The Nature of the War
• One reason the war was so bloody is because men on both sides
were fighting for a cause they believed in to the root of their being.
Another has to do with the nature of war. Once begun, war acquires a
momentum of its own. Soldiers, generals, and presidents start doing
what it takes to win.
• The Confederate line at Fredericksburg stretched for seven miles on a series of hills
and ridges – on December 13 1862,
• Orders then rang out for the final advance. Quickly a new Federal brigade burst
toward Marye's Heights and the "terrible stone wall," then another, and another,
until three entire divisions had hurled themselves at the Confederate bastion. In
one hour, the Army of the Potomac lost nearly 3,000 men; but the madness
• During the Battle of Fredericksburg, Confederate artillery and infantry lined the
heights. Not a single Union soldier reached the heights, 8,000 fell in the attempt.
• The hideous cries of the wounded, "weird, unearthly, terrible to hear and bear,"
echoed through the night.
• Why would Union General Hooker put so many of his men in a perilous suicidal
A War captured in Photography
• Mathew Brady
• His team of photographers
captured how the war
became a lethal slaughter
• There are many more images
from Northern than from
Why might that be and what,
if anything, does the
difference suggest about the
two regions during the Civil
The Civil War: First Modern War
• The Two Combatants
• The Technology of War
• Mobilizing Resources
• Lincoln’s Mission for Emancipation
1. What made the Civil War the first modern war & how did the
public sphere shape public opinion as the war became more
2. Identify the early Southern successes and how the North
ultimately defeated the South over four years.
3. Describe how the war developed from a one to preserving the
Union to Freeing the slaves.
Battle Hymn of the Republic & Dixieland
Mine eyes have seen the
glory of the coming of
the lord, He is trampling
out the vintage where
the grapes of wrath are
stored, He hath loosed
his fateful lightning of
His terrible swift
sword, His truth is
I wish I was in the land of cotton
Old times there are not forgotten
Look away, look away, look away to
In Dixie Land where I was born
Early on one frosty morn
Look away, look away, look away to
I wish I was in Dixie
In Dixie Land I'll take my stand
To live and die in Dixie
Away, away, away down south in Dixie
Away, away, away down south in Dixie
Look out, Mama,
there's a white boat
comin' up the river
With a big red beacon,
and a flag,
and a man on the rail
I think you'd better call
'Cause it don't
look like they're here
to deliver the mail
And it's less than a mile
I hope they didn't come to
It's got numbers on the
and a gun
And it's makin' big waves.
by Neil Young
my brother's out hunting
in the mountains
Big John's been drinking
since the river took Emmy-
So the powers that be
left me here
to do the thinkin'
And I just turned twenty-
I was wonderin' what to do
And the closer they got,
The more those feelings
Daddy's rifle in my hand
He told me,
Red means run, son,
numbers add up to nothin'
But when the first shot
hit the docks I saw it comin'
Raised my rifle to my eye
Never stopped to wonder
Then I saw black,
And my face splashed in the
Shelter me from the powder
and the finger
Cover me with the thought
that pulled the trigger
Think of me
as one you'd never figured
Would fade away so young
With so much left undone
Remember me to my love,
I know I'll miss her.
• The Secession Movement – The Seven Deep Cotton Producers Leave US
• The Secession Crisis – Lincoln Inaugural Speech
• And the War Came
Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural address was delivered by President Abraham Lincoln, on Monday, March 4,
1861. After being snuck into our nation’s capitol for fear of his life – Lincoln delivered a conciliatory message
" I am loath to close. We are not
enemies, but friends. We must
not be enemies. Though passion
may have strained it must not
break our bonds of affection.
The mystic chords of memory,
stretching from every battlefield
and patriot grave to every living
heart and hearthstone all over
this broad land, will yet swell the
chorus of the Union, when again
touched, as surely they will be,
by the better angels of our
nature.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
They thought it would be a short conflict….
• The most destructive war in America's history was fought among its own
• The CIVIL WAR was a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. For four long
and bloody years, Americans were killed at the hands of other Americans.
One of every 25 American men perished in the war. Over 620,000 soldiers
were killed. Many civilians also died — in numbers often unrecorded.
• At the battle of Antietam, more Americans were killed than on any other
single day in all of American history. On that day, 22,719 soldiers fell to
their deaths — four times the number of Americans lost during the D-Day
assault on Normandy in WWII. In fact, more American soldiers died in the
Civil War than in all other American wars combined.
• The war was fought in American fields, on American roads, and in
American cities with a ferocity that could be evoked only in terrible
nightmares. Nearly every family in the nation was touched by this war.
Scarcely a family in the South did not lose a son, brother, or father.
