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The devastation of the Civil War

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The loss of the Civil War meant the loss of property and citizenship for some and newfound freedom for others.Times were hard even before the Civil War ended because money had become worthless. People had to barter for food or grow their own. Debts couldn’t be repaid.The Civil War was devastating for most of the plantation owners in the area around Elgin because they lost their labor force, their slaves. In most cases, they also lost citizenship in the United States. To regain citizenship, they had to sign an oath. This included those leaving for California after the Civil War. Examples are ...

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