In much of the South, the issue of the Civil War was not slavery or the legalities of whether a state had the right to secede. For many white Southerners, the issue was: Which is my true country, the United States or the Confederate States? In many places, loyalty to the Confederacy was the rule. But in Yadkin County, N.C., fierce conviction gripped both sides of the question, culminating in a February 1863 gun battle that traumatized the county for generations.
... An intricate web of kinship and economic interdependence knits together the region’s family farms, many of which were first tilled by frontiersmen and veterans of the Continental Army ... [whose] descendants remained loyal to the Union they helped to found.