Plantations in the American South

A cotton plantation on the Mississippi, 1884 lithograph

Plantations are an important aspect of the history of the American South, particularly the antebellum (pre-American Civil War) era. The mild subtropical climate, plentiful rainfall, and fertile soils of the southeastern United States allowed the flourishing of large plantations, where large numbers of workers, usually Africans held captive for slave labor, were required for agricultural production.


  • 1 Personnel

    • 1.1 Plantation owner
    • 1.2 Overseer
    • 1.3 Slaves
  • 2 Plantation crops
  • 3 Plantation architecture and landscape
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 Further reading

    • 6.1 Primary sources


Plantation owner

Three planters, after 1845, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Old Plantation: How We Lived in Great House and Cabin before the War by Confederate chaplain and planter James Battle Avirett

An individual who owned a plantation was known as a planter. Historians of the antebellum South have generally defined “planter” most precisely as a person owning property (real estate) and 20 or more slaves.[1] The wealthiest planters, such as the Virginia elite with plantations near the James River, owned more land and slaves than other farmers. Tobacco was the major cash crop in the Upper South (in the original Chesapeake Bay Colonies of Virginia and Maryland, and in parts of the Carolinas).

The later development of cotton and sugar cultivation in the Deep South in the early 18th century led to the establishment of large plantations which had hundreds of slaves. The great majority of Southern farmers owned no slaves or owned fewer than five slaves. Slaves were much more expensive than land.

In the “Black Belt” counties of Alabama and Mississippi, the terms “planter” and “farmer” were often synonymous;[2] a “planter” was generally a farmer who owned many slaves. While most Southerners were not slave-owners, and while the majority of slaveholders held ten or fewer slaves, planters were those who held a significant number of slaves, mostly as agricultural labor. Planters are often spoken of as belonging to the planter elite or to the planter aristocracy in the antebellum South.

The historians Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman define large planters as those owning over 50 slaves, and medium planters as those owning between 16 and 50 slaves.[3] Historian David Williams, in A People’s History of the Civil War: Struggles for the Meaning of Freedom, suggests that the minimum requirement for planter status was twenty negroes, especially since a southern planter could exempt Confederate duty for one white male per twenty slaves owned.[4] In his study of Black Belt counties in Alabama, Jonathan Weiner defines planters by ownership of real property, rather than of slaves. A planter, for Weiner, owned at least $10,000 worth of real estate in 1850 and $32,000 worth in 1860, equivalent to about the top 8 percent of landowners.[5] In his study of southwest Georgia, Lee Formwalt defines planters in terms of size of land holdings rather than in terms of numbers of slaves. Formwalt’s planters are in the top 4.5 percent of landowners, translating into real estate worth six thousand dollars or more in 1850, 24,000 dollars or more in 1860, and eleven thousand dollars or more in 1870.[6] In his study of Harrison County, Texas, Randolph B. Campbell classifies large planters as owners of 20 slaves, and small planters as owners of between 10 and 19 slaves.[7] In Chicot and Phillips Counties, Arkansas, Carl H. Moneyhon defines large planters as owners of twenty or more slaves, and of six hundred or more acres.[8]

Many nostalgic memoirs about plantation life were published in the post-bellum South.[9] For example, James Battle Avirett, who grew up on the Avirett-Stephens Plantation in Onslow County, North Carolina and served as an Episcopal chaplain in the Confederate States Army, published The Old Plantation: How We Lived in Great House and Cabin before the War in 1901.[9] Such memoirs often included descriptions of Christmas as the epitome of anti-modern order exemplified by the “great house” and extended family.[10]


On larger plantations an overseer represented the planter in matters of daily management. Usually portrayed as uncouth, ill-educated and low-class, he had the difficult and often despised task of middleman and the often contradictory goals of fostering both productivity and the enslaved work-force.[11]


Plantation crops

Crops cultivated on antebellum plantations included cotton, tobacco, sugar, indigo, rice, and to a lesser extent okra, yam, sweet potato, peanuts, and watermelon. By the late 18th century, most planters in the Upper South had switched from exclusive tobacco cultivation to mixed-crop production.

In the Lowcountry of South Carolina, even before the American Revolution, planters in South Carolina typically owned hundreds of slaves. (In towns and cities, families held slaves to work as household servants.) The 19th-century development of the Deep South for cotton cultivation depended on large tracts of land with much more acreage than was typical of the Chesapeake Bay area, and for labor, planters held dozens, or sometimes hundreds, of slaves.

Plantation architecture and landscape

Antebellum architecture can be seen in many extant “plantation houses”, the large residences of planters and their families. Over time in each region of the plantation south a regional architecture emerged inspired by those who settled the area. Most early plantation architecture was constructed to mitigate the hot subtropical climate and provide natural cooling.

Some of earliest plantation architecture occurred in southern Louisiana by the French. Using styles and building concepts they had learned in the Caribbean, the French created many of the grand plantation homes around New Orleans. French Creole architecture began around 1699, and lasted well into the 1800s.
In the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia, the Dogtrot style house was built with a large center breezeway running through the house to mitigate the subtropical heat. The wealthiest planters in colonial Virginia constructed their manor houses in the Georgian style, e.g. the mansion of Shirley Plantation. In the 19th century, Greek Revival architecture also became popular on some of the plantation homes of the deep south.

Common plants and trees incorporated in the landscape of Southern plantation manors included Southern live oak and Southern magnolia. Both of these large trees are native to the Southern United States and were classic symbols of the old south. Southern live oaks, classically draped in Spanish moss, were planted along long paths or walkways leading to the plantation to create a grand, imposing, and majestic theme. Plantation landscapes were very well maintained and trimmed, usually, the landscape work was managed by the planter, with assistance from slaves or workers. Planters themselves also usually maintained a small flower or vegetable garden. Cash crops were not grown in these small garden plots, but rather garden plants and vegetables for enjoyment.

See also

  • Plantation economy
  • Plantation era
  • Plain Folk of the Old South
  • American gentry
  • J. H. Netterville, 20th-century plantation manager
  • Plantation complexes in the Southeastern United States
  • List of plantations in the United States
  • History of the Southern United States
  • Plantations of Leon County


  1. ^ Peter Kolchin, American Slavery 1619–1877, New York: Hill and Wang, 1993, xiii
  2. ^ Oakes, Ruling Race, 52.
  3. ^ Fogel, Robert William; Engerman, Stanley L. (1974). Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery. Boston: Little, Brown. OCLC cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  4. ^ David Williams, “A People’s History of the Civil War: Struggles for the Meaning of Freedom”, New York: The New Press, 2005.
  5. ^ Wiener, Jonathan M. (Autumn 1976). “Planter Persistence and Social Change: Alabama, 1850–1870”. Journal of Interdisciplinary History. 7 (2): 235–60. JSTOR 202735.
  6. ^ Formwalt, Lee W. (October 1981). “Antebellum Planter Persistence: Southwest Georgia—A Case Study”. Plantation Society in the Americas. 1 (3): 410–29. ISSN 0192-5059. OCLC 571605035.
  7. ^ Campbell, Randolph B (May 1982). “Population Persistence and Social Change in Nineteenth-Century Texas: Harrison County, 1850–1880”. Journal of Southern History. 48 (2): 185–204. JSTOR 2207106.
  8. ^ Moneyhon, Carl H. (1992). “The Impact of the Civil War in Arkansas: The Mississippi River Plantation Counties”. Arkansas Historical Quarterly. 51 (2): 105–18. JSTOR 40025847.
  9. ^ ab Anderson, David (February 2005). “Down Memory Lane: Nostalgia for the Old South in Post-Civil War Plantation Reminiscences”. The Journal of Southern History. 71 (1): 105–136. JSTOR 27648653. (Registration required (help)).
  10. ^ Anderson, David J. (Fall 2014). “Nostalgia for Christmas in Postbellum Plantation Reminiscences”. Southern Studies: an Interdisciplinary Journal of the South. 21 (2): 39–73.
  11. ^
    Richter:, William L. (2009-08-20). “Overseers”. The A to Z of the Old South. The A to Z Guide Series. 51. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press (published 2009). p. 258. ISBN 9780810870000. Retrieved 2016-11-29. On larger plantations, the planter’s direct representative in day-to-day management of the crops, care of the land, livestock, farm implements, and slaves was the white overseer. It was his job to work the labor force to produce a profitable crop. He was an indispensable cog in the plantation machinery. […] The overseer has usually been portrayed as an uncouth, uneducated character of low class whose main purpose was to harass the slaves and get in the way of the planter’s progressive goals of production. More than that, the overseer had a position between master and slave in which it was hard to win. Directing slave labor was looked down upon by a large number of people, North and South. He was faced with planter demands that were at times unreasonable. He was forbidden to fraternize with the slaves. He had no chance of advancement unless he left the profession. He was bombarded with incessant complaints from masters, who did not appreciate the task he faced, and slaves, who sought to play off master and overseer against each other to avoid work and gain privileges. […] The very nature of the job was difficult. The overseer had to care for the slaves and gain the largest crop possible. These were often contradictory goals.

Further reading

  • Blassingame, John W. The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South (1979)
  • * Evans, Chris, “The Plantation Hoe: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Commodity, 1650–1850,” William and Mary Quarterly, (2012) 69#1 pp 71–100.
  • Phillips, Ulrich B. American Negro Slavery; a Survey of the Supply, Employment, and Control of Negro Labor, as Determined by the Plantation Regime. (1918; reprint 1966)online at Project Gutenberg; google edition
  • Phillips, Ulrich B. Life and Labor in the Old South. (1929). excerpts and text search
  • Phillips, Ulrich B. Phillips, Ulrich B. (1905). “The Economic Cost of Slaveholding in the Cotton Belt”. Political Science Quarterly. 20 (2): 257–275. doi:10.2307/2140400. JSTOR 2140400.
  • Thompson, Edgar Tristram. The Plantation edited by Sidney Mintz and George Baca (University of South Carolina Press; 2011) 176 pages; 1933 dissertation
  • Weiner, Marli Frances. Mistresses and Slaves: Plantation Women in South Carolina, 1830-80 (1997)
  • White, Deborah G. Ar’n’t I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South (2nd ed. 1999) excerpt and text search
  • Smith, Julia Floyd (2017). Slavery and plantation growth in Antebellum Florida, 1821-1860 (PDF). University of Florida Press.

Primary sources

  • Phillips, Ulrich B., ed. Plantation and Frontier Documents, 1649–1863; Illustrative of Industrial History in the Colonial and Antebellum South: Collected from MSS. and Other Rare Sources. 2 Volumes. (1909). online edition

Cherokee Nation (1794–1907)

Cherokee Nation

Tsalagihi Ayeli[1]
Southeastern U.S. and Indian territories, including Cherokee, Creek, and Chickasaw; 1806

Southeastern U.S. and Indian territories, including Cherokee, Creek, and Chickasaw; 1806
Status Autonomous region of the United States.
  • New Echota 1825-1839
  • Tahlequah 1839-1907
Common languages Cherokee
Government Autonomous tribal government
Principal Chief  
• 1794-1907
Principal Chief
• 1794-1905
Tribal Council
Historical era Post-colonial to early 20th century
• Created with the Treaty of Tellico Blockhouse
7 November 1794 (1794-11-07) 1794
• New Echota officially designated capital city
12 November 1825
• Treaty of New Echota
29 December 1835
• Cherokee Trail of Tears
• Tahlequah becomes new official capital
6 September 1839
• Officially disbanded by US Federal Government
16 November 1907 (1907-11-16) 1907
Currency US dollar

Preceded by

Succeeded by
Overhill Cherokee
Georgia (U.S. state)
North Carolina
South Carolina
Cherokee Nation
Today part of  United States

The Cherokee Nation (ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ, pronounced Tsalagihi Ayeli[1]) from 1794–1907 was a legal, autonomous, tribal government in North America recognized from 1794 to 1907. Often referred to simply as “The Nation” by its inhabitants, it should not be confused with what is known in the 21st century also as the Cherokee Nation.

It consisted of the Cherokee (ᏣᎳᎩ —pronounced Tsalagi or Cha-la-gee) people of the Qualla Boundary and the southeastern United States;[2] those who relocated voluntarily from the southeastern United States to the Indian Territory (circa 1820 —known as the “Old Settlers”); those who were forced by the Federal government of the United States to relocate (through the Indian Removal Act) by way of the Trail of Tears (1830s); Cherokee Freedmen (freed slaves); as well as many descendants of the Natchez, the Delaware and the Shawnee peoples.


  • 1 History

    • 1.1 The Removal
    • 1.2 Constitutional governments
    • 1.3 Removal

      • 1.3.1 Cherokee Nation districts in Indian Territory
      • 1.3.2 Cherokee Capital
    • 1.4 Civil War and Reconstruction
    • 1.5 Nation’s demise
  • 2 People

    • 2.1 Additional peoples

      • 2.1.1 The Delaware
      • 2.1.2 Natchez people
      • 2.1.3 The Shawnee
      • 2.1.4 Swan Creek and Black River Chippewa
      • 2.1.5 Cherokee Freedmen
  • 3 Notable Cherokee Nation citizens
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


The Cherokee called themselves the Ani-Yun’ wiya. In their language this meant “leading” or “principal” people. Before 1794, the Cherokee had no standing national government. The people dwelt in “towns” located in scattered autonomous tribal areas related by kinship throughout the southern Appalachia region. Various leaders were periodically appointed (by mutual consent of the towns) to represent the tribes to French, British and, later, American authorities as was needed. The title this leader carried among the Cherokee was “First Beloved Man”[3] —being the true translation of the title Uku, which the English translated as “chief”. The chief’s function was to serve as focal point for negotiations with the encroaching Europeans, such as the case of Hanging Maw, who was recognized as chief by the United States government, but not by the majority of Cherokee peoples.[4]

At the end of the Cherokee–American wars (1794), Little Turkey was recognized as “Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation” by all the towns. At that time, Cherokee tribes could be found in lands nominally under the jurisdiction of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and the Overhill area that was to become part of the state of Tennessee. The break-away Chickamauga band (or Lower Cherokee), under chief Dragging Canoe (Tsiyugunsini, 1738–1792), had retreated to and now inhabited an area that would be the northern area of the future state of Alabama.[5]

The Cherokee Nation Lands in 1830 Georgia, before the Trail of Tears

U.S. president George Washington sought to “civilize” the southeastern American Indians, through programs overseen by US Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins. Facilitated by the destruction of many Indian towns during the American Revolutionary War, U.S. land agents convinced many Native Americans to abandon their historic communal-land tenure and settle on isolated farmsteads. Over-harvesting by the deerskin trade had brought white-tailed deer in the region to the brink of extinction; therefore, pig and cattle raising were introduced, becoming the principal sources of meat. The tribes were supplied with spinning wheels and cotton-seed, and men were taught to fence and plow the land (in contrast with their traditional division of labor in which most cultivation for farming was considered woman’s work). Women were instructed in weaving. Eventually blacksmiths, gristmills and cotton plantations (along with slave labor) were established.[6]

Succeeding Little Turkey as Principal Chief were Black Fox (1801–1811) and Pathkiller (1811–1827), both former warriors of Dragging Canoe. “The separation”, a phrase which the Cherokee used to describe the period after 1776 when the Chickamauga had removed themselves from the other tribes which were in close proximity to the Anglo-American settlements, officially ended at the reunification council of 1809.

Three important Cherokee–American wars veterans of the time, James Vann (a successful Scots-Cherokee businessman) and his two protégés, The Ridge (also called Ganundalegi or “Major” Ridge) and Charles R. Hicks, made up the ‘Cherokee Triumvirate’ —advocating acculturation of the people, formal education of the young, and the introduction of modern farming methods. In 1801 they invited Moravian missionaries to their territory from North Carolina to teach Christianity and the ‘arts of civilized life.’ The Moravian, and later Congregationalist, missionaries ran boarding schools, with a select few students chosen to be educated at the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions school in Connecticut.

These men continued to be leaders in the tribe. Hicks participated in the Red Stick War, which coincided with part of US involvement in the War of 1812. He was the de facto Principal Chief from 1813–1827.

The Removal

The Arkansaw Territory division: showing the progression of Indian Territory separation from Arkansas Territory, 1819–1836

In 1802, the U.S. federal government promised to extinguish Native American titles to internal Georgia lands in return for the state’s formal cession of its unincorporated western claim (which was made part of the Mississippi Territory). In 1815, the US government established a Cherokee Reservation in the Arkansaw district of the Missouri Territory and tried to convince the Cherokee to move there voluntarily. The reservation boundaries extended from north of the Arkansas River to the southern bank of the White River. The Cherokee who moved to this reservation became known as the “Old Settlers”.[7]

Map of Southern United States during the time of the Indian Removals (Trail of Tears), 1830–1838, showing the historic lands of the Five Civilized Tribes. The destination Indian Territory is depicted in light yellow-green.

