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The Bloody Shirt: Terror After the Civil War

The Bloody Shirt: Terror After the Civil War
Author: Stephen Budiansky
ISBN 13: 9780452290167
ISBN 10: 452290163
Edition: Reprint
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 2008-12-30
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
List Price: $16.00

A 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. Drawing on original letters and diaries as well as published racist diatribes of the time, acclaimed historian Stephen Budiansky concentrates his vivid, fast paced narrative on the efforts of five heroic men—two Union officers, a Confederate general, a Northern entrepreneur, and a former slave—who showed remarkable idealism and courage as they struggled to establish a “New South” in the face of overwhelming hatred and organized resistance. The Bloody Shirt sheds new light on the violence, racism, division, and heroism of Reconstruction, a largely forgotten but epochal chapter in American history.

The New York Times - William Grimes

If "Profiles in Courage" had not already been taken, it would have made the perfect title for this linked set of portraits honoring five men who risked everything to fight for the principles that had cost so many lives. It is an inspiring yet profoundly dispiriting story.