Editor’s note: See the link at the bottom of the story for a High Country Magazine article about Watauga County and the Civil War.
Sept. 4, 2012. Few other events have captured the attention of Americans as the American Civil War has. Nearly three million men served in the conflict, with more than 700,000 killed during its duration. North Carolina sent over 125,000 men into the armed forces, and more than 40,000 of those never returned to their Tar Heel homes. On the home front, families were forever changed by the war, and the events of the 1860s continue to influence our history, culture, and world today. With the on-going sesquicentennial celebrations, the war inspires countless questions and conversations.
Watauga County, and the surrounding area, sent a large portion of its male population to the fight. An estimated 986 men (and one woman) marched off to serve in the Confederate Army. Of that number, 233 were killed outright or died of disease or wounds during the war. An additional 36 men served in the Union army. Of course, the war touched the very soil of Watauga County, with raids by Federal forces, like Stoneman’s raid through the area in 1865, and deserters and dissidents as well.
All of these events, along with others, will be on the slate for a discussion about Watauga County and the Civil War on September 6, at the Watauga County Public Library. The program will begin at 6:30 pm, and everyone is invited.
The discussion will be led by acclaimed North Carolina Civil War scholar Michael C. Hardy. The 2010 North Carolina Historian of the Year has penned numerous books, articles, and blog posts about the experiences of Tar Heel soldiers both during and after the War. Hardy has also led a number of similar discussions in many other counties in the western half of North Carolina.
For the September 6 program, the format will be simple. While Mr. Hardy will facilitate the conversation and field questions, the subjects covered will largely be determined by the attendees. It will be an open forum for people to ask questions about the war, gain insights into Watauga County’s specific role, and to learn about the experiences of those who fought during the conflict. This is a perfect venue for anyone who has an interest in the war, had ancestors who fought, or who wants to better understand the transformative era of the American Civil War.
Everyone is invited to come and bring a friend. The event is free and open to the public.
To view an article in the June issue of High County Magazine about Watauga County and the Civil War by Michael Hardy, visit issuu.com/highcountrymagazine/docs/junemag/49.