How would you punish the rebel leadership after the American Civil War

The Civil War is over, an entire portion of the country is in ruin, and reconstruction is underway. You have been given the job of assigning punishment to the leadership of the Confederate states of America, folks like Davis, Lee, Forrest, and so on. Compared to OTL, how would you handle to punishment of the Confederate leadership post war, based on their actions and the laws and customs of war (Present day laws or laws back then, doesn't matter to me)?
 
They should have a jury trial. If the jury is made up of majority freedmen; however, well that's just the way it is.
 
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Confederate leaders would be tried for any crime they committed against the United States or its citizens during or before the war (murder, treason, sedition, conspiracy, etc.) and given the appropriate punishments, no exceptions. I would urge the president to commute any death sentences given by the courts to life in prison to avoid creating any martyrs for the lost cause (and because of my personal beliefs).
 
Work 'em in the fields! Preferably under the benevolent oversight of a freedman foreman...
The thought of someone like Nathan Bedford Forrest pickin' cotton all the livelong day just makes me smile.
"Hey Forrest! Why don't you lead the boys in one a them nee-gro spirituals? A little music'll make your day seem shorter!" :openedeyewink:
 
Longer prison sentences and make so that they can't get any kind of notable career later. Furthermore prohibition erect statues for them and not name ships after them.

I wouldn't hang anyone when I don't want take a risk to make them martyrs.
 
I wouldn't punish them at all. The war was over - they lost and their country was ruined - that should have been enough. But vindictive radicals in Congress had to disenfranchise them too.
 
I wouldn't punish them at all. The war was over - they lost and their country was ruined - that should have been enough. But vindictive radicals in Congress had to disenfranchise them too
Treason is the highest crime a citizen of the United States can commit and the Confederate leadership got off scot free after commiting it. Disenfranchisement was the least of the punishments those men should have been given.
 
Expropriation of their estates and enacting 40 acres and a mule but extending it to the poor white underclass so both them and freed slaves get land reform and an economic boost.
 
Treason is the highest crime a citizen of the United States can commit and the Confederate leadership got off scot free after commiting it. Disenfranchisement was the least of the punishments those men should have been given.
You also need to bring the country back together, so going too hard on Confederate leadership is likely to create different problems down the road. Also, in 1860-61 in popular understanding, it was a reasonable question whether secession was legal. Yes, someone can quote some legalism and quote the constitution but popular understanding was not clarified on the point, which was what's really important.

Surrender terms must be honored. People will remember that. That means the military leaders are off the hook for their military action, period.

But taking land from planters, extending it to the white underclass is doable, including Confederate enlisted and perhaps junior officers, provided they actively support reconstruction to a certain degree. Respond quickly to any lost cause myths.

Nobody is hanged. But the power of the Planter class and the semi-feudal system is broken, forever.
 
Seconded last four comment above.

Distribute land of planter class, dont punish political and military leader. Redistribition of land to poor black and white should be goal.

Limit to elected and appointed office is also good, reducing planter class influence.

War crime, committed against military personnel (including black soldier) and free blacks should be persecuted however.
 
Treason is the highest crime a citizen of the United States can commit and the Confederate leadership got off scot free after commiting it. Disenfranchisement was the least of the punishments those men should have been given.
But the fact is they were not a citizen of the United States. Unless you are of the mind that the CSA was part of the US and not its own thing with its own army and government.

I could see them being given crimes such as destruction of property and the deaths of US citizens but treason is one that I don't feel can be used on them. The second their home state left they were no longer a citizen of that nation but this new one. You have to keep in mind in 1861-1865 your home state was your nation in many ways. So in the eyes of the men who joined the armies of both sides, nobody could have treason used on them. Because at no point did they ever flip to the other side. The south lost the war and the loss of the nation was bad enough. To add a crime that likely doesn't even make sense would only enrage them more.

Hit them with other crimes but this one I feel isn't one anybody can have pinned on them blue or gray.
 
But the fact is they were not a citizen of the United States. Unless you are of the mind that the CSA was part of the US and not its own thing with its own army and government.

I could see them being given crimes such as destruction of property and the deaths of US citizens but treason is one that I don't feel can be used on them. The second their home state left they were no longer a citizen of that nation but this new one. You have to keep in mind in 1861-1865 your home state was your nation in many ways. So in the eyes of the men who joined the armies of both sides, nobody could have treason used on them. Because at no point did they ever flip to the other side. The south lost the war and the loss of the nation was bad enough. To add a crime that likely doesn't even make sense would only enrage them more.

Hit them with other crimes but this one I feel isn't one anybody can have pinned on them blue or gray.

Politicians and military leadership were US citizens when they decided to turn against their home nation. And USA nor any other nation didn't ever recognised CSA so it was seen just as rebelling part of USA.
 
I think the most important thing is to completely change the political and economic ruling class in the south, be that through land distribution, barred from political office for any and all current politicians etc, and removing all military power from the south.

Glorifying of Lee and others need to be prevented through bans on monuments etc, and ensuring that the education in the south treats the confederates as traitors.

Humiliation of specific people and stripping of power and wealth, while still being careful to not generate bitterness among the population, and a southern pride.
 
I think the most important thing is to completely change the political and economic ruling class in the south, be that through land distribution, barred from political office for any and all current politicians etc, and removing all military power from the south.

Glorifying of Lee and others need to be prevented through bans on monuments etc, and ensuring that the education in the south treats the confederates as traitors.

Humiliation of specific people and stripping of power and wealth, while still being careful to not generate bitterness among the population, and a southern pride.

I think monuments on a battlefield or a cemetary should have a place and it treats people with dignity. It is more about 'this is where our sons/brothers/lovers fought and died or lay' where as a generic Confederate solider on a courthouse lawn is a political statement saying, 'we in the community support x and you'd best go along with it.'

Let the south mourn, but not glorify.
 
You also need to bring the country back together, so going too hard on Confederate leadership is likely to create different problems down the road. Also, in 1860-61 in popular understanding, it was a reasonable question whether secession was legal. Yes, someone can quote some legalism and quote the constitution but popular understanding was not clarified on the point, which was what's really important.
The problem wasn't actually the attempted secession (later ruled as invalid, of course). The problem was that these people literally waged a war against the United States... which is most certainly treason.
 
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