During Reconstruction, federal troops served as occupation forces in Mississippi until 1877. During this period of time, many blacks ventured into Vicksburg to take advantage of their new freedom. Many joined the Union Army and others started their own businesses. Some even sought employment to help rebuild the parts of Vicksburg that were heavily damaged by the Civil War. Numerous others created churches, schools, banks, and took part in political affairs. The many freedoms of blacks were short-lived when white citizens regained control at the end of Reconstruction. Black citizens endured a long, arduous wait until their equality was established by law during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950-70’s.