After Appomattox: Military Occupation and the Ends of War by Gregory P. Downs

By Gregory P. Downs

On April eight, 1865, after 4 years of civil battle, basic Robert E. Lee wrote to basic Ulysses S. furnish soliciting for peace. Peace was once past his authority to barter, supply spoke back, yet hand over phrases he may talk about. As Gregory Downs finds during this gripping background of post–Civil conflict the USA, Grant’s contrast proved prophetic, for peace might elude the South for years after Lee’s give up at Appomattox.

After Appomattox argues that the struggle didn't finish with accomplice capitulation in 1865. as an alternative, a moment part began which lasted till 1871―not the venture euphemistically known as Reconstruction yet a nation of real belligerency whose project used to be to form the phrases of peace. utilizing its conflict powers, the U.S. military oversaw an formidable career, stationing tens of hundreds of thousands of troops in enormous quantities of outposts around the defeated South. This groundbreaking examine of the post-surrender profession makes transparent that its goal used to be to weigh down slavery and to create significant civil and political rights for freed humans within the face of rebels’ daring resistance.

But reliance on army profession posed its personal dilemmas. In components past military keep an eye on, the Ku Klux Klan and different violent insurgencies created near-anarchy. citizens within the North additionally couldn't abdominal a pricey and demoralizing career. below these pressures, via 1871, the Civil warfare got here to its criminal finish. The wartime after Appomattox disrupted planter energy and tested vital rights, however the sunrise of felony peacetime heralded the go back of insurgent energy, now not a sustainable peace.

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They acted from their desire to protect their economic system but also from their broader belief that slavery was at the center of their way of life, even of their religious faith. To abandon slavery would mean something worse than losing a war; it would mean losing an entire culture. Some relied upon brute force to create the expectation that slavery endured. ”9 The scars on the backs of slaves, like the sliced ears of slaves attacked in Mississippi and Alabama, were meant to mark them as still enslaved.

To abandon slavery would mean something worse than losing a war; it would mean losing an entire culture. Some relied upon brute force to create the expectation that slavery endured. ”9 The scars on the backs of slaves, like the sliced ears of slaves attacked in Mississippi and Alabama, were meant to mark them as still enslaved. But planters’ hopes for salvaging slavery depended upon the resumption of peacetime. If the rebel states were restored to civil government, as Sherman’s armistice promised, their political leaders would likely reject the Thirteenth Amendment and stop soldiers from intervening.

What the army aimed to control was not private opinion but public expression in the form of speeches, newspaper columns, and uniforms. S. soldiers. Although romances of reunion emphasize close collaboration between Northern soldiers and white Southern civilians, the early weeks were defined by mistrust, fear, and apprehension. “Not a drop of sympathy do they have from me,” one soldier in Louisiana wrote in April. S. S. 31 Because the army’s policies were still unfolding during the weeks after surrender, it can be hard to grasp the concrete implications of the continuation of wartime.

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