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Chapter 46: negro conditions during the Civil War

Before the beginning of the summer of 1865 the Civil War had been brought to a close. The Union volunteers were soon thereafter mustered out of the military service; and, carrying with them as tokens of honor their certificates of discharge, proud of their achievements, and full of hope for a happy and prosperous future, they joyfully sought their widely scattered homes.

The Confederate soldiers who had confronted them for four long years, from Generals Lee and Johnston to the humblest privates in the ranks, were treated with delicacy and kindness by our officers. After their surrender, however disappointed they might be at the result of the conflict, they were, nevertheless, not without spirit and hope. So, enjoying an American's confidence in his ability to get on in the world and protected by Grant's generous parole, they returned to their Southern households. They found their farms stripped, their plantations overgrown with weeds, their cotton destroyed, and their laborers disbanded. Business in cities and villages was at a standstill, and their late Confederate currency absolutely without value. The prospect at the best was dark. Still, these men had Anglo-Saxon courage, and with few exceptions did not succumb to the appalling difficulties of their situation, but promptly went to work to gain

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