Appalachia was a house divided during the Civil War. Its communities and families were torn apart by issues such as slavery and class conflict. Turning on each other, the war created more and more suffering. One resulting tragedy occurred in 1863 in Madison County, Shelton Laurel Valley, north of Asheville. Union supporters and Confederate army deserters entered Marshall, Madison’s county seat, to commandeer a supply of desperately needed salt. Confederate soldiers tracked them to their homes in Shelton Laurel and rounded up 13 males ranging in age from 12 to 59 perhaps 5 of whom had participated in the salt raid and killed them. The Shelton Laurel massacre personifies the hostility and hatred engendered by the Civil War in the Appalachian Mountains.
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