Lost States. Read on for more about the lost state of Nickajack.
The epicenter of this anti-secession sentiment was Winston County, Alabama. On July 4th, 1861, 2,500 people gathered there to declare their neutrality. The “Free State of Winston” was born.
Winston soon became a haven for anti-war types—sort of a Berkeley for the Civil War era.
Of course, the Confederates weren’t too happy about this, and regularly staged raids into Winston County to gather up unwilling conscripts. Winston’s draft-dodgers didn’t flee to the North, they just hid—and Winston County had lots of valleys and hollows to hide in. Some men got caught and ended up fighting for the Confederacy; others joined the Union Army; and some just kept hiding. For all we know, they may still be squirreling themselves away in the backwoods of Winston County. Winston wasn’t alone. People of the surrounding counties had much the same sentiment. And all of eastern Tennessee voted against secession—as did the people of northwest Georgia.
A plan was formulated to connect these disaffected southerners and create a neutral state—called Nickajack. No official map of Nickajack was ever made... my map is an approximation. For more, get Lost States.