Additional treaties signed with the U.S., in 1817 and 1819, exchanged remaining Cherokee lands in Georgia (north of the Hiwassee River) for lands in the Arkansaw Territory west of the Mississippi River. A majority of the remaining Cherokee resisted these treaties and refused to leave their lands east of the Mississippi. Finally, in 1830, the United States Congress enacted the Indian Removal Act to bolster the treaties and forcibly free up title to the sought over state lands. At this time, one-third of the remaining Native Americans left voluntarily, especially because now the act was being enforced by government troops and the Georgia militia.

Most of the settlements were established in the area around the western capital of Tahlontiskee (near present-day Gore, Oklahoma).

Constitutional governments

The Cherokee Nation—East had first created electoral districts in 1817. By 1822, the Cherokee Supreme Court was founded. Lastly, the Cherokee Nation adopted a written constitution in 1827 creating a government with three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The Principal Chief was elected by the National Council, which was the legislature of the Nation. A similar constitution was adopted by the Cherokee Nation—West in 1833.

The Constitution of the reunited Cherokee Nation was ratified at Tahlequah, Oklahoma on September 6, 1839, at the conclusion of “The Removal”. The signing is commemorated every Labor Day weekend with the celebration of the Cherokee National Holiday.


Founded in 1838, Tahlequah was developed as the new capital of a united Cherokee Nation. (It was named after the historic Great Tellico —an important Cherokee town and cultural center in present-day Tennessee that was one of the largest Cherokee towns ever established. The mostly European-American settlement of Tellico Plains developed later at that site.

Cherokee Nation districts in Indian Territory

After moving to Indian Territory, the Cherokee Nation was divided into nine districts for administrative purposes. Those were named:[1]

The Cherokee Nation Capitol Building and Courthouse, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Built in 1869, it functioned as the political center of “The Nation” until 1907, and is the oldest public building standing in Oklahoma.[8]

  • Canadian
  • Cooweescoowee
  • Delaware
  • Flint
  • Goingsnake
  • Illinois
  • Saline
  • Sequoyah
  • Tahlequah

Cherokee Capital

The Cherokee National Capitol Building was constructed from 1867-1869.[9] The brick building was designed by architect C. W. Goodlander in the ‘late Italianate’ style, which was unusual for Oklahoma. Originally it housed the nation’s court as well as other offices. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961.[9][10][11]

Indications of Cherokee and Native American influence are easily found in and about Tahlequah. For instance, street signs appear in the Cherokee language—in the syllabary alphabet created by Sequoyah (ca. 1767–1843)[12]—as well as in English.

Civil War and Reconstruction

The Cherokee Braves Flag, as flown by Stand Watie’s troop.

The Trans-Mississippi area, which included the Cherokee Nation–West, hosted numerous skirmishes and seven officially recognized battles involving Native American units either allied with the Confederate States of America or loyal to the United States government.

Several prominent members of the Cherokee Nation made contributions during the war: William Penn Adair (1830–1880), a Cherokee senator and diplomat, was a Confederate colonel; Nimrod Jarrett Smith, Tsaladihi (1837–1893), a future Principal Chief of the Eastern Band, also served during the war; and hold-out Confederate Brig. General Stand Watie (also known as Degataga, (1806–1871), a signer of the Treaty of New Echota) raided Union positions in the Indian Territory with his 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles Regiment of the Army of Trans-Mississippi well after the Confederacy had abandoned the area. He became the last Confederate general to surrender—on June 25, 1865.[13]

The main body of the Cherokee people had sided with the Confederacy during the American Civil War. After the war, the United States negotiated a peace treaty with them, requiring them to emancipate their slaves and to offer them citizenship and territory within the reservation if the freedmen chose to stay with the tribe. The area also became part of the reconstruction of the former Confederate States overseen by military and appointed governors.

Nation’s demise

President Benjamin Harrison September 19, 1890, stopped the leasing of land in the Cherokee Outlet to cattlemen. The lease income had supported the Cherokee Nation in its efforts to prevent further encroachments on tribal lands.[14]

Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory, along with No Man’s Land (also known as the Oklahoma Panhandle). The division of the two territories is shown with a heavy purple line. Together, these three areas would become the State of Oklahoma in 1907

From 1898–1906, beginning with the Curtis Act of 1898, the US federal government set about the dismantling of the Cherokee Nation’s governmental and civic institutions, in preparation for the incorporation of the Indian Territory into the new state of Oklahoma. In response, the leaders of the Five Civilized Tribes sought to gain approval for a new State of Sequoyah in 1905 that would have a Native American constitution and government. The proposal received a cool reception in Congress and failed. The tribal government of the Cherokee Nation was dissolved in 1906. After this the structure and function of the tribal government were not formally defined. The federal government occasionally designated chiefs of a provisional “Cherokee Nation”, but usually just long enough to sign treaties.[15]

As the shortcomings of the arrangement became increasingly evident to the Cherokee, demand arose for the formation of a more permanent and accountable tribal government. New administrations at the federal level also recognized this issue, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration gained passage of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, encouraging tribes to re-establish governments and supporting more self-determination. The Cherokee convened a general convention on 8 August 1938 in Fairfield, Oklahoma, to elect a new Chief, and reconstitute a modern, Cherokee Nation, to be a “successor in interest” to the historic Cherokee Nation.[16]


The Nation was made up of scattered peoples mostly living in the Cherokee Nation–West and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (both residing in the Indian Territory by the 1840s), and the Cherokee Nation–East (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians); these became the three federally recognized tribes of Cherokee in the 20th century.

Additional peoples

The Delaware

In 1866, some Delaware (Lenape) were relocated to the Cherokee Nation from Kansas, where they had been sent in the 1830s. Assigned to the northeast area of the Indian Territory, they united with the Cherokee Nation in 1867. The Delaware Tribes operated autonomously within the lands of the Cherokee Nation.[17]

Natchez people

Tahlequah, Oklahoma stop sign, written in English and Cherokee

The Natchez are a Native American people who originally lived in the Natchez Bluffs area. The present-day city of Natchez, Mississippi developed in their former territory. By the mid-eighteenth century, the Natchez people were defeated by French colonists and dispersed from there. Many survivors had been sold (by the French) into slavery in the West Indies. Others took refuge with allied tribes, one of which was the Cherokee.

The Shawnee

Known as the Loyal Shawnee or Cherokee Shawnee, one band of Shawnee people relocated to Indian Territory with the Seneca people (Iroquois) in July 1831. The term “Loyal” came from their serving in the Union army during the American Civil War. European Americans encroached and settled on their lands after the war.

In 1869, the Cherokee Nation and Loyal Shawnee agreed that 722 of the Shawnee would be granted Cherokee citizenship. They settled in Craig and Rogers counties.[18]

Swan Creek and Black River Chippewa

The Anishinaabe-speaking Swan Creek and Black River Chippewa bands were removed from southeast Michigan to Kansas in 1839. After Kansas became a state and the Civil War ended, European-American settlers pushed out the Native Americans. Like the Delaware, the two Chippewa bands were relocated to the Cherokee Nation in 1866. They were so few in number that they eventually merged with the Cherokee.

Cherokee Freedmen

The second Cherokee Female Seminary was opened in 1889 by the original Cherokee Nation.

The Cherokee Freedmen, were former African American slaves who had been owned by citizens of the Cherokee Nation during the Antebellum Period. President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 that granted citizenship to all freedmen in the Confederate States, including those held by the Cherokee. In reaching peace with the Cherokee — who had sided with the Confederacy — the U.S. government required that they free their slaves and offer full Cherokee citizenship to those who wanted to stay with the nation. The freedmen were first guaranteed Cherokee citizenship under a treaty with the United States following the Civil War (1866).[19]

Notable Cherokee Nation citizens

This list of historic people includes only documented Cherokee living in, or born into, the original Cherokee Nation who are not mentioned in the main article:

  • Elias Boudinot, Galagina (1802–1839), statesman, orator, and editor; founded the first Cherokee newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix. Assassinated by opponents for signing the New Echota Treaty to cede lands in the East.
  • Ned Christie (1852–1892), statesman, Cherokee Nation senator, infamous outlaw[20]
  • Rear Admiral Joseph J. Clark (1893–1971), United States Navy, highest-ranking Native American in US military history.
  • Doublehead, Taltsuska (d. 1807), a war leader during the Cherokee–American wars, led the Lower Cherokee, and signed land deals with the U.S.
  • Junaluska (ca. 1775–1868), veteran of the Creek War, who saved President Andrew Jackson’s life.
  • John Ridge, Skatlelohski (1792–1839), son of Major Ridge, statesman and signer of New Echota Treaty signer, assassinated by opponents.
  • John Rollin Ridge, Cheesquatalawny, or “Yellow Bird” (1827–1867), grandson of Major Ridge, first Native American novelist.
  • Clement V. Rogers (1839–1911), Cherokee senator, judge, cattleman, member of the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention.
  • Will Rogers, (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) Cherokee entertainer, roper, journalist, and author.[21]
  • John Ross, Guwisguwi (1790–1866), veteran of the Red Stick War, Principal Chief in the east during Removal, and in the west.
  • Redbird Smith (1850–1918), traditionalist, political activist, and chief of the Keetoowah Nighthawk Society.
  • William Holland Thomas, Wil’ Usdi (1805–1893), non-Native who was adopted into tribe, founding Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, commanding officer of the Thomas Legion of Cherokee Indians and Highlanders.
  • Nancy Ward, Nanye-hi (ca. 1736–1822/4), Beloved Woman, diplomat.

See also

  • Cherokee military history
  • Cherokee Commission
  • Timeline of Cherokee removal


  1. ^ ab The James Scrolls
  2. ^ Indians, Eastern Band of Cherokees of North Carolina; Donaldson, Thomas; 1892; 11th Census of the United States; Robert P. Porter, Superintendent, U.S. Printing Office, Washington, D.C.; published online at Eastern Band of Cherokees of North Carolina; retrieved October 1, 2010.
  3. ^ Hoig, pp. 36, 37, 80
  4. ^ A Small Lexicon of Tsalagi words at Web Citations; A Few Words in Cherokee/Tsalagi; Tsalagi resources; accessdate January 18, 2010.
  5. ^ Evans, E. Raymond. “Notable Persons in Cherokee History: Dragging Canoe”; Journal of Cherokee Studies, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 170–190; (Cherokee: Museum of the Cherokee Indian); 1977.
  6. ^ Perdue, Theda; Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700–1835; Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press; 1999. .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    ISBN 978-0-8032-8760-0.
  7. ^ Lowery, Charles D. “The Great Migration to the Mississippi Territory, 1798–1819,” Journal of Mississippi History, 1968 30(3): 173–192
  8. ^ Moser, George W. A Brief History of Cherokee Lodge #10., Retrieved 26 June 2009.
  9. ^ ab Francine Weiss (1980). “National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Cherokee National Capitol” (PDF). National Park Service. Archived from the original (pdf) on May 25, 2011.
  10. ^ “Cherokee National Capitol”. National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service, added = October 15, 1966. Archived from the original on 2009-12-14. Retrieved 2008-01-15.
  11. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). “National Register Information System”. National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  12. ^ Sequoyah, “New Georgia Encyclopedia”; retrieved 8 Aug 2010.
  13. ^ Confer, Clarissa; The Cherokee Nation in the Civil War; University of Oklahoma Press; 2007; pg. 4.
  14. ^ Rennard Strickland, “Cherokee (tribe),” Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Accessed April 18, 2015.
  15. ^ Cherokee Archived October 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.; article; Oklahoma Historical Society; “Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture.”
  16. ^ Indian Country Today article Archived October 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ McCollum, Timothy James. Delaware, Western. Oklahoma Historical Society’s Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture. . Retrieved 5 August 2009.
  18. ^ Smith, Pamela A. “Shawnee Tribe (Loyal Shawnee).” Oklahoma Historical Society’s Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. . Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  19. ^ Halliburton, R., Jr.: Red over Black – Black Slavery among the Cherokee Indians, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut 1977
    ISBN 978-0-8371-9034-1
  20. ^ “The Case of Ned Christie”, Fort Smith Historic Site, National Park Service. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
  21. ^ Carter JH. “Father and Cherokee Tradition Molded Will Rogers”. Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-10.

External links

  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, official site
  • United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, official site
  • Cherokee Heritage Center, Park Hill, OK
  • Compiled laws of the Cherokee Nation, published by authority of the National Council = ᏗᎦᏟᏌᏅᎯ ᏗᎧᎿᏩᏛᏍᏗ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏕᎤᎲᎢ, ᎠᏰᎵ ᏗᏂᎳᏫᎩᏱ ᎤᎵᏁᏨᎯ ᏗᎦᏃᏣᎶᏗᏱ. 1881

Coordinates: 35°54′N 94°58′W / 35.900°N 94.967°W / 35.900; -94.967

Confederate States of America

Confederate States of America

Flag of Confederate States of America
Flag (1861–63)

Great Seal (1863–65)

Motto: “Deo Vindice” (Latin)
“Under God, our Vindicator”

  • None official
  • “God Save the South” (unofficial)
  • “The Bonnie Blue Flag” (popular)
  • “Dixie” (de facto)
The Confederate States in 1862 in dark green. Light green denotes claims made by the Confederacy. Medium green denotes western counties of Virginia that separated from that State and were admitted to the Union as West Virginia. Teal denotes the still contested Indian Territory.

The Confederate States in 1862 in dark green. Light green denotes claims made by the Confederacy. Medium green denotes western counties of Virginia that separated from that State and were admitted to the Union as West Virginia. Teal denotes the still contested Indian Territory.
Status Unrecognized state[1]
  • Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861)
  • Richmond, Virginia (until April 3, 1865)
Common languages English (de facto)
Government Federal/Confederal presidential non-partisan republic
• 1861–1865
Jefferson Davis
Vice President  
• 1861–1865
Alexander H. Stephens
Legislature Congress
• Upper house
• Lower house
House of Representatives
Historical era
  • American Civil War / International relations of the Great Powers (1814–1919)
• Provisional constitution
February 8 1861
• American Civil War
April 12, 1861
• Permanent constitution
February 22, 1862
• Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia
April 9, 1865
• Military Collapse
April 26, 1865
• Dissolution
May 5, 1865
18601 1,995,392 km2 (770,425 sq mi)
• 18601
• Slaves2
  • Confederate States dollar
  • State currencies

Preceded by

Succeeded by
South Carolina
North Carolina
Arizona Territory
West Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Arizona Territory
Today part of  United States

  •  Alabama
  •  Arizona
  •  Arkansas
  •  Florida
  •  Georgia
  •  Louisiana
  •  Mississippi
  •  New Mexico
  •  North Carolina
  •  South Carolina
  •  Tennessee
  •  Texas
  •  Virginia
  •  West Virginia
  • 1 Area and population values do not include Missouri, Kentucky, or the Arizona Territory. Water area: 5.7%.
  • 2 Slaves included in above population (1860 Census).

The Confederate States of America (CSA or C.S.), commonly referred to as the Confederacy and the South, was an unrecognized country in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was originally formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states—South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was heavily dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves.[2]

Each state declared its secession from the United States, which became known as the Union during the ensuing civil war, following the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Before Lincoln took office in March, a new Confederate government was established in February 1861, which was considered illegal by the government of the United States. States volunteered militia units and the new government hastened to form its own Confederate States Army from scratch practically overnight. After the American Civil War began in April, four slave states of the Upper South—Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina—also declared their secession and joined the Confederacy. The Confederacy later accepted Missouri and Kentucky as members, although neither officially declared secession nor were they ever largely controlled by Confederate forces; Confederate shadow governments attempted to control the two states but were later exiled from them.

Map of the division of the states in the American Civil War (1861–1865). Blue (the U.S. Army’s uniform color) indicates the northern Union states; light blue represents five Union states that permitted slavery (border states). Red represents southern seceded states in rebellion, also known as the Confederate States of America. Uncolored areas were U.S. territories, with the exception of the Indian Territory (later Oklahoma).

