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What Happened to All the Confederate Leaders After the Civil War?

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In school and in history books, we are taught a lot about what happened leading up to and during a war, but what happened after is arguably just as important. Take the Civil War, for example. Most Americans can name a few major battles and generals, but how much do you know about what became of them after 1865?

This is what happened to 10 Confederate leaders after they were defeated in the Civil War.

1. John Bell Hood

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The Confederate general was a successful businessman for several years until an economic crisis ruined his business. He caught yellow fever and died shortly thereafter.

2. Alexander Stephens

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The Vice President of the Confederacy was held in prison in Boston until six months after the war ended. Stephens remained a rabid racist and became the governor of Georgia.

3. Robert E. Lee

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The most famous Confederate general of the Civil War was not arrested when the battles ended. Lee served as the head of Washington College. He was revered in the South and he often had to speak out against resuming the Civil War, as many Southerners wanted.

4. George Pickett

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The man who led the famous Pickett’s Charge believed he was going to be prosecuted for war crimes and he fled to Canada. He was pardoned two years later and then returned to the U.S. He was in ill health for the remainder of his life and died in 1875.

5. Jefferson Davis

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The President of the Confederacy spent two years in a Virginia prison. After his release, Davis spent time in Canada, Cuba, and England before he operated an insurance company. He hired only former Confederate officers for his business.

6. Joe Johnston

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The controversial General had interests in railroad and insurance and became a relatively successful businessman after the war. He also served one term as a Democratic congressman. He became a friend of Union General William Sherman, caught a cold at Sherman’s funeral and died soon after.

7. P.G.T. Beauregard

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Beauregard was a businessman after the war and, although he still held anti-black beliefs, he worked to establish black rights, as he believed it was for the good of the country.

8. Simon Buckner

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Bucker ran a newspaper after the Civil War, amassed a fortune, and also worked in politics in his native Kentucky. He lived until the age of 90 and died in 1914.

9. Nathan Bedford Forrest

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Nathan Bedford Forrest was the first leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Later in his life, he denounced violence and racism and became an advocate for civil rights. He died in 1877 at the age of 56.

10. James Longstreet

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Longstreet embraced the Union cause after the war, making him a pariah in the South. Longstreet was shot and captured during The Battle of Liberty Place, an election fight that broke out in New Orleans in 1874. After his release, he became a turkey farmer and named his farm “Gettysburg.” He died in 1904.