This Week in Southern History (September 18 – September 24)

Welcome to the sixth entry of This Week in Southern History.

SEPTEMBER 18

1895: Booker T. Washington, a Black educator who advocated the advancement of his people through entrepreneurship and enterprise in lieu of agitation, met with Southern White leaders in Atlanta.  The “Atlanta Compromise,” as it was called, consisted of Southern Whites allowing Black education to be funded from the North, and Blacks agreeing not to agitate for “civil rights.”

No matter the feasibility or lack thereof of Washington’s plan, it was never enacted.  After his death in 1915, activists became more powerful among the Black population, leading to the “Civil Rights Movement” of the late 20th century.

SEPTEMBER 19

1676: Jamestown, the primary English settlement in Virginia, was burned down by participants in “Bacon’s Rebellion.”  The colonial governor, William Berkeley, was unresponsive toward the demands of the colonists for safety from Indian attacks.

Nathaniel Bacon, a prominent Virginia colonist, raised the standard of rebellion.  After several months, he built up a substantial force and marched on Jamestown.  The rebels, numbering around a thousand, consisted mostly of farmers and frontiersmen.  Governor Berkeley fled, leaving the burnt out settlement in the hands of Bacon’s men.

Berkeley was recalled to England by King Charles II, but only after the rebellion was crushed by royal troops.  In the aftermath, twenty three rebels were hanged (Bacon himself was not one of them, he died of dysentery before the crackdown).

SEPTEMBER 20

Image result for The Battle of Chickamauga
Battle of Chickamauga

1863: The Battle of Chickamauga, near the Tennessee-Georgia border, ended.  This was the second bloodiest battle of the American Civil War.  Beginning on September 18, the battle concluded in the victory of Braxton Bragg’s Confederates (~ 65,000 men) over a slightly smaller Union Army led by William Rosecrans (~ 60,000 men).

Despite the victory, which was the largest won by the Confederacy in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, the Confederates took more casualties than the Union during the battle. (18,000 compared to the Union’s 16,000).

1998: The Country Music Hall of Fame erected a bronze statue of musician Hank Williams Sr.  The release of the statue coincided with what would have been his 75th birthday.

SEPTEMBER 22

1711: The Tuscarora War began in eastern North Carolina with attacks by the Tuscarora Indians on English settlers.  The initial attacks caused hundreds of deaths, and the Indians took many prisoners as well.  According to Christoph Von Graffenfried, a Swiss settler who was one of these prisoners, the Tuscarora slaughtered captive women by impaling them on stakes.  In addition to this, they would invariably kill any white babies they could find – eighty of whom met gruesome fates during the opening stages of the Tuscarora War.

At the decisive Battle of Fort Narhantes in 1712, the Tuscarora were dealt a well-deserved defeat at the hands of the English settlers.  Hundreds were put to the sword, with hundreds more enslaved.

SEPTEMBER 24

1957: United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne to Little Rock, Arkansas, to force White schools to “integrate” black students.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of “This Week in Southern History.”  Was there something interesting or significant that I left out?

Let me know over twitter, where unfortunately Identity Dixie’s account has been banned.  My account’s handle is: @nugent_returns, so you can contact me there.

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