The government of the United States (the Union) rejected the claims of secession and considered the Confederacy illegally founded. The War began with the Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, a Union fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. No foreign government officially recognized the Confederacy as an independent country,[1][3][4] although Great Britain and France granted it belligerent status, which allowed Confederate agents to contract with private concerns for arms and other supplies. In early 1865, after four years of heavy fighting which led to 620,000–850,000 military deaths,[5][6] all the Confederate forces surrendered and the Confederacy vanished. The war lacked a formal end; nearly all Confederate forces had been forced into surrender or deliberately disbanded by the end of 1865, by which point the dwindling manpower and resources of the Confederacy were facing overwhelming odds.[2] By 1865, Jefferson Davis lamented that the Confederacy had “disappeared”.[7]

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  • 1 Span of control
  • 2 History

    • 2.1 A revolution in disunion

      • 2.1.1 Causes of secession
      • 2.1.2 Secessionists and conventions
      • 2.1.3 Attempts to thwart secession
      • 2.1.4 Inauguration and response
    • 2.2 Secession

      • 2.2.1 States
      • 2.2.2 Territories
      • 2.2.3 Capitals
    • 2.3 Unionism
    • 2.4 Diplomacy

      • 2.4.1 United States, a foreign power
      • 2.4.2 International diplomacy
    • 2.5 Confederacy at war

      • 2.5.1 Motivations of soldiers
      • 2.5.2 Military strategy
      • 2.5.3 Armed forces

        • Raising troops
        • Conscription
      • 2.5.4 Victories: 1861
      • 2.5.5 Incursions: 1862
      • 2.5.6 Anaconda: 1863–64
      • 2.5.7 Collapse: 1865
    • 2.6 Postwar history

      • 2.6.1 Amnesty and treason issue
      • 2.6.2 Texas v. White
    • 2.7 Theories regarding the Confederacy’s demise

      • 2.7.1 “Died of states’ rights”
      • 2.7.2 “Died of Davis”
  • 3 Government and politics

    • 3.1 Political divisions
    • 3.2 Constitution

      • 3.2.1 Executive
      • 3.2.2 Administration and cabinet
      • 3.2.3 Legislative
      • 3.2.4 Judicial
      • 3.2.5 Post Office
    • 3.3 Civil liberties
  • 4 Economy

    • 4.1 Slaves
    • 4.2 Political economy

      • 4.2.1 National production
    • 4.3 Transportation systems

      • 4.3.1 Horses and mules
    • 4.4 Financial instruments
    • 4.5 Food shortages and riots
    • 4.6 Devastation by 1865
    • 4.7 Effect on women and families
  • 5 National flags
  • 6 Geography

    • 6.1 Region and climate
  • 7 Demographics

    • 7.1 Population
    • 7.2 Rural and urban population
    • 7.3 Religion
  • 8 Military leaders
  • 9 See also
  • 10 Notes
  • 11 References
  • 12 Further reading

    • 12.1 Overviews and reference
    • 12.2 Historiography
    • 12.3 State studies

      • 12.3.1 Border states
      • 12.3.2 Alabama and Mississippi
      • 12.3.3 Florida and Georgia
      • 12.3.4 Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and West
      • 12.3.5 North and South Carolina
      • 12.3.6 Virginia
    • 12.4 Social history, blacks, women
    • 12.5 Intellectual history
    • 12.6 Political history
    • 12.7 Foreign affairs
    • 12.8 Economic history
    • 12.9 Primary sources
  • 13 External links

Span of control

On February 22, 1862, the Confederate Constitution of seven state signatories – Mississippi, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas – replaced the Provisional Constitution of February 8, 1861, with one stating in its preamble a desire for a “permanent federal government”. Four additional slave-holding states – Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina – declared their secession and joined the Confederacy following a call by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln for troops from each state to recapture Sumter and other seized federal properties in the South.[8]

Missouri and Kentucky were represented by partisan factions adopting the forms of state governments without control of substantial territory or population in either case. The antebellum state governments in both maintained their representation in the Union. Also fighting for the Confederacy were two of the “Five Civilized Tribes” – the Choctaw and the Chickasaw – in Indian Territory and a new, but uncontrolled, Confederate Territory of Arizona. Efforts by certain factions in Maryland to secede were halted by federal imposition of martial law; Delaware, though of divided loyalty, did not attempt it. A Unionist government was formed in opposition to the secessionist state government in Richmond and administered the western parts of Virginia that had been occupied by Federal troops. The Restored Government later recognized the new state of West Virginia, which was admitted to the Union during the war on June 20, 1863, and re-located to Alexandria for the rest of the war.[8]

Confederate control over its claimed territory and population in congressional districts steadily shrank from 73% to 34% during the course of the American Civil War due to the Union’s successful overland campaigns, its control of the inland waterways into the South, and its blockade of the southern coast.[9] With the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the Union made abolition of slavery a war goal (in addition to reunion). As Union forces moved southward, large numbers of plantation slaves were freed. Many joined the Union lines, enrolling in service as soldiers, teamsters and laborers. The most notable advance was Sherman’s “March to the Sea” in late 1864. Much of the Confederacy’s infrastructure was destroyed, including telegraphs, railroads and bridges. Plantations in the path of Sherman’s forces were severely damaged. Internal movement became increasingly difficult for Southerners, weakening the economy and limiting army mobility.[10]

These losses created an insurmountable disadvantage in men, materiel, and finance. Public support for Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s administration eroded over time due to repeated military reverses, economic hardships, and allegations of autocratic government. After four years of campaigning, Richmond was captured by Union forces in April 1865. A few days later General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively signalling the collapse of the Confederacy. President Davis was captured on May 10, 1865, and jailed in preparation for a treason trial that was ultimately never held.[11]


Evolution of the Confederate States, December 20, 1860 – July 15, 1870

The initial Confederacy was established in the Montgomery Convention in February 1861 by seven states (South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, adding Texas in March before Lincoln’s inauguration), expanded in May–July 1861 (with Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina), and was disintegrated in April–May 1865. It was formed by delegations from seven slave states of the Lower South that had proclaimed their secession from the Union. After the fighting began in April, four additional slave states seceded and were admitted. Later, two slave states (Missouri and Kentucky) and two territories were given seats in the Confederate Congress. Southern California, although having some pro-Confederate sentiment, was never organized as a territory.

Many southern whites had considered themselves more Southern than American[12][13] and were prepared to fight for their state and their region to be independent of the larger nation. That regionalism became a Southern nationalism, or the “Cause”. For the duration of its existence, the Confederacy underwent trial by war.[14] The “Southern Cause” transcended the ideology of states’ rights, tariff policy, or internal improvements. This “Cause” supported, or descended from, cultural and financial dependence on the South’s slavery-based economy. The convergence of race and slavery, politics, and economics raised almost all South-related policy questions to the status of moral questions over way of life, commingling love of things Southern and hatred of things Yankee (the North). Not only did national political parties split, but national churches and interstate families as well divided along sectional lines as the war approached.[15] According to historian John M. Coski,

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The statesmen who led the secession movement were unashamed to explicitly cite the defense of slavery as their prime motive … Acknowledging the centrality of slavery to the Confederacy is essential for understanding the Confederate.[16]

Southern Democrats had chosen John Breckinridge as their candidate during the U.S. presidential election of 1860, but in no Southern state (other than South Carolina, where the legislature chose the electors) was support for him unanimous; all of the other states recorded at least some popular votes for one or more of the other three candidates (Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas and John Bell). Support for these candidates, collectively, ranged from significant to an outright majority, with extremes running from 25% in Texas to 81% in Missouri.[17] There were minority views everywhere, especially in the upland and plateau areas of the South, with western Virginia and eastern Tennessee of particular concentration.[18]

Following South Carolina’s unanimous 1860 secession vote, no other Southern states considered the question until 1861, and when they did none had a unanimous vote. All had residents who cast significant numbers of Unionist votes in either the legislature, conventions, popular referendums, or in all three. Voting to remain in the Union did not necessarily mean that individuals were northern sympathizers. Once hostilities began, many of these who voted to remain in the Union, particularly in the Deep South, accepted the majority decision, and supported the Confederacy.[19]

The American Civil War became an American tragedy, what some scholars termed the “Brothers’ War”, pitting “brother against brother, father against son, kin against kin of every degree”.[20][21]

A revolution in disunion

According to historian Avery O. Craven in 1950, the Confederate States of America was created by secessionists in Southern slave states who believed that the federal government was making them second-class citizens and refused to honor their belief that slavery was beneficial to the Negro.[22] They judged the agent of change to be abolitionists and anti-slavery elements in the Republican Party, whom they believed used repeated insult and injury to subject them to intolerable “humiliation and degradation”.[22] The “Black Republicans” (as the Southerners called them) and their allies soon dominated the U.S. House, Senate, and Presidency. On the U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney (a presumed supporter of slavery) was 83 years old, and ailing.

During the campaign for president in 1860, some secessionists threatened disunion should Lincoln (who opposed the expansion of slavery into the territories) be elected, most notably William L. Yancey. Yancey toured the North calling for secession as Stephen A. Douglas toured the South calling for union in the event of Lincoln’s election.[23] To the Secessionists the Republican intent was clear: to contain slavery within its present bounds, and, eventually, to eliminate it entirely. A Lincoln victory presented them with a momentous choice (as they saw it), even before his inauguration – “the Union without slavery, or slavery without the Union”.[24]

Causes of secession

The immediate catalyst for secession was the victory of the Republican Party and the election of Abraham Lincoln as president in the 1860 elections. American Civil War historian James M. McPherson suggested that, for the Southerners, the most ominous feature of the Republican victories in the Congressional and Presidential elections of 1860 was the magnitude of those victories. Republicans captured over 60 percent of the Northern vote, and won three-fourths of its Congressional delegations. The Southern press said that such Republicans represented the anti-slavery portion of the North, “a party founded on the single sentiment … of hatred of African slavery”, and now the controlling power in national affairs. The “Black Republican party” could overwhelm conservative Yankees. The New Orleans Delta said of the Republicans, “It is in fact, essentially, a revolutionary party” to overthrow slavery.[25]

By 1860, sectional disagreements between North and South relate primarily to the maintenance or expansion of slavery in the United States. Historian Drew Gilpin Faust observed that “leaders of the secession movement across the South cited slavery as the most compelling reason for southern independence”.[26] Although most white Southerners did not own slaves, the majority supported the institution of slavery and benefited in indirect ways from the slave society. For struggling yeomen and subsistence farmers, the slave society provided a large class of people ranked lower in the social scale than they.[27] Secondary differences related to issues of free speech, runaway slaves, expansion into Cuba, and states’ rights.

Historian Emory Thomas assessed the Confederacy’s self-image by studying the correspondence sent by the Confederate government in 1861–62 to foreign governments. He found that Confederate diplomacy projected multiple contradictory self-images:

The Southern nation was by turns a guileless people attacked by a voracious neighbor, an ‘established’ nation in some temporary difficulty, a collection of bucolic aristocrats making a romantic stand against the banalities of industrial democracy, a cabal of commercial farmers seeking to make a pawn of King Cotton, an apotheosis of nineteenth-century nationalism and revolutionary liberalism, or the ultimate statement of social and economic reaction.[28]

Alexander H. Stephens. CSA Vice President; author of ‘Cornerstone Speech’

In what later became known as the Cornerstone Speech, C.S. Vice President Alexander H. Stephens declared that the “cornerstone” of the new government “rest[ed] upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery – subordination to the superior race – is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth”.[29] After the war Stephens made efforts to qualify his remarks, claiming they were extemporaneous, metaphorical, and intended to refer to public sentiment rather than “the principles of the new Government on this subject”.[30][31]

Four of the seceding states, the Deep South states of South Carolina,[32]
Mississippi,[33] Georgia,[34] and Texas,[35] issued formal declarations of causes, each of which identified the threat to slaveholders’ rights as the cause of, or a major cause of, secession. Georgia also claimed a general Federal policy of favoring Northern over Southern economic interests. Texas mentioned slavery 21 times, but also listed the failure of the federal government to live up to its obligations, in the original annexation agreement, to protect settlers along the exposed western frontier. Texas resolutions further stated that governments of the states and the nation were established “exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity”. They also stated that although equal civil and political rights applied to all white men, they did not apply to those of the “African race”, further opining that the end of racial enslavement would “bring inevitable calamities upon both [races] and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states”.[35]

Alabama did not provide a separate declaration of causes. Instead the Alabama ordinance stated “the election of Abraham Lincoln … by a sectional party, avowedly hostile to the domestic institutions and to the peace and security of the people of the State of Alabama, preceded by many and dangerous infractions of the Constitution of the United States by many of the States and people of the northern section, is a political wrong of so insulting and menacing a character as to justify the people of the State of Alabama in the adoption of prompt and decided measures for their future peace and security”. The ordinance invited “the slaveholding States of the South, who may approve such purpose, in order to frame a provisional as well as a permanent Government upon the principles of the Constitution of the United States” to participate in a February 4, 1861 convention in Montgomery, Alabama.[36]

The secession ordinances of the remaining two states, Florida and Louisiana, simply declared their severing of ties with the federal Union, without stating any causes.[37][38] Afterward, the Florida secession convention formed a committee to draft a declaration of causes, but the committee was discharged before completion of the task.[39] Only an undated, untitled draft remains.[40]

Four of the Upper South states initially rejected secession until after the clash at Ft. Sumter (Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina).[19][41][42][43][44] Virginia’s ordinance stated a kinship with the slave-holding states of the Lower South, but did not name the institution itself as a primary reason for its course.[45]

Arkansas’s secession ordinance primarily revolved around strong objection to the use of military force to maintain the Union as its motivating factor.[46] Prior to the outbreak of war, the Arkansas Convention had on March 20 given as their first resolution: “The people of the Northern States have organized a political party, purely sectional in its character, the central and controlling idea of which is hostility to the institution of African slavery, as it exists in the Southern States; and that party has elected a President … pledged to administer the Government upon principles inconsistent with the rights and subversive of the interests of the Southern States.”[47]

North Carolina and Tennessee limited their ordinances to simply withdrawing, although Tennessee went so far as to make clear they wished to make no comment at all on the “abstract doctrine of secession”.[48][49]

In a message to the Confederate Congress on April 29, 1861 Jefferson Davis cited both the tariff and slavery for the South’s secession.[50]

Secessionists and conventions

The Fire-Eaters, calling for immediate secession, were opposed by two factions. “Cooperationists” in the Deep South would delay secession until several states went together, maybe in a Southern Convention. Under the influence of men such as Texas Governor Sam Houston, delay would have had the effect of sustaining the Union.[51] “Unionists”, especially in the Border South, often former Whigs, appealed to sentimental attachment to the United States. Southern Unionists’ favorite presidential candidate was John Bell of Tennessee, sometimes running under an “Opposition Party” banner.[51]

Many secessionists were active politically. Governor William Henry Gist of South Carolina corresponded secretly with other Deep South governors, and most southern governors exchanged clandestine commissioners.[52]Charleston’s secessionist “1860 Association” published over 200,000 pamphlets to persuade the youth of the South. The most influential were: “The Doom of Slavery” and “The South Alone Should Govern the South”, both by John Townsend of South Carolina; and James D. B. De Bow’s “The Interest of Slavery of the Southern Non-slaveholder”.[53]

Developments in South Carolina started a chain of events. The foreman of a jury refused the legitimacy of federal courts, so Federal Judge Andrew Magrath ruled that U.S. judicial authority in South Carolina was vacated. A mass meeting in Charleston celebrating the Charleston and Savannah railroad and state cooperation led to the South Carolina legislature to call for a Secession Convention. U.S. Senator James Chesnut, Jr. resigned, as did Senator James Henry Hammond.[54]

Elections for Secessionist conventions were heated to “an almost raving pitch, no one dared dissent”, said Freehling. Even once–respected voices, including the Chief Justice of South Carolina, John Belton O’Neall, lost election to the Secession Convention on a Cooperationist ticket. Across the South mobs expelled Yankees and (in Texas) executed German-Americans suspected of loyalty to the United States.[55] Generally, seceding conventions which followed did not call for a referendum to ratify, although Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee did, as well as Virginia’s second convention. Kentucky declared neutrality, while Missouri had its own civil war until the Unionists took power and drove the Confederate legislators out of the state.[56]

Attempts to thwart secession

In the antebellum months, the Corwin Amendment was an unsuccessful attempt by the Congress to bring back the seceding states to the Union and to prevent the border slave states to remain.[57] It was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution by Ohio Congressman Thomas Corwin that would shield “domestic institutions” of the states (which in 1861 included slavery) from the constitutional amendment process and from abolition or interference by Congress.[58][59]

It was passed by the 36th Congress on March 2, 1861. The House approved it by a vote of 133 to 65 and the United States Senate adopted it, with no changes, on a vote of 24 to 12. It was then submitted to the state legislatures for ratification.[60] In his inaugural address Lincoln endorsed the proposed amendment.

The text was as follows:

No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.

