We post a new episode of Appalachian History weekly podcast every Sunday. Check us out on the Stitcher network, available on mobile phones, in-car dashboards and tablets worldwide. Just click below to start listening:
We open today’s show with a look at how ‘Home Guards’ led to post Civil War feuds in Fentress County, TN. During the war itself, the raids of passing soldiers was the excuse for the organization, by both sides, of bands who claimed they were ‘Home Guards’—the Federals under Tinker Beaty, and the Confederates under Champ Ferguson. These bands, each striving for mastery, developed into guerrillas of the worst type the war produced, and anarchy prevailed.
We’ll pause in between things to catch up on a Calendar of Events in the region this week, with special attention paid to events that emphasize heritage and local color.
Frances Benjamin Johnston transcended both regional and national notions about women’s place in the 19th century to become a pioneer in American photography and photojournalism. Born in 1864 in Grafton, WV, Johnston is best known as a crusader with her camera for the historic preservation of the Old South.
“These crackers had ways peculiarly their own,” said Bill Arp of Cartersville, GA in a speech titled The Georgia Cracker, delivered in 1892 at the 4th annual Scotch-Irish Congress in Atlanta. “The Georgia cracker was a merry-hearted, unconcerned, independent creature, and all he asked was to be let alone by the laws and the outside world.”
We’ll wrap things up with the tale of a ship crushed in an ice gorge on the Ohio River in the winter of 1917-18. “There was a wailing and gnashing of timberheads, cavels and lines snapping,” says by Capt. Tom Greene, owner of Cincinnati shipping company Greene Line Steamers. “Pretty soon someone hollered, “here she comes,” meaning the GREENLAND. As the GREENLAND hove in sight on her side everybody stood in silence.”
And, thanks to the good folks at Ferrum College, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian dulcimer music by Dave Talbert in a 1977 recording of Little Mohee.
So, call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corn-cob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian History.