The Radical Republicans Move Forward with Reconstruction
6 The Radical Republicans Move Forward with Reconstruction
At a Freedmen's Convention (a large political meeting made up largely of former slaves) held in Arkansas soon after the end of the Civil War (1861–65), an African American leader named William H. Grey (1829–1888) spoke about his people's newfound independence. As quoted in Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery, Grey declared, "We have thrown off the mask, hereafter to do our own talking, and to use all legitimate means to get and to enjoy our political privileges. We don't want anybody to swear for us or to vote for us; we want to exercise these privileges for ourselves."
The spirit present in Grey's words coexisted with both the jubilation that African Americans of this period felt and their worries about the challenges that they faced. This mix of forces had been unleashed by the war's outcome: a victory for the Union (the federal government) over the Confederacy, the eleven Southern states that had seceded or separated themselves from the United States in order to protect the traditions of the South. These traditions centered around the enslavement of four million black people, who had been brought since the seventeenth century from Africa and forced to work in the fields and homes of white Southerners. During the Reconstruction era (which lasted roughly from the Civil War in April 1865 to the inauguration of President Rutherford B. Hayes [1822–1893; served 1877–1881] in 1877), both blacks and whites attempted to forge a new Southern society in which slavery no longer existed. However, anger, fear, and confusion about the future remained.
Two different plans for Reconstruction
During the months following the April 1865 conclusion of the Civil War, the U.S. Congress was the stage for another kind of battle. A group of senators and representatives known as the Radical Republicans opposed the Reconstruction program put forth by President Andrew Johnson (1808–1875; served 1865–69). Having gained that office unexpectedly when Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865; served 1861–65) was assassinated—only days after the war's end—by an enraged Southerner, Johnson had surprised everyone with a plan that allowed white Southerners to virtually recreate the days of slavery. The Republicans had managed to win public support for their own vision of a reconstructed South, which they saw as a place where free labor and industry would thrive and where, most importantly, access to equal civil and political rights would allow African Americans to become full, responsible U.S. citizens.
In March 1867, Congress passed the Reconstruction Acts over the president's veto (refusal to approve). This legislation divided the South into five districts, each of which would be under the control of a military commander until its citizens—including blacks but excluding those who had helped the Confederacy—organized a new government. The first step was to elect delegates to conventions at which the states' constitutions would be written. These constitutions were required to include suffrage (the right to vote) for all male citizens. In addition, each state had to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment, which said that the civil rights guaranteed to whites by the U.S. Constitution (such as the rights to free speech, to bear arms, and to practice one's own religion) could not be denied on the basis of race. Once a state's constitution had been approved by a majority of eligible voters, elections for local, state, and federal offices could be held.
The joy that blacks had felt with the dawn of freedom had diminished somewhat in the months following the war's end, for it seemed that their lives had actually changed very little. Although they were no longer slaves, their opportunities for advancement were still extremely limited. They continued to face many obstacles in their struggle to find work, to achieve the education they knew was essential to success, to attain the civil rights promised to other U.S. citizens, and even to keep their families safe from violence. The most troubling obstacle was the resentment and hatred of many white Southerners. They resisted the changes in their society through both brutal physical attacks on blacks and laws called the Black Codes, which attempted to keep African Americans under the economic and social control of whites (see Chapter 4).
The Freedmen's Conventions
The passage of the Reconstruction Acts gave African Americans new hope that equality might be within their reach. Even before this event, however, blacks had already launched what would become a period of intense political activity. During the year that followed the war's end, this took the form of electing delegates to the Freedmen's Conventions. President Johnson's Reconstruction plan, announced during the summer of 1865, called for the states to hold conventions at which delegates would organize new governments. But neither the president nor those who stepped up as leaders of the Southern states intended to include black people in these new governments. Thus African Americans held their own meetings, with the goal of discussing the issues facing them and eventually submitting statements on their views to the white leaders.
The Freedmen's Conventions took place in large cities, small towns, and tiny rural communities all over the South. Delegates often took great risks to participate, for those whites who believed blacks should have no say in Reconstruction (and some who feared the former slaves would organize a violent rebellion) did everything they could to prevent them from reaching the meetings. Many were threatened with violence or with the loss of jobs or credit in stores if they attended.
