The Bloody Shirt: Terror After Appomattox

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Penguin, 2008 - History - 322 pages
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An intimate and gripping look at terrorist violence during the Reconstruction era

Between 1867, when the defeated South was forced to establish new state governments that fully represented both black and white citizens, and 1877, when the last of these governments was overthrown, more than three thousand African Americans and their white allies were killed by terrorist violence. That violence was spread by roving vigilantes connected only by ideology, and by the hateful invective printed in widely read newspapers and pamphlets. Amid all the chaos, however, some men and women struggled to establish a ¬“New South¬” in which former slaves would have new rights and a new prosperity would be shared by all. In his vivid, fast-paced narrative of the era now known as Reconstruction, Stephen Budiansky illuminates the lives of five remarkable men¬—two Union officers, a Confederate general, a Northern entrepreneur, and a former slave¬—whose idealism in the face of overwhelming hatred would not be matched for nearly a century. The Bloody Shirt is a story of violence, racism, division, and heroism that sheds new light on a crucial time in America¬'s history.

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About the author (2008)

Stephen Budiansky is a journalist and military historian whose writings frequently appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic Monthly. His previous books include Her Majesty¬'s Spymaster, Air Power, and Battle of Wits.

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