Aftershock: Beyond the Civil War

Thisis a series of a documentary that examines the life after events ofthe Civil war. It presents a period of violent aftermath full ofgreed, intimidation, anger, and fear when the reconstruction era wastaking place. The period was full of deadly race riots and bitterrebellion in the Southern region. The series shows images of a periodafter the civil war and includes the bloody surrender at Appomattoxand the rise and decline of the Ku Klux Klan (Chris). The seriesshows the experiences of various groups of the southern society whichinclude newly released slaves, return of soldiers, poor whites, andwhite land owners of the southern region.

InNorth Carolina, a group of former slaves and Indians led by BerryLowry plot to steal from wealthy plantation owners. Lowry was afreedom fighter and the events surround execution of his father andbrother by KKK and Home Guard members whose intention was todemoralize the law abiding citizens inspired him to engage inphysical encounters (Chris). Out of revenge for his father andbrother, he engaged in war for a period of seven years characterizedby raids, robberies, and murders. This gang was however one of a kindwhose interest was not to help the oppressed, or even theirneighbors. Jealousy and the riches owned by their wealthy neighborswas their motivation. They were not by any chance freedom fightersbut rather gangsters in the mission of getting rich and if the worsthappens, die while trying. They happen to be bandits inclined tovengefulness and plunder.


Morethan 150 years ago, America experienced three bloodiest days ever inits history. It was the battle of Gettysburg that left over 50,000union soldiers’ dead, missing, and others seriously injured(Trueman). The period before the attack, major cities were underthreat of attack by the General Robert Lee’s confederate army ofthe Northern Virginia who crossed the Potomac River as they marchedinto Pennsylvania. A confederate army arrived at Gettysburg on July,1 to search for supplies and found that another group had arrived theprevious day. Both armies headed towards Gettysburg and were able todrive the federal defenders back through the town to the cemeteryhill. By taking advantage before arrival of more Union troops, Leegave directions for attacks to be carried out on Cemetery Hill.

Bythe dawn of the second day, the Union Army had established strongpositions from Culp’s Hill to the Cemetery Ridge. Lee observed hisenemy’s position and devised a plan to attack the Federals fromtheir position in contrary to the advice of James Longstreet(Trueman). War lasting several hours ensued all over the placewitnessed by bloody fights. The federals were in a position to holdlittle Round Top but lost other important soldiers while others wereseriously wounded. Both armies experienced great losses reportingdeaths exceeding 9,000 from each army. On the third day, the Unionregained their strong position by pushing back a Confederate threatagainst the Culp’s Hill. However, Lee had a strong believe invictory and had send troops against the Union Centre on CemeteryRidge. Longstreet protested against this move but Lee was determinedto have the attacks continue. The confederates were attacked from allsides and less than half of their soldiers survived. Lee andLongstreet leave in a confused state as the survivors stumble back totheir position after the attack failed. This defeat demoralized Leeto an extent that he resigned though he was not granted the wish.


Chris,Joe. “The history channel gets it wrong: “After shock: Beyond theCivil war”. AmericanHistory, Civil war, and much more.American exceptionalism. December 22, 2009. Web. March 2, 2015.

Trueman,Chris. “The American Civil War”. Thebattle of Gettysburg.History learning site. January 5, 2000. Web. March 2, 2015