Had it been ratified by the required number of states prior to 1865, it would have made institutionalized slavery immune to the constitutional amendment procedures and to interference by Congress.[61][62]

Inauguration and response

The inauguration of Jefferson Davis in Montgomery, Alabama

The first secession state conventions from the Deep South sent representatives to meet at the Montgomery Convention in Montgomery, Alabama, on February 4, 1861. There the fundamental documents of government were promulgated, a provisional government was established, and a representative Congress met for the Confederate States of America.[63]

The new ‘provisional’ Confederate President Jefferson Davis issued a call for 100,000 men from the various states’ militias to defend the newly formed Confederacy.[63] All Federal property was seized, along with gold bullion and coining dies at the U.S. mints in Charlotte, North Carolina; Dahlonega, Georgia; and New Orleans.[63] The Confederate capital was moved from Montgomery to Richmond, Virginia, in May 1861. On February 22, 1862, Davis was inaugurated as president with a term of six years.[64]

The newly inaugurated Confederate administration pursued a policy of national territorial integrity, continuing earlier state efforts in 1860 and early 1861 to remove U.S. government presence from within their boundaries. These efforts included taking possession of U.S. courts, custom houses, post offices, and most notably, arsenals and forts. But after the Confederate attack and capture of Fort Sumter in April 1861, Lincoln called up 75,000 of the states’ militia to muster under his command. The stated purpose was to re-occupy U.S. properties throughout the South, as the U.S. Congress had not authorized their abandonment. The resistance at Fort Sumter signaled his change of policy from that of the Buchanan Administration. Lincoln’s response ignited a firestorm of emotion. The people of both North and South demanded war, and young men rushed to their colors in the hundreds of thousands. Four more states (Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas) refused Lincoln’s call for troops and declared secession, while Kentucky maintained an uneasy “neutrality”.[63]


Secessionists argued that the United States Constitution was a contract among sovereign states that could be abandoned at any time without consultation and that each state had a right to secede. After intense debates and statewide votes, seven Deep South cotton states passed secession ordinances by February 1861 (before Abraham Lincoln took office as president), while secession efforts failed in the other eight slave states. Delegates from those seven formed the CSA in February 1861, selecting Jefferson Davis as the provisional president. Unionist talk of reunion failed and Davis began raising a 100,000 man army.[65]


Initially, some secessionists may have hoped for a peaceful departure.[66] Moderates in the Confederate Constitutional Convention included a provision against importation of slaves from Africa to appeal to the Upper South. Non-slave states might join, but the radicals secured a two-thirds hurdle for them.[67]

Seven states declared their secession from the United States before Lincoln took office on March 4, 1861. After the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter April 12, 1861, and Lincoln’s subsequent call for troops on April 15, four more states declared their secession:[68]

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USA G. Washington stamp
10-cent U.S. 1861
CSA G. Washington stamp
20-cent C.S. 1863
Both sides honored George Washington as a Founding Father (and used the same Gilbert Stuart portrait)

Kentucky declared neutrality but after Confederate troops moved in, the state government asked for Union troops to drive them out. The splinter Confederate state government relocated to accompany western Confederate armies and never controlled the state population. By the end of the war, 90,000 Kentuckians had fought on the side of the Union, compared to 35,000 for the Confederate States.[69]

In Missouri, a constitutional convention was approved and delegates elected by voters. The convention rejected secession 89–1 on March 19, 1861.[70] The governor maneuvered to take control of the St. Louis Arsenal and restrict Federal movements. This led to confrontation, and in June Federal forces drove him and the General Assembly from Jefferson City. The executive committee of the constitutional convention called the members together in July. The convention declared the state offices vacant, and appointed a Unionist interim state government.[71] The exiled governor called a rump session of the former General Assembly together in Neosho and, on October 31, 1861, passed an ordinance of secession.[72][73] It is still a matter of debate as to whether a quorum existed for this vote. The Confederate state government was unable to control very much Missouri territory. It had its capital first at Neosho, then at Cassville, before being driven out of the state. For the remainder of the war, it operated as a government in exile at Marshall, Texas.[74]

Neither Kentucky nor Missouri was declared in rebellion in Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The Confederacy recognized the pro-Confederate claimants in both Kentucky (December 10, 1861) and Missouri (November 28, 1861) and laid claim to those states, granting them Congressional representation and adding two stars to the Confederate flag. Voting for the representatives was mostly done by Confederate soldiers from Kentucky and Missouri.[75]

The order of secession resolutions and dates are:

1. South Carolina (December 20, 1860)[76]
2. Mississippi (January 9, 1861)[77]
3. Florida (January 10)[78]
4. Alabama (January 11)[79]
5. Georgia (January 19)[80]
6. Louisiana (January 26)[81]
7. Texas (February 1; referendum February 23)[82]
Bombardment of Fort Sumter (April 12) and President Lincoln’s call up (April 15)[83]
8 Virginia (April 17; referendum May 23, 1861)[84]
9. Arkansas (May 6)[85]
10. Tennessee (May 7; referendum June 8)[86]
11. North Carolina (May 20)[87]

In Virginia, the populous counties along the Ohio and Pennsylvania borders rejected the Confederacy. Unionists held a Convention in Wheeling in June 1861, establishing a “restored government” with a rump legislature, but sentiment in the region remained deeply divided. In the 50 counties that would make up the state of West Virginia, voters from 24 counties had voted for disunion in Virginia’s May 23 referendum on the ordinance of secession.[88] In the 1860 Presidential election “Constitutional Democrat” Breckenridge had outpolled “Constitutional Unionist” Bell in the 50 counties by 1,900 votes, 44% to 42%.[89] Regardless of scholarly disputes over election procedures and results county by county, altogether they simultaneously supplied over 20,000 soldiers to each side of the conflict.[90][91] Representatives for most of the counties were seated in both state legislatures at Wheeling and at Richmond for the duration of the war.[92]

Attempts to secede from the Confederacy by some counties in East Tennessee were checked by martial law.[93] Although slave-holding Delaware and Maryland did not secede, citizens from those states exhibited divided loyalties. Regiments of Marylanders fought in Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.[94] But overall, 24,000 men from Maryland joined the Confederate armed forces, compared to 63,000 who joined Union forces.[69]

Delaware never produced a full regiment for the Confederacy, but neither did it emancipate slaves as did Missouri and West Virginia. District of Columbia citizens made no attempts to secede and through the war years, referendums sponsored by President Lincoln approved systems of compensated emancipation and slave confiscation from “disloyal citizens”.[95]


Elias Boudinot secessionist, Rep. Indian Territory, Cherokee

Citizens at Mesilla and Tucson in the southern part of New Mexico Territory formed a secession convention, which voted to join the Confederacy on March 16, 1861, and appointed Lewis Owings as the new territorial governor. They won the Battle of Mesilla and established a territorial government with Mesilla serving as its capital.[96] The Confederacy proclaimed the Confederate Arizona Territory on February 14, 1862, north to the 34th parallel. Marcus H. MacWillie served in both Confederate Congresses as Arizona’s delegate. In 1862 the Confederate New Mexico Campaign to take the northern half of the U.S. territory failed and the Confederate territorial government in exile relocated to San Antonio, Texas.[97]

Confederate supporters in the trans-Mississippi west also claimed portions of United States Indian Territory after the United States evacuated the federal forts and installations. Over half of the American Indian troops participating in the Civil War from the Indian Territory supported the Confederacy; troops and one general were enlisted from each tribe. On July 12, 1861, the Confederate government signed a treaty with both the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian nations. After several battles Union armies took control of the territory.[98]

Indian Territory was never formally ceded into the Confederacy by American Indian councils, but like Missouri and Kentucky, the Five Civilized Nations received representation in the Confederate Congress and their citizens were integrated into regular Confederate Army units. After 1863 the tribal governments sent representatives to the Confederate Congress: Elias Cornelius Boudinot representing the Cherokee and Samuel Benton Callahan representing the Seminole and Creek people. The Cherokee Nation, aligning with the Confederacy, alleged northern violations of the Constitution, waging war against slavery commercial and political interests, abolishing slavery in the Indian Territory, and that the North intended to seize additional Indian lands.[99]


Montgomery, Alabama served as the capital of the Confederate States of America from February 4 until May 29, 1861, in the Alabama State Capitol. Six states created the Confederate States of America there on February 8, 1861. The Texas delegation was seated at the time, so it is counted in the “original seven” states of the Confederacy; it had no roll call vote until after its referendum made secession “operative”.[100] Two sessions of the Provisional Congress were held in Montgomery, adjourning May 21.[101] The Permanent Constitution was adopted there on March 12, 1861.[102]

First Capitol, Montgomery, Alabama
Second Capitol, Richmond, Virginia

The permanent capital provided for in the Confederate Constitution called for a state cession of a ten-miles square (100 square mile) district to the central government. Atlanta, which had not yet supplanted Milledgeville, Georgia as its state capital, put in a bid noting its central location and rail connections, as did Opelika, Alabama, noting its strategically interior situation, rail connections and nearby deposits of coal and iron.[103]

Richmond, Virginia was chosen for the interim capital at the Virginia State Capitol. The move was used by Vice President Stephens and others to encourage other border states to follow Virginia into the Confederacy. In the political moment it was a show of “defiance and strength”. The war for southern independence was surely to be fought in Virginia, but it also had the largest Southern military-aged white population, with infrastructure, resources and supplies required to sustain a war. The Davis Administration’s policy was that, “It must be held at all hazards.”[104]

The naming of Richmond as the new capital took place on May 30, 1861, and the last two sessions of the Provisional Congress were held in the new capital. The Permanent Confederate Congress and President were elected in the states and army camps on November 6, 1861. The First Congress met in four sessions in Richmond from February 18, 1862, to February 17, 1864. The Second Congress met there in two sessions, from May 2, 1864, to March 18, 1865.[105]

As war dragged on, Richmond became crowded with training and transfers, logistics and hospitals. Prices rose dramatically despite government efforts at price regulation. A movement in Congress led by Henry S. Foote of Tennessee argued for moving the capital from Richmond. At the approach of Federal armies in mid-1862, the government’s archives were readied for removal. As the Wilderness Campaign progressed, Congress authorized Davis to remove the executive department and call Congress to session elsewhere in 1864 and again in 1865. Shortly before the end of the war, the Confederate government evacuated Richmond, planning to relocate farther south. Little came of these plans before Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on April 9, 1865.[106] Davis and most of his cabinet fled to Danville, Virginia, which served as their headquarters for about a week.


Unionism was widespread in the Confederacy, especially in the mountain regions of Appalachia and the Ozarks.[107] Unionists, led by Parson Brownlow and Senator Andrew Johnson, took control of eastern Tennessee in 1863.[108] Unionists also attempted control over western Virginia but never effectively held more than half the counties that formed the new state of West Virginia.[109][110][111]

Map of the county secession votes of 1860–1861 in Appalachia within the ARC definition. Virginia and Tennessee show the public votes, while the other states show the vote by county delegates to the conventions.

Union forces captured parts of coastal North Carolina, and at first were welcomed by local unionists. That changed as the occupiers became perceived as oppressive, callous, radical and favorable to the Freedmen. Occupiers engaged in pillaging, freeing of slaves, and eviction of those refusing to take or reneging on the loyalty oaths, as ex-Unionists began to support the Confederate cause.[112]

Support for the Confederacy was perhaps weakest in Texas; Claude Elliott estimates that only a third of the population actively supported the Confederacy. Many unionists supported the Confederacy after the war began, but many others clung to their unionism throughout the war, especially in the northern counties, the German districts, and the Mexican areas.[113] According to Ernest Wallace: “This account of a dissatisfied Unionist minority, although historically essential, must be kept in its proper perspective, for throughout the war the overwhelming majority of the people zealously supported the Confederacy …”[114] Randolph B. Campbell states, “In spite of terrible losses and hardships, most Texans continued throughout the war to support the Confederacy as they had supported secession”.[115] Dale Baum in his analysis of Texas politics in the era counters: “This idea of a Confederate Texas united politically against northern adversaries was shaped more by nostalgic fantasies than by wartime realities.” He characterizes Texas Civil War history as “a morose story of intragovernmental rivalries coupled with wide-ranging disaffection that prevented effective implementation of state wartime policies”.[116]

In Texas local officials harassed unionists and engaged in large-scale massacres against unionists and Germans. In Cooke County 150 suspected unionists were arrested; 25 were lynched without trial and 40 more were hanged after a summary trial. Draft resistance was widespread especially among Texans of German or Mexican descent; many of the latter went to Mexico. Potential draftees went into hiding, Confederate officials hunted them down, and many were shot.[113]

Civil liberties were of small concern in North and South. Lincoln and Davis both took a hard line against dissent. Neely explores how the Confederacy became a virtual police state with guards and patrols all about, and a domestic passport system whereby everyone needed official permission each time they wanted to travel. Over 4,000 suspected unionists were imprisoned without trial.[117]


United States, a foreign power

During the four years of its existence under trial by war, the Confederate States of America asserted its independence and appointed dozens of diplomatic agents abroad. None were ever officially recognized by a foreign government. The United States government regarded the southern states in rebellion and so refused any formal recognition of their status.

Even before Fort Sumter, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward issued formal instructions to the American minister to Britain, Charles Francis Adams:

[Make] no expressions of harshness or disrespect, or even impatience concerning the seceding States, their agents, or their people, [those States] must always continue to be, equal and honored members of this Federal Union, [their citizens] still are and always must be our kindred and countrymen.[118]

Seward instructed Adams that if the British government seemed inclined to recognize the Confederacy, or even waver in that regard, it was to receive a sharp warning, with a strong hint of war:

[if Britain is] tolerating the application of the so-called seceding States, or wavering about it, [they cannot] remain friends with the United States … if they determine to recognize [the Confederacy], [Britain] may at the same time prepare to enter into alliance with the enemies of this republic.[118]

The United States government never declared war on those “kindred and countrymen” in the Confederacy, but conducted its military efforts beginning with a presidential proclamation issued April 15, 1861.[119] It called for troops to recapture forts and suppress what Lincoln later called an “insurrection and rebellion”.[120]

Mid-war parleys between the two sides occurred without formal political recognition, though the laws of war predominantly governed military relationships on both sides of uniformed conflict.[121]

On the part of the Confederacy, immediately following Fort Sumter the Confederate Congress proclaimed that “war exists between the Confederate States and the Government of the United States, and the States and Territories thereof”. A state of war was not to formally exist between the Confederacy and those states and territories in the United States allowing slavery, although Confederate Rangers were compensated for destruction they could effect there throughout the war.[122]

Concerning the international status and nationhood of the Confederate States of America, in 1869 the United States Supreme Court in Texas v. White, 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 700 (1869) ruled Texas’ declaration of secession was legally null and void.[123]Jefferson Davis, former President of the Confederacy, and Alexander H. Stephens, its former Vice-President, both wrote postwar arguments in favor of secession’s legality and the international legitimacy of the Government of the Confederate States of America, most notably Davis’ The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.

International diplomacy

Once war with the United States began, the Confederacy pinned its hopes for survival on military intervention by Great Britain and France. The Confederates who had believed that “cotton is king” – that is, that Britain had to support the Confederacy to obtain cotton – proved mistaken. The British had stocks to last over a year and had been developing alternative sources of cotton, most notably India and Egypt. They were not about to go to war with the U.S. to acquire more cotton at the risk of losing the large quantities of food imported from the North.[124][125] The Confederate government repeatedly sent delegations to Europe, but historians give them low marks for their poor diplomacy.[126]James M. Mason went to London and John Slidell traveled to Paris. They were unofficially interviewed, but neither secured official recognition for the Confederacy.

In late 1861 the seizure of two senior Confederate diplomats aboard a British ship by the U.S. navy outraged Britain and led to a war scare in the Trent Affair. Queen Victoria insisted on giving the Americans an exit route and Lincoln took it, releasing the two diplomats. Tensions cooled, and the Confederacy gained no advantage. In recent years most historians argue that the risk of actual war over the Trent Affair was small, because it would have hurt both sides.[127]

Lord John Russell, British foreign secretary and later PM, considered mediation in the ‘American War’.
French Emperor Napoleon III sought joint French–British recognition of CSA.