A cross section of black people
Nevertheless, a broad cross section of blacks made it to the Freedmen's Conventions. There were many uniformed veterans of the Union army, who had fought against the Confederacy to win their people's freedom. There were ministers, teachers, and tradesmen (such as carpenters and blacksmiths) as well as plantation workers. The earliest conventions were dominated by free blacks (those who had never been slaves or had escaped to the North and then returned after the war), but as time went on an increasing number of former slaves took part. African Americans took considerable pride in the sight of black people meeting in such numbers, for such a serious purpose. Commenting on a convention held in New Orleans, Louisiana, in early 1865, a black newspaper editor, as quoted in Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery, called it "a great spectacle, and one which will be remembered for generations to come."
Among the most prominent black leaders at the conventions, some were Northern blacks who had come South to work as agents of the Freedmen's Bureau (the government agency established in March 1865 to help the former slaves make their transition to freedom), including Tunis G. Campbell (1812–1891) and Martin R. Delany (1812–1885). South Carolina native Francis L. Cardozo (1837–1903) had escaped slavery to become a minister in Connecticut. Leaders from among the ranks of the former slaves include such notable figures as Robert Smalls (1839–1915), whose bravery during the Civil War had made him famous, and Prince Rivers (c. 1824–?), a former coachman who had served as a sergeant in the Union army.
Some of the delegates were equipped with education and superior speaking skills. Others were poorly dressed and unable to read or write. A considerable number bore the visible scars of punishment they had received when they were slaves. Their differences were many, and included not only those of appearance (especially darker or lighter skin color) but of class, education, income, and occupation. The free black segment tended to be dominated by biracial people known then as mulattoes (people of mixed black and white heritage)—especially from the thriving community in New Orleans—many of whom did hold themselves above the former slaves. Generally, though, the convention attendees were united by the knowledge that they faced a common foe, an enemy who made no distinction between the different types of black people and treated them all just as poorly. They knew that they must come together to overcome the obstacles against them, and they meant to do without the help of whites—however well intentioned—as much as possible.
A reassuring tone
A writer in the black newspaper the New Orleans Tribune asked, "Who can better know our interest than we do? Who is better competent to discern what is good for us than we are?" Indeed, the conventions featured intense discussion and debate about the issues of most importance to African Americans. Many individuals offered testimony on conditions across the South, providing accounts and evidence of beatings, arson attacks, being cheated of wages, and other forms of mistreatment from white Southerners.
Despite the hatred for black people and their new-found freedom that whites had so openly expressed, the delegates of the Freedmen's Conventions thought it best to adopt a mild, friendly tone in the addresses and documents they would present to the wider state conventions. They did not want to scare whites, and hoped to win their trust by reassuring them that the former slaves intended to keep the peace and harbored no ill feelings toward those who had once enslaved them. They tried to point out that the past, present, and future lives of white and black Southerners were closely intertwined. They also stressed the idea that blacks felt just as loyal to the country of their birth as white Americans. "This is your country, but it is ours too;" declared the Freedmen's Convention of Georgia in 1866, as noted in Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery, "you were born here, so were we; your fathers fought for it, but our fathers fed them."
By stressing the similarities between blacks and whites and appealing to a sense of common humanity, the delegates hoped to stem the tide of violence and mistreatment that had been steadily growing since the end of the war. Although they pointed out that almost all of them had remained peaceful and loyal to their former owners even during the war, when they might have been expected to rise up against them, they did not look back upon slavery with any fondness. It had been an experience marked by brutality and cruelty, and they had no wish to return to it.
Making black demands known
For now, the only leverage blacks could apply in making their demands was the threat of the continued presence of federal troops and agents—especially of the Freedmen's Bureau, which whites particularly hated—in the South. (Later, of course, after they were given the right to vote, they would be able to use their sheer numbers as leverage.) These demands included, first and foremost, the right to vote, to serve on juries, and to obtain education. Although economic issues—particularly that of landownership, and whether the federal government would compensate (repay) the former slaves with free land—were of great concern to blacks, they generally avoided making demands in this area because they did not want to alarm whites. Their statements were sprinkled with the references to such popular nineteenth-century values as hard work, honesty, thrift, neatness, morality, and Christianity. They asked for civil and political rights but not for "social" equality with whites, emphasizing that they did not wish to socialize with whites if whites did not desire such contact.
