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I. W. (Isaac Wheeler) Avery.

The history of the State of Georgia from 1850 to 1881, embracing the three important epochs: the decade before the war of 1861-5; the war; the period of Reconstruction online

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THE HISTORY



OF THE



STATE OF GEORGIA



From 1850 to 1881,



KM BRACING THE



TIIllEE IMPORTANT EPOCHS:

The Decade Before the "War of 1861-5 ; The War;
The Period of Eeconstruction,



WITH



PORTRAITS OF THE LEADING PUBLIC MEN



OF THIS ERA.



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By 1. ■ W. A V E R Y'J:-'<



' . • '. ■ • ■ : .'



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COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME.



NEW YORK :

Jii:()WN & DERBY, PUBLISHERS,

21 PARK PLACE.




Z/^o^



Copyright, 1881,
By brown & DERBY.



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THIS VOLUME IS



TO THE



PEOPLE OF GEORGIA,



A LUSTROUS PART OF



Whose Strong State Life is Herein Pictured.



THB



UNEMBELLISHED RECORD



IS A



VIVID EPIC



OF



VALOR, GENIUS AND STATESr^ANSfi 11'.






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CiCt fCt
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PREFACE.



ERRATA



Page 7, seventh line from bottom, " Tombs " should be " Toombs.''
Page 58, thirteenth line from bottom, "Navy" should bo "Treasury."
Page 79, fourth line from bottom, " T. P. Oliristian" should be ".T. T.

Taylor."
Page 79, fifteenth line from bottom, " Wm. Smythe " should be "J. M.

Jones."
Page 389, fifth line from bottom, "was" should be "were."
Page 494, twenty-ninth line from bottom, " Gamett " should be

" Garnett."
Page 510, twenty-fifth line from bottom, ".Tohn" should bo "James."
Page 617, third lino from bottom, "Camak" should be "Orme."



ot Slavery, secession and reconstruction, which have shaped
the affairs of this nation for the last half century. No na-
tional record of the colossal events, belonging to that mo-
mentous period of human civilization, can be complete or
intelligible that lacks the potential impress of Georgia act
and statesmanship. That this State furnished the molding



PREFACE.



Whatever may be thought of the estimate of men or dis-
cussion of events in this book, the fact will stand unchal-
lengeable that no voliune ever had richer material for the
Historian's pen. It has been a labor of love to portray
this dear and powerful mother State of ours, and I have
felt tl it no one could do a better service to her people than
to show her to the world as she is. There is no true Geor-
gian who will not thrill with pride at the portraiture of
individual manhood and state majesty. And whatever of
criticism may be justly due to an imperfect execution of a
good aim w^ill be tenderly softened by the home reader's
perception of the author's conscientious desire and fiiithful
attempt to present the great reality of our matchless com-
monwealth.

The general reader, lacking the stimulus of state interest,
can yet find an ample theme, for study and admiration in
the decisive agency of Georgia upon those massive questions
of slavery, secession and reconstruction, which have shaped
the affairs of this nation for the last half century. No na-
tional record of the colossal events, belonging to that mo-
mentous period of human civilization, can be complete or
intelligible that lacks the potential impress of Georgia act
and statesmanship. That this State furnished the molding



VI PREFACE.



spirits of the Southern Confederacy, and that the stupend-
ous endeavor at an independent nationality expired upon
Georgia soil, must ever give to our Conuuonwealth the un-
fading interest and profound thought of all philosophical
students of history.



CONTENTS.



PART I.
THE DECADE BEFORE THE WAU OF 1801-05.

CHArTER I.

I' ACE.

Georgia an Imperial Commonwealth, .t

CHAPTER II.
The Start OF Governor Brown's Stroxg Life, 7

CHAPTER III.
Governor Brown's Marked Career as a State Senator in 1849, .... if>

CHAPTER IV.
Hersohelt. v. Johnson as Governor, 24

CHAPTER V.
Governor Brown's Scratch Nomination for Governor IN IS.")? 31

CHAPTER VI.
Brown Defeats Ben. Hill in a Hard Canvass, ,'(9

CHAPTER VII.
Brown's Election as Governor the Precursor of a Striking Era of

Change, 47

CHAPTER VIII.
The Fiery Battle of the Banks, ."SS

CHAPTER IX.
The Way Governor Brown Gashed into old Customs, f)8

CHAPTER X.

