Emerging Civil War

Shortly after the war, Francis Butler Leigh, traveling with her father, left the North to reclaim their plantation in the Sea Islands. Francis chronicled her journey through the South, as well as documented the transition of Southern society from the prosperous slaveholding plantations to an economy filled with poverty stricken sharecroppers and tenant farmers, and bankrupt plantation owners. Francis’ account illuminates the disorganization, the uncertainty, and the turmoil of the South as it began the slow process of reuniting itself with the Union. Her difficult, yet somewhat humorous, week long journey through the war torn South in March of 1866 illustrates the extent of the inability of Southerners to recover after the loss of the war. The following excerpt is from her memoirs Ten Years on a Georgia Plantation since the War.

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