Travels in Trump’s America

Sir, – Reading Suzanne Lynch's account of life  in Dandridge, Tennessee (Travels in Trump's America, World News August 7th), I was interested to learn that preparations for the annual Scots-Irish Festival were underway. Back in 1963, while involved in civil rights issues in more or less that part of the world, I was surprised to hear the Scots-Irish communities of the Appalachians often referred to as "The Southern Yankees".Why?

A researcher at the Highlander Education Centre in Knoxville explained. During the Civil War, being a mountainy people, the descendents of Ulster Scots had nothing in common with the slave-based economy of the plantation owners in the lowlands. They believed that the survival of the union was to their advantage. So despite being citizens of a Confederate state, many of their young men left home to enlist in the Union army. These “Southern Yankees”  are remembered in one of the songs of the great Appalachian musician, the late Frank Proffit: “Goin’ across the mountains / To join the boys in blue,/ When this war is over Chrissie / I’ll return to you”.

Many, of course, did not return. – Yours, etc,




Co Dublin.