• Four long years of battle changed everything. No other event since the
Revolutionary War altered the political, social, economic, and cultural
fabric of the United States. In the end, a predominantly industrial society
triumphed over an agricultural one. The Old South was forever changed.
The blemish of slavery was finally removed from American life, though its
legacy would long linger.
Strategies: The Geography of the War
• The Civil War was fought in two main theaters: the
East, where most of the fighting occurred in
Virginia; and the West, where most of the fighting
took place in the area between the Appalachian
Mountains and the Mississippi River.
• In the East, the North's main objective was the
Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, which
was defended by Robert E. Lee, commander of the
Army of Northern Virginia.
• Out West, the North's objective was to reopen the
Confederate-controlled Mississippi River, and to use
the river as an invasion highway into the South.
HOW DID PRESIDENT LINCOLN USE EXECUTIVE POWER TO PRESERVE THE FEDERAL
1. Message to Congress on July 1, 1861“no choice was left but to call out the
war power of the Government; and so to resist force employed for its
destruction by force for its preservation.” Lincoln claimed that his actions
were necessary to save the Union and the Constitution – Congress then
passed laws expanding Lincoln’s Presidential War time powers to defeat
2. The Prize Cases, which came before the Supreme Court in 1863 posed
another constitutional test of Lincoln’s use of war powers during an
emergency. On April 19, Lincoln had proclaimed a blockade of ports in the
Confederate states. Four owners of ships seized by U.S. naval forces
claimed the president had exceeded his executive authority under the
Constitution by blockading seaports without a declaration of war by
Congress. The Court decided (5 votes to 4) against the petitioners, and
concluded that the president had constitutionally used his war powers in a
moment of crisis to oppose an insurrection.
3. At the outset of the war, Lincoln suspended the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus and approved military trials for civilians accused of aiding or
abetting the Confederacy in certain areas of the country. More than 12,000
civilians were arrested and held by the military during the Civil War.
4. John Merryman military prison in Maryland, where he had been detained
Catch Me if You Can…while I hide
in the Shenandoah
Cotton Diplomacy & Bloody Antietam
1. Initially, CSA President Jefferson Davis believed that if the South
withheld its cotton exports from England, the English would be
economically pressured to support the southern cause.
2. Poor struggling yeoman southern farmers only saw such acts as
further proof that the war was a “Rich man’s war and a poor man’s
3. However, England had a surplus of Cotton prior to the war’s start
and began developing its own cotton industry in its colonial regions
of Egypt and India.
4. Robert E. Lee Jefferson Davis believed that one more successful
campaign might bring British and French recognition of the
5. Although Britain and France both saw advantages of a split United
States, neither country was willing to support the Confederacy
without being convinced the South could win. Lee and Davis were
desperately seeking that decisive victory.
"The most deadly fire of the war. Rifles are shot to pieces in the hands
of the soldiers, canteens and haversacks are riddled with bullets, the
dead and wounded go down in scores." Captain Benjamin F. Cook of
the 12th Massachusetts Infantry, on the attack by the Louisiana Tigers
at the Cornfield
"So thick were men lying that General Hood found difficulty in keeping
his horse from stepping on wounded men." General D. H. Hill,
September 17, 1862, Antietam
At the place known as Antietam, Hood's Brigade had been so cut to
pieces that when its dauntless commander was asked, "Where is
your division?" Hood replied, "Dead on the field!"
1. On September 15, Lee deployed his 30,000 soldiers on some four
miles of rising ground behind ANTIETAM CREEK. He utilized the
cover of rock outcroppings, rolling farmland, stone walls, fields of
standing corn, and a sunken road in the center of his line.
2. The battle began early on the morning of September 17 when
Union troops under the command of GENERAL JOSEPH HOOKER
attacked the forces of Stonewall Jackson across a cornfield that
lay between them. The fighting was ferocious. The battle surged
back and forth across the cornfield 15 times, costing each side
nine generals. Within five hours, 12,000 soldiers lay dead or
wounded, and the weary opponents stopped fighting for the day.
3. This day sits in history as the bloodiest single day America has
ever suffered. Over 22,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or
missing — more than all such casualties during the entire
American Revolution. Lee lost a quarter of his army; the survivors
headed back to Virginia the next night.
1. By mid-1862 Lincoln had come to believe in the need
to end slavery. Besides his disdain for the institution,
he simply felt that the South could not come back into
the Union after trying to destroy it.
2. The opposition Democratic Party threatened to turn
itself into an antiwar party. Lincoln's military
commander, General George McClellan, was
vehemently against emancipation.
3. Many Republicans who backed policies that forbid
black settlement in their states were against granting
blacks additional rights.
