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City Lights Bookstore posted events
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Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Jan 31
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

73 classic works about Appalachia going online

Key Appalachian studies publications now going onlinefrom press release, Jan. 27. 2016 Appalachian studies scholars and those interested in regional history will have greater access to out-of-print works thanks to a two-year National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Open Book Program grant totaling $88,000 awarded to Belk Library and Information Commons at Appalachian State University.  Pamela Mitchem, the library’s coordinator of digital scholarship and…See More
Jan 30
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

John Parris' home-grown prose

South of Sylva, back of yesterday: John Parris' inspiration             “For the life of me, I just can’t understand why folks stopped usin’ cradles,” John Parris’ 97-year-old maternal grandfather had told him 60 years ago.            The oil lamp, the buggy, and the spinning wheel—they all were replaced by things…See More
Jan 27
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

James Sturm expands scope of graphic novels

James Sturm blazes cartoon path to a new worldby Rob Neufeld             Why is it that when an author combines pictures with words, the medium is considered juvenile, like comics?  Words create literature; images, art.  Why, when you marry them, is it like pairing a milk cow with a mop?            Nothing against…See More
Jan 24
susannah eanes posted a blog post

The Writer as Pilgrim

Two articles leapt at my consciousness this week, both about writing. And suddenly, I know how to go forward from here. The first, The Price I Pay to Write, by Laura Bogart and published online in Dame Magazine, reflects on the difficulties of…See More
Jan 24
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Tired of thrillers with no soul?

Why read a 1940 man-on-the-run classicby Rob Neufeld             After reading a classic novel, you might think, “Oh, look at this superior ancestor of today’s fiction.”              For instance, “The Power and the Glory,” Graham Greene’s 1940 thriller about political oppression in Mexico, exemplifies the…See More
Jan 17
Susan True updated their profile
Jan 9
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Art of Grace by Sarah Kaufman

Dance critic applies grace to every moveby Rob Neufeld             It’s nice to find just the right word for something, especially when it sums up a main idea in your way of thinking.            That was the case with Sarah Kaufman when she’d first felt moved, nine years ago, to write her new book, “The Art of Grace” (W.W.…See More
Jan 9
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Jan 9
Rob Neufeld posted blog posts
Jan 8
Kathryn Hall posted a blog post

Fire and Ice Roses interview with author/gardening blogger Kathryn Hall

Fire and Ice Roses has been interviewing gardening bloggers and gardening experts and were kind enough to include this short interview recently which was quite fun and very much appreciated! http://fireandiceroses.com/ask-an-expert-kathryn-hall/See More
Jan 5
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

History in the making, January 2, 2016

History in the making: items of note, January 2, 2016It was reported in today’s print edition of the Asheville Citizen-Times that a new state law went into effect, requiring people who’ve filed for unemployment benefits to make at least 5 job contacts a week.  It had been 2.  How will that work?  Are there that many jobs for which a person is qualified?  Can you apply to the same job twice if it continues to be listed? Paul Bonesteel, noted Asheville filmmaker, revealed on Facebook that a…See More
Jan 2
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Local event of the day, Jan 1 2016

Tarantino, eminent domain, and emancipation Tarantino comes to townQuentin Tarantino’s New Year’s gore and gabfest, The Hateful Eight, is gutted by New Yorker reviewer Anthony Lane, who says that Tarantino toys with rather than explores history, using it “for boyish fantasies of revenge, as if enormous crimes could be undone, after the event, by lone and wanton acts of humiliation.” …See More
Jan 1
Rob Neufeld's discussion was featured

Railroad history in Western North Carolina: a close-up and bottom-line look

Railroads in WNC: the perils, the people, and the profitby Rob NeufeldWritten in conjunction with exhibit, "How The West Was Won," in Rural Heritage Museum, Mars Hill University PHOTO CAPTION: The entrance to the railroad show at the Rural Heritage Museum is commanded by a mock-up of Climax engine…See More
Dec 24, 2015
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Hosts of Christmas Past

Traditions shall not expire say hosts of Christmas pastby Rob Neufeld PHOTO CAPTION: Maria Parker Taylor Beale, courtesy Chase Ambler.            On Christmas Eve in 1928, Maria Taylor Beale, mistress of Arden House, instructed her family to bring her downstairs in her bathrobe for she would not…See More
Dec 24, 2015

Terrell Garren's new book: a definitive revision of Civil War history in WNC

Terrell Garren brings full accuracy to Civil War history

by Rob Neufeld

 

            Terrell Garren, novelist and local historian, has produced a work of scholarship that rocks the boat about the Civil War in this region, and then nails it down in its righted position.

            In 2006, he’d published a slim volume—“Mountain Myth: Unionism in Western North Carolina”—that laid out his thesis.

            Contrary to beliefs bred in the late 1860s, ingrained in families, and perpetuated in contemporary histories, Unionism was practically non-existent in the mountains by the summer of 1861.

            It wasn’t until the fall of 1863, he reveals, that locals enlisted in the Union Army, usually as deserters from the Confederate Army; and it wasn’t until after Appomattox that families claimed Unionist ties in order to get government benefits.

