What Is a Summary of the Reconstruction Act of 1867?

Essentially, the Reconstruction Act of 1867 turned the South into a conquered military state, which mainly divided the South into five regions, each governed by a Union general. The act is known by several names, including the First Reconstruction Act and the Military Reconstruction Act.

The five regions were Virginia under General John Schofield; North Carolina and South Carolina under General Daniel Sickles; Georgia, Alabama and Florida under General John Pope; Arkansas and Mississippi under General Edward Ord; and Texas and Louisiana under Generals Philip Sheridan and Winfield Scott Hancock. The act also established martial law in the five regions, and soldiers were sent to those areas to act as law enforcers. Six states reentered the Union in 1868, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida, after rewriting their state constitutions, but the other four, Virginia, Mississippi, Texas and Georgia, did not re-enter the Union until 1870.