4. When Lincoln indicated he wanted to issue a
proclamation of freedom to his cabinet in mid-1862,
they convinced him he had to wait until the Union
achieved a significant military success.
1. On January 1, 1863, the war formally made its transition to one of securing the Union
to one of finally abolishing slavery. By signing and issuing the Emancipation
Proclamation, Lincoln reflected his personal changing views upon slavery that would
shape the nation’s as well. However, the document did not free all the slaves and at
first applied to very few.
1. Based on Lincoln’s authority as military commander-in-chief, the proclamation
exempted areas under Union control. Thus, it did not apply to loyal border slave
states that had not seceded or to parts of the Confederacy occupied by Union forces,
such as Tennessee and parts of Virginia and Louisiana. But it declared free the vast
majority of the South’s slaves, more than 3 million men, women, and children. Still
behind Confederate lines, these slaves would be free only when Union military
success made them so.
1. The Emancipation Proclamation made the Union Army an agent of freedom and
promised the death of slavery by combining the goals of abolition and the Union. It
altered the nature of the Civil War and the course of American history. It also
represented a change in Lincoln’s thinking. Lincoln did not mention compensating
slaveholders for the loss of their slaves, nor did he mention colonization. The order
committed the North to enlisting blacks soldiers in the Union Army.
1. Now the Civil War, begun to preserve the nation, now promised a revolutionary
transformation of southern life and a redefinition of American freedom. Without
colonization, emancipation meant incorporating freed slaves into American life. A new
system of labor, politics, and race relations would have to replace slavery.
“Fellow citizens, we cannon escape history, the
fiery trial through which we pass will light down,
in honor or dishonor to the latest generation…in
giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom
to the free – honorable alike in what we give,
and what we preserve,” Lincoln announced in
December 1862 just prior to the formal adoption
of the Emancipation Proclamation.
“Sound the loud timbrel o’ver Egypt’s dark sea,
Jehovah has triumphed, his people are free,”
exclaimed a black preacher during a
celebration in Boston.
William Tecumseh Sherman put it more bluntly: "We have not yet killed
enough," he told another general. "We must make this war so fatal and
horrible that a century will pass before...new traitors will dare to resort to
violence and war to achieve their ends.”
As Sherman said before his march from Atlanta to the city of
Savannah Georgia in 1864: "This war is different from European wars
of the past. We're fighting not only a hostile army, but a hostile people.
And we must make them, old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard
hand of war."
"You Southerners underestimate the people of the North. You are rushing
into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical and
determined people on earth--right at your doors. You are bound to fail."
Vicksburg: The Key to Ending Southern Economic
Stability & Moral
1. The Vicksburg campaign brought the Union army,
for the first time, into the heart of cotton culture.
2. And it began, and this is important, at the time
Lincoln signed his Emancipation Proclamation on
January l, l863. These factors of geography and
timing would make it the most important military
campaign of the war.
3. It took Grant 6 months to capture the place. And in
trying to capture it his huge, marauding army
roamed over the countryside, confiscating and
burning plantations and freeing slaves, and causing
general wreck and ruin.
For the South it was a cruel irony. In holding on to
Vicksburg, Rebel soldiers were losing, losing their
farms, losing their slaves, and having their wives
and children turned into terror-stricken refugees
by Yankee raiders.
But maybe the worst indignity, the worst insult of
all, was seeing their former slaves in Yankee blue,
So Grant settled in for a siege. Every night his
men dug approach trenches toward the
Confederate lines. And every day and night his
artillery and the Navy's mortar boats pounded the
city. For 47 days the two armies faced each other
at distances, in some places, of less than 25 feet.
Robert E. Lee had a vision.
•He proposed to take the
Pennsylvania, and defeat the
Union Army in its own territory.
Such a victory would relieve
Virginia of the burden of war,
strengthen the hand of PEACE
DEMOCRATS in the North,
and undermine Lincoln's
chances for reelection.
• It would reopen the possibility
for European support that was
closed at Antietam. And
perhaps, it would even lead to
•The battle that would turn the
tide of the war was fought at
Gettysburg is a small
Pennsylvania town 50 miles NW
of the nation’s capital – it was
known as a seminary college and
a cross roads for railroads…
•The result of this vision was the largest battle ever fought on the North American
continent. This was GETTYSBURG, where more than 170,000 fought and over
40,000 were casualties.
•The worst sight in war is a battlefield after the battle. At Gettysburg, where there
were 50,000 casualties, the scene was beyond belief. Two gigantic armies, Robert
E. Lee's army of 70,000 and George Gordon Meade's army of 90,000, had fought
the greatest battle of the Civil War in a college town of 2,500 residents. They shot
the place, and each other, to pieces.