The Spirit of 1858 in Georgia, 7fi

CHAPTER XI.
Gov. Brown's Superb Public Endorsement and Benomination 84

CHAPTER XIT.
The Gubernatorial Tussle between Gov. Brown and Warren Akin, . . 9.'!

CHAPTER xrrr.

A TIoT Chapter OF Gathering Revolution lO.T



I



Vlll CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XIV.

Page.
The Fatal Split of the National and Georgia Democracy in 1860, - . . 114

CHAPTER XV.
The Momentous Close of the Last Year of Peace, 1860, 124

CHAPTER XVI.
The Stubborn Battle in Georgia over Disunion, 135

CHAPTER XVII.
The Most Vital Chapter of Georgia History — Her Secession from the

Union, 143

PART II.
THE BLOODY HARVEST OF WAR.

CHAPTER XVIII.
The Princely Prosperity Georgia Staked on the War, 161

CHAPTER XIX.
The Kape of the Guns, 171

CHAPTER XX.
The Birth of the Confederacy and the Shadow of War, ...... 180

CHAPTER XXI.
The Blazing War Fever OF the first of 1861, 191

CHAPTER XXn.
The Precedent of a Century Overthrown, and Brown made Governor

the Third Time, 201

CHAPTER XXIII.
Gov. Brown's Stormy Time avith the Legislature of 1861-2, 212

CHAPTER XXIV.
The Organization of State Troops under Major-GiJneral Henry R.

Jackson, . . . . 224

CHAPTER XXV.
Brown and Davis in their Great Tussle over Conscription, 232

CHAPTER XXVI.
A Gloomy Chapter of War's Ravage, , . . . 246

CHAPTER XXVIL
The Increasing War Fever of 1863, 258

CHAPTER XXVIII.
The First Half of the Most Thrilling Year of Georgia An^ m >;, l ^' "'<



CONTENTS. ix

CHAPTER XXIX.

l'A.,i:.
Sherman Tears Atlanta from Hood, 281

CHAPTER XXX.
Sherman's Peace Effort and Famous March to the Sea, .lod

CHAPTER XXXI.
_^aj{.,';^rr,QT»-o Tht'oes OF THE Revolution, AND THE Tragic End, . , . . .ii:

PART III.

. .^1. RECONSTRUCTION TRAVESTY AND A SUPERB

REHABILITATION.

CHAPTER XXXII.
The Transition Period of Pure Bayonet Rule, S.^o

CHAPTER XXXIIT.
The Organization of the State Government under President Johnson's

Plan, 345

CHAPTER XXXIV.
The Second Iron-IIanded and Whimsical Phase of Reconstruction, . . 357'

CHAPTER XXXV.
A Throbbing Chapter of Reconstruction Harlequinade, Ending with

Gov. Jenkins' Removal 369

CHAPTER XXXVI.
The Feverish March of Events in 1868, 381

CHAPTER XXXVII.
The Famous Legislative Expurgation of the Blacks, 394

CHAPTER XXXVIII.
Gov. Bullock's Desperate Endeavor to Re-enact Reconstruction, . . . 407

CHAPTER XXXIX.
A Burning Chapter OF Folly and Shame -^19

CHAPTER XL.
The Twin Infamies of Prolongation and Financial Mismanagement, . . 438

CHAPTER XLT.
The Downfall of the Reconstruction Regime, and Bullock's Resigna-
tion and Flight, ■♦•">-

CHAPTER XLII.
The Final Act of Joyous State Redemption, ■••"•^



X CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XLin.

Pagk.
Georgia's Famous ExPDKGATiox OF Fraudulent Bonds, 475

CHAPTER XLIV.
The Administration op Gov. James M. Smith, 501

CHAPTEJ; XLV.
Gov. Alfred H. Colquitt AND HIS Magnificent Majority, -'4_

( HAPTER XLVI.
Gov. Colquitt's Brilliant Financial Administration, . . .

