The war that could not end -- After surrender -- Emancipation at gunpoint -- The challenge of civil government -- Authority without arms -- The war in Washington -- A false peace -- Enfranchisement by martial law -- Between bullets and ballots -- The perils of peace -- A government without force
"The Civil War did not end at Appomattox Court House. Nor did it end at the surrenders that followed in North Carolina, Texas, and Indian Country. The Civil War dragged on for at least five years after Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in April 1865. In the first large-scale examination of the post-Civil War occupation, this book offers a rethinking of Reconstruction, the end of the Civil War, and the United States' history of occupation. The Civil War could not end, because slavery had not yet ended. Freed people held in bondage throughout the South taught soldiers that it would take military force to crush the institution of slavery. To create reliable rights on the ground and to stave off planters' efforts to restore their power, the United States launched an expansive, aggressive, little-understood occupation of the rebel states, granting the Army power to overturn laws, appoint new officials, conduct military trials, and ignore writs of habeas corpus. Yet relying on occupation posed dilemmas for the United States. Isolated in small outposts, the Army could regulate only what it could see. In large no-man's lands, a series of insurgencies and partisan conflicts arose; much of the South fell into near-anarchy. Maintaining an occupation created political problems as well, as northern voters urged Congress to cut spending and send troops home. This book describes a Civil War that could not quite end, a peace that could not quite be achieved, and a resolution that continues to shape American life"--Provided by publisher.