•At noon on July 2, the second day of the battle, Lee ordered his divisions to
attack, hoping to crumble both sides of the Union line and win the battle. The BIG
ROUND TOP and LITTLE ROUND TOP were nearby hills that had been left
unprotected. If the Confederates could take these positions, they could surround
the Union forces.
• Union troops under COLONEL JOSHUA CHAMBERLAIN arrived just in time to meet
Confederate troops charging up the hill to Little Round Top. In some of the most
ferocious fighting of the battle, Chamberlain's 20th Maine held on to Little Round
Top and perhaps saved the Union from defeat.
• Lee was determined to leave Pennsylvania with a victory. On the third day of
battle, he ordered a major assault against the center of the Union line on
CEMETERY RIDGE. Confederate batteries started to fire into the Union center. The
firing continued for two hours. At 3 p.m., 14,000 Confederate soldiers under the
command of GENERAL GEORGE PICKETT began their famous charge across three-
quarters of a mile of open field to the Union line.
• Few Confederates made it. Lee's attempt for a decisive victory in Pennsylvania had
failed. He had lost 28,000 troops — one-third of his army. A month later, he offered
his resignation to Jefferson Davis, which was refused. Meade had lost 23,000
• The hope for Southern recognition by any foreign government was dashed. The
war continued for two more years, but Gettysburg marked the end of Lee's major
offensives. The Confederacy tottered toward its defeat.
A New Birth Of
• Lincoln had been invited to speak a dedication of a national cemetery for the
Union soldiers who died at a Gettysburg
• He would follow distinguished speaker Edward Everett who spoke for over an hours
• Anticipating the President’s speech, a photographer began setting up his camera –
• Lincoln stood up took his speech out of his hat and delivered the most significant
speech in our history – it only lasted 2 minutes – The Photographer missed it – but
• What does it mean??
The Gettysburg Address
afternoon of Thursday, November
1. Lincoln attempted to redefine the Civil War itself.
2. For years, the South had argued that the U.S. Constitution allowed for both the
institution of slavery as well as the secession of the Confederate states in defense
of its rights.
3. Lincoln turned that on its head, stating that the true moral and legal codes of the
nation preceded the Constitution and were found instead in the Declaration of
Independence, with its “proposition that all men are created equal”—blacks as
well as whites.
4. Surrounded by the recently buried dead of the Civil War’s bloodiest battle, he
argued that the conflict must have higher, loftier goals than previously stated. No
longer could either side view it as a fight to preserve just one nation.
5. Instead, it was a battle to defend the very idea of democracy itself, proving that
the idea of “government of the people, by the people, for the people” was
possible and ushering in a “new birth of freedom.”
6. Edward Everett seems to have been among the first to realize that his own speech
would be best remembered as, essentially, a historical warm-up act. The day after
the ceremony, he wrote to Lincoln, famously stating that he hadn’t come “as near
to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”
A. Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this
continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the
proposition that "all men are created equal."
B. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or
any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met
on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of
it, as a final resting place for those who gave their lives so that this nation
might live. It is all together fitting and proper that we do this.
C. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we
can not hallow, this ground—The brave men, living and dead, who
struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or
detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here;
but it can never forget what they did here.
D. It is rather for us, the living, to be dedicated to the great task remaining
before us —that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to
that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion—
that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain;
E. that this nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government
of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Lincoln’s Thesis for Freedom
Andersonville Prison Camp
Andersonville held more captured Union soldiers than any
other Confederate camp, a total of more than 45,000,
nearly 30 percent of whom died in captivity.
The North had learned of the camp's appalling conditions
well before the emaciated survivors were released in
1865, and outraged citizens urged retribution on Southern
prisoners of war.
That was hardly necessary: the Union had its own
wretched prison camps, including Elmira, New York,
where the death rate approached Andersonville's, even
though the North was far better equipped to cope with
captured soldiers. Mismanagement and severe shortages
were more to blame for the horrors of Andersonville than
any deliberate attempt to mistreat prisoners.
Fort Pillow & Nathan Bedford Forest
“The affair at Fort Pillow was simply an orgy of death, a
mass lynching to satisfy the basest of conduct –
intentional murder – for the vilest of reasons – racism
and personal enmity.”
“Whether the massacre was premeditated or
spontaneous does not address the more fundamental
question of whether a massacre took place... it certainly
did, in every dictionary sense of the word.”
“One of the wounded negroes told me that he had'nt
done a thing, and when the rebels drove our men out of
the fort they (our men) threw away their guns and cried
out that they surrendered; but the rebels kept on
shooting them down until they had shot all but a few.” ~
ROBERT S. CRITCHELL, USN as reported to New York Times published May 3, 1864
Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural
Speech March 4, 1864
Lincoln's Second Inaugrual Address
delivered on March 4, 1865.