CHAPTER XL VII.
The Extraordinary Crusade of Hostility to Gov. Colquitt, 537

CHAPTER XLVm.
The Powerful Historic Georgia Triumvirate, Colquitt, Gordon, and

Brown, 553

CHAPTER XLIX.
Gov. Colquitt Recommended fok Governor by the Most Extraordinary

AND Exciting Political Convention of Georgia Annals, 5G8

CHAPTER L.
Gov. Colquitt's Overwhelming Re-election, 589

CHAPTER LI.
The Journalism and Literature of Georgia, 609

CHAPTER LII.
The Railroads, Resources and Future of Georgia, . , 631

APPENDIX.

A. — Georgia Officers who Served in the Civil War in the Confed-
erate Service, 657

B. — Correspondence between Jefferson Davis, President of the Con-

FEDERACV, AND JOSEPH E. BuOWN, GoV. OF GEORGIA, ON CONSCRIP-
TION, 695

C. — Original Communication of Mrs. Mary Williams, to the Columbus

(Ga.) Ti3ies, Suggesting the Decoration Day Custom, .... 715



ILLUSTRATIONS.



LIST OF STEEL PLATE PORTRAITS.



Paok.



1. I. W. Avery, (Frontispiece.)

2. Joseph Et Buown, JEt. 29, o.i

3. Jos. Henry Lumpkin, 54

4. C. J. McDonald, 76

5. Howell Cobb, Ill

6. H. V. Johnson, 125

7. Robert Toombs, 140

8. Geo. W. Crawford, 150

9. Alex. H. Stephens, 181

10. E. A. Nisbet, 209

11. Henry R. Jackson, 227

12. Jefferson Davis, 233

13. B. H. Hill, 255

14. W. T. Sherman, 274

15. Joseph E. Johnston, 280

16. James B. McPherson, 282

17. W. J. Hardee, 313

18. C. J. Jenkins, 352

19. Joshua Hill 398

20. O. A. Lochrane, 45(5

21. Hiram Warner, 493

22. Thos. M. Norwood 494

23. Alfred H. Colquitt, 519

24. Campbell Wallace, 554

25. Joseph E. Brown, 563

LIST OF ENGRAVED PORTRAITS.

26. W. H. Stiles, 34

27. John E. AVard, 51

28. Mrs. M. Williams, 242

29. A. R. Lawton 29t

30. Thos. Hardeman, 3.')1

3L R. E. Lester, 40 i



12



ILLUSTRATIONS.



32.
33.
31.

35.
30.
37.
38.
39.
40.
41.
42.
43.
44.
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
50.
51.
52.
53.
54.
55.
56.
57.



Page.
506



J



Supreme Court Group, 515



j. b. gordox, ...
James Jackson,
Maktin J. Ckawford
Alex. M. Speek,

A. O. Bacon, "523

L. J. Gartkell, 557

L. N. Trammell, 574

Patrick Walsii,

A. li. Wright,

J AS. R. Band ALL,

Henry C. Moore,

James Gardner,

N. P. T. FiNcn,

AV. A. Hemphill,

Evan P. Howell, J

Chas. H. Smith, " Bill Arp."

Joel Chandler Harris, " Uncle Remus."

W. T. Thompson, " Major Jones."

R. M. Johnston, Author "Dukesboro Tales," etc. J

C. C. Jones, Jr., 625

E. W. Cole,
E. P. Alexander,
Wm. M. Wadley,
J. P. King,
L. P. Grant,

G. J. FOREACRE,



" Augusta Chronicle and Constitutionalist'. i Group, 610



Atlanta Constitution Group, 614



Humorists, . 623



' Georgia's Railway Kings, 637



/



PART I.

Tlie Decade before the War

OF 1861-5.



CHAPTER I.
GEORGIA AN IMPERIAr. C(BLMONWEALTir.

A Leader in tlie august Sisterhood of States. — Her Superior Individualitv. — Iler
Adventurous Citizenship. — The Theater of Great Events. — The Most Potential
Southern State in the War of 1861. — Her Affluence of Public Men in tlic Last
Quarter of a Century. — The Leading Instrumentality of Josepli E. Brown.

