by D.M. Giangreco
6th Regiment of the Maryland National Guard opening fire on an armed mob of railroad strikers during the Great Railway Strike of 1877. The Regular Army was often called upon to quell labor unrest during that year.A compromise between the political parties in the angrily disputed presidential election of 1876 placed Republican Rutherford B. Hayes in office and ended the last vestiges of Reconstruction in the South. In short order, the already-depleted U.S. Army units attempting to counter an ascendant Ku Klux Klan were transferred to duties elsewhere as the Service braced itself for a round of personnel cuts now that the mission in the South was at an end. What happened next caught even some of the most pessimist soldiers by surprise.
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