Inspired by the Bible, Lincoln refers to the
outcome of the war as “God’s Will” and
impresses upon his audience of 14,000
that “forgiveness and mercy” should reign
over the land when the war ends
This is the speech in which he urges
Americans to work together to heal the
nation, "(w)ith malice toward none, with
charity for all...."
1. Expecting the Civil War to end within a month but concerned that his 1863
Emancipation Proclamation may be discarded by the courts once the war had
concluded and the 13th Amendment defeated by the returning slave states,
Lincoln believed it was imperative to pass the a constitutional amendment by the
end of January 1865, thus removing any possibility that slaves who have already
been freed may be re-enslaved.
2. To gain support from both Radical Republicans, led by Thaddeus Stevens and
Charles Sumner who demanded an immediate emancipation of all slaves,
including universal suffrage, and conservative Republicans led by party founder
Francis Blair who desired a negotiated peace settlement with the CSA – Lincoln
had significant obstacles in winning the passage.
3. In addition, his “Team of Rivals” – his own cabinet pressured Lincoln to delay the
Amendment following the many new Republican legislators who had defeated
many Democrats in the 1864 Mid-term elections.
4. Nevertheless, Lincoln firmly fought for the passage with political savvy,
compromises and Grant’s timely capture of Petersberg Harbor – the gateway to
finally capturing the CSA’s capitol of Richmond.
5. On January 31, 1865, Congress, after months of debate and delay approved the
Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery throughout the entire Union.
6. The Thirteenth Amendment completed the abolition of slavery in the United States,
which had begun with President Abraham Lincoln issuing the Emancipation
Proclamation in 1863.
Passage of the 13th Amendment
1. In November 1864, Sherman started a “March to the Sea” from Atlanta
to the Georgia coast. His forces destroyed railroads, buildings, and
food and supplies to deny their use by Confederate troops.
2. Sherman’s vision of destroying civilian property and resources as a
way to win the war was controversial but very modern. Sherman
continued his path of destruction into South Carolina, freeing slaves
and ruining plantations. Total war meant the total defeat of the old
3. On April 2, Grant finally pierced Lee’s lines at Petersburg, causing Lee to
retreat and abandon Richmond, which was occupied by northern troops
the next day.
4. On April 4, Lincoln, ignoring his own safety, walked Richmond’s streets,
accompanied by only a dozen troops. Slaves celebrated and praised him
everywhere he went. Lee and his army headed west but were soon
surrounded by Grant’s army.
5. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, on April 9, bringing
the Civil War to an end. Only five days later, before Lincoln could
announce plans to reconstruct the south, he was assassinated by John
Wilkes Booth, a celebrated actor, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.
Gone With the Wind: 1864/65 – The Surrender of the Confederates
States of America
The Conflict over Reconstruction
• Lincoln’s 10 % Plan
• Andrew Johnson
• The Failure of Presidential Reconstruction
• The Black Codes
• The Radical Republicans
• The Origins of Civil Rights
• The Fourteenth Amendment
• The Reconstruction Act
• Impeachment and the Election of Grant
• The Fifteenth Amendment
• The “Great Constitutional Revolution”
Lincoln’s Plan 10% Plan Lenient
Wade Davis Bill Responds – In a Harsher Manner
I) Requirements for reconstruction.
States had to apply for a pardon.
10% of 1860 electorate had to sign a loyalty oath.
Property return to southerners.
Seceded states had to create new Constitution and ratify 13th
His plan died with his assassination
In opposition to Lincoln's plan, the 1864 Wade-Davis Bill proposed
that Confederate territories would only be readmitted into the Union
after a series of steps. First, a simple majority of white, male
southerners from their individual states had to declare alliance to the
Union. At this time (when the simple majority is reached), the states
would be able to hold a state convention to elect their government
officials. However, unlike the Lincoln Plan, only those who swore to
the Ironclad Oath would be able to vote for these delegates.
1. Spanning the momentous years from 1866 to 1877,
Reconstruction was the extraordinary rebuilding of a shattered
American Spirit -- Southern and Northern, white and black -- as
they struggle to shape new lives for themselves in a world
turned upside down.
2. Reconstructing was one of the most daunting challenges ever
faced by the American people. The Northern economy emerged
from the war stronger than ever, poised for an unprecedented
expansion. But the South was bankrupt and prostrate, its farms
and factories in ruins.
3. It was also the new birth of freedom Lincoln had addressed at
Gettysburg when almost 4 million freed African American slaves
sought their own path to pursue their own happiness secured
by Jefferson’s former declaratory promise made in 1776.