Throughout the early years of the war, British foreign secretary Lord John Russell, Emperor Napoleon III of France, and, to a lesser extent, British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston, showed interest in recognition of the Confederacy or at least mediation of the war. William Ewart Gladstone, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister, in office 1859–1866), whose family wealth was based on slavery, was the key Minister calling for intervention to help the Confederacy achieve independence. He failed to convince prime minister Palmerston.[128] By September 1862 the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln’s preliminary Emancipation Proclamation and abolitionist opposition in Britain put an end to these possibilities.[129] The cost to Britain of a war with the U.S. would have been high: the immediate loss of American grain-shipments, the end of British exports to the U.S., and the seizure of billions of pounds invested in American securities. War would have meant higher taxes in Britain, another invasion of Canada, and full-scale worldwide attacks on the British merchant fleet. Outright recognition would have meant certain war with the United States; in mid-1862 fears of race war (as had transpired in the Haitian Revolution of 1791–1804) led to the British considering intervention for humanitarian reasons. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation did not lead to interracial violence, let alone a bloodbath, but it did give the friends of the Union strong talking points in the arguments that raged across Britain.[130]

John Slidell, the Confederate States emissary to France, did succeed in negotiating a loan of $15,000,000 from Erlanger and other French capitalists. The money went to buy ironclad warships, as well as military supplies that came in with blockade runners.[131] The British government did allow the construction of blockade runners in Britain; they were owned and operated by British financiers and sailors; a few were owned and operated by the Confederacy. The British investors’ goal was to get highly profitable cotton.[132]

Several European nations maintained diplomats in place who had been appointed to the U.S., but no country appointed any diplomat to the Confederacy. Those nations recognized the Union and Confederate sides as belligerents. In 1863 the Confederacy expelled European diplomatic missions for advising their resident subjects to refuse to serve in the Confederate army.[133] Both Confederate and Union agents were allowed to work openly in British territories. Some state governments in northern Mexico negotiated local agreements to cover trade on the Texas border.[134]Pope Pius IX wrote a letter to Jefferson Davis in which he addressed Davis as the “Honorable President of the Confederate States of America”. The Confederacy appointed Ambrose Dudley Mann as special agent to the Holy See on September 24, 1863. But the Holy See never released a formal statement supporting or recognizing the Confederacy. In November 1863, Mann met Pope Pius IX in person and received a letter supposedly addressed “to the Illustrious and Honorable Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America”; Mann had mistranslated the address. In his report to Richmond, Mann claimed a great diplomatic achievement for himself, asserting the letter was “a positive recognition of our Government”. The letter was indeed used in propaganda, but Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin told Mann it was “a mere inferential recognition, unconnected with political action or the regular establishment of diplomatic relations” and thus did not assign it the weight of formal recognition.[135][136]

Nevertheless, the Confederacy was seen internationally as a serious attempt at nationhood, and European governments sent military observers, both official and unofficial, to assess whether there had been a de facto establishment of independence. These observers included Arthur Lyon Fremantle of the British Coldstream Guards, Fitzgerald Ross of the Austrian Hussars and Justus Scheibert of the Prussian Army.[137] European travelers visited and wrote accounts for publication. Importantly in 1862, the Frenchman Charles Girard’s Seven months in the rebel states during the North American War testified “this government … is no longer a trial government … but really a normal government, the expression of popular will”.[138]
Fremantle went on to write in his book Three Months in the Southern States that he had

not attempted to conceal any of the peculiarities or defects of the Southern people. Many persons will doubtless highly disapprove of some of their customs and habits in the wilder portion of the country; but I think no generous man, whatever may be his political opinions, can do otherwise than admire the courage, energy, and patriotism of the whole population, and the skill of its leaders, in this struggle against great odds. And I am also of opinion that many will agree with me in thinking that a people in which all ranks and both sexes display a unanimity and a heroism which can never have been surpassed in the history of the world, is destined, sooner or later, to become a great and independent nation.[139]

French Emperor Napoleon III assured Confederate diplomat John Slidell that he would make “direct proposition” to Britain for joint recognition. The Emperor made the same assurance to British Members of Parliament John A. Roebuck and John A. Lindsay.[140] Roebuck in turn publicly prepared a bill to submit to Parliament June 30 supporting joint Anglo-French recognition of the Confederacy. “Southerners had a right to be optimistic, or at least hopeful, that their revolution would prevail, or at least endure.”[141] Following the dual reverses at Vicksburg and Gettysburg in July 1863, the Confederates “suffered a severe loss of confidence in themselves”, and withdrew into an interior defensive position. There would be no help from the Europeans.[142]

By December 1864 Davis considered sacrificing slavery in order to enlist recognition and aid from Paris and London; he secretly sent Duncan F. Kenner to Europe with a message that the war was fought solely for “the vindication of our rights to self-government and independence” and that “no sacrifice is too great, save that of honor”. The message stated that if the French or British governments made their recognition conditional on anything at all, the Confederacy would consent to such terms.[143] Davis’s message could not explicitly acknowledge that slavery was on the bargaining table due to still-strong domestic support for slavery among the wealthy and politically influential. European leaders all saw that the Confederacy was on the verge of total defeat.[144]

Confederacy at war

Motivations of soldiers

The great majority of young white men voluntarily joined Confederate national or state military units. Perman (2010) says historians are of two minds on why millions of men seemed so eager to fight, suffer and die over four years:

Some historians emphasize that Civil War soldiers were driven by political ideology, holding firm beliefs about the importance of liberty, Union, or state rights, or about the need to protect or to destroy slavery. Others point to less overtly political reasons to fight, such as the defense of one’s home and family, or the honor and brotherhood to be preserved when fighting alongside other men. Most historians agree that, no matter what he thought about when he went into the war, the experience of combat affected him profoundly and sometimes affected his reasons for continuing to fight.[145][146]

Military strategy

Civil War historian E. Merton Coulter noted that for those who would secure its independence, “The Confederacy was unfortunate in its failure to work out a general strategy for the whole war”. Aggressive strategy called for offensive force concentration. Defensive strategy sought dispersal to meet demands of locally minded governors. The controlling philosophy evolved into a combination “dispersal with a defensive concentration around Richmond”. The Davis administration considered the war purely defensive, a “simple demand that the people of the United States would cease to war upon us”.[147] Historian James M. McPherson is a critic of Lee’s Offensive Strategy: “Lee pursued a faulty military strategy that ensured Confederate defeat”.[148]

As the Confederate government lost control of territory in campaign after campaign, it was said that “the vast size of the Confederacy would make its conquest impossible”. The enemy would be struck down by the same elements which so often debilitated or destroyed visitors and transplants in the South. Heat exhaustion, sunstroke, endemic diseases such as malaria and typhoid would match the destructive effectiveness of the Moscow winter on the invading armies of Napoleon.[149]

The Great Seal, symbols of an independent agricultural Confederacy surrounding an equestrian Washington, sword encased[150]

Early in the war both sides believed that one great battle would decide the conflict; the Confederate won a great victory at the First Battle of Bull Run, also known as First Manassas (the name used by Confederate forces). It drove the Confederate people “insane with joy”; the public demanded a forward movement to capture Washington, relocate the Confederate capital there, and admit Maryland to the Confederacy.[151] A council of war by the victorious Confederate generals decided not to advance against larger numbers of fresh Federal troops in defensive positions. Davis did not countermand it. Following the Confederate incursion halted at the Battle of Antietam in October 1862, generals proposed concentrating forces from state commands to re-invade the north. Nothing came of it.[152] Again in early 1863 at his incursion into Pennsylvania, Lee requested of Davis that Beauregard simultaneously attack Washington with troops taken from the Carolinas. But the troops there remained in place during the Gettysburg Campaign.

The eleven states of the Confederacy were outnumbered by the North about four to one in white men of military age. It was overmatched far more in military equipment, industrial facilities, railroads for transport, and wagons supplying the front.

Confederate military policy innovated to slow the invaders, but at heavy cost to the Southern infrastructure. The Confederates burned bridges, laid land mines in the roads, and made harbors inlets and inland waterways unusable with sunken mines (called “torpedos” at the time). Coulter reports:

Rangers in twenty to fifty-man units were awarded 50% valuation for property destroyed behind Union lines, regardless of location or loyalty. As Federals occupied the South, objections by loyal Confederate concerning Ranger horse-stealing and indiscriminate scorched earth tactics behind Union lines led to Congress abolishing the Ranger service two years later.[153]

The Confederacy relied on external sources for war materials. The first came from trade with the enemy. “Vast amounts of war supplies” came through Kentucky, and thereafter, western armies were “to a very considerable extent” provisioned with illicit trade via Federal agents and northern private traders.[154] But that trade was interrupted in the first year of war by Admiral Porter’s river gunboats as they gained dominance along navigable rivers north–south and east–west.[155] Overseas blockade running then came to be of “outstanding importance”.[156] On April 17, President Davis called on privateer raiders, the “militia of the sea”, to make war on U.S. seaborne commerce.[157] Despite noteworthy effort, over the course of the war the Confederacy was found unable to match the Union in ships and seamanship, materials and marine construction.[158]

Perhaps the greatest obstacle to success in the 19th-century warfare of mass armies was the Confederacy’s lack of manpower, and sufficient numbers of disciplined, equipped troops in the field at the point of contact with the enemy. During the winter of 1862–63, Lee observed that none of his famous victories had resulted in the destruction of the opposing army. He lacked reserve troops to exploit an advantage on the battlefield as Napoleon had done. Lee explained, “More than once have most promising opportunities been lost for want of men to take advantage of them, and victory itself had been made to put on the appearance of defeat, because our diminished and exhausted troops have been unable to renew a successful struggle against fresh numbers of the enemy.”[159]

Armed forces

The military armed forces of the Confederacy comprised three branches: Army, Navy and Marine Corps.

The Confederate military leadership included many veterans from the United States Army and United States Navy who had resigned their Federal commissions and had won appointment to senior positions in the Confederate armed forces. Many had served in the Mexican–American War (including Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis), but some such as Leonidas Polk (who graduated from West Point but did not serve in the Army) had little or no experience.

The Confederate officer corps consisted of men from both slave-owning and non-slave-owning families. The Confederacy appointed junior and field grade officers by election from the enlisted ranks. Although no Army service academy was established for the Confederacy, some colleges (such as The Citadel and Virginia Military Institute) maintained cadet corps that trained Confederate military leadership. A naval academy was established at Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia[160] in 1863, but no midshipmen graduated before the Confederacy’s end.

The soldiers of the Confederate armed forces consisted mainly of white males aged between 16 and 28. The median year of birth was 1838, so half the soldiers were 23 or older by 1861.[161] In early 1862, the Confederate Army was allowed to disintegrate for two months following expiration of short-term enlistments. A majority of those in uniform would not re-enlist following their one-year commitment, so on April 16, 1862, the Confederate Congress enacted the first mass conscription on the North American continent. (The U.S. Congress followed a year later on March 3, 1863, with the Enrollment Act.) Rather than a universal draft, the initial program was a selective service with physical, religious, professional and industrial exemptions. These were narrowed as the war progressed. Initially substitutes were permitted, but by December 1863 these were disallowed. In September 1862 the age limit was increased from 35 to 45 and by February 1864, all men under 18 and over 45 were conscripted to form a reserve for state defense inside state borders. By March 1864, the Superintendent of Conscription reported that all across the Confederacy, every officer in constituted authority, man and woman, “engaged in opposing the enrolling officer in the execution of his duties”.[162] Although challenged in the state courts, the Confederate State Supreme Courts routinely rejected legal challenges to conscription.[163]

Many thousands of slaves served as laborers, cooks, and pioneers. Some freed blacks and men of color served in local state militia units of the Confederacy, primarily in Louisiana and South Carolina, but their officers deployed them for “local defense, not combat”.[164] Depleted by casualties and desertions, the military suffered chronic manpower shortages. In early 1865, the Confederate Congress, influenced by the public support by General Lee, approved the recruitment of black infantry units. Contrary to Lee’s and Davis’s recommendations, the Congress refused “to guarantee the freedom of black volunteers”. No more than two hundred black combat troops were ever raised.[165]

Raising troops

Recruitment poster: “Do not wait to be drafted”. Under half re-enlisted.

The immediate onset of war meant that it was fought by the “Provisional” or “Volunteer Army”. State governors resisted concentrating a national effort. Several wanted a strong state army for self-defense. Others feared large “Provisional” armies answering only to Davis.[166] When filling the Confederate government’s call for 100,000 men, another 200,000 were turned away by accepting only those enlisted “for the duration” or twelve-month volunteers who brought their own arms or horses.[167]

It was important to raise troops; it was just as important to provide capable officers to command them. With few exceptions the Confederacy secured excellent general officers. Efficiency in the lower officers was “greater than could have been reasonably expected”. As with the Federals, political appointees could be indifferent. Otherwise, the officer corps was governor-appointed or elected by unit enlisted. Promotion to fill vacancies was made internally regardless of merit, even if better officers were immediately available.[168]

Anticipating the need for more “duration” men, in January 1862 Congress provided for company level recruiters to return home for two months, but their efforts met little success on the heels of Confederate battlefield defeats in February.[169] Congress allowed for Davis to require numbers of recruits from each governor to supply the volunteer shortfall. States responded by passing their own draft laws.[170]

The veteran Confederate army of early 1862 was mostly twelve-month volunteers with terms about to expire. Enlisted reorganization elections disintegrated the army for two months. Officers pleaded with the ranks to re-enlist, but a majority did not. Those remaining elected majors and colonels whose performance led to officer review boards in October. The boards caused a “rapid and widespread” thinning out of 1700 incompetent officers. Troops thereafter would elect only second lieutenants.[171]

In early 1862, the popular press suggested the Confederacy required a million men under arms. But veteran soldiers were not re-enlisting, and earlier secessionist volunteers did not reappear to serve in war. One Macon, Georgia, newspaper asked how two million brave fighting men of the South were about to be overcome by four million northerners who were said to be cowards.[172]


Unionists throughout the Confederate States, resisted the 1862 conscription

The Confederacy passed the first American law of national conscription on April 16, 1862. The white males of the Confederate States from 18 to 35 were declared members of the Confederate army for three years, and all men then enlisted were extended to a three-year term. They would serve only in units and under officers of their state. Those under 18 and over 35 could substitute for conscripts, in September those from 35 to 45 became conscripts.[173] The cry of “rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight” led Congress to abolish the substitute system altogether in December 1863. All principals benefiting earlier were made eligible for service. By February 1864, the age bracket was made 17 to 50, those under eighteen and over forty-five to be limited to in-state duty.[174]

Confederate conscription was not universal; it was a selective service. The First Conscription Act of April 1862 exempted occupations related to transportation, communication, industry, ministers, teaching and physical fitness. The Second Conscription Act of October 1862 expanded exemptions in industry, agriculture and conscientious objection. Exemption fraud proliferated in medical examinations, army furloughs, churches, schools, apothecaries and newspapers.[175]

Rich men’s sons were appointed to the socially outcast “overseer” occupation, but the measure was received in the country with “universal odium”. The legislative vehicle was the controversial Twenty Negro Law that specifically exempted one white overseer or owner for every plantation with at least 20 slaves. Backpedalling six months later, Congress provided overseers under 45 could be exempted only if they held the occupation before the first Conscription Act.[176] The number of officials under state exemptions appointed by state Governor patronage expanded significantly.[177] By law, substitutes could not be subject to conscription, but instead of adding to Confederate manpower, unit officers in the field reported that over-50 and under-17-year-old substitutes made up to 90% of the desertions.[178]

The Conscription Act of February 1864 “radically changed the whole system” of selection. It abolished industrial exemptions, placing detail authority in President Davis. As the shame of conscription was greater than a felony conviction, the system brought in “about as many volunteers as it did conscripts.” Many men in otherwise “bombproof” positions were enlisted in one way or another, nearly 160,000 additional volunteers and conscripts in uniform. Still there was shirking.[180] To administer the draft, a Bureau of Conscription was set up to use state officers, as state Governors would allow. It had a checkered career of “contention, opposition and futility”. Armies appointed alternative military “recruiters” to bring in the out-of-uniform 17–50-year-old conscripts and deserters. Nearly 3000 officers were tasked with the job. By late 1864, Lee was calling for more troops. “Our ranks are constantly diminishing by battle and disease, and few recruits are received; the consequences are inevitable.” By March 1865 conscription was to be administered by generals of the state reserves calling out men over 45 and under 18 years old. All exemptions were abolished. These regiments were assigned to recruit conscripts ages 17–50, recover deserters, and repel enemy cavalry raids. The service retained men who had lost but one arm or a leg in home guards. Then, in April 1865, Lee surrendered an army of 50,000. Conscription had been a failure.[181]

The survival of the Confederacy depended on a strong base of civilians and soldiers devoted to victory. The soldiers performed well, though increasing numbers deserted in the last year of fighting, and the Confederacy never succeeded in replacing casualties as the Union could. The civilians, although enthusiastic in 1861–62, seem to have lost faith in the future of the Confederacy by 1864, and instead looked to protect their homes and communities. As Rable explains, “This contraction of civic vision was more than a crabbed libertarianism; it represented an increasingly widespread disillusionment with the Confederate experiment.”[182]

Victories: 1861

The American Civil War broke out in April 1861 with a Confederate victory at the Battle of Fort Sumter in Charleston.

Bombardment of Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina
First Bull Run (First Manassas), the North’s “Big Skedaddle”[183]

In January, President James Buchanan had attempted to resupply the garrison with the steamship, Star of the West, but Confederate artillery drove it away. In March, President Lincoln notified South Carolina Governor Pickens that without Confederate resistance to the resupply there would be no military reinforcement without further notice, but Lincoln prepared to force resupply if it were not allowed. Confederate President Davis, in cabinet, decided to seize Fort Sumter before the relief fleet arrived, and on April 12, 1861, General Beauregard forced its surrender.[184]

Following Sumter, Lincoln directed states to provide 75,000 troops for three months to recapture the Charleston Harbor forts and all other federal property.[185] This emboldened secessionists in Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina to secede rather than provide troops to march into neighboring Southern states. In May, Federal troops crossed into Confederate territory along the entire border from the Chesapeake Bay to New Mexico. The first battles were Confederate victories at Big Bethel (Bethel Church, Virginia), First Bull Run (First Manassas) in Virginia July and in August, Wilson’s Creek (Oak Hills) in Missouri. At all three, Confederate forces could not follow up their victory due to inadequate supply and shortages of fresh troops to exploit their successes. Following each battle, Federals maintained a military presence and occupied Washington, DC; Fort Monroe, Virginia; and Springfield, Missouri. Both North and South began training up armies for major fighting the next year.[186] Union General George B. McClellan’s forces gained possession of much of northwestern Virginia in mid-1861, concentrating on towns and roads; the interior was too large to control and became the center of guerrilla activity.[187][188] General Robert E. Lee was defeated at Cheat Mountain in September and no serious Confederate advance in western Virginia occurred until the next year.

Meanwhile, the Union Navy seized control of much of the Confederate coastline from Virginia to South Carolina. It took over plantations and the abandoned slaves. Federals there began a war-long policy of burning grain supplies up rivers into the interior wherever they could not occupy.[189] The Union Navy began a blockade of the major southern ports and prepared an invasion of Louisiana to capture New Orleans in early 1862.

