Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Epigraph

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Figures

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

I am grateful to my wonderful wife, Anna, and my children, Elizabeth and Christopher, to whom this book is dedicated. As with my first book, Civil War Alabama, Dr. Guy Hubbs, Dr. Michael Fitzgerald, Dr. George Rable, Dr. Ben Severance, and others gave sound advice and assistance that greatly improved...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-4

In 1912, one of Alabama’s many twentieth-century historiopropagandists, John Witherspoon DuBose, posited the period 1865 to 1874 as crucial in understanding the plight of Alabamians. The year 1912 was when his series of rambling and often inaccurate newspaper articles, later republished in a 1940...

Part I. The Final Doom of Slavery

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1. “The Fever of Your Imagination”

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pp. 7-17

One of the many flaws of historian John Witherspoon DuBose’s Alabama’s Tragic Decade is that, in making his argument for Alabama’s righteousness and for Northern sins, he conveniently skips over any detailed discussion of the Civil War. His first chapter, in fact, begins in May 1865.1 Much happened...

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2. “Treason—Treason—Treason!!!”

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pp. 18-25

Under the circumstances, those Alabamians who still sincerely clung to the cause of independence were arguably not in touch with reality. Certainly not among that class was Confederate congressman William Russell Smith (fig. 2), another Tuscaloosan on the New York Tribune’s list of reconstructionists in..

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3. The “Peace Bubble”

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pp. 26-38

A rumor had swept Alabama and the rest of the South in late 1864 that Jefferson Davis (fig. 4) had died, prompting one war weary Alabama soldier, Grant Taylor, to declare that “I believe his death would be a great blessing to the Confederacy.”1 His death would certainly have been a great blessing to...

Part II. The Final Doom of Alabama’s Industrial Economy

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4. The Will Is Wanting

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pp. 41-52

Die-hard Confederates were still full of very brave talk, but their words did nothing to provide the manpower and resources necessary to replenish the Confederate war effort and fight off the huge Union army strike force everyone knew was massing to invade central and south Alabama. Now even the...

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5. The Society of Loyal Confederates

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pp. 53-65

At about the same time that Watts addressed residents of Montgomery, John Forsyth was forming an organization in Mobile designed to provide means for prolonging the war indefinitely: the Society of Loyal Confederates. According to the published prospectus of the new group, its objects included...

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6. The Wedding Party

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pp. 66-74

North Alabamians had gotten the bloody war they did not want and had gone profoundly backward economically. Adding injury to insult, up to this point south Alabama had generally avoided the hard hand of war. As Joshua Burns Moore wrote, “North Ala. voted overwhelmingly against [secession,] and for...

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7. “Satan’s Kingdom Is Tumbling Down”

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pp. 75-86

By April 1865, there was no reason for Confederates to dance anywhere in Alabama. While Croxton was having his way in Tuscaloosa County, most of Wilson’s men were busy systematically destroying the state’s economic assets in central Alabama.1
Because of the presence there of iron ore, coal, and limestone...

Part III. The Final Doom of State Sovereignty

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8. “When This Cruel War Is Over”

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pp. 89-109

In 1864 the editors of the Montgomery Advertiser had extolled the virtues of the war in terms of its diversification of Alabama’s economy. “We see the results everywhere in the improved condition of our mechanical and manufacturing industry, notwithstanding the heavy drain of the war upon the labor of...

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9. “Glorious News”

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pp. 110-119

Reports of the April 14, 1865, assassination of Lincoln and attempted assassination of William Seward (Andrew Johnson’s assassin lost his courage) reached Alabama fairly quickly.1 Some Alabamians publicly expressed their approval.2 The Chattanooga Rebel, which had resumed publication in Selma...

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10. “A Lull in the Tempest”

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pp. 120-131

America was never a hospitable place for the losers of a revolution or a rebellion.1 Even after the Second Treaty of Paris in 1783, many colonists who had opposed the American Declaration of Independence in uniform or as civilians and remained loyal to the British king George III—the original “Tories”...

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11. “Most Prominent and Influential Loyal Men”

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pp. 132-142

North Alabama remained the most overtly prounification region in the state. While the federal government worried over the continuing threat west of the Mississippi River, efforts to take advantage of that sentiment were being made through regional and local military commanders and members of...

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12. “Diabolical”

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pp. 143-159

Andrew Johnson’s historical legacy pales when compared to that of Abraham Lincoln, primarily as a result of his reconstruction policies.1 This is quite ironic because it can be argued that in 1865 Johnson attempted to execute virtually all of Lincoln’s initiatives.2 For example, just as Lincoln had expressed...

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13. The Liberator

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pp. 160-167

On May 29, 1865, four days after the blast in Mobile, President Johnson caused a figurative explosion when he issued two proclamations initiating what would later be called Presidential Reconstruction.1 One provided amnesty from federal prosecution to most—but not all—former Confederates. Fourteen...

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14. “A Radically, Sickly, Deathly Change”

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pp. 168-177

A review of the Northern press during this period indicates that the South was on probation and under intense scrutiny. Was a truly loyal New South emerging, or were the South’s occasional professions of loyal sentiment merely a subterfuge, cloaking a reemergence of the slaveocracy planter class that...

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15. “The Rump of the Confederacy”

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pp. 178-186

The North was watching very closely. An influential Pennsylvania congressman, William Darrah Kelley, expressed the concerns of many Northerners regarding the social and political trends in the South and their potential effects on the nation as a whole. “It is of primary importance to the country...

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16. “The South As It Is”

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pp. 187-202

Despite all of the troubling evidence of seemingly reluctant, merely pragmatic loyalty emanating from Alabama and the rest of the former Confederate states, some political pundits in the North still predicted that Congress would admit loyal Southern representatives when it convened in December...

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17. The Legacy of 1865

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pp. 203-212

The history of Alabama after 1865 is in many ways a consequence of what happened that year. In an editorial titled “Southern ‘Hot-Heads’ Injuring Themselves,” the editor of the New York Sun wrote that the “ implacable class of Southerners have made a mistake in not curbing their feelings until...

Abbreviations

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pp. 213-214

Notes

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pp. 215-302

Bibliography

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pp. 303-354

Index

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pp. 355-364