Panel 3 - Occupation & Reconstruction

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Occupation & Reconstruction – Panel 3 / PDF of Panel 3
The destruction of Atlanta and downfall of the Confederacy brought devastation to Cobb County.
More than a quarter of all Southern men of military age died during the war, leaving many families destitute. After the surrender, paroled ex-Confederate soldiers returned to a war-torn county. Many found their homes burned and began life again with almost nothing. Reconstruction came with new political realities and enforced military rule.
   Whatever their loss, everyone welcomed peace, and citizens had a new optimism for 1866. With the railroads repaired, Northerners arrived in droves, derogatorily termed “Carpetbaggers” for their cheaply made luggage. They mostly settled in towns seeking any economic and/or political opportunity.
Robert Daniell and Martin Ruff rebuilt Concord Woolen Mills after the Union destroyed it on July 4, 1869, the Marietta Journal reported the woolen factory had “32 looms and 600 spindles” that would employ 52 operators, along with other laborers. Daniell and Ruff sold the still-bustling mills in 872. Robert Daniell went on to become a respected farmer, using progressive machines and methods. He was the first to raise 100 bushels of corn on one acre of land in Cobb County.
   New land settlement patterns emerged in rural areas. Landowners leased smaller tracts to farmers – both white and black – for cash; more often they allowed them to farm acreage with an agreement that the harvest would be shared. These farmers were called sharecroppers and struggled to make a living growing corn or cotton. Gradually, people rebuilt homes, and conditions improved. For decades, farmers plowed up lead bullets, iron cannonballs, and other reminders of the war as they turned the soil.

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