Lincoln’s Death, New Nation: April 1865 to 1877

Lincoln’s Posthumous Fame

How many people’s lives were altered by the war?

On an anecdotal level, everyone’s lives were altered by the war. Practically no one that we know of came out of the war in 1865 and said that his or her life was the same as it had been in 1861. For many people, the war had been a benefit, financially speaking. Fortunes had been made on Wall Street, but also on Main Street, where those engaged in the buying and selling of anything connected to the war generally received a major boost. Many of these new fortunes were, necessarily, fragile, and they would not survive the first big stock market swoon, which came in 1869.

Millions of other people could—quite rightly—claim that the war had ruined their lives. No one can truly count the cost in the rural South, where for the next two generations, white women outnumbered white men in almost every county, making it difficult to find a husband. No one can really assess the total damage to the infrastructure of the South, to Georgia and South Carolina most especially. This naturally begs the next question.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Civil War Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App