African Americans from Laurel were among those drafted in the Civil War.Images showing Laurel area residents John Williams and Henry American drafted
After the War Newspaper clip reporting Mills Opening:
Political meetings Johnson Clubs in Laurel
Immediately after the war, the question of how Reconstruction was structured showed sharp divisions between the Northern Republican effort to support black rights, and then President Johnson’s approach. Within six weeks of taking office, Johnson had offered proclamations of general amnesty for most former Confederates, and his initially stricter plans for high-ranking government and military officers quickly dissolved. Johnson also vetoed legislation that extended civil rights and financial support for the former slaves. The Congressional Elections of 1866 would determine the future course of Reconstruction.Johnson sought to secure Republican defeat and victory for himself. One was to try to in to form a working coalition of Conservative Republicans and northern Democrats that would back candidates favorable to his Reconstruction policy and serve as a step toward the establishment of a new political party. To this end he arranged for the organization of "Johnson Clubs" throughout the North and the border states, and for the meeting of delegates from all of the northern and southern states in the National Union Convention in Philadelphia on 14–16 August. The Johnson Clubs tended to be dominated by Democrats, and many of the participants in the National Union Convention were prominent Copperheads and Confederates. Consequently, most Republicans regarded both moves as merely devices to trick them into voting for Democrats, and instead of gaining support, Johnson lost it. Republications increased their majority in the 1866 elections.
141st NY. Suggest using Ken’s transcript of Thomas Beecher’s column on getting comfortable in a tent: i.e. Thomas Beecher Experiments with a Tent Could scan and Post all of Beechers Columns (you have I believe)