Hitherto, my impression of the Home Guard units was that they were
amateurish local militia that were casually brushed aside by any regular
army units they had the misfortune to encounter.
Mr. Frazier was writing fiction, not history, and he's allowed (I guess)
to shape reality to suit his purposes. But I'd like to know if the group
members know if there is any historical foundation to Frazier's far
grimmer description of the Home Guard. It smacks more of the late-20th
century violence than mid-19th, but perhaps I'm wrong. Certainly the war
along Kansas-Missouri border gave up little to events in our century.
>Mr. Frazier was writing fiction, not history, and he's allowed (I guess)
>to shape reality to suit his purposes. But I'd like to know if the group
>members know if there is any historical foundation to Frazier's far
>grimmer description of the Home Guard. It smacks more of the late-20th
>century violence than mid-19th, but perhaps I'm wrong. Certainly the war
>along Kansas-Missouri border gave up little to events in our century.
I have read Cold Mountain and attended a reading by Mr. Frazier. In the
Q & A session he cited the shooting of Stobrod (and the boy) as being based
on a true story. He also claimed that the tale of the lead character is
essentially true, as is the end of the book.
There have been earlier posts concerning the home guard and the war in
general in the mountains of NC.
John Lansford recommended
>You need to read "War at Every Door; Partisan Politics & Guerilla
>Violence in East Tennessee 1860-1869", by Noel C. Fisher.
>Also, "Bushwackers; the Civil War in North Carolina- The Mountains" by
>William R. Trotter provides some good insights on that side of the
>Appalachians that are relevent to the TN side.
Also, W. G. Jeff Davis posted a rather detailed account of the massacre
(13 dead) at Shelton Laurel, N.C., in Jan 1863. His prefatory comment was
> ... [concerning] the Unionist movement in the
>south. Here is an example of what happened in one area of Western North
>Carolina, not all that far from the fictional "Cold Mountain".
>According to the "Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil
>War", Patricia L. Faust ed., Harper Perennial (Harper & Row), 1991. ISBN
>0-06-273116-5 (pbk.).: The entry entitled "Shelton Laurel, N.C., massacre
>at. Jan 1863"
The post can be found on Dejanews (http://www.dejanews.com/), and I note that
the moderators do not endorse the URLs we post, but I suspect that some of
them use this one!
Finally, I point out that while the novel, "Cold Mountain," is fiction,
there is in fact a real "Cold Mountain" in western NC, near the ancestral
homes of both Mr. Frazier and myself. Now it's time for me to start
asking my father about what his grandfathers (and great-grandfathers)
were doing during "the late unpleasantness."