Vol. 2 looks identical.
Anecdotally, I recently read a "review" of this book on the internet by a person who said he recognized that the author has solid historical credentials and is a respected historian, but that the book has no organized narrative and is "dreadfully boring." I wondered what this person expected in a book with the title "Documentary History of. . ."
Seriously, it is an excellent book for a specialist or for a person, like myself, who likes to delve into source documents for fuller context when reading books. This book is cited by several of the authors whose histories of reconstruction I have been reading. It contains over 900 pages with copies or extended excerpts of original documents used by Fleming in writing his several histories of reconstruction, especially his monumental Civil War and Reconstruction in Alabama.
The first volume contains "selections illustrative of conditions in the South after the war, the problems to be solved, and the attempts of the President and Congress to solve them." The second volume is intended to illustrate how Congressional Plans worked out in the states and the adjustments that followed later.
The book is divided into twelve topical chapters, each divided into several topical sections, each typically containing five to ten documents or selections. Many of them are Congressional or Legislative testimony. The chapters cover such topics as economic and social conditions in the South after the Civil War, Restoration by the President, Congressional Reconstruction, Ku Klux Klan etc. Thus a wide range of material is covered.
Fleming was a student of Professor George Petrie of Alabama, and took his PhD under Professor William A. Dunning at Columbia. Dunning is noted for an interpretation of Reconstruction that was maintained in history departments through the 1950's. The interpretation holds that at the end of the war, the south was fully ready to accept union with the north and the emancipation of the slaves. A lenient President Lincoln and Johnson restored certain states to the union under the so-called 10% plan. Congress meddled and would not admit congressmen from those states under the Constitutional article that allows Congress to decide who is qualified to sit. In the last two years of Johnson's administration, a radical Congress set up further blocks and Northern carpetbaggers tried to force social and political equality of Blacks on the South.
Fleming was an ardent follower of the Dunning school. The fundamental underpinning of his interpretation was that ignorant and childlike Negroes were not ready to enjoy freedom, let alone social and political equality. Unfortunately, this bias seems to have influenced Fleming's selection of documents. As a single example, I mention that after the KKK had spread violence through the South, Gov. W. W. Holden of NC declared martial law, called out the militia, and suppressed the violence. The public shook up the legislature at the next election, and the new legislators impeached Gov. Holden. I searched the books for documentation relating to this incident. Even though there was legislative and Congressional testimony regarding the reasons and results of the militia action, only one document made it into the book. That was an example of testimony about the "rough treatment" by the militia of one of those arrested for murder. I cannot believe Prof. Fleming included that document with no balancing document that he must
have known existed.