ADDITIONAL RESOURCES<br />Words and Writing – Reconstruction<br />Directions – Part 1: Look closely at each of the words below and think about what you have learned about the meaning of each. <br />ReconstructionExodustersConfederacyfreedomAbraham Lincoln<br />13th AmendmentslavesUnionVarina Howell Davis<br />Directions – Part 2: Now, use a pair of each of the words above to write at least 4 sentences below that demonstrate your historical understanding of Reconstruction.<br />1.<br />2.<br />3.<br />4.<br />Notes:<br />The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History<br />Introduction<br />The Gallant Charge of the 54th Massachusetts<br />On July 18, 1863, on Morris Island, near Charleston, South Carolina, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, a Union regiment composed entirely of free African American men, began their assault on Fort Wagner, a Confederate stronghold. After the war, a sergeant of the 54th, William Harvey Carney, became the first African American to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, for taking up the fallen Union flag and carrying it to the fort's walls. Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, the commander of the regiment, was killed in the charge, along with 116 of his men, and the Union forces failed to capture the fortress. Shaw, an abolitionist born to a prominent Boston family, had been recruited by Massachusetts governor John Andrew to raise and command the all-black regiment, the first of its kind in the Civil War.<br />Shortly after the battle, the printing firm of Currier and Ives commemorated the 54th's charge, portraying black soldiers carrying the Union flag over the fort's ramparts and into the Confederate phalanx. The Gilder Lehrman Collection has one of the few surviving copies of this print.<br />Item Description and Credits<br />GLC02881.23: The Gallant Charge of the Fifty Fourth Massachusetts (Colored) Regiment, Print, Currier & Ives, 1863.<br />Suggested Reading<br />Ira Berlin, Barbara J. Fields, Thavolia Glymph, Steven F. Miller, Joseph P. Reidy, and Leslie S. Rowland, eds., Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War (The New Press, 1992)<br />Ira Berlin, Joseph P. Reidy, and Leslie S. Rowland, Freedom's Soldiers: The Black Military Experience in the Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 1998)<br />Louis F. Emilio, A Brave Black Regiment: The History of the Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1863-1865 (Da Capo Press, 1995)<br />James M. McPherson, Negro's Civil War: How American Blacks Felt and Acted during the War for the Union (Ballantine Books, 1991)<br />Noah Andre Trudeau, Like Men of War : Black Troops in the Civil War 1862-1865 (Little, Brown, 1998).<br />The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History<br />Introduction<br />Terror in Reconstruction South<br />Northern Reconstruction politics became a catalyst for the widespread racism and hatred that freed people experienced throughout the South. Founded by a Confederate General in 1866, the Ku Klux Klan became known as the "
invisible empire of the South"
in which members represented the ghosts of the Confederate dead returning to terrorize blacks and Republicans. Although it was a covert organization, the Klan's displays of violence and intolerance were anything but discreet. Many murders and beatings were never reported due to fear of reprisal from the Klan.<br />This document is exemplary of the type of threats for which the KKK became known (GLC 09090). In this case, the target was Davie Jeems, a black Republican recently elected county sheriff in Lincoln County, Georgia. The language of the document evokes a ghostly menacing presence; even the handwriting is reminiscent of a ransom note. The word "
and the two holes at the top indicate that this note was most likely posted in a public place. The verso of the letter provides further information: "
similar threats have prevented all the other Republican officers to take their [commissions]."
<br />With the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1871, the already weakened Klan became dormant and remained so until it resurfaced again in 1915.<br />Ana Ramirez Luhrs, Special Collections Librarian<br />The Gilder Lehrman Collection<br />Transcript<br />Ku Klux Klan letter <br />s.l., 1868 circa.<br />Autograph letter signed, 1 page. <br />Notice<br />To Jeems, Davie, you, must, be, a good boy. and. Quit. hunting on Sunday and shooting your gun in the night, you keep people from sleeping. I live in a big rock above the Ford of the f Creek. I went from Lincoln County [struck: C] County during the War I was Killed at Manassus in 1861. I am here now as Locust in the day Time and. at night I am a Ku Klux sent here to look after you and all the rest of the radicals and make you know your place. I have got my eye on you every day, I am at the Ford of the creek every evening From Sundown till dark I want to meet you there next Saturday tell platt Madison we have, a Box. For him and you. We nail all, radicals up in Boxes and send them away to K K K – there is. 200 000 ded men retured to this country to make you and all the rest of the radicals good Democrats and vote right with the white people you have got it to do or leave this country no nigger is safe unless he Joins the Democratic Club then you will be safe and have friends. Take heed and govern yourself accordingly and give all your Friends timely warning.<br />Ku, Ku, Klux, Klan<br /> This man was elected in April to the Sheriffs Office of the County of Lincoln. Similar threats have prevented all the other Republican officers from taking their con<br />Item Description and Credits<br />GLC09090. Ku Klux Klan letter. Autograph letter signed c. 1868. <br />For more information or to obtain copies, contact email@example.com or call (212) 787-6616 ext. 209.<br />Suggested Reading<br />Carter, Dan T. When the War Was Over: The Failure of Self-Reconstruction in the South, 1865-1867. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985.<br />Dixon Jr., Thomas. The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1905.<br />Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877. New York: Harper & Row, 1989.<br />Trelease, Allen W. White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction. New York: Harper & Row, 1971.<br />