Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Civil War Aftermath

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Civil War Aftermath

Article excerpt

It was with great concern that I read Charles Lane's Feb. 2 Perspectives commentary ("Honoring Confederates"). I applaud the idea of elevating James Longstreet to the spotlight often denied him; however, there are a few misleading ideas buried in Mr. Lane's work.

The Reconstruction was rife with complex problems. It was a time of distinct winners and losers and new experiences for an entire race. It did not fail, as Mr. Lane implicitly indicates, due to"white Southern resistance" (resistance was found among Northern populations as well) nor"vindictive and extreme federal government."

One must also consider the corruption of the Grant presidency, interest in the trans-Mississippi West, concentration on industrial growth in the North, failure to rebuild Southern infrastructure and Southern "redeemers," who fed off the South's poor, both black and white. …

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