Not surprisingly, the Freedmen's Conventions came out in support of the important legislation passed by Congress in early 1866, including a bill to extend the life of the Freedmen's Bureau, the Civil Rights Bill, and the Fourteenth Amendment (see Chapter 5 for more details). They fully supported the decision of Congress not to recognize the representatives and senators elected under President Johnson's Reconstruction plan, which had favored the former supporters of the Confederacy and thus upheld the values of white supremacy. Historians now agree that it was the refusal of Johnson and of white Southerners to envision a society in which blacks were treated fairly that, in the end, itself brought about black suffrage.
The Reconstruction Acts spur
Although not yet a part of the Constitution (as it would be with the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870), African Americans' right to vote was guaranteed by the Reconstruction Acts of 1867, which required the Southern states to approve the Fourteenth Amendment. Under the amendment, the number of congressional representatives of any state that prevented any of its male citizens from voting would be reduced. Suffrage meant more to blacks than any other right, for it gave them the power to take a prominent role in remaking their society. African Americans were now grappling with the complex questions of identity left in slavery's wake: Should they leave behind or celebrate their African heritage? Were they really inferior, as whites had always told them? Did they see beauty in themselves? Being allowed to vote could only have a positive effect on African Americans' self-image, and in the opportunities that would be available to them.
The passage of the Reconstruction Acts spurred a big increase in membership in political organizations that worked to promote black causes. Most prominent of these was the Union League, an organization closely allied with the Republican Party that soon had chapters—both segregated and interracial—throughout the South. The Union League and other groups were already involved in such efforts as building schools and churches, caring for the sick, and helping workers achieve fair wages and better working conditions. Now the focus turned to registering voters for the first elections, which would choose delegates for the states' constitutional conventions.
A major push began to educate black people about the issues facing them and convince them that they could affect change through responsible choices on election day, as well as practical matters like voting procedures. Schools and churches became centers for speeches and discussions as black leaders traveled through the South, urging people who had previously had no voice at all in public life to exercise their new rights. These efforts were remarkably successful, for by fall nearly 1.5 million voters had been registered; more than 700,000 of them African Americans. In Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, blacks formed the majority of the voters. (Because of the restrictions laid out in the legislation, about 150,000 whites who had supported the Confederacy were barred from voting; in addition, many whites chose to boycott the elections.)
The Union League: Helping Blacks to Mobilize
The Union League was a political organization that gave many African Americans their first exposure to the mechanics of politics and voting. Spawned during the Civil War as a Northern white organization supporting the Union war effort, the Union League originally comprised both the elite Union League Clubs as well as gatherings with more diverse membership. Meetings tended to be secret, an aspect its leaders considered a benefit when they decided to extend the Union League into the South during the Reconstruction era.
Whites who had supported the Union during the war (especially those living in the mountains or upcountry regions of the South) were the first Southerners to join the Union League. As the Reconstruction program engineered by the Radicals in Congress got underway, the Republicans realized they could use the Union League to enable the political mobilization of the nearly four million former slaves living in the South. They organized a campaign employing paid speakers, both black and white, who traveled through the South giving speeches and informal talks about the importance of voting and of exercising political rights.
Agents of the Freedmen's Bureau, the federal agency set up to assist the freed people, and other government officials encouraged blacks to join the Union League, and hundreds of thousands of them did. The organization played a key role in registering about a million and a half voters for the elections that took place after the formation of the new Southern governments. Nearly seven hundred thousand of those voters were African Americans.
The Union League also had a lasting impact on the socioeconomic system of the South. The dismay felt by blacks as they realized, immediately following the end of the war, that the plantation owners wanted to recreate the labor and social conditions that had existed under slavery led many of them to join the Union League. Their successful mobilization showed them that they could influence what happened in their society, with the result that they were able to resist to some extent the efforts of white Southerners to control them. Thus the sharecropping system which, despite some serious drawbacks, was preferred by blacks because it offered them a measure of control over their labor and families, came to replace the gang-labor system that had existed before the war.
Like all the institutions and people that supported black advancement, the Union League was targeted for attacks by the Ku Klux Klan during the campaign of violence that helped to replace the Reconstruction governments with white supremacists (those who believe that whites are superior and should be in charge). The organization was eventually disbanded by the Republicans, who had become increasingly conservative and friendly toward the former Confederates who now dominated Southern politics and society.
