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This Day in Georgia History

July 15, 1870

Congressional Act Readmitting Georgia Signed

By an act of Congress approved by President Ulysses Grant on this day, Georgia became the last of the former Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union. In effect, enactment of the “Georgia Bill” ended formal Reconstruction for Georgia. However, Georgia Republican Gov. Rufus Bullock contended that military rule ended only when Congress actually admitted Georgia’s congressional delegation. Since Congress adjourned before Georgia’s delegation could take the oath of office, Bullock announced that military rule would continue until Congress reconvened and Georgia’s representatives and senators were sworn in. Elections were not held until late December 1870, and the new congressional delegation was not seated until early 1871. Back in Georgia, Democrats would spend the next seven years in “redeeming” Georgia of black and Republican gains during Reconstruction.