Historians have long documented the ways in which war and politics bring about social, economic, and cultural change. Nowhere is this more evident than during the American Civil War and Reconstruction. The war devastated the South; it upended the system of chattel slavery and instigated remarkable transformations to the region’s demographics, political, and economic structures. Reconstruction emerged out of the ashes of war. This critical and hotly debated period redefined U.S. citizenship, expanded suffrage rights, and altered the relationship between the federal government and the states. Many of the lofty goals of Reconstruction, however, fell short as southern “Redeemers” regained political power and enshrined a new system of white supremacy. While many of the changes during this era were structural, individuals also experienced personal metamorphoses. Each of the manuscripts reviewed in this issue explore these various transformations, shedding new light on military command and contingency, national and regional politics, and individual struggles as the American nation navigated disorienting change during these fateful years.