Reconstruction is the dark side of the Civil War’s already pretty awful history; when all the gains fought for were surrendered and guiled away. The sesquicentennials still to come will not be as heavily observed as the wartime ones, but they have had a longer legacy. This is a good move on the part of the NPS.
The National Park Service is undertaking what it calls a national historic landmark theme study. It plans to identify nationally important sites dealing with the Reconstruction era from the Civil War through 1900 that could be designated national historic landmarks.
Robert Sutton, the agency’s chief historian in Washington, said the way historians view Reconstruction has changed over the years.
“The old interpretation was that it was a disaster, that they did too much too soon and people weren’t really ready and it was mostly a negative thing,” Sutton said. “In the last 50 years, the research has been the complete opposite and that it was a very progressive program that did tremendous good and the real tragedy was that it ended.”
via Park Service will study period after Civil War | The State The State.