4. After four bloody years of civil war, North and South would
continue to fight over the meaning of freedom, the meaning of
citizenship, and the survival of the nation itself.
What it is to Be
On January 12, 1865 General
Sherman and Secretary of War
Stanton met soon to be freed slave
political leaders in the city Sherman
had sacked for Lincoln’s X-Mas
present, Savannah Georgia.
During the meeting former slave
Garrison Frasier told the federal
officials what he believed Freedom
To not be forced to work but to work for one’s own
fruits of his labor – to have land and work it –
sufficient intelligence to receive equal protection
under the laws.
Special Field Order 15 (Jan. 16 1865)
I) Why issued by William T. Sherman?
II) Parts of coastal Georgia and S. Carolina were
given to former slaves.
a) 40 acres and a loan of mules
III) 40,000 settled in 400,000 acres.
This act became the model for what would be
called the Freedmen’s Bureau – Federally
funded programs that provided political,
educational and economic support for freed
What former slaves wanted…
What they got….
• Increased Debt
• Continued resistance
from racist southerners
• Terrorism from KKK
Office of Freedmen’s Bureau, Memphis,
Tennessee, Harper’s Weekly, June 2, 1866
Biggest failure was not
providing direct deeds to
land and initiating long term
I) Established March 1865 -
1870 headed by O.O.
II) Only 1,000 FB Agents
served the entire South
The Freedmen’s Bureau
clothing, fuel, and
a) Legal assistance to blacks.
b) Medical Care
c) Helped fund schools. By
1869, 3000 school serving
150,000 black students
A recalcitrant southern
racist attitude prevailed
that never would freed
slaves enjoy any
semblance of equality.
wanted to be
homesteaders and have
over their own, family
and community welfare
– what they got was a
that kept them as
second class citizens
and under perpetual
"What Is Freedom?": Reconstruction, 1865–1877
The Meaning of Freedom
• Blacks and the
Meaning of Freedom
• Families in Freedom
• Church and School
• Political Freedom
• Land, Labor, and
• Masters without Slaves
• The Free Labor Vision
Map 15.1 The Barrow Plantation
The Meaning of Freedom
• The Freedmen’s Bureau
• The Failure of Land Reform
1. In May 1865, Johnson started to release proclamations that inaugurated a
period that historians call Presidential Reconstruction (1865–1867).
2. Johnson offered pardons, which restored political and property rights (except
for slaves), to all white southerners who took an oath of allegiance,
excluding only Confederate leaders and wealthy planters whose prewar
property was worth more than $20,000. But Johnson soon pardoned those
exempted by this rule.
3. He also appointed provisional governors and ordered them to call state
conventions, elected by whites only, to establish loyal southern state
governments. These new state governments were required only to abolish
slavery, repudiate secession, and refuse to pay Confederate debts.
4. While many people in the North at first supported Johnson’s plan, southern
whites mostly returned prominent Confederates and old elites to power and
violence against the freed people and northerners in the South generated
opposition to Johnson’s policies.
I) Pardon southern states.
b) Southern states took oath of allegiance.
II) Tensions between the Republican party.
Andrew Johnson and Reconstruction (1865-67)
• The Black Codes
1. New state laws in the South regulating the lives of former
slaves, called the Black Codes, caused the most opposition to
Johnson’s Reconstruction policy.
2. While these laws gave blacks the right to legally marry, own
property, and access the courts in some ways, they denied
them rights to testify against whites, serve on juries or state
militias, or vote.
3. They also allowed authorities to arrest and hire out to white
landowners any blacks who refused to sign annual labor
contracts, a measure to force the former slaves to return to
4. Some states prohibited blacks from buying land and allowed
judges to assign black children to work for their former
owners without parental consent.
5. These codes, an effort to reinstitute conditions of slavery,
violated the free labor principles of the Republican North
and caused many in the North to believe that Johnson’s
policy was encouraging white southerners to restore their
prewar way of life.
Radical Reconstruction: 1867-1877
1. Led by Representative Thaddeus Stevens from Pennsylvania and
Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts & the CONGRESSIONAL
ELECTIONS OF 1866 brought RADICAL REPUBLICANS to power. They
wanted to punish the South, and to prevent the ruling class from
continuing in power.
2. Moderate Republicans sought reconciliation with Johnson, but when
Black Codes and Johnson reinstated the The Southern “Old Guard”
to suppress Black political empowerment – both Radicals and
Moderates clashed with Johnson over Reconstruction Legislation
3. They passed the MILITARY RECONSTRUCTION ACTS OF 1867, which
divided the South into five military districts and outlined how the
new governments would be designed.
