Monday, May 3, 2021

The Legacies of Reconstruction: How “White Supremacy” Was Born and Repainted

*General Gordon promised the men a gold medal and 30 days leave if they accomplished their task and many years after the War my great grandfather wrote General Gordon, who was then governor of Georgia about this incident. They exchanged several letters which I have framed. The Attack On Fort Stedman


Former Confederate Lt. General and future Georgia U.S. Senator and Governor, John Brown Gordon, told a Congressional Committee in 1871: 

“We never had any apprehension from the conduct of the negroes until unscrupulous men came among them and tried to stir up strife.” 

The South was as devastated during the Civil war of 1861 to 1865 as much as any nation in the annals of warfare.  By the end of the war, more than 250,000 Confederate soldiers, one out of every four white men, had been killed or died of wounds or disease. In addition, at least 50,000 Southern civilians died.  Over 40 percent of private property including homes, businesses, livestock, and crops had been destroyed. In South Carolina, where Sherman’s men had burned the capitol city of Columbia, over 50 percent of private property was destroyed. Most of this property damage was deliberately inflicted on the civilian population to deny the Confederate Army the logistical means of resistance, but also to demoralize their families and supporters at home.  It was ordered in cold calculation by Northern political and military leadership and often executed with self-righteous religious zeal or criminal abandon.  Neither Christian teachings nor modern Geneva Conventions condone such total war.  Reconstruction was an extension of that total war by political means.

More @ The Times-Examiner


  1. House of Representatives, Monday, June 30, 1890---

    " The question is often asked why the Southern people, knowing the negro well and having so long exercised power over him when he was a slave, did not take control of the colored vote and use it for the purposes of good government. If Mr. Lincoln's plan had been carried out and suffrage had been left under the control of the States this would have been possible. Suffrage under Mr. Lincoln's plan would in time have come to the colored man from the States gradually and as he was fitted to exercise it. Then he would have been the friend of the white men who conferred upon him the right to vote. Then there would have been no race troubles, no color line in politics. The trouble comes from outside interference. The color line was a necessary result of the reconstruction laws and the manner of their enforcement.

    "As soon as these laws were passed Messrs. Wilson of the Senate and Kelley of the House went down to the State of Alabama to tell the negroes there that the Republican party had freed them, that the Republican party had given them the ballot, and that to the Republican party they all owed their allegiance. These and other eminent statesmen went to other States carrying the same message. And everywhere throughout the Southern States was the Freedmen's Bureau agent, looking forward to office for himself, poisoning the mind of the negro against the Southern white man, swearing him into the Union League, and teaching him there that he could only preserve the liberties the Republican party had given him by voting the Republican ticket. There was no chance then for the Southern man to divide the negro vote and there was no chance to lead it, for the negro trusted only the man that wore the blue."

    1. Thanks and don't believe I have seen this before.


      (In two months of the same year in Edgecombe County, two churches, several cotton gins, a cotton factory, and many barns and homes were burned. [My county. BT])
      Union League

    2. >>>"haven't seen this before"

      One would have to turn the pages of the Appendix to the Congressional Record, to come accross the subject.

      After about 15 years the Democrats of the South gathered themselves together and reorganized. Suddenly the votes didn't come the way Republicans liked. Southern representatives were fervently pro-silver individuals. In 1890 the Republicans wanted to revisit the subject of voting rights, so the subject came up for discussion in the House.

      The main debate of the Summer of 1890 was the bill that eventually became known as the Sherman Silver-purchasing act of July 14, 1890.