The goals of counter reconstruction were the reassertion of white power in the south. Years of Republican led Reconstruction had erroded the traditional white power structure in the south and allowed African Americans to make political gains. When they lost at the polls, they tried terror tactics. But with the passage of the Military Reconstruction Act the army now occupied the south, maintaining order and protecting black rights.
White southerns quickly switched tactics. Waiting for the nation's attention to be diverted by scandals, such as the ones engulfing the Grant Administration during its last few years, Democrats in the south began regaining their political power with help from secret terror groups like the KKK. Their brand of racial violence led to a subversion of the electorial process and the complete reversal of African American gains in some congressional districts.
Counter Reconstruction eventually succeeded in removing the army from the south and legalizing segregation in the Supreme Court with the Plessy v. Ferguson case.