1. This was extremely interesting! However, it is so sad that it fell away from being enterprising so the story is lost to many. I am born and raised Northwest kid who until I lost my own father and got interested in history of our family and my husbands’ family did I learn about this occurrence!

    Thanks to the people who performed this and who made a documentary of it!!! Most of all thanks Donna R. Causey for making it possible for me to view this!!

    1. If you found this interesting you should read the book ” Torries of the hills”. It tells the story about Winston county before and during the war. Great book but very hard to find a copy. Tories of the hills

    2. I have always wondered if The Free State of Winston ever had a flag. Does anyone know? If so, I would like to see it flown with the other six flags that have flown over Alabama soil. I do not believe any other state could match that diversity and courage. I think it would be a tremendous statement.

  2. My Uncle Dan White had a part in To Kill A Mockingbird.!

  3. Marion County almost seceded too but was pressured not to. Two good books on this are “Southerners in Blue” by Don Umphrey and “Tories in the Hills” by Wesley Thompson.

  4. Used to be a play at Looney’s Tavern each summer about the Free State of Winston. I haven’t seen any ads lately, may have shut down.

  5. There was strong resentment against Winston County for not supporting the secession. Reportedly all the counties sent someone to a meeting in Montgomery concerning secession and fighting against the North. A man named Sheets represented Winston County. He stated that there were only 3 slaves in the entire county, and didn’t think they were worth fighting a war over. Sure wish the other counties in the state had been as insightful about the situation.

  6. My family lived in Winston County during the Civil War and I am a direct decendent of a member of Co. K, First Alabama Calvary, USA. I am very proud of tha fact and I live in Winston County today and yes I am a Republican, but please for the love of God, let me set the record straight, Winston County did not secede from the State. There was not and is not any legal way for that to happen. This is a fact so please stop trying to write history after the fact.

    1. Yes, I said that in the second paragraph in the article. Winston County never seceded from the state Alabama. I explained what took place in the article.

    2. If we say that Winston County never seceded from the state of Alabama because secession is illegal then couldn’t we also say that none of the purported southern states suceded either? Yet no one ever makes a point to say that those states “never seceded” yet people always have to mention that Winston County “didn’t”.

  7. Several north Alabama counties voted against secession on the original vote but changed their vote to show loyalty after the seccessionists won.

  8. http://www.freestateofwinston.org/1907census.htm

    1907 census free state of Winston – includes my ancestor John Blackwell… confederate soldier originally from GA

    1. The Estes man is my great-great-grandfather. Visited the little cemetery just a couple of months ago.

  9. My grandfathers brother joined the Confederates then left them an went to the Union because they paid more. Come to find out their money was good. But anyway he was from Winston County Ashridge an is buried at the Freewill Baptist Church in Ashridge. His picture is on his tall headstone in a Union uniform. This is true.

  10. My relatives also were from Winston County and served in the Union

    1. They served with the 1st. Alabama Calvary. I have done lots of research on this part of my family history. That area of the state is beautiful

  11. In the History of Walker County published in the 30’s, documents the unwillingness of Walker county’s delegation to vote for secession citing it will be bad for business. They finally went along with protest. The Mountain Eagle is in Walker County. Must have been owned by a secessionist.

  12. If you want to read the closest truth, read “TORIES OF THE HILLS.”

    1. Have you read “Southerners in Blue?” It is good too. Written by Don Umphrey. He has ties to this area; related to the Phillips family in Bear Creek. Historically accurate and talks about the families in this area.

    2. No, have looked for it though. Wesley S Thompson who wrote Tories was a friend of my Dad’s. He taught school at Bear Creek if I am not mistaken.

  13. Yes, Scout’s teacher was from Winston County.

  14. The statue in front of the courthouse in Winston County is interesting; “Dual Destiny”

  15. Woowee!! I’m proud to say I’m from Winston County, Alabama!!!

  16. Everyone should read the book and then watch the movie

  17. Read tories of the hills. Great book on this subject

    1. I just did a search for that book. They don’t have it at my local library, it’s $250 at Amazon! I’ll just have to put it on my “want to read” list.

    2. I have an original copy that was gifted to me by an elderly friend before she passed away. I cherish it

    3. My great uncle wanted Cecil B. DeMille to make a movie from the book. I have wanted to read it for years. I finally got it on inter-library loan last week. Go to your local library and order it. The cost was $5.00. I am so glad I took five minutes and $5 to finally read it. It wasn’t just Winston County. The author talked to people who lived through that terrible time and he tells the story with real events and real names.

    4. Yes Marie Davis, there are still decedent’s from those families that live in this area today

    5. I guess the new “Free State of Jones” movie has revived interest. There were many split families in Fayette, Marion and Walker Counties as well. Afterwards, nobody wanted to talk about it. They just wanted to move on with their lives. Many of those families came from the Carolinas and probably grew up hearing their grandparents tell stories of how brutal the Rev War was. They were resilient, strong people to have survived.

  18. You can still see references to the Free State of Winston in places there.

  19. I wonder why it was “such a white” county? Any ideas?

    1. I’ve always been told the people were too poor to own slaves.

  20. Great-great-great grandfather Daniel H. Young (I have copies of his Probate) (born 13 Mar 1814 Davidson Co, TN; died 7 Mar 1878, Jones Chapel, Cullman Co, AL — Jones Chapel was formerly part of “Free State of Winston”. He was Post Master there at one time.). Great-great-great grandmother is unknown. Great-great grandfather was John Wesley Young (born about 1838, Alabama; died at Decatur, Morgan Co. AL (of disease) on 25 Jun 1864 in AL First Cavalry). Great-great grandmother was Elizabeth P(aralee?) Jones (her parents unknown). She was born about 1834 in Georgia. She died 18 Feb 1902 in Alabama. They were married 5 Jan 1849 (1859?) in Winston Co. AL (probably Jones Chapel) at the house of John C. Jones. Married by John B. Nesmith, J.P. Witnesses were William W. Young (probably his brother) and Martha A. Plemmons (relationship — if any — unknown). Any kin here? Especially those interested in the pages of the probate record. I also made films of cemetery visits in Cullman, Walker and Winston. I made one of a cemetery in Morgan but I think the battery had died and nothing was captured. The films are all on those old VHS cartridges. Also visited the Cullman Public Library — their history room is great! And some of the court houses. And got copies of documents and made notes at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville. Both libraries have Family Files which should definitely be checked. Happy Hunting to all!

  21. My Family, BISHOP”S are from Bear Creek, Al…Winston county and Rode in the 1 st ALABAMA CALVARY ( Union ) in the Civil war..

  22. Donna, I truly love all the works you do for all of us. I grew up in Japan and Korea and loved hearing my mother’s stories of the South. She was raised in Tishomingo County Mississippi and her family had a long history there on the Tessessee river.
    I adopted Alabama as my home after I came out of the military and love your writings.

    1. I’m happy you enjoy them. We enjoy discovering them.

  23. Some good info but you left out the best part….Nathan Bedford Forrest. Please do better.

  24. My 5th Great grandfather was Tom Pink Curtis he is the one that gave the speech about if a state could leave the union then a county could leave a state. He was the probate Judge at the time. He was later murdered be the Confederacy.

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