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“The New Mind of the South”: Not your daddy’s Dixie

Tracy Thompson, a former newspaper reporter born and raised in Georgia, first got the idea for her book, "The New Mind of the South," when a cousin passed on a startling bit of family history. Their shared ancestor, Thomas Thompson, was a Union man. Thompson clan legend held that Thomas had briefly pretended to support the Union, but only because he hoped to be reimbursed for property confiscated by General Sherman. Thomas was in truth a staunch anti-Confederate according to documents held in the National Archive. Furthermore, he wasn't alone; Thompson found two dozen similar cases from the same small county when she visited the archives herself. "I'd always wondered why, unlike every other Southern family I knew, ours had no Civil War stories, " she remarks.

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