Post-Civil War in Bastrop County
At the end of the Civil War, as was the case throughout the South, the economy of Bastrop County was in shambles. The end of the war meant that the Confederate script was suddenly worthless, gold had been diverted to the war effort, and Federal money was in very short supply. The months after the war were difficult. The soldiers who returned home from the war were tired and disillusioned. Some had sustained permanent injuries. Some didn’t return at all. In addition to not having money, people were hungry. Although the County had voted against secession by a very small margin in the days before the Civil War, the vote against secession did not provide any real benefits in terms of economic recovery. The entire population of Bastrop County—of which 40% consisted of newly freed slaves—was suffering.
Recovery and growth was a slow process, but it did occur—through the efforts of visionaries and of the people who were willing to work toward those goals. Specific events that significantly affected the historical context include the development of a system of roads in Bastrop County, the building of railroads in Elgin, and the business, financial, and agricultural developments in the area.