My name is Jim; I have been living on Bull run, with a man by the name of Pierce; they call him Cromwell Pierce. I run off from him nearly two months ago, because he treated me so mean: he half-starved and whipped me. I was whipped three or four times a week, sometimes with a cowhide, and sometimes with a hickory. He put so much work on me, I could not do it; chopping & hauling wood and lumber logs. I am about thirteen years old. I got pretty good meal at dinner, but he only gave us a half-pint for breakfast and supper, with cornbread. I ran away to town; I had a brother “Bob” living in Knoxville, and other boys I knew…
I hired myself to Capt. Smith as a servant, and went to work as a waiter in Quarter Master Winslow’s office as a waiter for the mess. After Capt. Winslow went home, I went to live with Bob, helping him.
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Washington, March 31, 1863.
Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant
Commanding Department of the Tennessee, near Vicksburg:
GENERAL: It is the policy of the Government to withdraw from the enemy as much productive labor as possible. So long as the rebels retain and employ their slaves in producing grains, &c., they can employ all the whites in the field… Continue reading →
Alexandria, March 18.
Since I last wrote to you, the condition of the poor refugees has improved. During the winter months, the small pox carried them off by hundreds; but now it has somewhat abated. At present, we have one hundred and forty patients in the hospital. The misery I have witness must be seen to be believed. The Quakers of Philadelphia, who sent me here, have done nobly for my people. They have indeed proved themselves a Society of Friends. Had it not been for their timely relief, many more must have died. They have sent thousands and tens of thousands of dollars to different sections of the country, wherever these poor sufferers came within our lines. But, notwithstanding all that has been done, very many have died from destitution. It is impossible to reach them all. Government has erected here barracks for the accommodations of five hundred. We have fifteen hundred on the list. Continue reading →
Carpetbaggers and Scalawags. They were creatively unkind names used in the South for certain men in society and politics during the Reconstruction Era. I’d heard the historical terms and was familiar with their general definition, but I decided to delve into the connotation and history of these names and see if these men where really the villains, heroes in disguise, suspicious characters, or something else entirely.
This has been quite a research project today (yep, I didn’t pre-write this blog post – hence the late posting time). Earlier in the week, I planned to write about the effects of Reconstruction on the Civil War’s Border States; however, as I dug into the history of the topic – requested by a blog reader – I realized that to do it full justice, I needed some more research time and a particular resource that isn’t readily available. So – being flexible – I changed topics in the middle of the process, and decided to explore the details of these names so closely associated with the Reconstruction Era.
Hopefully, you’ll find some interesting historical details and maybe a new perspective on Northerners going south and Southerners turning Republican.
Please note: the terms “Carpetbagger” and “Scalawag” are used to explain and define since these terms are typically used in history books. In this blog post, they are not meant in the disrespectful, insensitive way; I decided to keep the historical terms to avoid confusion and since these labels are often used in general discussion of this period of history.
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The Reconstruction Era is complex. The historical figures, thought processes, opinions, and situations often seem distant and a little unknown to us. The struggles of rebuilding and even re-imaging the United States after the Civil War brought the ideologies from the battlefields to the state capitals, the White House, and the Congressional chambers.
Today we’ll talk about the situation in the very beginning years of Reconstruction, focusing on Andrew Johnson, Constitution interpretations, new state governments, and Congress’s views. Continue reading →
There’s tons of information about the American Civil War…and somehow it’s easy to sweep the immediate post-war years under the carpet. The Reconstruction Era – as it’s called – was a challenging time in U.S. History. Politics, economy, society, and culture went through upheaval and change. Not all the change was handled well, creating additional conflicts, bitterness, and continued sectional tension.
I’ve found that tough topics are better discussed than ignored. So…for August 2017 we’ll be talking about the Reconstruction every Friday of the month and regularly on Twitter and Facebook. Hopefully, the information will be enlightening and helpful as we try to make sense of the Civil War’s outcomes and how it has effect our modern era.
Here are ten things you should about the Reconstruction Era: Continue reading →