262 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI Some deserters were forced back to their Confederate units. Newt Knight was never captured, and he returned to his Jasper County farm after the War. The surrender of Confederate troops began on April 26, twelve days after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Former Mississippi Governor Pettus, who had joined the Confederate Army, refused to surrender, left Mississippi and settled in Arkansas. For the duration of his life, he resisted federal military authorities. Confederate soldiers returned home to shocking conditions, with farms having gone to waste, fields overrun with weeds and growth, buildings and fences demolished, and friends and families near starvation. The number of women widowed during the Civil War was approximately 200,000, and the number of children who lost one or both of their parents was 400,000, with 10,000 of these orphans in East Mississippi alone. During a postwar session, the Mississippi Baptist Convention appointed a board of trustees that aided in finding and funding facilities to care for the orphans of East Mississippi. The facility and property obtained were the former resort hotel and Confederate hospital at Lauderdale Springs. The children’s home opened in 1866. In only a few months, the number of orphans rose from fifty to 200. More than 940 Confederate soldiers and eighty Union soldiers are buried in the Lauderdale Springs Cemetery Postwar World—Reconstruction and Beyond (1865-1900) Remnants of war kept the East Central region on a shaky foundation, but none felt the quiver more than freed slaves. Before the war, Slaves Codes had governed the slaves. Mississippi refused to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery. The new Mississippi legislature adopted the Black Code in late November 1865, but agents of the Freedmen’s Bureau and northern Republicans condemned the Code as an attempt to bring back slavery. Most features of the Black Code were repealed, except for the vagrancy clause. All districts had to emancipate all slaves before Mississippi could be readmitted into the Union. Mississippi was readmitted to the Union on February 23, 1870. Much property that had belonged to Mississippi’s east central planters was confiscated for back taxes and divided among the tenants. Many original owners never regained their property. Extreme poverty during reconstruction caused further vulnerability. The same year, after much dispute, Meridian won out against Marion as the new seat of Lauderdale County, which had a population of 13,462, consisting of 7,051 whites and 6,411 African Americans. The rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1870s had Governor Alcorn approving a law imposing severe punishments. The law did little, however, to prevent the Meridian Riot of 1871 or the 1877 Gully Assassination that spurred the Chisolm Massacre in Kemper County. Republican judge William Chisolm and the Ku Klux Klan had been feuding over control of Kemper County. When Klansman John Gulley was shot and killed from ambush, Chisolm was blamed, and in retaliation a mob killed Chisolm, his daughter, and his son. In 1877, James Monroe Wells published his book The Chisolm Massacre: a Picture of Home Rule in Mississippi. His dedication read: “To Emily S. M. Chisolm, the Faithful Wife, Fond Mother and Devoted Friend, whose bitter tears, like the blood of her martyred and beloved dead, fall to the earth and pass from sight, unheeded and unavenged, these pages are affectionately inscribed.” To answer the Wells book, James Daniel Lynch wrote and published Kemper County Vindicated: And a Peep at Radical Rule in Mississippi published in 1879. Racial views and situations severely affected the freedoms of African Americans in the East Central region. Jasper Countian John Newton Waddel returned to Oxford to become Chancellor of the University of Mississippi. His “Open Letter” dated September 1870 stated he would resign before they would matriculate Negro students. Due to Governor Alcorn’s support of Waddel, the establishment of Alcorn A & M College kept that from happening. In contrast to Waddel’s views, Newton Knight Newt ignored the dangers of a white man living openly with an African American woman and returned to his Jasper County farm in 1875 with his wartime ally Rachel, a slave who had belonged to Newt’s grandfather and then to Newt’s uncle. Confederate soldiers returned home to shocking conditions, with farms having gone to waste, fields overrun with weeds and growth, buildings and fences demolished, and friends and families near starvation.