American Civil War in the News is a edited review of American Civil War related news and articles, providing collection of hand-picked 1861-1865 era history.

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Civil War Aftermath & Reconstruction

Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles.

General Jo Shelby's March by Anthony Arthur (book review)
On July 1, 1865, the Iron Brigade, led by General Jo Shelby, entered the shallows of the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass and sank the Confederate flag in the river bottom as they marched into Mexico to avoid living under Yankee rule.

Reconstructing Appalachia: The Civil War's Aftermath (book review)   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Civil War didn't end with the exchange of swords at Appomattox. Bloody skirmishes took place for the next 10-15 years. The South came out of the war with its economy in ruins, its land destroyed, its labor force scattered, its young men dead, its currency worthless, its railroads in pieces, its pride broken and its way of life gone. That's the setting for "Reconstructing Appalachia" a collection of historical essays edited by Andrew L. Slap. In particular, the setting is the mountain ridge that runs from western Virginia and the Carolinas, into northern Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

Capitol Men: The epic story of reconstruction through the lives of the first black congressmen
For years many historians got Reconstruction (1866-1877) wrong, and many early scholarly accounts of the troubled effort to fix the country after the Civil War defended the Confederacy so hard that it was difficult to separate them from fictional efforts. Reconstruction (an audaciously hopeful term) began in the bloody aftermath of the Civil War and ended with the Hayes-Tilden compromise of 1877. A lot of drama happened during a brief period, and it was not limited to the former Confederate states. As Philip Dray makes clear, the consequences of reconciliation often echoed with near-equal force in the North.

Causes Won, Lost & Forgotten - American Civil War in pop culture
Gary W. Gallagher is one of the foremost historians of the American Civil War. Often his concern is not so much what took place in the past but what we think we remember about it. This concern moves to the focus in "Causes Won, Lost & Forgotten", an analysis of pop culture images of the Civil War. The conclusion: The South hasn't quite risen again, but the North is doing really badly. The Vietnam War nearly expelled the Civil War from the American radar. In 1969, the publishers of Civil War Times Illustrated nearly shut the magazine down, since they feared there was no longer a market for it.

The Bloody Shirt: A Long Surrender: The Guerrilla War After the Civil War
"The Bloody Shirt" by Stephen Budiansky: The title refers to a small footnote to the war of violence that was waged in the American South after the Civil War. The terror started almost as soon as the Civil War ended in 1865; lasting until 1876, when the last of the governments of the Southern states freely elected through universal manhood suffrage was put down in a campaign of violence - thereby ending Reconstruction. --- March 9, 1871: a band of 120 men on horseback, heavily armed, encircled the house of one George R. Ross in Monroe County. Allen P. Huggins, a Northern man who had settled in Mississippi after the war, was staying the night there...

This Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust
The Civil War changed the way Americans look at death. In late 1862 Mathew Brady exhibited in his New York studio photos of the Antietam battlefield taken after the battle that claimed the lives of over 6,000 men. Photography was in its infancy, and since most Americans had never seen anything but drawings of war, the exhibition created a sensation. People who clamored to see the pictures were amazed even though the images showed none of the fighting, only its aftermath: burial parties, and most disturbing in this context, a picnickers relaxing at the scene where thousands had just died.

Marketing the South: Commercial mythmaking
The historical, competitive, and ideological factors that structure the patterns of commercial mythmaking remain mostly unexplored and undertheorized. Now, a study investigates these interrelationships by a comparative analysis of two prominent New South mythmakers: editors of magazines about the South (who are seeking to ideologically reconstruct the historical legacy of antebellum, confederate), and segregationist South in ways that serve commercial agendas. "A countervailing system of meanings has been culturally propagated through the ceaseless efforts ... to place a redeeming light on the region`s historical heritage," say Craig Thompson and Kelly Tian.

Reconstruction and African American political power   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The period of U.S. history known as Reconstruction, following the Civil War, lasted 1865-1877. During this period, former slaves in the South made some of the most far-reaching gains that African Americans have seen in U.S. history. The Civil War, 1861-1865, was a profound social revolution. Although the victory of the North resulted in the end of slavery, that was not the stated aim of either President Abraham Lincoln, who refused to end slavery, assuring all slave owners who cooperated with the federal government that they would maintain "their property." His decision to issue the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation was a military decision.

South's efforts to attract 'desirable' immigrants after Civil War   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Have attitudes changed since the Civil War? It's a question raised by a book two professors have written about proposed immigration to the South during Reconstruction. The book, "Immigration in the American South" documents unsuccessful efforts to draw the most "desirable" immigrants flooding the U.S. southward 1864-1895. After the Civil War, the South was defining itself. Prospects raised questions of "Who are we?" and "What kind of South do we build?" With the loss of about 3.5 million slave laborers, first thoughts were of drawing immigrant agricultural workers.

Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War by Nicholas Lemann tells a story we keep trying to forget: White Southerners used every kind of violence to destroy Reconstruction after the Civil War. Beguiled by Gone With the Wind, many white Americans still imagine Reconstruction as a crime against the white South. It is good to have this stubborn fable of Reconstruction refuted by a respected writer. Redemption is the other kind of history that sells: the exposť, a book turned wrong side out, discovering that the people of the past were as driven by violence, selfishness and narrowness as we are.

Why British don't remember their Civil War and Americans Do
In 1998 I visited Gettysburg. The American Civil War had long fascinated me by its resonances with the more distant conflict on which I worked. The Battlefield Park was astonishing. There was not one single monument, but hundreds to individual regiments. -- To commemorate a war, someone has to want to keep its memory alive. The American Civil War was followed by a determination to remember the fallen and the moments of military glory. Both sides evolved a clear if oversimplified sense of what the war had been about, and turned that sense into monuments. In the English Civil War people`s sense of what the war was about changed during the war itself.