President Lincoln knew the country needed a plan for recovery even before the war ended. There were over three million slaves in the country. Once they were freed, they would need help finding homes and jobs. The Union had to figure out how to deal with citizens of states that had seceded and the punishment of Confederate leaders. They also had to plan on how to rebuild the South. Efforts began even before the Civil War ended. Reconstruction lasted 12 years, three times as long as the war lasted.
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