Gen. Sherman’s critical turn of events

As the summer of 1864 gave way to autumn, Maj. Gen.William T. Sherman was restless. What remained of Atlanta was under Union control. Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood had by Sherman’s reckoning lost his enthusiasm for head-to-head fighting. Instead, Hood busied...

Matters of time and timing

If a 19th-century Time magazine had picked a Person of the Year for any of the war years, Abraham Lincoln would have been impossible to ignore. The mere fact of his election in 1860 stirred South Carolina to declare the Union dissolved and begin expropriating U.S....

Help tell it like it is, and was

Laws, Ian Fleming’s villainous Goldfinger scoffed to James Bond, are merely “the crystallized prejudices of the community.” That’s harsh, and not entirely accurate. But it makes the useful point that our code of laws, no matter what the credits...

Missing some of your history? Check this

Have you hit a dead end in trying to piece together your ancestors’ stories? Has an old cemetery gone missing? Can’t find the will, birth or death certificate, or tax record you want? You could be looking in the wrong place. Maybe a county jumped out from under...

When assets suddenly became liabilities

Not quite two years after the Civil War ended, John C. Smith of Cumberland County found himself in the same predicament as other planters suddenly confronted by the prospect of having to pay the help. The land that had made his grandfather, his father and John himself...
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