Before, during, and after the US Civil War (1861-1865) the population of the country was predominantly rural. Most people lived by farming a small acreage outside a small town. The industrial revolution was still going on; factories sprang up in cities with ready access to railroads. Commerce and wealth accumulation were king and queen of the land to many who were so inclined.
The political scene was a mess. Empty threats and promises landing on each ear, the voters took what information came from the newspapers, the magazines, and their neighbors and tried to make sense of it. Often there was no sense to be made. They voted their consciences as best they could. The results of casting those ballots were a disaster. Shots fired in April of 1861 at Fort Sumter ignited the hostilities, formerly hinted at and shouted about, into actual conflict. Common people on both sides of the issue, and in all the states, were caught in the financial and political turmoil called war. It was a dirty and ugly and nasty business. Those leading the factions lied and manipulated to recruit and control followers to their agendas.
A different time and setting, for certain. Yet maybe things haven’t changed all that much.
Read Longshot in Missouri to learn more of that behavior. Meet Rob and others and enjoy traveling along with them.