This Week in the Civil War - #1082
With the war mercifully coming to an end by early May 1865, growing bitterness over Lincoln’s assassination fueled Northern anxieties. The Radical Republicans in Congress pressured President Johnson to pursue a vindictive policy against the southern states, believing that Lincoln was a victim of the same, southern secessionist diehards who had started the Civil War in 1861. Yet Johnson seemed inclined to adopt the policies of his martyred predecessor. For a great many in the South, the end of the war brought a floodtide of emotions—both relief and despair. Many former Confederates had no homes to return to; their hopes for the future had been dashed by Union victory on the battlefield. While the North had lost its president, the Confederate South seemingly had lost its future.