Lee's surrender precipitates the abrupt collapse of Confederate resistance, and within a couple of months the last Confederates have surrendered. Union troops occupy Appomattox County, ostensibly to enforce federal law but also to keep order. Federal soldiers spend much time trying to control the former slaves who have attained sudden freedom, encouraging the men to remain with their families and engage in plantation labor contracts; they also punished cohabitation between the races. The Virginia legislature tried to re-impose a version of involuntary servitude through vagrancy laws that required a “visible means of support” (i.e. a labor contract) and by discouraging competition for wages with a requirement to accept standard rates of pay. Mortality records suggest that the health and living condition of the former slaves fared worse in the early days of emancipation than under slavery.
North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.