Category Reconstruction

Grant’s Terms of Surrender at Appomattox

Here’s Professor Joan Waugh of UCLA speaking at the 2016 Lincoln Forum on Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox. The video’s description reads, “Joan Waugh talked about how Union General Ulysses S. Grant conducted the surrender at Appomattox and sought to foster an atmosphere of reconciliation with the defeated Confederates. She argued that Grant, […]

Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War

This is a terrific book by T. J. Stiles. He’s done prodigious research for the book and did a great job placing Jesse James into historical context and bringing out his motivations. Along the way he dispels myths and gives us the background and structure of the guerrilla war in Missouri during the Civil War […]

Cummings v. Missouri

The citation for this case is 71 US 277. This Reconstruction Era case comes to us courtesy of the Missouri Constitution of 1865. Unionists in Missouri were split between conservatives and radicals. The radicals, who wanted to grant civil rights to African-Americans, gained control of the constitutional convention. An abolition clause passed easily, as did […]

Punishment for Secession and the 14th Amendment

Here’s Professor William Blair of Penn State University speaking at Pamplin Park’s 2016 Symposium. His topic is “Punishment for Secession and the 14th Amendment,” telling us how part of the 14th Amendment was intended as a punishment for secession and treason in the Civil War. The video’s description reads, “William Blair talked about how the […]

Sick From Freedom

This book by Jim Downs tells about what happened to African-Americans after they gained freedom. Professor Downs, in introducing his subject, tells us, “The Civil War, however, produced the largest biological crisis of the nineteenth century, claiming more soldiers’ lives and resulting in more casualties than battle or warfare and wreaking havoc on the population […]

Why Reconstruction Matters

Here is an excellent article from Professor Eric Foner giving a great thumbnail sketch of Reconstruction and why it’s important for us to understand it. Why is Reconstruction history important? “Issues that agitate American politics today — access to citizenship and voting rights, the relative powers of the national and state governments, the relationship between […]

Reconstruction: The Unifinished War

Wednesday, January 18, 2017, I attended a reception for the opening of a new exhibit at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA, titled, “Reconstruction: The Unfinished War.” Curator Brett Kelly and CEO Wayne Motts and their team have done a good job bringing together various artifacts and providing the interpretation to go along […]