This introductory chapter explains the coverage of this book, which is about the importance of the border between eastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia for the Confederacy and the Union during the American Civil War. It explains that though the area hosted only small communities and sparse populations, its location, geographic features, and mineral resources made the central Appalachians a goal of both nations. The chapter also suggests that the dual occupation of the region by the Union and Confederate armies divided the borderland population and created hostilities within the region that persisted long after the war was over.
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