4. Under federal bayonets, blacks, including those who had recently
been freed, received the right to vote, hold political offices, and
become judges and police chiefs.
5. They held positions that formerly belonged to Southern Democrats.
1866 Civil Rights Act
Although the military conflict
had ended, Reconstruction
was in many ways still a war.
This important struggle was
waged by radical northerners
who wanted to punish the
South and Southerners who
desperately wanted to
preserve their way of life.
1. Equality before the law was central to the bill, making it impossible for states to have
laws, like the Black Codes, that discriminated against blacks.
2. Free labor values also informed the bill, which prohibited laws denying citizens’
rights to make contracts, bring lawsuits, or enjoy protection of person and property.
The bill said nothing of black suffrage.
3. Johnson, who shocked the Congress by vetoing both bills, claimed he was defending
states’ rights and said blacks did not deserve citizenship. Johnson’s vetoes
alienated many in the Republican Party, and in April 1866, the Civil Rights Bill
became the first major law in U.S. history to be passed over a presidential veto.
Constitutional Reform Is the Most Important Legacy
Slavery, in practical terms, died with the end of the Civil War.
Three Constitutional amendments altered the nature of African-
American rights. The Thirteenth Amendment formally abolished slavery
in all states and territories.
The FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT prohibited states from depriving any
male citizen of equal protection under the law, regardless of race.
The FIFTEENTH AMENDMENT granted the right to vote to African-
American males. Ratification of these amendments became a
requirement for Southern states to be readmitted into the Union.
Although these measures were positive steps toward racial equality,
their enforcement proved extremely difficult.
• The 1866 elections revolved around the Fourteenth
• Johnson urged voters to elect men to Congress who supported
his policies and claimed that Radicals were plotting to
• This, along with riots in southern cities targeting blacks,
undermined support for Johnson’s allies, and Republican
opponents emerged victorious in the elections.
• But every southern state except Tennessee refused to ratify the
• Johnson and the white South’s resistance pushed moderate
Republicans into the Radical camp,
• and in March 1867, Congress passed the Reconstruction Act,
which temporarily divided the South into five military districts
and called for the establishment of new state governments, in
which black men could vote. This inaugurated the period of
Radical Reconstruction, lasting until 1877
I) In 1865 black demand civil equality.
II) 735,000 black men registered
a) Men voted Republican
1. The Reconstruction Act sparked great political activity amongst former
slaves in the South, who held mass meetings, went on strike, and tried to
desegregate public transportation.
2. Thousands of southern blacks joined the Union League, an organization
tied to the Republican Party, and the vast majority of eligible black voters
registered to vote.
3. But the 2,000 African-Americans who held public office in Reconstruction
represented a radical shift of power in the South. Two blacks were elected
to the U.S. Senate, fourteen were elected to the U.S. House of
Representatives, and one served as the first black governor, in Louisiana.
Many blacks served in state legislatures and more blacks than ever before
held lower offices such as sheriff, tax assessor, and policeman. Most were
4. In the words of one former slave turned political leader, blacks had heard
“the tocsin of freedom.”
Impeachment of Johnson
1. Congress simultaneously approved a measure prohibiting the
president from removing certain officeholders, including
members of the cabinet, without the Senate’s consent.
2. The Tenure of Office Act passed in 1866, was the principle act
that Congress relied upon to check Johnson’s refusal to pass
Radical Reconstruction legislation and maintain a Republican
power in Congress
3. Johnson believed this unconstitutionally limited his authority,
and when he removed secretary of war Edwin M. Stanton, a
Radical ally, the House approved articles of impeachment—
sending charges against Johnson to the Senate, which was to
decide his fate.
4. This was the first time a president had faced trial in the Senate
for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Not all Republicans
supported impeachment, and Johnson indicated he would halt
his interference with Congress’s Reconstruction policy.
5. Twenty Republicans refused to convict and He barely escaped
impeachment by one vote.
1. Grant won the presidential contest by a slim
2. Despite having been a heroic aggressive
military figure, the Grant Presidency was
saddled by continued sectional turmoil,
political corruption in his cabinet and his failure
to continue economically and politically
empower freed slaves.
3. However during his two terms, Republicans
responded in February 1869 by adopting the
third and final Reconstruction amendment, the
Fifteenth, which barred federal and state
governments from denying the right to vote to
any citizen based on race.
1. Denounced by Democrats, the amendment was ratified in
1870. The Fifteenth Amendment enabled states to make
suffrage restrictions not based on race, such as literacy tests,
property requirements, and poll taxes, and did not give the
vote to women, but it represented the culmination of
2. Reconstruction laws and amendments reflected the power of
the new national state and the idea that citizens should enjoy
3. They were, in the words of one Republican, a “great
Constitutional revolution” that transformed the federal system
and the language of American freedom. Before the Civil War,
citizenship had been bounded by race.
