The decades following the Civil War in Appalachia were a time of decline and growth, confusion and organization, poverty and riches. The Civil War in the mountains, as described in this book, was a catastrophic experience for the region. The transportation infrastructure had been weakened. All investments in enslaved persons were lost with emancipation. Confederate money and bonds were now worthless, and many parts of Appalachia had no cash circulating to allow everyday activities to resume. As a result of all of these developments, many residents of the highland South were forced to borrow money at ruinous rates of interest.
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