The annals of no State in this expansive Union will show a record
more illustrious, and also more picturesque in coloring, than our goodly
Commonwealth of Georgia. She was one of the original colonies, the
historic thirteen, that won independence in the forever famous revolu-
tion of 1776, and formed the basis of our present marvelous nationality.
Founded in 1733 by that noble English gentleman, Sir James Oglethorpe,
and embracing the princely scope of territory extending from the
Atlantic coast to the Mississippi river, from which has been cut and
formed several of our finest Southern states, Georgia has froiA that
early day to the present maintained the luster of her origin, and
illustrated in peace and war, in arts and arms, in achievement and states-
manship, in population and progress, the virtue, independence and
power of a free, intellectual and Christian people.

Among all of the great commonwealths of the Union, there is, per-
haps, no single one as royally endowed by nature as Georgia. There
are larger states, there are states surpassing her in individual lines
of production, but in the possession of a lavish variety of resource,
Georsria is the foremost. Whether we reafard her versatile aafricultural
fertility, her varied mineral wealth, her manvifacturing possibilities or
her commercial advantages, she has them all in aflluent profusion; and
superadding to these a healthy climate ranging from the purest of
mountain air to the fresh buoyancy of her ocean border, a prodigal
possession of crystal springs and rivers, and scenery variedly picturesque,
and it is no exaggeration to claim for her a leading position in the
august sisterhood of the United States.

Her career has had a romantic character, befitting her superior
individuality. Hers has been a continuously dramatic destiny. Georgia,
from her foundinoc in 1773, has made a luminous chronicle of eventful
emprise and stirrin-T nicident. There seems to have been from the first



6 JOSEril E. BROAVN.

or has taken a stronger hold upon the measures and times with which
he has been connected, than tliis indomitable type of equipoised judg-
ment.

In view of Gov. Brown being the central figure of the last quarter of
a century of Georgia matters, I have deemed it not inappropriate to
devote a couple of chapters to his early life, not only for the interest of
the work, but to throw upon the heavy facts of our grave history the
illustration of so vital an agency during this thrilling period.



CHAPTER II.
THE START OF GOV. BROWN'S STRONG LIFE.

His Progenitors. — Born of Fighting Sires. — Ganieful by Heredity. — A Rovliood of Toil
and Close Living. — Ilis Ininiigration to Historic Gaddistown. — Tlio United StatCH
Scn.ate and Gaddistoun. — The Famons Plow Bnll. — Scliooling in South Carolina. —
A Pair of Steers for Board. — Remarkable Progress. — A Country School Teacher. —
Reads Law in Resting Hours. — Dr. Lewis. — Brown's Fidelity to Friends — Admitted
to the Bar. — Goes to Yale College Law School. — A Practitioner of Law.

The full name of Senator Brown is Joseph Emer.son Brown. He is not
a native Georgian, but was born in the adjoining state of South Carolina,
in Pickens District, on the IStli clay of April, 1821. He was therefore
sixty years of age April 15, 1881. His birthplace was near the home of
John C. Calhoun, that apostle of the doctrine of States Rights. It was
liere that young Brown had imbibed with the tenacity of his determined
nature Calhoun's theory of state government. And it will be seen how,
when he became Governor of Georgia, these decided views of .state
sovereignty molded his official conduct, and led him to controversies
that have become historic.

It is not by any means uninteresting to trace in the life of this gentle-
man the ancestral qualities that came to him legitimately by hereditary
transmission. His remote progenitors on the paternal side were Scotch-
Irish Presbyterians, and way back in those dismal days of English
history, when civil strife would seem to have culminated its horrors in
the time of James the Second, they faithfully adhered to the fortunes
of William and Mary. Their home was in the vicinity of Londonderry,
Ireland, and when that place was subjected to the cruelties of a length-
ened siege, the ancestors of Joseph E. Brown vindicated their courage
and their fidelity by an unmurmuring participation in the sufferings of
that occasion. In an exceedingly vivid sketch comparing " Joe Brown
and Bob Tombs," " H. W. G," in tlie Constitution newspaper, thus
alludes to Brown's progenitors :

"Joe Brown and Bob Toombs! Both illustrions and great — both powerful and
strong — and yet at every point, and from every view, the perfect opposites of each
other.

