The Freedmen's Bureau and Reconstruction: Reconsiderations

By Paul A. Cimbala; Randall M. Miller | Go to book overview

afterword

James McPherson

THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR abounds in ironies. A nation born of secession fought a war against secession four score and seven years later to preserve the entity created by the first secession from dismemberment by the second. The commander in chief of the victorious army had no military training and once joked that his only military experience had consisted of "charges upon the wild onions" and "a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes" as a militia captain in the Black Hawk War.1 His rival commander in chief was a West Point graduate and a combat veteran, who had been a superb secretary of war. Yet most historians agree that Abraham Lincoln proved to be a better strategist and military leader than Jefferson Davis. Both sides in the war initially tried to keep the issue of slavery in the background, yet defense of that institution was the mainspring of secession and its abolition one of the most important results of the war. If the conflict had ended in the summer of 1862, which appeared imminent after a remarkable string of Union victories in the winter and spring of that year, plantation slavery and the social structure of the Old South would have survived the war. But the advent of Robert E. Lee as the Confederacy's premier military commander reversed the initial momentum of northern success, prolonged the war for three years, and ensured that Union victory would destroy slavery, the Old South, and almost everything for which Lee had fought.

The reputation of the Freedmen's Bureau, created during the final months of the war to help harvest one of the fruits of victory, emancipation, offers another example of irony. Welcomed as a muchneeded ally by the freedpeople, the Bureau reaped abuse and ridicule from southern whites, especially former slaveholders. They denounced it as a "vicious institution," "a curse," a "ridiculous folly."

-343-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Freedmen's Bureau and Reconstruction: Reconsiderations
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 364

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.