The Southern states form
So it came to be that in each state of the former Confederacy, voters elected delegates to multiracial conventions, where constitutions that provided for black suffrage and equality before the law would be drafted. Convention delegates were a mixed lot. Taking the lead, for the most part, were the white Northerners known as carpetbaggers, a deliberately offensive nickname given to them by resentful Southerners who felt they had come to take advantage of the devastated, demoralized South. (The name implied that these were disreputable people who could carry all their belongings in flimsy fabric suitcases known as carpetbags.) In fact, the carpetbaggers had come South for a variety of reasons: Some were hoping to make money, but others had more noble motivations, such as participating in the formation of a more just, prosperous Southern society. Most were well educated, and their number included many Union army veterans, teachers, Freedmen's Bureau agents, and investors.
Also participating were a relatively small number of white Southerners who, despite scorn from many of their neighbors and from members of the Democratic Party (which most Southerners supported), belonged to the Northern-dominated Republican Party. They were known as scalawags, a term that denotes an unreliable person. Some of these—like Mississippi plantation owner James L. Alcorn (1816–1894)—mainly wanted to ensure that, while blacks would receive civil and political rights, governments would remain dominated by whites. Others sought real social and political change in the South and also hoped to attract Northern investors to bolster the Southern economy; North Carolina politician Thomas Settle (1831–1888) was one of these. In addition, many scalawags—especially those from the mountainous areas of states like Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina—had been Unionists (supporters of the Union, not the Confederacy) during the war. They were more motivated by their resentment of the wealthy class of plantation owners and by their interest in helping small farmers than by a concern for blacks.
Also present among the 1,000 convention delegates were 265 blacks; 107 of these were former slaves and the rest were free blacks. Fewer than 30 of them were from the North, and 40 had served in the Union army during the war. In the years to come, 147 of these delegates would be elected to state legislatures, and 9 to the U.S. Congress.
The old traditions are shaken up
Within a year of the passage of the Reconstruction Acts, eight Southern states had formed governments; by 1870, all of them had. Although they differed in their ideas of how much change was needed or desirable, the South's traditional political and social systems clearly had been shaken up. In most states, the Radicals had managed to dominate over the moderates, pushing through not only a guarantee of civil and political rights for blacks but provisions for state-funded public schools and social services (such as prisons, orphanages, insane asylums, and poor relief). These were no doubt the fairest state governments that had yet been seen in the South.
Among the most controversial issues that had been discussed at the conventions were the integration of schools, the disenfranchisement (removal of voting rights) of former Confederates, and the possibility of land distribution. As it turned out, separate schools for blacks and whites were forbidden only in Louisiana and South Carolina. The fact that none of the states required segregated schools, however, was enough to satisfy most blacks, many of whom wanted their children to be taught by black teachers anyway (because they believed white teachers would be prejudiced against them). On the disenfranchisement issue, many Republicans were uncomfortable about stripping anyone of the right to vote; thus, in several states (such as Georgia, Florida, and Texas), few former Confederates were disenfranchised. The land issue was discussed, but no major steps were taken toward realizing the dream of many African Americans that the plantations would be broken up and the land redistributed to those who had provided over two centuries of unpaid labor on it.
In the elections held in the fall of 1867, 90 percent of the African Americans who had registered to vote turned out, helping to give the Republicans a major victory in the South. In the North, however, the Democrats ran a campaign that played on racist fears and hatred, and they made gains in some states. In Ohio, Minnesota, and Kansas, in fact, voters rejected black suffrage. It seemed that despite its victories in the South, the main part of the Republican Party was shifting back toward moderate or even conservative views.
Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., President Johnson had continued to clash with the Republican-dominated Congress and was still hoping to weaken its Reconstruction program. There was now only one Radical sympathizer left in the president's Cabinet (made up of the heads of the various federal departments) from those appointed while Lincoln was still in office: Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton (1814–1869). Seeking to replace Stanton with someone whose political views agreed with his own, Johnson dismissed him in August 1867. At the same time, he replaced several high-ranking military commanders who were sympathetic to the Republicans, including General Philip Sheridan (1831–1888), who had recently taken steps to halt gang violence against blacks in Louisiana.
In early 1868, Congress reacted to Johnson's action by reinstating Stanton, based on the newly passed Tenure of Office Act. This legislation barred the removal, without Senate approval, of Cabinet members during the term of the president who had appointed them (technically, Johnson was still serving out Lincoln's term). In effect, this prevented the president from removing officials who did not share his political views. Johnson chose to challenge the constitutionality of the act, however, by firing Stanton a second time.