" Through two centuries have two different strains of blood, two conflicting lines of
thought, two separate theories of social, religious and political life, been working out



O BEOWN AND TOOMBS.

the two types of men, which have in our day flowered into the perfection of contrast —
vivid, thoroug'li and pervasive. For seven generations tlie ancestors of Joe Brown liave
been restless, aggressive rebels — for a longer time the Toombs have been dauntless and
intolerant followers of the king and kingliness. At the siege of Londonderry — the
most remarkable fasting match beyond Tanner — Mai-garet and James Brown, grand-
parents of tlie James Brown who came to America and was grand-parent of Joe Brown
— wore withiu the walls, starving and fighting for William and Mary; and I have
no doubt there were hard-riding Toombs outside the walls, charging in the name
of the peevish and unhappy James. Certain it is tliat forty years before the direct
ancestors of General Toombs on the Toombs estate were hiding good King Charles in
tlie oak at Boscabel, where, I have no doubt, the father and uncles of the Londonderry
Brown, with cropped hair and severe mien, were proguiug about the place with their
pikes, searching every bush, in the name of Cromwell and the psalm-singers. From
these initial points sprang the two strains of blood — the one affluent, impetuous, prod-
igal — the other slow, resolute, forceful. From these ancestors came the two men — tlie
one superb, ruddy, fashioned with incomparable grace and fullness — the other pale,
thoughtful, angular, stripped down to brain and sinew. From these opposing theories
came the two types — the one patrician, imperious, swift in action and brooking no stay
— the other democratic, sagacious, jealous of rights and submitting to no imposition.
The one for the king — the other for the people. It does not matter that the elder
Toombs was a rebel in Virginia against the fat George, for that revolt was kingly of
itself, and the A'irginian cavaliers went into it with love-locks flying and care cast to the
winds, feeling little of the patient spirit of James Brown, who, by his Carolina fireside,
fashioued his remonstrance slowly, and at last put his life upon the issue." .

In 1745, Brown's ancestors emigrated to America. This was some
thirteen years after the settlement of Georgia by Oglethorpe. They
first settled in the colony of Virginia, but subsequently removed to
South Carolina, where they became worthy citizens, keeping up their
stern fidelity to patriotic duty. Joseph Brown, the grandfather and
namesake of Senator Brown, was a resolute Whig in the days of the
Revolution of 1776, and did his part gamefully in that memorable strife.
He fought in many leading engagements, including Camden, Kings
^lountain and others. He was true to the rebel instincts of the blood,
and upheld the colonial cause until independence crowned the long and
weary contest.

Of the family of Joseph Brown the revolutionary sire, Mackey Brown,
the father of Joseph E. Brown, when quite a young man sought a home
in the state of Tennessee, in the middle section of that commonwealth
of bountiful products. Following the intrepid impulses that came to
him from his Londonderry progenitors, Mackey Brown enlisted in the
war of 1812 in the brigade of General Carroll. He went with this com-
mand to New Orleans, and shared actively in all of the campaigns of
that war, finally fighting with " Old Hickory" in the celebrated battle
of the 8th of January, 1815, which resulted in the death of General



gadp:.->towk. 9

Packcnham, the British commander ; the defeat of the Britisli army,
and tlie election of General Jackson as President. It will thus he seen
that Joe Brown comes of a fightin<r stock, and the unyieldinj^ conihative-
ness that has constituted one of the staple ingredients of iiis cliaracter,
and a leading feature of his political life, is a quality of long-transmitted
inheritance, perpetuated through generations of resolute blood and
■fiery trial.

Mackey Brown returned from the war to Tennessee and married
Sally Rice, whose people came frgm England and, settling in Virginia,
emigrated to Tennessee. After the marriage, Mackey Brown and his
young wife moved back to South Carolina to Pickens District, where,
in the quiet pursuit of an agricultural life, eleven children were born,
the oldest of whom w'as Joseph E. Brown.

The early life of Joe Brown was uneventful. His parents were in
moderate circumstances, and he grew up accustomed to farm labor. He
was educated in those simple habits of living, temperate, abstemious
and healthful, from which- in all the elevations of his extraordinary
career he has never deviated. From the early age of eight he did
steady farm work until he was nineteen years old, filling in the intervals
with the ordinary country schooling. Before he was grown, however,
Mackey Brown left South Carolina and emigrated to Union county,
Georgia, where Joseph E. Brown made the humble beginning of his
wonderful career in this state. The little valley near which they settled
was called Gaddistow^x.

