Thank you for your thoughtfull and detailed reply. The more I read about CW history the more I learn of various contoversies . I am suprised that hill counties sent a lot of recruits to both sides one would think it would be one side or the other but for some reason the hill counties of Al and indeed some other Southern states were split. The sociological argument why Southners in the hill counties has ben advanced by a few authors maybe it is not true per se maybe different young men just had different political opinions on which side was the better one to fight for?
I did not know that Pinkertons reports on CSA were actually very accurate. The standard line I read was that Pinkerton sent grossly overestimated reports to little Mac and he in turn just forwarded them to the President. Thank you for the link to the above book.
On a slightly off topic note I am a federal contract guard and my company is asking guards to go to AL to guard FEMA sites for 4 to 6 weeks so help is on the way. I wanted to go but then thought younger guys in better shape would be more suitable then me.