            “Not a single man from Henderson County joined the Union Army during the first two and a half years of the war,” Garren states in his new volume, “Measured in Blood: The Role of Henderson County, North Carolina in the American Civil War,” weighing in at 588 pages.

            In his talks, Garren gives the explanation.  “Slavery had been the main cause of the war,” he says, “but it wasn’t the reason most men fought.  Soldiers in any war are rarely aware of the politics behind their battles.” 

The nearly unanimous Confederate sentiment in the mountains, at the war’s start, had to do with homeland security.

 

The soldiers, one by one

 

            What “Measured in Blood” has motivated Garren to do is carefully consider the records and lives of each of over 2,000 Henderson County soldiers.  He’s precise about his criteria for inclusion: placement in the 1860 census; and in Henderson County regiments.

            He’s a quantifier as much as a story-teller, and highlights the sacrifices made in the horrifying war by assigning “sacrifice points” to each combatant based on wounds, sickness, death, presence in major battles, days in service, and time in prison.

            For example, there’s Private Ebenezer Henry Wheeler Girvin.

            He was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg; then ten months later at Spotsylvania Court House.  He went back to battle and was wounded in the Siege of Petersburg.  On April 19, 1865, hospital records note a gunshot wound to his head suffered at Farmville, Virginia.  By the end of the war, he was recuperating.

            Then there’s the mystery of John H. Carver.

            Carver, a private, was a member of the 1st N.C. Cavalry in J.E.B. Stuart’s Division.  Carver had fought in the Seven Days, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Second Manassas, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg battles before his ghastly race at the battle at Auburn Mills, Virginia, Oct. 14, 1863.

            When Stuart found himself flanked on both sides of a wooded hill he’d occupied, he ordered Carver’s regiment to charge through a Union formation in order to allow Stuart to escape with his force around the Federal lines.

            Thirty men came out the other side of the charge alive.  One was Carver, who stayed on his saddle despite being hit seven times.  Listed as “severely wounded,” Carver was furloughed, and then put “on detached service” at his home in the Rugby community of Henderson County.

            In April, 1864, “something went terribly wrong,” Garren writes.  The muster roll for that period states that Carver was “killed while in arrest and attempting to escape.”

            Who killed him?  If it had been Confederates mistaking him for a deserter, why would his widow have applied for a Confederate claim for deceased soldiers?

            If Union men had killed him, why did the record indicate an arrest?  No record of an arrest has been found.

            Carver emerges as one of the ultimate sacrificers in Garren’s book.

 

Desertions

 

            Another kind of mystery arises with Andrew J, Lanning, several of whose brothers served in the Confederate Army.

            Andrew, accompanied by his older brother, William, a wounded Confederate veteran, joined the 2nd N.C. Mounted Infantry (Union) in the fall of 1863 and received a bounty payment of $25 (another $75 to be paid later) on Oct. 1, 1863—that is, after Gettysburg.

            The infantry unit had been created to draw in Confederate deserters.  On Dec. 9, 1863, Lanning deserted it, never to return.  Or did he? 

            Someone named Andrew J. Lanning signed up with a new regiment, the 3rd N.C. Mounted Infantry, created by the notorious raider, Col. George W. Kirk, who inflated the bounty payment to $300.

            Oddly, the 2nd Infantry Andrew Lanning had dark eyes, hair, and complexion; was born in Henderson County; and was 20; whereas, the 3rd Infantry one was 18, had blue eyes and a fair complexion, and was born in Transylvania County, according to enlistment documents.

            The explanation, Garren says is that Kirk took kickback payments, and had to avoid Lanning being fingered as a deserter.  Lt. Col. J. Albert Smith made formal complaints about Kirk’s fraud.

            In his study, Garren backs up his summaries with spread sheets that allow readers to check his math.  He includes Union soldiers’ records and slaveholding statistics; and notes current controversies and battle and grave sites.

            “Measured in Blood” is dedicated to Barry Hollingsworth, a noted Henderson County Civil War genealogist, who passed away recently.

 

THE BOOK

Measured in Blood: The Role of Henderson County, North Carolina in the American Civil War by Terrell T. Garren (self-published hardcover, printed by Daniels Graphics, Dec. 2012, 588 pages).  It is on sale in several local independent bookstores and at the Henderson County Heritage Museum

 

THE AUTHOR

Visit Terrell Garren’s web page and blog on “The Read on WNC’ (TheReadonWNC.ning.com), and communicate with him there.

EVENTS

Terrell Garren speaks about Measured in Blood at the Henderson County Heritage Museum in the Historic Courthouse, 2 p.m., Dec. 15 (696-4879); and in Moungtain Made, Grive Arcade, Asheville, 4:30 p.m., Dec. 15 (350-0307).

 

PHOTO CAPTION

Terrell Garren checked out many battle sites, including this cliff called Rocky Face Ridge, where Henderson County soldiers had died in a battle against Gen. Sherman’s Army, May 7–13, 1864.

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