End in Sight
By early 1865, the Civil War was drawing to an end. Much of the Southern landscape was devastated, the Southern economy was shattered, and the demoralized Confederates saw little chance of winning. After four years of fighting and the death of 620,000 soldiers—more than in all other American wars combined—both Northerners and Southerners were relieved when the bloody conflict ended. However, despite Lincoln’s appeal for unity and forgiveness in his second inaugural address, Southern whites were justifiably concerned as to how the victorious Federal government, which was rapidly falling under the control of Northern radical Republicans, would deal with them.
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