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Virginia in the American Civil War

Library of Virginia collections pertaining to the American Civil War

Reconstruction in Virginia

The Civil War in Virginia ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865. U.S. President Andrew Johnson recognized Francis H. Pierpont as provisional governor of Virginia. In 1866, the Fourteenth Amendment recognizing the rights of formerly enslaved people was submitted by Congress to the states for ratification, but it was not ratified by the Virginia General Assembly.

The South was placed under military administration. Virginia was designated Military District Number One, and Major General John M. Schofield was appointed commander. Governor Pierpont was replaced with Henry H. Wells.

A new constitution, which provided for universal manhood suffrage, finally went to voters on July 6, 1869, and was passed. A provision that disenfranchised former Confederates was submitted to voters separately and was defeated. On October 8, 1869, Virginia voted to ratify the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments as part of the requirement for being readmitted to the Union. The act readmitting Virginia to the Union and its representatives into Congress was signed by President Ulysses S. Grant on January 26, 1870. This ended the era of Reconstruction in the state of Virginia.

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  • African Americans History 1863-1877
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