4.3 Mountain South: Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1877)


t

 

1860

(33 states)

1880

(37 states)

West Virginia

 

 

618,457

29th

Kentucky

1,155,684

9th 

1,648,690

8th

Tennessee

1,109,801

10th

1,542,359

12th

Missouri

1,182,012

8th

2,168,380

5th

Arkansas

435,450

25th

802,525

25th

Percent of U.S. population

12.3%

 

13.5%

 


Key events that shaped law and society:

  • The mountain South’s reaction to war was the nation’s reaction in microcosm.  Two states (Missouri and Kentucky) decided by the narrowest of margins that union was more important than preserving a way of life based on slavery, but they waged their own internal civil wars between 1861 and 1865 and Union forces maintained a strong presence in both states to make sure that Confederate forces did not get the upper hand.  Radical Republicans gained control of Missouri’s government and enacted a new constitution abolishing slavery in early 1865.  Kentucky clung to slavery and chafed at federal control throughout the war.
  • Tennessee and Arkansas, like Virginia, seceded despite strong opposition from residents of their mountain areas (east Tennessee and northwest Arkansas.  After Union forces occupied western Virginia (1861) and gained control of most of Tennessee and Arkansas (1862-63), local Unionists established “restored” governments in each state.  War, combined with long-standing sectional divisions, enabled western Virginians to form their own state in 1863 with the consent of Virginia’s “restored” government.

New states:

West Virginia (1863)

File:Key's Battery, the Helena Artillery, Hardee Pattern, 1864.jpg
Battle flag - Key's Battery, Helena (Arkansas) Artillery, listing major battles fought in the Mountain South - courtesy Wikimedia Commons

File:Memphis h42367.jpg
Naval battle on Mississippi River at Memphis, Tennessee (1862) - courtesy Wikimedia Commons

File:William Gannaway Brownlow - Brady-Handy.jpg
William G. ("Parson") Brownlow, leader of Tennessee Unionists during Reconstruction (1865) - courtesy Library of Congress