ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Cold Mountain, North Carolina
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Cold Mountain, North Carolina
Cold Mountain
Setting for the best selling book and movie that bear
its name, Cold Mountain rises from the horizon
west of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Cold Mountain
The peak of the mountain
rises to 6,030 feet and can be
seen from an overlook on the
Blue Ridge Parkway.
A Literary Landmark
The mountain is a key setting
in the best selling book
by Charles Frazier. It
tells the story of love and
tragedy during the Civil War.
Cold Mountain - A Literary Landmark in North Carolina
Setting for Civil War Romance
View from the Parkway
The mountain can be seen
clearly from an overlook on
the Blue Ridge Parkway and
the peak is also accessible
by trail.
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
For lovers of the popular book and movie
Cold Mountain, a view of the real mountain of
that name rising into the North Carolina sky
is an inspiring sight.

Written by Charles Frazier,
Cold Mountain is
a story of love and loss during the brutal days
of the Civil War. The book and subsequent
movie tell of a young couple that met at Cold
Mountain even as North and South were
rushing to war.

The heroine of
Cold Mountain is a young
woman named Ada, the daughter of a
minister, who falls in love with a Confederate
soldier named Inman. He goes off to war, but
the two carry on a romance by letter until he
is grievously wounded and decides he has
had enough of war. He then embarks on a
journey home to Cold Mountain and his

It is a beautifully written book and the movie
was nominated for seven Academy Awards,
with Renee Zellweger winning the award for
Best Support Actress. She played Ruby, the
rough and tumble country girl who comes to
help the delicately raised Ada save her farm.

Cold Mountain also delves into some of the
real history of the Civil War that many would
just as soon forget. The people of Cold
Mountain are not slave-holders, but rather
middle class and poor Southerners who
nevertheless support the Confederacy. It also
portrays Cherokee soldiers fighting for the
Confederate cause.

These are in many ways the forgotten men of
the war. The vast majority of Southern
soldiers came from families that did not own
slaves. As
Cold Mountain portrays, they went
off to fight out of patriotism for their state and
region, not to defend the "peculiar institution"
of slavery.

The story is also one of the few widely read
and viewed fictional accounts that tells of life
on the home front during the Civil War.
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It was a time when people suffered greatly
from hunger and devalued money. The men
were away on the battlefields and as the tide
turned against the South, many - like Inman -
became disillusioned and deserted for home.

Home guards did patrol the countryside not
just of North Carolina, but of the South as a
whole, looking for deserters and men who
were evading the conscription or draft. They
generally were much younger and older than
the ones portrayed in the movie and the
portrayal of murderous raids does not reflect
daily reality, but men were rounded up and
deserters and Union sympathizers often
found themselves hanging from the end of a
For an example, click here to read the
Alabama story of the Ghost of Sketoe's Hole.

The real Cold Mountain can be found in the
Shining Rock area of the Pisgah National
Forest in North Carolina. It is about 35 miles
south of Asheville.

For an easy and panoramic view, take the
Blue Ridge Parkway south from Asheville for
about 30 miles to the Cold Mountain overlook
at Milepost 412. The overlook is just past the
Mount Pisgah area.

Please click here to learn more about the
Blue Ridge Parkway and its other points of