Most recent discussion of Political Reconstruction, as directed by the Republican Party within the conquered Southern States (1865-1874), dwells upon violence by Southerners during the period as if it were unprovoked ethnic cleansing and a mark of Southern evil. But the true story of the struggles during that time is quite different.
John Chodes (1939– ), New York dramatist and historian, gives a convincing account of the Union League, a semi-secret paramilitary arm of the Republican party, and its role in inaugurating and perpetuating violence in the Reconstruction South.
This article was first published in a hard-to-find pamphlet. It was republished in 2012 as a section within The League of the South Papers, Michael Hill, editor, and is available through www.dixienet.org.