Yankee Reconstructed (The Grenville Sagas) (Volume 2)


By Carolyn Schriber

Publisher : Katzenhaus Books

ABOUT Carolyn Schriber

Carolyn Schriber
I am a retired college professor who specialized in medieval European history  After many years of writing academic monographs, I am now indulging my love of the Civil War by writing historical fiction. But along the way, I've also learned a great deal about today's publishing atmosphere. More...



  When the the Civil War was over, Jonathan and Susan Grenville moved their family back to Charleston, only to find that peace was easier to declare than to practice. The war that tore a nation apart might have ended in 1865, but the most important battles remained to be fought. The North struggled to resume business as usual, while the South faced economic disaster. Old state constitutions needed to be re-written before the United States would take their former enemies back into the Union. Old political alliances collapsed, and the party of Lincoln faced a decline into unparalleled graft and corruption. And over everyone hovered the question of what to do with the thousands of former slaves whose status as citizens remained undefined. The following ten years gave rise to some of the most important constitutional developments in the history of the United States. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments would change the face of a nation, but the advances came at a terrible cost. In many ways, the transition would take another hundred years to reach fruition. And in the meantime, generations of black men learned that the pathway to becoming an African-American was a dangerous one. As the reunited country struggled with the problems of Reconstruction, the Grenvilles found themselves seeking new economic opportunities to replace the old cotton culture. Jonathan and Susan inherited vast land holdings that threatened to bury them under a deluge of back taxes unless they could find a new way to turn the lands into new revenue sources. Other family members decided to work together to meet the ever-present need for food by creating their own grocery business. And two of the family’s enterprising young people took on a challenge to capture, tame, and recreate an ancient breed of horses that had adapted themselves to living wild in the swamps of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. At the same time, the Grenvilles were swept up into political  rivalries and civil riots that churned their peaceful streets into battlegrounds. Family ties shattered as their maturing children searched for their own answers to the questions of how best to live their lives. One son took refuge in a separatist religious community, while another became an armed advocate of White Supremacy. Susan’s black cousins fought for equality and became targets of those who hated blacks. A daughter was swept into a romance with a black man. Daily life became a constant battle marked by visits from the Ku Klux Klan, threats of violence, and accusations of murder. Follow the Grenvilles as they navigate the difficult years between 1867 and 1877.

This is Volume Two of a projected three-volume series that follows the Grenville family from the Civil War into the twentieth century. "Yankee Reconstructed" tells the stories of the tumultuous years of Reonstruction, 1867 through 1877.

One beta-reader, Paul Hedden, wrote:

An outstanding primer to Reconstruction in South Carolina.
Well-constructed and historically accurate novel
Relates the sad story of Reconstruction in South Carolina
2nd novel of the Grenville family in South Carolina is a fascinating review of South Carolina history from colonial days through the end of Reconstruction in 1878. 
What passed during Reconstruction still remains today as the standard of inter-racial behavior, public and private.
Plots and sub-plots illustrating this little understood period in South Carolina’s history.
Discussion of problems still plaguing contemporary South Carolina and their source. The development of South Carolina’s educational system.  The source of the State’s Right to Work law.
Many facts and minutiae of South Carolina's’ early buildings and the industries and societies that used these edifices and resources including enslaved craftsmen.  The character Henry conveys remarkable insight into todays’ conflict of religion and politics in a democracy.
Additionally the fascinating bit of the history of the Carolina Marsh Tacky, a horse breed found here in South Carolina. Also the Sheldon Church, “Flemish” bond brick laying.
The excesses of the Reconstruction (Black Republican) legislature.
Remarkably well researched as to details.  Demonstrates the deep understanding of the most current of historical research including the post-Civil War sociology of death, the legal confusions of Andrew Johnson’s approach to Reconstruction; the development of the SC Reconstruction Constitution.  Imparts a good sense of the fear, on the part of the white population, of the idea of equality of the races and its consequences today.  Evocative of the constant threat of violence, political and racial or both throughout the State in this period.
Introduces to the general public the many personalities that shaped post-Civil War thought in South Carolina:  Robert Smalls, Benjamin Randolph, Wade Hampton and Rufus Saxon. And other, less notable but not of less importance, people who implemented the ideas of reconstructing South Carolina:   e.g. Laura Towne and the Penn School and its details.
Reflects the total chaos that paralyzed South Carolina in the post war years.