Redneck History

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I was wondering about redneck history, so I did a little research.

Redneck is often used as a derogatory term for rural white Americans that are seen as low class, poor, and uneducated.

The term was originally used to characterize farmers, because they often had sunburns on the back of their necks from spending hours working in the fields.

In the early 1900s, the word “redneck” was used to designate a political faction within the democratic party.  Supporters of this faction wore red bandanas to rallies and other events.

Today, the word isn’t always used in a negative way.  It can be used to describe anyone that lives in a rural area, enjoys being outdoors, or drives a truck.

 Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redneck

Cornwall Furnace in Cedar Bluff, Alabama

Cornwall Furnace was built between 1862 and 1863.  It was a cold blast furnace used to produce pig iron for the civil war.  It was small, but a major assist to the confederate states in the production of cannons and other types of military equipment.

However, its glory was short lived.  General Sherman occupied the area and had the furnace destroyed in 1864.  It was rebuilt after the war, but was only operational for seven years.

Lily Flagg – The Famous Cow

Lily Flagg was a Jersey cow and the world’s top producer of milk in the 1890’s.  She was owned by W. E. Mathews and General Samuel Moore of Huntsville, Alabama.

Lily Flagg won numerous state fairs and was invited to compete at the Chicago World Fair, which was an extreme honor.  While in Chicago, an inexperienced farm hand was given the job of caring for Lily Flagg.  He thought by not milking her for a couple of days, she would produce even more milk during the competition.

However, failing to milk a cow on a daily basis results in swelling of the udders and can lead to infection.  As a result, Lily Flagg did not perform well and lost the competition.

Lily Flagg went on to win other awards and was later used for breading.  Cows with Lily Flagg in their pedigree sold for top dollar.

Lily Flagg was the most famous cow in Alabama.  In Huntsville, there is a road named after her.  Her name continues to live on, even thorough she died over a hundred years ago.

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Andrew Jackson

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This biography of Andrew Jackson is well written and fun to read.  The following quotes sum up what the book had to say about Andrew Jackson.

  • Jackson believed in the common man, not the elite.  His presidency supported democracy as he believed it was meant to be practiced, not as the province of the rich and powerful, but as the birthright of ordinary people.
  • He used his veto power without qualm, vetoing more bills than had all the previous presidents combined.  He opposed legislation which threatened slavery, supported the availability of cheap public lands, and refused to recognize the judgement of the Supreme Court regarding the rights of Native American tribes.

Historic Travelers Rest Museum – Nashville, Tennessee

Saturday, we went to Nashville, Tennessee.  While we were there we visited the Travelers Rest Museum.

The Overton family home was named Travelers Rest  and was owned by Judge John Overton.  The plantation played a vital role during the Battle of Nashville, since battles were fought on the grounds.

After the war, the Overtones provided services for disabled Confederate veterans and founded the Confederate Soldiers’ Home.

The Overtone house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is now a museum.

I know it sounds nerdy, but my favorite part of the museum was the old school house.

The American Civil War

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The most interesting chapter in this book was about the role of woman in the Civil War.

Women in the North had a history of participating in social and political activities.  They were also more likely to be educated and allowed freedoms women in the South were denied.

In the South, women were subservient to men.  They were seen as beings that needed to be controlled.  They were less educated and had no experience with social or political activism.

During the war, Northern women worked in hospitals and with their help soldiers were less likely to die from infections.  They also prepared food and delivered it to the soldiers.  The aid given by women in the North played a role in the Armies ability to fight and win the war.