4. But Reconstruction laws rejected the notion that citizenship
was reserved only for whites. Their guarantees of legal
equality affected discriminatory laws in all states, North and
The Fifteenth Amendment
The “Great Constitutional Revolution”
• Reconstruction laws and amendments reflected the power of the new national
state and the idea that citizens should enjoy legal equality. They were, in the words
of one Republican, a “great Constitutional revolution” that transformed the federal
system and the language of American freedom. Before the Civil War, citizenship
had been bounded by race. But Reconstruction laws rejected the notion that
citizenship was reserved only for whites. Their guarantees of legal equality affected
discriminatory laws in all states, North and South.
• The new amendments also changed the relationship between states and the
federal government. The Bill of Rights had assumed that the central government
threatened liberties, but the Reconstruction amendments assumed that only the
national government could protect individual rights. They made the Constitution an
instrument by which vulnerable minorities could make claims for freedom and
against government misconduct at all levels. Many important twentieth-century
Supreme Court decisions were based on the Fourteenth Amendment, such as the
1954 Brown ruling outlawing school segregation.
The South’s new state governments also empowered new
groups of whites. Some were northerners who migrated to
the South after the war. Opponents called them
“carpetbaggers,” implying they packed their possessions in
a suitcase to quickly move to the South and gain the spoils
of office. While a few were corrupt, most
carpetbaggers were Union Army veterans who
decided to stay in the south after the war. Others were
investors in land and railroads seeking economic
opportunity. Yet others were teachers, Freedmen’s Bureau
officers, or others who traveled to the South to help
Most white Republicans,
however, were from the
South, and were despised by
former Confederates, who
saw them as treasonous
“scalawags.” While a few
were wealthy whites, most
were non-slaveholding small
white farmers from the
southern upcountry. Many
had been Unionists during
the war or hoped
would pass laws favoring
• Violence was endemic in the Reconstruction-
1. At first it was local and unorganized, with
blacks being assaulted and murdered for
refusing to make way for whites on sidewalks
or trying to purchase land.
2. But the establishment of Republican state
governments after 1867 ignited organized
campaigns of violence against supporters of
3. Secret societies, most notably the Ku Klux
Klan (KKK), tried to prevent blacks from voting
and tried to destroy the Republican Party by
assassinating local leaders and public officials.
1. The KKK, a terrorist organization started in
1866 in Tennessee that soon spread throughout
the Southon, functioned as the military arm of
the Democratic Party in that region.
2. In many counties, it started a “reign of terror”
against black and white Republican leaders.
But blacks were especially targeted, particularly
blacks who held office or exercised political
3. The new southern governments could not
suppress the KKK, and in 1870 and 1871
Congress adopted Enforcement Acts that
outlawed terrorist groups, allowed the president
to use the army against them, and defined acts
that deprived citizens of civil and political rights
as federal crimes.
4. President Grant dispatched federal marshals
and troops to suppress the KKK, and by 1872,
most areas of the South were peaceful.
The End of Reconstruction
Northern commitment to Reconstruction declined in the
1870s. Radicals such as Thaddeus Stevens passed
away or otherwise left politics, and they were replaced
by figures less dedicated to equal rights for blacks.
Northerners more and more felt the South should solve
its own problems without continuous federal
Many in the North believed that now that the national
government had freed the slaves, made them citizens,
and given them the vote, blacks had to depend on
Northern capital was diverted to western investments
such as the Transcontinental R/R & emerging western
towns and cities
The Overthrow of Reconstruction
• The Triumph of the Redeemers
• The Disputed Election and Bargain of 1877
1. The compromise of 1877 was an unwritten, informal deal
between the Republican and Democrats of Congress to
recognize the Republican Rutheford B. Hayes as president if
the federal troops from the southern states were removed, at
least one southern Democrat was appointed into Rutherford
Hayes’s administration, a second transcontinental railroad in
the south was constructed, and if the legislation was enacted to
help industrialize the South.
2. The Compromise of 1876 effectively ended the reconstruction
era. Southern Democrats’ promises to protect civil and political
rights of blacks were not kept and interference in southern
affairs completely ended. Right???
3. Exclusion of black voters also occurred. Although several laws
had already been formed, southern legislatures continued to
pass more laws requiring the separation of whites from persons
of color on public transportation, in schools, parks, restaurants,
theaters, and other locations.
4. These segregationist statues, known as the “Jim Crow laws”, governed life
in the South through the middle of the next century, ending not until 1960s.