I finally got the chance to browse through Susie Blaylock McDaniel’s Official History of Catoosa County Georgia, 1853-1953. Unfortunately, the book is not giving me much insight into the slave history of Catoosa County. Published for the first time in 1957, the book lacks significant scholarship over the last sixty years. What little information is in the book, is wrapped in the old Lost Cause narrative. Take for example McDaniels dedication to “[Catoosa’s] Colored Citizens,”:
These people [colored citizens] deserve mention among our citizenry. The muscles of the slaves of the pre-Civil War days hewed down the massive forest trees that covered the country and put our fields into cultivation. They continued to do the hard labor on the farms until freed.
There is nothing in history to compare with the faithfulness of the Negroes during the Civil War. While their masters left home and went away to fight to keep them in bondage, they stayed at home, worked the plantations, cared for the women and children, and proved faithful to the trust imposed in them by their owners. There is not one instance of a slave proving himself a danger to the white women and children left in his care. In one night, if they had organized and started on a campaign of murder and arson, they could have stopped the war and brought the men home to care for their families. But they did nothing of this sort. All honor to them for this faithfulness! This proves that much of the excitement of the north about the mistreatment of the Negroes by the whites was unfounded.
This short snippet reminds me of the “loyal slave narrative” mentioned often over at Kevin Levin’s Civil War Memory blog.