After Lincoln: How the North Won the Civil War and Lost the Peace
A. J. Langguth
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A brilliant evocation of the post-Civil War era by the acclaimed author of Patriots and Union 1812. After Lincoln tells the story of the Reconstruction, which set back black Americans and isolated the South for a century.
With Lincoln’s assassination, his “team of rivals,” in Doris Kearns Goodwin’s phrase, was left adrift. President Andrew Johnson, a former slave owner from Tennessee, was challenged by Northern Congressmen, Radical Republicans led by Thaddeus Stephens and Charles Sumner, who wanted to punish the defeated South. When Johnson’s policies placated the rebels at the expense of the black freed men, radicals in the House impeached him for trying to fire Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Johnson was saved from removal by one vote in the Senate trial, presided over by Salmon Chase. Even William Seward, Lincoln’s closest ally in his cabinet, seemed to waver.
By the 1868 election, united Republicans nominated Ulysses Grant, Lincoln's winning Union general. The night of his victory, Grant lamented to his wife, “I’m afraid I’m elected.” His attempts to reconcile Southerners with the Union and to quash the rising Ku Klux Klan were undercut by post-war greed and corruption during his two terms.
Reconstruction died unofficially in 1887 when Republican Rutherford Hayes joined with the Democrats in a deal that removed the last federal troops from South Carolina and Louisiana. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill with protections first proposed in 1872 by the Radical Senator from Massachusetts, Charles Sumner.
the sheriff’s wife to the jail with a gun to her head. Yielding, he gave up ten more blacks to the mob for execution. • • • General William Sherman had already responded to the savagery in South Carolina by sending the Seventh U.S. Cavalry in March 1871 to restore order, transferring a thousand soldiers from the Western plains, where they had been contending against the Cheyenne, Comanche, and other tribes as the nation pushed westward. Six months later, Attorney General Akerman went
unforgivable sin: Seward never attacked his fellow senators by name. Thirty years earlier, Van Buren, another New Yorker, had been considered a magician for his mastery of the art of politics. Now observers were regarding Seward as the same kind of sorcerer. Carl Schurz, a young German-born journalist, saw past “the slim wiry figure, the thin, sallow face, the overhanging eyebrows, and the muffled voice” to glimpse “a sort of political wizard who knew all secrets and commanded political forces
in, 11 Wade comments in, 204 Wade-Davis Manifesto in, 75 New York World, 166, 177, 210, 253–54, 285, 366 Nicholls, Francis, 354–55 Nordhoff, Charles, 171–72 North American Review, 298 North Carolina Black Codes in, 109 Greeley’s land purchases in, 296 Holden as governor of, 88, 118 Johnson’s gubernatorial appointment for, 118 Johnson’s pardons in, 119 KKK in, 230, 279, 282 schools in, 113 segregation in, 360, 369–70 sit-ins in, 369 North Dakota, KKK in, 366 Northern Pacific
called for a full investigation. But apologists for the Memphis police pointed out that wartime New York had seen far worse mayhem on July 13, 1863, when mobs of white workingmen had rioted to protest being called up for service in the Union army. They had complained then that wealthy young men could pay a three-hundred-dollar “commutation fee” that would exempt them. White workers already resented having to compete for jobs with emancipated blacks, and they had become convinced that the war was
as much as he detested the tanning business. His father intended Hiram to study at West Point, where he could receive a free education as an engineer, but his contentious views had alienated the local congressman. Rather than approach him, Jesse Grant wrote to Ohio senator Thomas Morris and got the appointment. Young Grant had never considered defying his father, but military life held no attraction. Getting ready to leave for New York, he learned that Congress was debating whether to abolish