"The majority of the hills people of North Alabama prior to the election of 1860 had received little attention in matters of government and politics. The hills people, in turn, had manifested a corresponding lack of interest in the same... The people of south Alabama looked upon those of north Alabama (especially the hills people) as being backward and incompetent in governmental affairs and treated them with an air of complete neglect, if not downright disrespect... Therefore, because of these prevailing attitudes toward each other, there had grown within the state a spirit of sectionalism which was no less intense, and little less pronounced, than that existing between the northern and southern states...
"The first issues over which sectional differences were voiced were: one, the basis of legislative representation and two, over the place where the state capitol was to be located. This was long before the question of slavery became a vital issue."
Wesley S. Thompson, "The Free State of Winston: A History of Winston County, Alabama," publisher not named, Winfield, Alabama, 1968, pp. 17-18.
"The state of things in the mountains between here and Columbus (Mississippi) is becoming bad, especially in parts of Marion, Walker and Winston Counties. The Tory influence amongst these poor, ignorant people is considerable..." Letter from Col. James E. Saunders to Major Gen. Joseph Wheeler, January, 1864. (Note the condescending attitude expressed by "poor, ignorant.")
P.S. Howell Raines has been working on another book about northwest Alabama. I believe it is a novel that focuses on the war.