My GG Grandfather was the son of an Irish Catholic immigrant who settled in Worchester(Pronounced Worster), Mass. He was born in 1861 and was too young for the war but his uncles, his father’s two brothers, had served in the Union Army. One of them served in the 50th Mass. in Gulf Region, and participated in the Port Hudson campaign.
My GGG Grandfather, was born and raised in Alabama/Florida, and early in the war enlisted into the 29th Ala. He was terribly wounded at Kennesaw Mountain and was sent home on medical, and never returned to his unit due to the length of time to recover. He went on to raise his family in North West Florida.
--Back to my Irish GG Grandfather. When he became of age to be on his own, for some reason, working in a shoe factory or working on the streets in a Massachusetts city did not appeal to him. In the early 1880s he moved, alone, to North West Florida to take of advantage of the growing timber industry there, (and maybe from stories and adventures told by his Union Army veteran uncle he wanted to see this area).
Sometime while working timber in the deep woods and swamps of South Alabama/West Florida he met my GG Grandmother the daughter of that wounded Confederate soldier. They courted, married, built a house and ended up raising 13 children in those woods. Later, when the old crippled Confederate veteran and his wife were too old to leave on their own they moved in with that nephew of the Union soldiers and his family to live out their days.
A simple story but it shows how fast things returned to normal. There are probably many stories like this.