The Confederate Nation: 1861 to 1865

The Confederate Nation: 1861 to 1865

Emory M. Thomas

Language: English

Pages: 416

ISBN: B0045U9WQ4

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Confederate Nation has yet to be superseded as the standard title on the subject. ” —Journal of Southern History, 2007

“Incisive and insightful…. As good a short history of the Southern war effort was we have.” —T. Harry Williams, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lincoln and His Generals

Emory M. Thomas’s critically acclaimed chronicle of the Confederacy remains widely recognized as the standard history of the South during the Civil War. Now with a new introduction by the author, The Confederate Nation presents a high readable, highly personal portrait of the Southern experience during the Civil War. Thomas, renowned for his illuminating biographies of Robert E. Lee and other Southern generals, here delivers the definitive account of the political and military events that defined the nation during its period of greatest turmoil.











reached an impasse. The five men met for some time, and discussions were cordial. Yet they never could surmount the fundamental barrier erected by the two presidents.36 Reaction to the failure of the Hampton Roads Conference in the South revealed the depth of many Confederates’ faith in a negotiated peace. When the peace conference shattered that faith by demonstrating the lack of anything to negotiate, Southerners responded with a final surge of national fervor. Mass meetings held in Richmond,

pronounced the cause “hopeless” and the Confederate government “at an end.” “That we are beaten,” he stated, “is a self-evident fact, and any further resistance on our part would be justly regarded as the very height of folly and rashness.”56 Thus Davis continued his flight alone, virtually an exile in his own country. Southerners as a people had had enough of fighting; they accepted defeat. And in so doing they affirmed that culture of the folk—the primacy of people and place—that perhaps best

Howell Cobb, (Nashville, Tenn., 1929). Horace Montgomery, Howell Cobb’s Confederate Career, (Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1959). John Eddins Simpson, Howell Cobb: The Politics of Ambition, (Chicago, 1973). Ulrich B. Phillips (ed.), “The Correspondence of Robert Toombs, Alexander H. Stephens, and Howell Cobb,” Annual Report of the American Historical Association, (Washington, D.C., 1911), II. T. R. R. Cobb: “The Correspondence of Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb, 1860–1862,” Southern Historical Association

state legislature, a referendum bill summoned North Carolinians to the polls to decide on holding a convention and to elect delegates to the convention should it be held. On February 28 the voters rejected a convention by a very narrow margin and selected a strongly pro-Union slate of delegates. Among eighty-six counties, thirty voted secessionist; thirty-five voted unconditional unionist; seventeen voted conditional unionist; and four divided votes to the point of no decision. The vote was a

Predictably the Senate divided over Mallory and Benjamin, but confirmed Davis’ entire slate on March 19.11 Because the Confederate Congress never established a Supreme Court, Davis used his Attorneys General as de facto final arbiters of legal questions involving the government. So Attorney General Watts spent much of his time writing opinions on questions of law for the President and for other department heads. During his eighteen-month tenure Watts wrote one hundred informal opinions, watched

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