My daddy’s people have lived in Amite County, Mississippi for over 200 years–before Mississippi even had statehood.  I confirmed this over the past week as I have been researching genealogical records for my family tree.  Of course, my childhood was steeped in this Southern history and tradition–both good and bad (i.e., grits for breakfast and “never trust a Yankee.”).

Hewitt children, ca. 1926, Amite County, MS

In my research, I came across this paragraph from the book “Liberty and Amite County Sesqui-Centennial, 1809-1959” that explains the mindset that I grew up with more than anything I could write myself.  This is a passage where all of the different “dominions” over Amite County are enumerated–the Spanish dominion, the French dominion, the Confederate dominion, etc.  And then we come to the last one:

“The Union Dominion, 1870-present:

After the war [Civil War] was lost came the reconstruction period.  The type of reconstruction forced upon the South by the Union was and will always be a blot on the government which forced it upon us.  After much of the Reconstruction period with its hardships, strife, and turmoil, Mississippi finally met the terms to be re-admitted into the Union.  Accordingly, the Legislature met March 8, 1870 with the State fully recognized and considered as “in the Union,” for the first time since January 1861. There were many adjustments to make after this re-entry.  The government had to be wrested from the carpetbaggers and the freedman who were ruling the county at that time.  She was under military rule from the end of the war until the close of the reconstruction period.”

Even in 1959, the wounds of the Civil War had still not healed in Amite County, MS.  Damn Yankees and carpetbaggers.