Men make localities famous. It is the province of genius to thus
emulate great events in conferring celebrity upon places. The obscure
little country place of Gaddistown has earned immortality through the
poor uneducated boy that arrived there in his 'teens over forty years
ago. When at the close of the most protracted political and personal
campaign ever held in Georgia, in which he was a leader and factor, this
penniless and unlettered boy become a millionaire in wealth, all won by
his own strong industry and enterprise, grasped in his powerful hand
the glittering honor of a United States Senatorship by such a majority
as the most fortunate of men rarely get, the wondering populace, caught
from its rural hiding place in the mountains of Georgia, far away from
the whistle of the steam car, the modest locality of Gaddistown and
made it a household word forevermore. Such is the spell of genius.
In the badinage that flashed about the marvelous victory, Gaddistown
bloomed into fame as the spot where the millionaire Senator plowed his
historic bull in the days of his penniless youth, and made the modest



10 151 LT- APtP's REMIXISCENOE.

starting of liis miraculous career. The papers rang with the name of
Gaddistown. In the brilliant breakfast room of the Kimball House,
where a large number of Senator Brown's friends gathered to dine in
honor of his overwhelming election that day, the Gaddistown Club was
organized in tribute to the henceforth immortal Gaddistown.

During these years of his youth up to the age of nineteen, young
Brown learned nothing but the three R's, — reading, 'riting and
'rithmetic, and these very limitedly. He worked laboriously, plowing
his now historic bull, hauling wood to Dahlonega, selling vegetables in
a basket to the hotel and others that would buy, and aiding in the
frugal support of his father's large family. " Bill Arp," in one of his
inimitable letters to the Constitution, narrates the followino- interestins:
incident of the period of Brown's life, told him by Gen. Ira Foster:

"When he got to talking ahout Joe Brown he stretched fortli his arm and said tliat
man is a miracle. I knew his parents before he was born. They were exceedingly
poor. His aunt Sidney did my washing when I was a young man living in Dahlonega
some fifty years ago.

"Joe cultivated a little scrap of hillside land with a pair of bull calves, and every
Saturday hauled to town some potatoes or cabbages or light wood or other truck in
trade and took back something for the family. In 1839, I think it was, I was riding to
Canton in a buggy, and I overtook a young man walking in a very muddy lane. He
had a striped bag hung over his shoulder and looked very tired. I asked him if lie
would not take a seat, and he looked down at himself and said he was too muddy, and
tliat he would dirty up the buggy. I insisted and he broke off a splinter from a rail
and scraped his shoes and got iu. I learned from him that his name was Joe Brown,
and he was going to Canton to get something to do. I have kept an eye on him for
forty years. He is a wonder to me."

But there was a something in the youth that impelled him irresistibly
to a higher and broader life, and his strong intelligence realized the
necessity of a better educational equipment. There is no doubt how-
ever that in these years of youthful work were laid the foundation of
those inestimable habits of patience, pains-taking industry, frugality,
self-control, and a knowledge of and sympathy with the laboring masses
that have so marked his career, and aided in his exceptional success.

In the fall of 1840 he obtained his father's consent to make a new
departure and gratify his craving for education. All that his father
could do for the boy who was to carve out for himself so wonderful a
fortune, was to give him some home-made clothing and a yoke of steers.
With this modest endowment of worldly goods the youth went back to
Carolina and entered the Calhoun academy in Anderson district, prob-
ably drawn there by his reverence for the name and doctrines of
Calhoun. The steers paid for eiglit months' board. The tuition was



r.RO\VN A LAW STUDKNT. U

obtained on credit. It can be well iinaj^ined that a spirit so deteniiinc'd
upon an education improved this oj)[)()rl unity to tiic riillcst measure of



Online LibraryI. W. (Isaac Wheeler) AveryThe history of the State of Georgia from 1850 to 1881, embracing the three important epochs: the decade before the war of 1861-5; the war; the period of Reconstruction → online text (page 1 of 83)