. Continued below...
with a study of the state’s geography and then invites readers to revisit dramatic struggles of the American Revolution
and Civil War, the early history of Cherokees, the impact of slavery as an institution, the rise of industrial mills, and
the changes wrought by modern information-based technologies since 1970. Mixing spirited anecdotes and illustrative statistics,
Ready describes the rich Native American culture found by John White in 1585, the chartered chaos of North Carolina’s
proprietary settlement, and the chronic distrust of government that grew out of settlement patterns and the colony’s
early political economy. He challenges the perception of relaxed intellectualism attributed to the "Rip van Winkle" state,
the notion that slavery was a relatively benign institution in North Carolina,
and the commonly accepted interpretation of Reconstruction in the state. Ready also discusses how the woman suffrage movement
pushed North Carolina into a hesitant twentieth-century
progressivism. In perhaps his most significant contribution to North Carolina’s
historical record, Ready continues his narrative past the benchmark of World War II and into the twenty-first century. From
the civil rights struggle to the building of research triangles, triads, and parks, Ready recounts the events that have fueled
North Carolina’s accelerated development in recent years and the many challenges that have accompanied such rapid growth,
especially those of population change and environmental degradation.