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Like any impoverished laborer, Virgil Caine doesn’t mind chopping wood or doing whatever was needed to be done in order to make ends meet. Life in rural America was always harsh but especially so after the tragic event of war. Despite local, state, and federal government’s efforts to supply provisions and ease suffering during and post war, their actions proved inadequate, as the very idea of being dependent on charity violated the self-respect of yeoman farmers and urban workers alike. Many small farmers, were thrown into poverty by the war – sharecropping dominated the South, while wage labor became the rule in the expanding industries of the North.