Incursions: 1862

The victories of 1861 were followed by a series of defeats east and west in early 1862. To restore the Union by military force, the Federal strategy was to (1) secure the Mississippi River, (2) seize or close Confederate ports, and (3) march on Richmond. To secure independence, the Confederate intent was to (1) repel the invader on all fronts, costing him blood and treasure, and (2) carry the war into the North by two offensives in time to affect the mid-term elections.

General Burnside halted at the bridge. Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg)
Burying Union dead. Antietam, Maryland[190]

Much of northwestern Virginia was under Federal control.[191]
In February and March, most of Missouri and Kentucky were Union “occupied, consolidated, and used as staging areas for advances further South”. Following the repulse of Confederate counter-attack at the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, permanent Federal occupation expanded west, south and east.[192] Confederate forces repositioned south along the Mississippi River to Memphis, Tennessee, where at the naval Battle of Memphis, its River Defense Fleet was sunk. Confederates withdrew from northern Mississippi and northern Alabama. New Orleans was captured April 29 by a combined Army-Navy force under U.S. Admiral David Farragut, and the Confederacy lost control of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It had to concede extensive agricultural resources that had supported the Union’s sea-supplied logistics base.[193]

Although Confederates had suffered major reverses everywhere, as of the end of April the Confederacy still controlled territory holding 72% of its population.[194] Federal forces disrupted Missouri and Arkansas; they had broken through in western Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Louisiana. Along the Confederacy’s shores, Union forces had closed ports and made garrisoned lodgments on every coastal Confederate state except Alabama and Texas.[195] Although scholars sometimes assess the Union blockade as ineffectual under international law until the last few months of the war, from the first months it disrupted Confederate privateers, making it “almost impossible to bring their prizes into Confederate ports”.[196] British firms developed small fleets of blockade running companies, such as John Fraser and Company, and the Ordnance Department secured its own blockade runners for dedicated munitions cargoes.[197]

CSS Virginia at Hampton Roads, (Monitor and Merrimac) nearby destroyed Union warship
CSS Alabama off Cherbourg, location of the only cruiser engagement

During the Civil War fleets of armored warships were deployed for the first time in sustained blockades at sea. After some success against the Union blockade, in March the ironclad CSS Virginia was forced into port and burned by Confederates at their retreat. Despite several attempts mounted from their port cities, CSA naval forces were unable to break the Union blockade. Attempts were made by Commodore Josiah Tattnall’s ironclads from Savannah in 1862 with the CSS Atlanta.[198] Secretary of the Navy Stephen Mallory placed his hopes in a European-built ironclad fleet, but they were never realized. On the other hand, four new English-built commerce raiders served the Confederacy, and several fast blockade runners were sold in Confederate ports. They were converted into commerce-raiding cruisers, and manned by their British crews.[199]

In the east, Union forces could not close on Richmond. General McClellan landed his army on the Lower Peninsula of Virginia. Lee subsequently ended that threat from the east, then Union General John Pope attacked overland from the north only to be repulsed at Second Bull Run (Second Manassas). Lee’s strike north was turned back at Antietam MD, then Union Major General Ambrose Burnside’s offensive was disastrously ended at Fredericksburg VA in December. Both armies then turned to winter quarters to recruit and train for the coming spring.[200]

In an attempt to seize the initiative, reprovision, protect farms in mid-growing season and influence U.S. Congressional elections, two major Confederate incursions into Union territory had been launched in August and September 1862. Both Braxton Bragg’s invasion of Kentucky and Lee’s invasion of Maryland were decisively repulsed, leaving Confederates in control of but 63% of its population.[194] Civil War scholar Allan Nevins argues that 1862 was the strategic high-water mark of the Confederacy.[201] The failures of the two invasions were attributed to the same irrecoverable shortcomings: lack of manpower at the front, lack of supplies including serviceable shoes, and exhaustion after long marches without adequate food.[202] Also in September Confederate General William W. Loring pushed Federal forces from Charleston, Virginia, and the Kanawha Valley in western Virginia, but lacking re-inforcements Loring abandoned his position and by November the region was back in Federal control.[203][204]

Anaconda: 1863–64

The failed Middle Tennessee campaign was ended January 2, 1863, at the inconclusive Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro), both sides losing the largest percentage of casualties suffered during the war. It was followed by another strategic withdrawal by Confederate forces.[205] The Confederacy won a significant victory April 1863, repulsing the Federal advance on Richmond at Chancellorsville, but the Union consolidated positions along the Virginia coast and the Chesapeake Bay.

Bombardment of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Federal gunboats controlled rivers
Closing of Mobile Bay, Alabama. The Union blockade ended trade with the Confederate states.

Without an effective answer to Federal gunboats, river transport and supply, the Confederacy lost the Mississippi River following the capture of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and Port Hudson in July, ending Southern access to the trans-Mississippi West. July brought short-lived counters, Morgan’s Raid into Ohio and the New York City draft riots. Robert E. Lee’s strike into Pennsylvania was repulsed at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania despite Pickett’s famous charge and other acts of valor. Southern newspapers assessed the campaign as “The Confederates did not gain a victory, neither did the enemy.”

September and November left Confederates yielding Chattanooga, Tennessee, the gateway to the lower south.[206] For the remainder of the war fighting was restricted inside the South, resulting in a slow but continuous loss of territory. In early 1864, the Confederacy still controlled 53% of its population, but it withdrew further to reestablish defensive positions. Union offensives continued with Sherman’s March to the Sea to take Savannah and Grant’s Wilderness Campaign to encircle Richmond and besiege Lee’s army at Petersburg.[207]

In April 1863, the C.S. Congress authorized a uniformed Volunteer Navy, many of whom were British.[208] Wilmington and Charleston had more shipping while “blockaded” than before the beginning of hostilities.[209] The Confederacy had altogether eighteen commerce destroying cruisers, which seriously disrupted Federal commerce at sea and increased shipping insurance rates 900%.[210] Commodore Tattnall unsuccessfully attempted to break the Union blockade on the Savannah River in Georgia with an ironclad again in 1863.[211] Beginning in April 1864 the ironclad CSS Albemarle engaged Union gunboats and sank or cleared them for six months on the Roanoke River North Carolina.[212] The Federals closed Mobile Bay by sea-based amphibious assault in August, ending Gulf coast trade east of the Mississippi River. In December, the Battle of Nashville ended Confederate operations in the western theater.

Large numbers of families relocated to safer places, usually remote rural areas, bringing along household slaves if they had any. Mary Massey argues these elite exiles introduced an element of defeatism into the southern outlook.[213]

Collapse: 1865

The first three months of 1865 saw the Federal Carolinas Campaign, devastating a wide swath of the remaining Confederate heartland. The “breadbasket of the Confederacy” in the Great Valley of Virginia was occupied by Philip Sheridan. The Union Blockade captured Fort Fisher NC, and Sherman finally took Charleston SC by land attack.[193]

Armory, Richmond, Virginia. Fires denied advancing Federals
Appomattox courthouse, site of “the Surrender”

The Confederacy controlled no ports, harbors or navigable rivers. Railroads were captured or had ceased operating. Its major food producing regions had been war-ravaged or occupied. Its administration survived in only three pockets of territory holding one-third its population. Its armies were defeated or disbanding. At the February 1865 Hampton Roads Conference with Lincoln, senior Confederate officials rejected his invitation to restore the Union with compensation for emancipated slaves.[193] The three pockets of unoccupied Confederacy were southern Virginia-North Carolina, central Alabama-Florida, and Texas, the latter two areas less from any notion of resistance than from the disinterest of Federal forces to occupy them.[214] The Davis policy was independence or nothing, while Lee’s army was wracked by disease and desertion, barely holding the trenches defending Jefferson Davis’ capital.

The Confederacy’s last remaining blockade-running port, Wilmington, North Carolina, was lost. When the Union broke through Lee’s lines at Petersburg, Richmond fell immediately. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, 1865. “The Surrender” marked the end of the Confederacy.[215]
The CSS Stonewall sailed from Europe to break the Union blockade in March; on making Havana, Cuba it surrendered. Some high officials escaped to Europe, but President Davis was captured May 10; all remaining Confederate land forces surrendered by June 1865. The U.S. Army took control of the Confederate areas without post-surrender insurgency or guerrilla warfare against them, but peace was subsequently marred by a great deal of local violence, feuding and revenge killings.[216] The last confederate military unit, the commerce raider CSS Shenandoah, surrendered on November 6, 1865 in Liverpool.[217]

Historian Gary Gallagher concluded that the Confederacy capitulated in early 1865 because northern armies crushed “organized southern military resistance”. The Confederacy’s population, soldier and civilian, had suffered material hardship and social disruption. They had expended and extracted a profusion of blood and treasure until collapse; “the end had come”.[218] Jefferson Davis’ assessment in 1890 determined, “With the capture of the capital, the dispersion of the civil authorities, the surrender of the armies in the field, and the arrest of the President, the Confederate States of America disappeared … their history henceforth became a part of the history of the United States.”[219]

Postwar history

Amnesty and treason issue

When the war ended over 14,000 Confederates petitioned President Johnson for a pardon; he was generous in giving them out.[220] He issued a general amnesty to all Confederate participants in the “late Civil War” in 1868.[221] Congress passed additional Amnesty Acts in May 1866 with restrictions on office holding, and the Amnesty Act in May 1872 lifting those restrictions. There was a great deal of discussion in 1865 about bringing treason trials, especially against Jefferson Davis. There was no consensus in President Johnson’s cabinet and there were no treason trials against anyone. In the case of Davis there was a strong possibility of acquittal which would have been humiliating for the government.[222]

Davis was indicted for treason but never tried; he was released from prison on bail in May 1867. The amnesty of December 25, 1868, by President Johnson eliminated any possibility of Jefferson Davis (or anyone else associated with the Confederacy) standing trial for treason.[223][224][225]

Henry Wirz, the commandant of a notorious prisoner-of-war camp near Andersonville, Georgia, was tried and convicted by a military court, and executed on November 10, 1865. The charges against him involved conspiracy and cruelty, not treason.

The U.S. government began a decade-long process known as Reconstruction which attempted to resolve the political and constitutional issues of the Civil War. The priorities were: to guarantee that Confederate nationalism and slavery were ended, to ratify and enforce the Thirteenth Amendment which outlawed slavery; the Fourteenth which guaranteed dual U.S. and state citizenship to all native-born residents, regardless of race; and the Fifteenth, which made it illegal to deny the right to vote because of race.[226]

By 1877, the Compromise of 1877 ended Reconstruction in the former Confederate states. Federal troops were withdrawn from the South, where conservative white Southern Democrats had already regained political control of state governments, often through extreme violence and fraud to suppress black voting. Confederate veterans had been temporarily disenfranchised by Reconstruction policy. The prewar South had many rich areas; the war left the entire region economically devastated by military action, ruined infrastructure, and exhausted resources. Continuing to be dependent on an agricultural economy and resisting investment in infrastructure, the region remained dominated by the planter elite into the 20th century. After 1890 the Democratic-dominated legislatures worked to secure their control by passing new constitutions and amendments at the turn of the 20th century that disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites. This exclusion of blacks from the political system, and great weakening of the Republican Party, was generally maintained until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Solid South of the early 20th century was built on white Democratic control of politics. The region did not achieve national levels of prosperity until long after World War II.[227]

Texas v. White

In Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869) the United States Supreme Court ruled – by a 5–3 majority – that Texas had remained a state ever since it first joined the Union, despite claims that it joined the Confederate States of America. In this case, the court held that the Constitution did not permit a state to unilaterally secede from the United States. Further, that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were “absolutely null”, under the Constitution.[228] This case settled the law that applied to all questions regarding state legislation during the war. Furthermore, it decided one of the “central constitutional questions” of the Civil War: The Union is perpetual and indestructible, as a matter of constitutional law. In declaring that no state could leave the Union, “except through revolution or through consent of the States”, it was “explicitly repudiating the position of the Confederate states that the United States was a voluntary compact between sovereign states”.[229]

Theories regarding the Confederacy’s demise

“Died of states’ rights”

Historian Frank Lawrence Owsley argued that the Confederacy “died of states’ rights”.[230][231][232] The central government was denied requisitioned soldiers and money by governors and state legislatures because they feared that Richmond would encroach on the rights of the states. Georgia’s governor Joseph Brown warned of a secret conspiracy by Jefferson Davis to destroy states’ rights and individual liberty. The first conscription act in North America authorizing Davis to draft soldiers was said to be the “essence of military despotism”.[233][234]

Vice President Alexander H. Stephens feared losing the very form of republican government. Allowing President Davis to threaten “arbitrary arrests” to draft hundreds of governor-appointed “bomb-proof” bureaucrats conferred “more power than the English Parliament had ever bestowed on the king. History proved the dangers of such unchecked authority.”[235] The abolishment of draft exemptions for newspaper editors was interpreted as an attempt by the Confederate government to muzzle presses, such as the Raleigh NC Standard, to control elections and to suppress the peace meetings there. As Rable concludes, “For Stephens, the essence of patriotism, the heart of the Confederate cause, rested on an unyielding commitment to traditional rights” without considerations of military necessity, pragmatism or compromise.[235]

In 1863 governor Pendleton Murrah of Texas determined that state troops were required for defense against Plains Indians and Union forces that might attack from Kansas. He refused to send his soldiers to the East.[236] Governor Zebulon Vance of North Carolina showed intense opposition to conscription, limiting recruitment success. Vance’s faith in states’ rights drove him into repeated, stubborn opposition to the Davis administration.[237]

Despite political differences within the Confederacy, no national political parties were formed because they were seen as illegitimate. “Anti-partyism became an article of political faith.”[238] Without a two-party system building alternative sets of national leaders, electoral protests tended to be narrowly state-based, “negative, carping and petty”. The 1863 mid-term elections became mere expressions of futile and frustrated dissatisfaction. According to historian David M. Potter, this lack of a functioning two-party system caused “real and direct damage” to the Confederate war effort since it prevented the formulation of any effective alternatives to the conduct of the war by the Davis administration.[239]

“Died of Davis”

The enemies of President Davis proposed that the Confederacy “died of Davis”. He was unfavorably compared to George Washington by critics such as Edward Alfred Pollard, editor of the most influential newspaper the Richmond Examiner. Coulter summarizes, “The American Revolution had its Washington; the Southern Revolution had its Davis … one succeeded and the other failed.” Beyond the early honeymoon period, Davis was never popular. He unwittingly caused much internal dissension from early on. His ill health and temporary bouts of blindness disabled him for days at a time.[240]

Coulter says Davis was heroic and his will was indomitable. But his “tenacity, determination, and will power” stirred up lasting opposition of enemies Davis could not shake. He failed to overcome “petty leaders of the states” who made the term “Confederacy” into a label for tyranny and oppression, denying the “Stars and Bars” from becoming a symbol of larger patriotic service and sacrifice. Instead of campaigning to develop nationalism and gain support for his administration, he rarely courted public opinion, assuming an aloofness, “almost like an Adams”.[240]

Escott argues that Davis was unable to mobilize Confederate nationalism in support of his government effectively, and especially failed to appeal to the small farmers who comprised the bulk of the population. In addition to the problems caused by states rights, Escott also emphasizes that the widespread opposition to any strong central government combined with the vast difference in wealth between the slave-owning class and the small farmers created insolvable dilemmas when the Confederate survival presupposed a strong central government backed by a united populace. The prewar claim that white solidarity was necessary to provide a unified Southern voice in Washington no longer held. Davis failed to build a network of supporters who would speak up when he came under criticism, and he repeatedly alienated governors and other state-based leaders by demanding centralized control of the war effort.[241]

Davis was not an efficient administrator. He attended to too many details. He protected his friends after their failures were obvious. He spent too much time on military affairs versus his civic responsibilities. Coulter concludes he was not the ideal leader for the Southern Revolution, but he showed “fewer weaknesses than any other” contemporary character available for the role.[242]Robert E. Lee’s assessment of Davis as President was, “I knew of none that could have done as well.”[243]

Government and politics

Political divisions


The Southern leaders met in Montgomery, Alabama, to write their constitution. Much of the Confederate States Constitution replicated the United States Constitution verbatim, but it contained several explicit protections of the institution of slavery including provisions for the recognition and protection of slavery in any territory of the Confederacy. It maintained the ban on international slave-trading while protecting the existing internal trade of slaves among slaveholding states.

In certain areas, the Confederate Constitution gave greater powers to the states (or curtailed the powers of the central government more) than the U.S. Constitution of the time did, but in other areas, the states lost rights they had under the U.S. Constitution. Although the Confederate Constitution, like the U.S. Constitution, contained a commerce clause, the Confederate version prohibited the central government from using revenues collected in one state for funding internal improvements in another state. The Confederate Constitution’s equivalent to the U.S. Constitution’s general welfare clause prohibited protective tariffs (but allowed tariffs for providing domestic revenue), and spoke of “carry[ing] on the Government of the Confederate States” rather than providing for the “general welfare”. State legislatures had the power to impeach officials of the Confederate government in some cases. On the other hand, the Confederate Constitution contained a Necessary and Proper Clause and a Supremacy Clause that essentially duplicated the respective clauses of the U.S. Constitution. The Confederate Constitution also incorporated each of the 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution that had been ratified up to that point.

