The Crucible of Reconstruction: Unionists and the Struggle for Alabama's Postwar Home Front
This chapter shows how the continuation of violence linked to political activity also characterized Alabama, where Unionists found themselves “indelibly marked in a ruined land.” The withdrawal of most federal forces by the summer of 1865 left the Unionists on their own to defend themselves against former—and still formidable—Rebels who went about burning houses and murdering their foes. By 1868 former Unionists were pitted against the Ku Klux Klan, what many have labeled “the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.” Facing local governments unwilling to defend them, Unionists suspected that although the Union had been victorious at Appomattox, “they would not be victorious at home”.
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