The Old South… Carpetbaggers and the Crime of Reconstruction


After the Civil War, the “procedure” to readmit southern states into the Union was called, “Reconstruction.” I find this interesting because I had always thought it referred to the re-building of the war torn states, not the rebuilding of the union, which was the United States.

After the war, Congress could have accepted southern representatives back into the fold but instead waited until 1867 when they created five southern military districts and appointed a major general for each district. Unfortunately, corrupt white men from the North (Carpetbaggers) descended upon the South to take advantage of the situation. With everything in turmoil and a lack of governance, political corruption proliferated and African Americans were exploited. White farmers went from owning slaves, to new laws that gave African Americans military protection. On top of all this, Carpetbaggers were encouraged to take advantage of the newly freed African Americans, resulting in large-scale waste and extravagance.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the Civil War Era Historic Romance, Black Pansy.

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