Reconciliation and ReflectionGo Back
The postwar years became a time of reconciliation. Many who served in the military focused on remembrance of their experiences. Veterans' organizations helped soldiers and their families heal emotional scars by bringing them together at encampments and other events where they could share their memories of the war. Ex-soldiers sought government assistance for their service and tried to cope with physical and emotional scars and losses. Many Southerners, some Missourians among them, wanted to preserve the memory of the Confederacy even as they became reconciled to its defeat. While restrictive reforms of the Restoration era hindered Southern healing, other Unionists made conciliatory efforts with former Confederates.
However, the spirit of reconciliation proved to be an obstacle to the advancement of African Americans. A desire to remember the war in positive terms pushed the rights of former slaves, the inevitable goal for which African Americans had fought, into the background.