The Civil War Along The Cumberland Plateau

On Sunday, October 11th at 3 P.M., the Franklin Civil War Round Table will host professor,, author, and historian Dr. Aaron Astor, who will speak on the his new book, The Civil War Along Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau.

The terrain, the people, and the politics of the Cumberland Plateau combined to become the perfect setting for the most vicious guerrilla warfare outside of Missouri. The violence was epitomized by the rivalry between the Confederate Champ Ferguson and the Unionist Tinker Dave Beaty. The landscape, full of hidden hollows, gorges and streams, provided perfect cover for those who preyed on the local populace in the name of war. These guerilla fighters ranged from murderers, opportunists and psychopaths with no loyalties to local farmers trying to protect their families. The bitter conflict affected thousands of Tennesseans and its effects are still felt today.

Dr. Astor is associate professor of History at Marysville College in East Tennessee. He has written numerous articles on the Civil War era focusing largely on the Upper and Border South. In 2013, Louisiana State University Press published his first book, Rebels on the Border: Civil War, Emancipation and the Reconstruction of Kentucky and Missouri, 1860-1872.

Astor is currently president of the East Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association and is on the board of the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association, the Blount County Historical Museum and the Blount Historic Trust.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Hamilton College (NY) and earned his Ph.D. in History from Northwestern University. He resides in Maryville with his wife, Samantha and their children.

This website was funded in part by the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, a partnership unit of the National Park Service.

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