The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation by Brenda Wineapple:
In the summer of 1865, a few miles north of Decatur, Alabama, a paroled Confederate soldier lured a former slave into the woods. The man was said to have gotten too “saucy” when he learned he was free, so the ex-soldier shot him three times in the head and hurled his body into a river. In Mobile, white men and their dogs guarded the roadways, and they crisscrossed waterways by boat in search of black men and women who’d left plantations where they’d once worked. If captured, they could be shot or hanged. “The white people tell them that they were free during the war,” a white man said, “but the war is now over, and they must go to work again as before.” Andrew Johnson had been President fewer than four months.
Near Hilton Head, South Carolina, a former Treasury agent named Albert Browne heard of the young black boy who’d been ambushed by a pardoned Confederate soldier who shot him fifty-seven times, mostly in the face and head. “What most men mean to-day by the ‘president’s plan of reconstruction’ is the pardon of every rebel for the crime of rebellion, and the utter refusal to pardon a single black loyalist for the ‘crime’ of being black,” Thomas Wentworth Higginson tersely observed.
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