The Confederate Constitution did not specifically include a provision allowing states to secede; the Preamble spoke of each state “acting in its sovereign and independent character” but also of the formation of a “permanent federal government”. During the debates on drafting the Confederate Constitution, one proposal would have allowed states to secede from the Confederacy. The proposal was tabled with only the South Carolina delegates voting in favor of considering the motion.[244] The Confederate Constitution also explicitly denied States the power to bar slaveholders from other parts of the Confederacy from bringing their slaves into any state of the Confederacy or to interfere with the property rights of slave owners traveling between different parts of the Confederacy. In contrast with the language of the United States Constitution, the Confederate Constitution overtly asked God’s blessing (“… invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God …”).


The Montgomery Convention to establish the Confederacy and its executive met on February 4, 1861. Each state as a sovereignty had one vote, with the same delegation size as it held in the U.S. Congress, and generally 41 to 50 members attended.[245] Offices were “provisional”, limited to a term not to exceed one year. One name was placed in nomination for president, one for vice president. Both were elected unanimously, 6–0.[246]

Jefferson Davis
President 1861–65

Jefferson Davis was elected provisional president. His U.S. Senate resignation speech greatly impressed with its clear rationale for secession and his pleading for a peaceful departure from the Union to independence. Although he had made it known that he wanted to be commander-in-chief of the Confederate armies, when elected, he assumed the office of Provisional President. Three candidates for provisional Vice President were under consideration the night before the February 9 election. All were from Georgia, and the various delegations meeting in different places determined two would not do, so Alexander H. Stephens was elected unanimously provisional Vice President, though with some privately held reservations. Stephens was inaugurated February 11, Davis February 18.[247]

Davis and Stephens were elected President and Vice President, unopposed on November 6, 1861. They were inaugurated on February 22, 1862.

Historian E. M. Coulter observed, “No president of the U.S. ever had a more difficult task.” Washington was inaugurated in peacetime. Lincoln inherited an established government of long standing. The creation of the Confederacy was accomplished by men who saw themselves as fundamentally conservative. Although they referred to their “Revolution”, it was in their eyes more a counter-revolution against changes away from their understanding of U.S. founding documents. In Davis’ inauguration speech, he explained the Confederacy was not a French-like revolution, but a transfer of rule. The Montgomery Convention had assumed all the laws of the United States until superseded by the Confederate Congress.[248]

The Permanent Constitution provided for a President of the Confederate States of America, elected to serve a six-year term but without the possibility of re-election. Unlike the United States Constitution, the Confederate Constitution gave the president the ability to subject a bill to a line item veto, a power also held by some state governors.

The Confederate Congress could overturn either the general or the line item vetoes with the same two-thirds votes required in the U.S. Congress. In addition, appropriations not specifically requested by the executive branch required passage by a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress. The only person to serve as president was Jefferson Davis, due to the Confederacy being defeated before the completion of his term.

Administration and cabinet

The Davis Cabinet
President Jefferson Davis 1861–65
Vice President Alexander H. Stephens 1861–65
Secretary of State Robert Toombs 1861
Robert M.T. Hunter 1861–62
Judah P. Benjamin 1862–65
Secretary of the Treasury Christopher Memminger 1861–64
George Trenholm 1864–65
John H. Reagan 1865
Secretary of War Leroy Pope Walker 1861
Judah P. Benjamin 1861–62
George W. Randolph 1862
James Seddon 1862–65
John C. Breckinridge 1865
Secretary of the Navy Stephen Mallory 1861–65
Postmaster General John H. Reagan 1861–65
Attorney General Judah P. Benjamin 1861
Thomas Bragg 1861–62
Thomas H. Watts 1862–63
George Davis 1864–65

Davis’s cabinet in 1861, Montgomery, Alabama
Front row, left to right: Judah P. Benjamin, Stephen Mallory, Alexander H. Stephens, Jefferson Davis, John Henninger Reagan, and Robert Toombs
Back row, standing left to right: Christopher Memminger and LeRoy Pope Walker
Illustration printed in Harper’s Weekly


Provisional Congress, Montgomery, Alabama

The only two “formal, national, functioning, civilian administrative bodies” in the Civil War South were the Jefferson Davis administration and the Confederate Congresses. The Confederacy was begun by the Provisional Congress in Convention at Montgomery, Alabama on February 28, 1861. It had one vote per state in a unicameral assembly.[249]

The Permanent Confederate Congress was elected and began its first session February 18, 1862. The Permanent Congress for the Confederacy followed the United States forms with a bicameral legislature. The Senate had two per state, twenty-six Senators. The House numbered 106 representatives apportioned by free and slave populations within each state. Two Congresses sat in six sessions until March 18, 1865.[250]

The political influences of the civilian, soldier vote and appointed representatives reflected divisions of political geography of a diverse South. These in turn changed over time relative to Union occupation and disruption, the war impact on local economy, and the course of the war. Without political parties, key candidate identification related to adopting secession before or after Lincoln’s call for volunteers to retake Federal property. Previous party affiliation played a part in voter selection, predominantly secessionist Democrat or unionist Whig.[251]

The absence of political parties made individual roll call voting all the more important, as the Confederate “freedom of roll-call voting [was] unprecedented in American legislative history.[252] Key issues throughout the life of the Confederacy related to (1) suspension of habeas corpus, (2) military concerns such as control of state militia, conscription and exemption, (3) economic and fiscal policy including impressment of slaves, goods and scorched earth, and (4) support of the Jefferson Davis administration in its foreign affairs and negotiating peace.[253]


The Confederate Constitution outlined a judicial branch of the government, but the ongoing war and resistance from states-rights advocates, particularly on the question of whether it would have appellate jurisdiction over the state courts, prevented the creation or seating of the “Supreme Court of the Confederate States;” the state courts generally continued to operate as they had done, simply recognizing the Confederate States as the national government.[254]

Confederate district courts were authorized by Article III, Section 1, of the Confederate Constitution,[255] and President Davis appointed judges within the individual states of the Confederate States of America.[256] In many cases, the same US Federal District Judges were appointed as Confederate States District Judges. Confederate district courts began reopening in early 1861, handling many of the same type cases as had been done before. Prize cases, in which Union ships were captured by the Confederate Navy or raiders and sold through court proceedings, were heard until the blockade of southern ports made this impossible. After a Sequestration Act was passed by the Confederate Congress, the Confederate district courts heard many cases in which enemy aliens (typically Northern absentee landlords owning property in the South) had their property sequestered (seized) by Confederate Receivers.

When the matter came before the Confederate court, the property owner could not appear because he was unable to travel across the front lines between Union and Confederate forces. Thus, the District Attorney won the case by default, the property was typically sold, and the money used to further the Southern war effort. Eventually, because there was no Confederate Supreme Court, sharp attorneys like South Carolina’s Edward McCrady began filing appeals. This prevented their clients’ property from being sold until a supreme court could be constituted to hear the appeal, which never occurred.[256] Where Federal troops gained control over parts of the Confederacy and re-established civilian government, US district courts sometimes resumed jurisdiction.[257]

Supreme Court – not established.

District Courts – judges

Post Office

When the Confederacy was formed and its seceding states broke from the Union, it was at once confronted with the arduous task of providing its citizens with a mail delivery system, and, in the midst of the American Civil War, the newly formed Confederacy created and established the Confederate Post Office. One of the first undertakings in establishing the Post Office was the appointment of John H. Reagan to the position of Postmaster General, by Jefferson Davis in 1861, making him the first Postmaster General of the Confederate Post Office as well as a member of Davis’ presidential cabinet. Through Reagan’s resourcefulness and remarkable industry, he had his department assembled, organized and in operation before the other Presidential cabinet members had their departments fully operational.[258][259]

When the war began, the US Post Office still delivered mail from the secessionist states for a brief period of time. Mail that was postmarked after the date of a state’s admission into the Confederacy through May 31, 1861, and bearing US postage was still delivered.[260] After this time, private express companies still managed to carry some of the mail across enemy lines. Later, mail that crossed lines had to be sent by ‘Flag of Truce’ and was allowed to pass at only two specific points. Mail sent from the South to the North states was received, opened and inspected at Fortress Monroe on the Virginia coast before being passed on into the U.S. mail stream. Mail sent from the North to the South passed at City Point, also in Virginia, where it was also inspected before being sent on.[261][262]

With the chaos of the war, a working postal system was more important than ever for the Confederacy. The Civil War had divided family members and friends and consequently letter writing increased dramatically across the entire divided nation, especially to and from the men who were away serving in an army. Mail delivery was also important for the Confederacy for a myriad of business and military reasons. Because of the Union blockade, basic supplies were always in demand and so getting mailed correspondence out of the country to suppliers was imperative to the successful operation of the Confederacy. Volumes of material have been written about the Blockade runners who evaded Union ships on blockade patrol, usually at night, and who moved cargo and mail in and out of the Confederate States throughout the course of the war. Of particular interest to students and historians of the American Civil War is Prisoner of War mail and Blockade mail as these items were often involved with a variety of military and other war time activities. The postal history of the Confederacy along with surviving Confederate mail has helped historians document the various people, places and events that were involved in the American Civil War as it unfolded.[263]

Civil liberties

The Confederacy actively used the army to arrest people suspected of loyalty to the United States. Historian Mark Neely found 4,108 names of men arrested and estimated a much larger total.[264] The Confederacy arrested pro-Union civilians in the South at about the same rate as the Union arrested pro-Confederate civilians in the North.[265] Neely argues:

The Confederate citizen was not any freer than the Union citizen – and perhaps no less likely to be arrested by military authorities. In fact, the Confederate citizen may have been in some ways less free than his Northern counterpart. For example, freedom to travel within the Confederate states was severely limited by a domestic passport system.[266]



Across the South, widespread rumors alarmed the whites by predicting the slaves were planning some sort of insurrection. Patrols were stepped up. The slaves did become increasingly independent, and resistant to punishment, but historians agree there were no insurrections. In the invaded areas, insubordination was more the norm than loyalty to the old master; Bell Wiley says, “It was not disloyalty, but the lure of freedom.” Many slaves became spies for the North, and large numbers ran away to federal lines.[267]

Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, an executive order of the U.S. government on January 1, 1863, changed the legal status of 3 million slaves in designated areas of the Confederacy from “slave” to “free”. The long-term effect was that the Confederacy could not preserve the institution of slavery, and lost the use of the core element of its plantation labor force. Slaves were legally freed by the Proclamation, and became free by escaping to federal lines, or by advances of federal troops. Many freed slaves served as volunteers in the federal army as teamsters, cooks, laundresses and laborers, and eventually as soldiers.[268] Plantation owners, realizing that emancipation would destroy their economic system, sometimes moved their slaves as far as possible out of reach of the Union army.[269] By “Juneteenth” (June 19, 1865, in Texas), the Union Army controlled all of the Confederacy and had liberated all its slaves. Their owners never received compensation.[270][271]

Political economy

Most whites were subsistence farmers who traded their surpluses locally. The plantations of the South, with white ownership and an enslaved labor force, produced substantial wealth from cash crops. It supplied two-thirds of the world’s cotton, which was in high demand for textiles, along with tobacco, sugar, and naval stores (such as turpentine). These raw materials were exported to factories in Europe and the Northeast. Planters reinvested their profits in more slaves and fresh land, for cotton and tobacco depleted the soil. There was little manufacturing or mining; shipping was controlled by outsiders.[272][273]

New Orleans. South’s largest port city, only pre-war population over 100,000. Port and region’s agriculture lost to Union April 1862
Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond VA. South’s largest factory. Ended locomotive production in 1860 to make arms and munitions

The plantations that enslaved over three million black people were the principal source of wealth. Most were concentrated in “black belt” plantation areas (because few white families in the poor regions owned slaves.) For decades there had been widespread fear of slave revolts. During the war extra men were assigned to “home guard” patrol duty and governors sought to keep militia units at home for protection. Historian William Barney reports, “no major slave revolts erupted during the Civil War.” Nevertheless, slaves took the opportunity to enlarge their sphere of independence, and when union forces were nearby, many ran off to join them.[274][275]

Slave labor was applied in industry in a limited way in the Upper South and in a few port cities. One reason for the regional lag in industrial development was top-heavy income distribution. Mass production requires mass markets, and slaves living in small cabins, using self-made tools and outfitted with one suit of work clothes each year of inferior fabric, did not generate consumer demand to sustain local manufactures of any description in the same way a mechanized family farm of free labor did in the North. The Southern economy was “pre-capitalist” in that slaves were put to work in the largest revenue-producing enterprises, not free labor market. That labor system as practiced in the American South encompassed paternalism, whether abusive or indulgent, and that meant labor management considerations apart from productivity.[276]

Approximately 85% of both North and South white populations lived on family farms, both regions were predominantly agricultural, and mid-century industry in both was mostly domestic. But the Southern economy was pre-capitalist in its overwhelming reliance on the agriculture of cash crops to produce wealth, while the great majority of farmers fed themselves and supplied a small local market. Southern cities and industries grew faster than ever before, but the thrust of the rest of the country’s exponential growth elsewhere was toward urban industrial development along transportation systems of canals and railroads. The South was following the dominant currents of the American economic mainstream, but at a “great distance” as it lagged in the all-weather modes of transportation that brought cheaper, speedier freight shipment and forged new, expanding inter-regional markets.[277]

A third count of southern pre-capitalist economy relates to the cultural setting. The South and southerners did not adopt a work ethic, nor the habits of thrift that marked the rest of the country. It had access to the tools of capitalism, but it did not adopt its culture. The Southern Cause as a national economy in the Confederacy was grounded in “slavery and race, planters and patricians, plain folk and folk culture, cotton and plantations”.[278]

National production

The Union had large advantages in men and resources at the start of the war; the ratio grew steadily in favor of the Union

The Confederacy started its existence as an agrarian economy with exports, to a world market, of cotton, and, to a lesser extent, tobacco and sugarcane. Local food production included grains, hogs, cattle, and gardens. The cash came from exports but the Southern people spontaneously stopped exports in early 1861 to hasten the impact of “King Cotton”. When the blockade was announced, commercial shipping practically ended (the ships could not get insurance), and only a trickle of supplies came via blockade runners. The cutoff of exports was an economic disaster for the South, rendering useless its most valuable properties, its plantations and their enslaved workers. Many planters kept growing cotton, which piled up everywhere, but most turned to food production. All across the region, the lack of repair and maintenance wasted away the physical assets.

The eleven states had produced $155 million in manufactured goods in 1860, chiefly from local grist-mills, and lumber, processed tobacco, cotton goods and naval stores such as turpentine. The main industrial areas were border cities such as Baltimore, Wheeling, Louisville and St. Louis, that were never under Confederate control. The government did set up munitions factories in the Deep South. Combined with captured munitions and those coming via blockade runners, the armies were kept minimally supplied with weapons. The soldiers suffered from reduced rations, lack of medicines, and the growing shortages of uniforms, shoes and boots. Shortages were much worse for civilians, and the prices of necessities steadily rose.[279]

The Confederacy adopted a tariff or tax on imports of 15%, and imposed it on all imports from other countries, including the United States.[280] The tariff mattered little; the Union blockade minimized commercial traffic through the Confederacy’s ports, and very few people paid taxes on goods smuggled from the North. The Confederate government in its entire history collected only $3.5 million in tariff revenue. The lack of adequate financial resources led the Confederacy to finance the war through printing money, which led to high inflation. The Confederacy underwent an economic revolution by centralization and standardization, but it was too little too late as its economy was systematically strangled by blockade and raids.[281]

Transportation systems

Main railroads of Confederacy, 1861; colors show the different gauges (track width); the top railroad shown in the upper right is the Baltimore and Ohio, which was at all times a Union railroad

Passers-by abusing the bodies of Union supporters near Knoxville, Tennessee. The two were hanged by Confederate authorities near the railroad tracks so passing train passengers could see them.

In peacetime, the South’s extensive and connected systems of navigable rivers and coastal access allowed for cheap and easy transportation of agricultural products. The railroad system in the South had developed as a supplement to the navigable rivers to enhance the all-weather shipment of cash crops to market. Railroads tied plantation areas to the nearest river or seaport and so made supply more dependable, lowered costs and increased profits. In the event of invasion, the vast geography of the Confederacy made logistics difficult for the Union. Wherever Union armies invaded, they assigned many of their soldiers to garrison captured areas and to protect rail lines.

At the onset of the Civil War the South had a rail network disjointed and plagued by changes in track gauge as well as lack of interchange. Locomotives and freight cars had fixed axles and could not use tracks of different gauges (widths). Railroads of different gauges leading to the same city required all freight to be off-loaded onto wagons for transport to the connecting railroad station, where it had to await freight cars and a locomotive before proceeding. Centers requiring off-loading included Vicksburg, New Orleans, Montgomery, Wilmington and Richmond.[282] In addition, most rail lines led from coastal or river ports to inland cities, with few lateral railroads. Due to this design limitation, the relatively primitive railroads of the Confederacy were unable to overcome the Union naval blockade of the South’s crucial intra-coastal and river routes.

