Eveline, Will and Suzanne
Without a Country is the story of families struggling to survive while caught in the whirlwind of the Civil War. The citizens of Watauga County, North Carolina were a curious lot. Prior to the war they voted overwhelmingly against the state convention to secede from the Union. Slavery was uncommon in the county. But the passions of men with power prevailed and North Carolina joined the Confederacy.
Will and Suzanne were subsistence farmers in Watauga County. As the war drug on, Will faced conscription, fighting, and death. And when he walked away from Confederate service he faced the wrath of the Home Guard. He was not alone. Men from Watauga County and the neighboring mountain counties deserted the Southern Cause in droves.
Suzanne and her children made it through the dark years of the war by staying close to kin. The Home Guard harassed her and hunger became a member of the family. Most of the men were gone and the women needed to support one another. Suzanne and Eveline, her sister-in-law, were truly soldiers in the war at home. Eveline was Will’s sister… and Eveline married Elkana Lusk, Suzanne’s brother.
Suzanne and Eveline made the dangerous trips to Saltville together to get salt. They watched each other’s children and pitched-in to help one another. The cousins were enthusiastic friends – – and their mothers had a friendship that came from enduring the risks and pain of war together.