This was the final straw in what most members of Congress saw as a series of hostile moves (and general incompetence) by Johnson, including an 1866 speaking tour during which he had referred to his congressional opponents as traitors. On February 24, 1868, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution of impeachment, meaning that the president would be tried for "high crimes and misdemeanors" which could result in his being removed from office. Johnson was specifically charged with violating the Tenure of Office Act and with bringing the office of the president into "contempt, ridicule, and disgrace."
The impeachment trial lasted eight weeks. Even though it was generally clear from the beginning that the lawyers defending the president had the stronger case (there had been no really clear violation of law on Johnson's part), Johnson let it be known that if he was acquitted, he would go along quietly with the Radical Republicans' programs in the future. A vote was taken on May 26 and the results came up one vote short of the two-thirds majority required to remove the president from office. Even some Republicans had voted not to dismiss the president, based on worries that the impeachment process might someday be misused. Thus Johnson was allowed to finish his term, which came to an end on March 4, 1869.
Grant is elected president
The 1868 presidential election would be the first in which African Americans would participate, and they would play an important role in the election of the next president, Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885; served 1869–77). A career army officer and a hero of the Civil War, during which he had helped carry out such presidential orders as the Emancipation Proclamation, Grant had shown no previous interest in politics. His stance as a moderate made him an attractive candidate for the Republican Party, which wanted to put forth an individual who would represent stability during a troubled period in the nation's history. To oppose Grant, the Democrats nominated a rather colorless figure, former New York governor Horatio Seymour (1810–1886). Their campaign centered on the theme of maintaining white supremacy at a time when, racists maintained, blacks were threatening to take over the country.
The sight of black people voting in the 1867 elections to choose convention delegates had been difficult for many
Ulysses S. Grant: War Hero and President
Propelled into the presidency by the popularity he gained as the skilled commander of Union forces during the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant presided over the latter part of the Reconstruction era. During the final years of his presidency, government support for Reconstruction ran out of steam, and scandals plagued Grant's administration.
The son of an Ohio producer of leather products, Grant was born in 1822 and raised in the small town of Georgetown. He grew up with a love for horses and developed great skill in handling them. Although Grant was not an outstanding student, his father got him an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. There he achieved a respectable, though not impressive, degree of academic success, finishing first in his class in horsemanship.
Grant graduated in 1843. He hoped to become a cavalry officer, but these coveted assignments went to the top students, and instead he was assigned to the infantry. He served at posts in Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas. While assigned to the barracks at St. Louis, Missouri, Grant met Julia Dent (1826–1902), the sister of his West Point roommate. They were married in 1848, and subsequently had four children.
After performing well in the Mexican-American War (1846–48), Grant served in a variety of posts from the upper Midwest to California. He had to leave his family behind, though, and his loneliness finally caused him to resign his military commission and return to Missouri. After an unsuccessful stint as a farmer, Grant was forced to accept a job as a clerk in his father's leather store in Galena, Illinois. He was working there when the Civil War began.
Grant's military experience led to his taking a prominent role in recruiting and organizing the men of his town who were volunteering to serve in the Union army. In June 1861, he was made a colonel in the Twenty-first Voluntary Infantry Regiment. Two months later, Grant was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and given command of the army's southeastern Missouri division, which was based in Cairo, Illinois.
Grant proved to be a fine military leader as he led his troops in battles at Fort Donelson and Shiloh, Tennessee, in 1862. His superiors were especially impressed with his later performance at Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he led the eight-week siege that resulted in an important Union victory on July 4, 1863. President Abraham Lincoln, in turn, made Grant a major general and put him in charge of the Mississippi division.
After pushing deeper into the Confederacy, Grant was given overall command of the Union army in March 1864. Over the next month, Grant moved closer to the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, which he captured on April 2. A week later, he accepted the surrender of Confederate general Robert E. Lee (1807–1870) at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia.
As the war ended, Grant was one of the most popular men in the United States. Congress recognized his status the next year by making him a General of the Army of the United States, a rank held only once before, by George Washington (1732–1799). Grant's popularity—especially among the new black voters of the South—helped propel Grant to the presidency in the election of 1868; four years later he was reelected.
