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joyfully, and which he would have performed so well. Not a moment was lost in entering upon it. The South was utterly exhausted and helpless, without food, without clothing, without resources of any description. The land alone remained. Government provided food, without which provision there would have been in many parts of the country a great mortality from utter want.
With little delay the Confederates received the pardon of the Government, and applied themselves to the work of restoring their broken fortunes. Happily for them the means lay close at hand. Cotton bore still an extravagantly high price. The negroes remained, although no longer as slaves. They had now to be dealt with as free laborers, whose services could not be obtained otherwise than by the inducement of adequate wages. In a revolution so vast, difficulties were inevitable. But, upon the whole, the black men played their part well. It had been said they would not consent to labor when they were free to choose. That prediction was not fulfilled. When kindly treated and justly paid, they showed themselves anxious to work. Very soon it began to dawn upon the planters that slavery had been a mistake. They found themselves growing rich with a rapidity unknown before. Under the old and wasteful system, the growing crop of cotton was generally sold to the Northern merchant and paid for to the planter before it was gathered. Now it had become possible to carry on the business of the plantation without being in debt at all.
At first the proud Southerners were slow to accept the terms offered them. They had frankly accepted Emancipation. They had learned to look upon their slaves as men. But it was hard to look upon them as their equals in political privilege. It was hard to see negroes sitting in the State legislatures, regulating with supreme authority the concerns of those who so lately owned them. Some of the
Restoration of the Union.
States were unable to acquiesce in a change so hateful, and continued for five years under military rule. But the Northern will was inflexible. The last rebellious State accepted the condition which the North imposed, and the restoration of the Union was at length complete.
WHEN the war was over, the Americans addressed themselves sadly and reverently to the work of gathering into national cemeteries the bones of those who had fallen. The search was long and toilsome. The battle-ground had been a continent, and men were buried where they died. Every battle-field was searched. Every line by which an army had advanced, or by which the wounded had been removed, was searched. Sometimes a long train of ambulances had carried the wounded to hospitals many miles away. At short intervals, during that sad journey, it was told that a man had died. The train was stopped; the dead man was lifted from beside his dying companions, a shallow grave was dug, and the body, still warm, was laid in it. A soldier cut a branch from a tree, flattened its end with his knife, and wrote upon it the dead man's name. This was all that marked his lowly resting-place. The honored dead, scattered thus over the continent, were now piously gathered up. For many miles around Petersburg the ground was full of graves. During several years men were employed in the melancholy search among the ruins of the wide-stretching lines. In some cemeteries lie ten thousand, in others twenty thousand, of the men who died for the nation. An iron tablet records the name of the soldier and the battle in which he died. Often, alas! the record is merely that of “Unknown Soldier.” Over the graves floats the flag which those who sleep below loved so