Today in history: Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina were readmitted to the Union

Reunited and it feels so good; okay, so maybe 1868 wasn’t as smooth as a pop song.  There were a few kinks to work out.  How would secessionist states regain self-governing status?  How would newly freedmen be integrated into southern society?  What would become of the leaders of the Confederacy?  Reconstruction proved to be one of the most trying times in U.S. history, but out of this struggle came the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments.  Oh yeah, that fightin’ stuff slacked off, too…at least on the battlefield.

To read more on the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War, check out these titles:

  • Paul D. Escott’s North Carolina in the Era of the Cvil War and Reconstruction collects work by well-known and up-and-coming scholars on key issues during the reassembling of North Carolina as an independent state and the branding of NC as a free state.  Wayne K. Durrill  writes, “This volume very effectively shows how North Carolinians fought amongst themselves–over land, labor, family, and control of the state government…”
  • Mark V. Wetherington’s Plain Folk’s Fight: The Civil War and Reconstruction in Piney Woods Georgia examines the lives of common men and women, primarily yeomans, farmers, and craftspeople, in southern Georgia.  Though widely believed that this class of people fought for ideals of the the southern elite, Wetherington asserts that “plain folk” fought for issues that affected their own lives.
  • Richard M. Reid’s Freedom for Themselves: North Carolina’s Black Soldiers in the Civil War Era tells stories of the more than 5,000 slaves who escaped to serve in the Union Army.  John David Smith writes, “This well-researched and well-argued book should stand as the definitive history of North Carolina’s four black regiments in the Civil War.”
  • William Blair’s Cities of the Dead: Contesting the Memory of the Civil War in the South, 1865-1914 explores the history of commemorating the Civil War in both black and white communities in the South.  W. Fitzhugh Brundage writes, “He [Blair] reveals the grief, pride, and pluck that southerners, black and white, displayed as they tried to impose order on their region’s recent past.”


*Dates of readmission according to the New York Times*