Did Grant view the situation in the South with optimism or pessimism? What evidence he give to support his view?

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jrwilliams4321 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I assume that you are referring to the end of the war; so I'll address the question that way... if not, resubmit with a date and someone can take another shot at it.  But, at the close of the civil war, I believe that Grant viewed the situtation in the South with some cautionairy optimism.  Grant was, I believe, full well aware of the differences between North and South and that any gesture that was made on behalf of the north would be scrutinized throughout the South.  In other words, he understood the gravity of the sitution.  He understood that, now the war was over, and the long work of putting the country back together had to begin.  One particular thing that has always stuck out to me that Grant did to try to bridge the gap between North and South was evident in the terms of surrender that he worked out with Robert E. Lee at the end of the conflict.  Grant allowed Confederate officers to keep their sidearms (pistols).  The reasoning behind this was that, at that time, only officers routinely carried pistols.  They were a bit of a badge of honor for those officers.  This was just one of many ways that Grant tried to not "rub salt in the wounds" of the South.  So again I say he approched the question of putting the country back together with cautious optimism.

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