During his two terms as president, Grant oversaw the implementation of the Reconstruction plan created by the Radical Republicans in Congress. He was instrumental in passing a series of Enforcement Acts designed to protect the voting rights of Southern blacks, who were under attack by such white terrorist groups as the Ku Klux Klan. Yet Grant also presided over the beginning of Reconstruction's downfall, as Northern interest in the plight of African Americans and in the South in general began to wane.
The final years of Grant's presidency were also marred by financial scandal. Though considered honest himself, he was politically inexperienced and surrounded himself with untrustworthy people, including his vice presidents and personal secretary. Grant was not personally involved, but his administration's reputation was tarnished.
With the election of Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Grant set out with his wife on a two-year world tour. His latter years were plagued by money problems, especially after a banking firm he had invested in went bankrupt. At the same time, he learned that he had throat cancer. Anxious to raise money to support his wife after his death, Grant began writing his memoirs. He finished writing in July 1885, a week before his death. His book was a great success and provided his family with nearly $500,000.
white Southerners to accept. Armed with the racist view that blacks were not mentally or morally competent of either choosing or becoming leaders, they predicted a number of dire consequences, from a coming race war to land confiscation and redistribution to incompetent and corrupt governments. To enforce these views, whites used not just words but actions—often very brutal actions. Black voters were threatened and beaten, and black leaders were assassinated. Republican candidates, both black and white, were intimidated and meetings disrupted.
The 1868 presidential campaign was ugly all around. Republicans referred to Democrats as "rebels under the skin." In the South, the white terrorist organization known as the Ku Klux Klan—which had been founded in Tennessee two years earlier—used murder and arson to scare blacks away from the polls. The new Republican state governments could do little to stem the violence. Blacks voted anyway, in huge numbers, proving their belief in the democratic process by their presence at the polls in spite of threatened or actual violence and the loss of jobs.
Grant won the election, though by a close margin. Seymour took the most votes in Georgia and Louisiana, where the "reign of terror" by the Klan and other groups had been the most intense. A Republican president was in the White House, but there were still many U.S. citizens who opposed the values for which he stood. Across the South, Republican governments were in power, put there by an electorate that for the first time included both black and white voters. It remained to be seen how these governments would perform, and even how long they would be allowed to exist. A forbidding tone is evident in the warning given by a Democratic newspaper writer, quoted in A Short History of Reconstruction: "These constitutions and governments will last just as long as the bayonets which ushered them into being, shall keep them in existence, and not one day longer."
For More Information
Ayers, Edward L. The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Benedict, Michael Les. A Compromise of Principle: Congressional Republicans and Reconstruction, 1863–1869. New York: Norton, 1974.
Cox, LaWanda C., and Cox, John H., eds. Reconstruction, the Negro, and the New South. New York: Harper & Row, 1973.
Foner, Eric. A Short History of Reconstruction. New York: Harper & Row, 1990.
Golay, Michael. Reconstruction and Reaction: The Emancipation of Slaves, 1861–1913. New York: Facts on File, 1996.
Jenkins, Wilbert L. Climbing Up to Glory: A Short History of African Americans During the Civil War and Reconstruction. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2002.
Litwack, Leon F. Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery. New York: Vintage Books, 1979.
McFeely, William S. Grant: A Biography. New York: Norton, 1981.
McPherson, James M. The Struggle for Equality: Abolitionists and the Negro in the Civil War and Reconstruction. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1965.
Murphy, Richard W. The Nation Reunited: War's Aftermath. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1987.
Perman, Michael. The Road to Redemption: Southern Politics, 1869–1879. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984.
Smith, John David. Black Voices from Reconstruction, 1865–1877. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1997.
Stampp, Kenneth M. The Era of Reconstruction: 1865–1877. New York: Vintage Books, 1965.
Wagner, Margaret E., Gary W. Gallagher, and Paul Finkelman, eds. Civil War Desk Reference. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002.
Louisiana State University. The United States Civil War Center.http://www.cwc.lsu.edu/ (accessed on August 31, 2004).
"Reconstruction." African American History.http://afroamhistory.about.com/od/reconstruction/ (accessed on August 31, 2004).
"Reference Resources: Civil War." Kidinfo.http://www.kidinfo.com/American_History/Civil_War.html (accessed on August 31, 2004).
"US Civil War." Internet Modern History Sourcebook.http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook27.html (accessed on August 31, 2004).