Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dixie's Loss Is Montana's Gain

From the Dec. 27, 2014, Great Falls (Montana) Tribune.

When the Confederacy was defeated, many former Southerners moved west and north to Montana.

Fort Benton, Montana was "a multi-racial melting pot that practically constituted an appendage of Missouri."

James William and Charlie Conrad were from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

James and Maria Conrad raised 13 children on Wapping Plantation.  With the war over, their 11 slaves gone, the plantation in ruins, they moved to Fort Benton according to family lore with nothing but a "single silver dollar."  From that, they built a business empire on the frontier.

Former Confederate veterans were in on the discovery of most of the largest strikes.

The songs "Dixie" and "Bonnie Blue Flag" were heard often and when news of Lincoln's assassination reached Montana, there was cheering in the streets.

This information is taken from a new book "Confederates in Montana Territory: In the Shadow of Price's Army" by Ken Robinson.

--Old Secesh

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