The Confederacy had no plan to expand, protect or encourage its railroads. Southerners’ refusal to export the cotton crop in 1861 left railroads bereft of their main source of income.[283] Many lines had to lay off employees; many critical skilled technicians and engineers were permanently lost to military service. In the early years of the war the Confederate government had a hands-off approach to the railroads. Only in mid-1863 did the Confederate government initiate a national policy, and it was confined solely to aiding the war effort.[284] Railroads came under the de facto control of the military. In contrast, the U.S. Congress had authorized military administration of Union-controlled railroad and telegraph systems in January 1862, imposed a standard gauge, and built railroads into the South using that gauge. Confederate armies successfully reoccupying territory could not be resupplied directly by rail as they advanced. The C.S. Congress formally authorized military administration of railroads in February 1865.

In the last year before the end of the war, the Confederate railroad system stood permanently on the verge of collapse. There was no new equipment and raids on both sides systematically destroyed key bridges, as well as locomotives and freight cars. Spare parts were cannibalized; feeder lines were torn up to get replacement rails for trunk lines, and rolling stock wore out through heavy use.[285]

Horses and mules

The Confederate army experienced a persistent shortage of horses and mules, and requisitioned them with dubious promissory notes given to local farmers and breeders. Union forces paid in real money and found ready sellers in the South. Both armies needed horses for cavalry and for artillery.[286] Mules pulled the wagons. The supply was undermined by an unprecedented epidemic of glanders, a fatal disease that baffled veterinarians.[287] After 1863 the invading Union forces had a policy of shooting all the local horses and mules they did not need – in order to keep them out of Confederate hands. The Confederate armies and farmers experienced a growing shortage of horses and mules, which hurt the Southern economy and the war effort. The South lost half of its 2.5 million horses and mules; many farmers ended the war with none left. Army horses were used up by hard work, malnourishment, disease and battle wounds; they had a life expectancy of about seven months.[288]

Financial instruments

Both the individual Confederate states and later the Confederate government printed Confederate States of America dollars as paper currency in various denominations, with a total face value of $1.5 billion. Much of it was signed by Treasurer Edward C. Elmore. Inflation became rampant as the paper money depreciated and eventually became worthless. The state governments and some localities printed their own paper money, adding to the runaway inflation.[289] Many bills still exist, although in recent years counterfeit copies have proliferated.

1862 $10 CSA note depicting a vignette of Hope flanked by R.M.T. Hunter (left) and C.G. Memminger (right).

The Confederate government initially wanted to finance its war mostly through tariffs on imports, export taxes, and voluntary donations of gold. After the spontaneous imposition of an embargo on cotton sales to Europe in 1861, these sources of revenue dried up and the Confederacy increasingly turned to issuing debt and printing money to pay for war expenses. The Confederate States politicians were worried about angering the general population with hard taxes. A tax increase might disillusion many Southerners, so the Confederacy resorted to printing more money. As a result, inflation increased and remained a problem for the southern states throughout the rest of the war.[290] By April 1863, for example, the cost of flour in Richmond had risen to $100 a barrel and housewives were rioting.[291]

The Confederate government took over the three national mints: the Charlotte Mint in North Carolina, the Dahlonega Mint in Georgia, and the New Orleans Mint in Louisiana. During 1861, the first two produced small amounts of gold coinage, the latter half dollars. Since the mints used the current dies on hand, these issues remain indistinguishable from those minted by the Union. In New Orleans the Confederacy used its own reverse design to strike four half dollars. US coinage was hoarded and did not have any general circulation. U.S. coinage was admitted as legal tender up to $10, as were British sovereigns, French Napoleons and Spanish and Mexican doubloons at a fixed rate of exchange. Confederate money was paper and postage stamps.[292]

Food shortages and riots

Richmond bread riot, 1863

By mid-1861, the Union naval blockade virtually shut down the export of cotton and the import of manufactured goods. Food that formerly came overland was cut off.

Women had charge of making do. They cut back on purchases, brought out old spinning wheels and enlarged their gardens with flax and peas to provide clothing and food. They used ersatz substitutes when possible, but there was no real coffee and it was hard to develop a taste for the okra or chicory substitutes used. The households were severely hurt by inflation in the cost of everyday items like flour and the shortages of food, fodder for the animals, and medical supplies for the wounded.[293][294]

State governments pleaded with planters to grow less cotton and more food. Most refused. When cotton prices soared in Europe, expectations were that Europe would soon intervene to break the blockade and make them rich.[295] The myth of omnipotent “King Cotton” died hard. The Georgia legislature imposed cotton quotas, making it a crime to grow an excess. But food shortages only worsened, especially in the towns.[296]

The overall decline in food supplies, made worse by the inadequate transportation system, led to serious shortages and high prices in urban areas. When bacon reached a dollar a pound in 1863, the poor women of Richmond, Atlanta and many other cities began to riot; they broke into shops and warehouses to seize food. The women expressed their anger at ineffective state relief efforts, speculators, and merchants. As wives and widows of soldiers they were hurt by the inadequate welfare system.[297][298][299][300]

Devastation by 1865

By the end of the war deterioration of the Southern infrastructure was widespread. The number of civilian deaths is unknown. Every Confederate state was affected, but most of the war was fought in Virginia and Tennessee, while Texas and Florida saw the least military action. Much of the damage was caused by direct military action, but most was caused by lack of repairs and upkeep, and by deliberately using up resources. Historians have recently estimated how much of the devastation was caused by military action. Paul Paskoff calculates that Union military operations were conducted in 56% of 645 counties in nine Confederate states (excluding Texas and Florida). These counties contained 63% of the 1860 white population and 64% of the slaves. By the time the fighting took place, undoubtedly some people had fled to safer areas, so the exact population exposed to war is unknown.[301]

The eleven Confederate States in the 1860 United States Census had 297 towns and cities with 835,000 people; of these 162 with 681,000 people were at one point occupied by Union forces. Eleven were destroyed or severely damaged by war action, including Atlanta (with an 1860 population of 9,600), Charleston, Columbia, and Richmond (with prewar populations of 40,500, 8,100, and 37,900, respectively); the eleven contained 115,900 people in the 1860 census, or 14% of the urban South. Historians have not estimated what their actual population was when Union forces arrived. The number of people (as of 1860) who lived in the destroyed towns represented just over 1% of the Confederacy’s 1860 population. In addition, 45 court houses were burned (out of 830). The South’s agriculture was not highly mechanized. The value of farm implements and machinery in the 1860 Census was $81 million; by 1870, there was 40% less, worth just $48 million. Many old tools had broken through heavy use; new tools were rarely available; even repairs were difficult.[302]

The economic losses affected everyone. Banks and insurance companies were mostly bankrupt. Confederate currency and bonds were worthless. The billions of dollars invested in slaves vanished. Most debts were also left behind. Most farms were intact but most had lost their horses, mules and cattle; fences and barns were in disrepair. Paskoff shows the loss of farm infrastructure was about the same whether or not fighting took place nearby. The loss of infrastructure and productive capacity meant that rural widows throughout the region faced not only the absence of able-bodied men, but a depleted stock of material resources that they could manage and operate themselves. During four years of warfare, disruption, and blockades, the South used up about half its capital stock. The North, by contrast, absorbed its material losses so effortlessly that it appeared richer at the end of the war than at the beginning.[302]

The rebuilding took years and was hindered by the low price of cotton after the war. Outside investment was essential, especially in railroads. One historian has summarized the collapse of the transportation infrastructure needed for economic recovery:[303]

One of the greatest calamities which confronted Southerners was the havoc wrought on the transportation system. Roads were impassable or nonexistent, and bridges were destroyed or washed away. The important river traffic was at a standstill: levees were broken, channels were blocked, the few steamboats which had not been captured or destroyed were in a state of disrepair, wharves had decayed or were missing, and trained personnel were dead or dispersed. Horses, mules, oxen, carriages, wagons, and carts had nearly all fallen prey at one time or another to the contending armies. The railroads were paralyzed, with most of the companies bankrupt. These lines had been the special target of the enemy. On one stretch of 114 miles in Alabama, every bridge and trestle was destroyed, cross-ties rotten, buildings burned, water-tanks gone, ditches filled up, and tracks grown up in weeds and bushes … Communication centers like Columbia and Atlanta were in ruins; shops and foundries were wrecked or in disrepair. Even those areas bypassed by battle had been pirated for equipment needed on the battlefront, and the wear and tear of wartime usage without adequate repairs or replacements reduced all to a state of disintegration.

Effect on women and families

Confederate memorial tombstone at Natchez City Cemetery in Natchez, Mississippi

About 250,000 men never came home, some 30 percent of all white men aged 18 to 40, in 1860. Widows who were overwhelmed often abandoned the farm and merged into the households of relatives, or even became refugees living in camps with high rates of disease and death.[304] In the Old South, being an “old maid” was something of an embarrassment to the woman and her family. After the war it became almost a norm.[305] Some women welcomed the freedom of not having to marry. Divorce, while never fully accepted, became more common. The concept of the “New Woman” emerged – she was self-sufficient and independent, and stood in sharp contrast to the “Southern Belle” of antebellum lore.[306]

National flags

This Confederate Flag pattern is the one most often thought of as the Confederate Flag today; it was one of many used by the Confederate armed forces. Variations of this design served as the Battle Flag of the Armies of Northern Virginia and Tennessee, and as the Confederate Naval Jack.

The first official flag of the Confederate States of America – called the “Stars and Bars” – originally had seven stars, representing the first seven states that initially formed the Confederacy. As more states joined, more stars were added, until the total was 13 (two stars were added for the divided states of Kentucky and Missouri). During the First Battle of Bull Run, (First Manassas) it sometimes proved difficult to distinguish the Stars and Bars from the Union flag. To rectify the situation, a separate “Battle Flag” was designed for use by troops in the field. Also known as the “Southern Cross”, many variations sprang from the original square configuration. Although it was never officially adopted by the Confederate government, the popularity of the Southern Cross among both soldiers and the civilian population was a primary reason why it was made the main color feature when a new national flag was adopted in 1863. This new standard – known as the “Stainless Banner” – consisted of a lengthened white field area with a Battle Flag canton. This flag too had its problems when used in military operations as, on a windless day, it could easily be mistaken for a flag of truce or surrender. Thus, in 1865, a modified version of the Stainless Banner was adopted. This final national flag of the Confederacy kept the Battle Flag canton, but shortened the white field and added a vertical red bar to the fly end.

Because of its depiction in the 20th-century and popular media, many people consider the rectangular battle flag with the dark blue bars as being synonymous with “the Confederate Flag”, but this flag was never adopted as a Confederate national flag. The “Confederate Flag” has a color scheme similar to the official Battle Flag, but is rectangular, not square. (Its design and shape matches the Naval Jack, but the blue bars are darker.) The “Confederate Flag” is a highly recognizable symbol of the South in the United States today, and continues to be a controversial icon.


Region and climate

The Confederate States of America claimed a total of 2,919 miles (4,698 km) of coastline, thus a large part of its territory lay on the seacoast with level and often sandy or marshy ground. Most of the interior portion consisted of arable farmland, though much was also hilly and mountainous, and the far western territories were deserts. The lower reaches of the Mississippi River bisected the country, with the western half often referred to as the Trans-Mississippi. The highest point (excluding Arizona and New Mexico) was Guadalupe Peak in Texas at 8,750 feet (2,670 m).

Map of the states and territories claimed by the Confederate States of America


Much of the area claimed by the Confederate States of America had a humid subtropical climate with mild winters and long, hot, humid summers. The climate and terrain varied from vast swamps (such as those in Florida and Louisiana) to semi-arid steppes and arid deserts west of longitude 100 degrees west. The subtropical climate made winters mild but allowed infectious diseases to flourish. Consequently, on both sides more soldiers died from disease than were killed in combat,[310] a fact hardly atypical of pre–World War I conflicts.



The United States Census of 1860[311] gives a picture of the overall 1860 population of the areas that joined the Confederacy. Note that population-numbers exclude non-assimilated Indian tribes.

State Total
number of
number of
Total number[312]
% of Free
as % of
Alabama 964,201 435,080 96,603 529,121 33,730 6% 45% 2,690
Arkansas 435,450 111,115 57,244 324,335 11,481 4% 26% 144
Florida 140,424 61,745 15,090 78,679 5,152 7% 44% 932
Georgia 1,057,286 462,198 109,919 595,088 41,084 7% 44% 3,500
Louisiana 708,002 331,726 74,725 376,276 22,033 6% 47% 18,647
Mississippi 791,305 436,631 63,015 354,674 30,943 9% 55% 773
North Carolina 992,622 331,059 125,090 661,563 34,658 5% 33% 30,463
South Carolina 703,708 402,406 58,642 301,302 26,701 9% 57% 9,914
Tennessee 1,109,801 275,719 149,335 834,082 36,844 4% 25% 7,300
Texas 604,215 182,566 76,781 421,649 21,878 5% 30% 355
Virginia 1,596,318 490,865 201,523 1,105,453 52,128 5% 31% 58,042
Total 9,103,332 3,521,110 1,027,967 5,582,222 316,632 6% 39% 132,760

(Figures for Virginia include the future West Virginia.)

Age structure 0–14 years 15–59 years 60 years and over
White males 43% 52% 4%
White females 44% 52% 4%
Male slaves 44% 51% 4%
Female slaves 45% 51% 3%
Free black males 45% 50% 5%
Free black females 40% 54% 6%
Total population 44% 52% 4%

(Rows may not total to 100% due to rounding)

In 1860 the areas that later formed the eleven Confederate States (and including the future West Virginia) had 132,760 (1.46%) free blacks. Males made up 49.2% of the total population and females 50.8% (whites: 48.60% male, 51.40% female; slaves: 50.15% male, 49.85% female; free blacks: 47.43% male, 52.57% female).[314]

Rural and urban population

A Home on the Mississippi, Currier and Ives, 1871

The CSA was overwhelmingly rural land. Few towns had populations of more than 1,000 – the typical county seat had a population of fewer than 500 people. Cities were rare. Of the twenty largest U.S. cities in the 1860 census, only New Orleans lay in Confederate territory[315] – and the Union captured New Orleans in 1862. Only 13 Confederate-controlled cities ranked among the top 100 U.S. cities in 1860, most of them ports whose economic activities vanished or suffered severely in the Union blockade. The population of Richmond swelled after it became the Confederate capital, reaching an estimated 128,000 in 1864.[316] Other Southern cities in the Border slave-holding states such as Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Wheeling (W.Va., formerly Va.), Alexandria, Louisville, and St. Louis never came under the control of the Confederate government.

The cities of the Confederacy included most prominently in order of size of population:

# City 1860 population 1860 U.S. rank Return to U.S. control
1. New Orleans, Louisiana 168,675 6 1862
2. Charleston, South Carolina 40,522 22 1865
3. Richmond, Virginia 37,910 25 1865
4. Mobile, Alabama 29,258 27 1865
5. Memphis, Tennessee 22,623 38 1862
6. Savannah, Georgia 22,619 41 1864
7. Petersburg, Virginia 18,266 50 1865
8. Nashville, Tennessee 16,988 54 1862
9. Norfolk, Virginia 14,620 61 1862
10. Augusta, Georgia 12,493 77 1865
11. Columbus, Georgia 9,621 97 1865
12. Atlanta, Georgia 9,554 99 1864
13. Wilmington, North Carolina 9,553 100 1865

(See also Atlanta in the Civil War, Charleston, South Carolina, in the Civil War, Nashville in the Civil War, New Orleans in the Civil War, Wilmington, North Carolina, in the American Civil War, and Richmond in the Civil War).


St. John’s Episcopal Church in Montgomery, Alabama, established in 1834. The church building was completed in 1855. The Secession Convention of Southern Churches was held here in 1861.

The CSA was overwhelmingly Protestant.[317] Both free and enslaved populations identified with evangelical Protestantism. Baptists and Methodists together formed majorities of both the white and the slave population (see Black church). Freedom of religion and separation of church and state were fully ensured by Confederate laws. Church attendance was very high and chaplains played a major role in the Army.[318]

Most large denominations experienced a North–South split in the prewar era on the issue of slavery. The creation of a new country necessitated independent structures. For example, the Presbyterian Church in the United States split, with much of the new leadership provided by Joseph Ruggles Wilson (father of President Woodrow Wilson). In 1861, he organized the meeting that formed General Assembly of the Southern Presbyterian Church and served as its chief executive for thirty-seven years.[319] Baptists and Methodists both broke off from their Northern coreligionists over the slavery issue, forming the Southern Baptist Convention and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, respectively.[320][321] Elites in the southeast favored the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America, which reluctantly split off the Episcopal Church (USA) in 1861.[322] Other elites were Presbyterians belonging to the 1861-founded Presbyterian Church in the United States. Catholics included an Irish working class element in coastal cities and an old French element in southern Louisiana. Other insignificant and scattered religious populations included Lutherans, the Holiness movement, other Reformed, other Christian fundamentalists, the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement, the Churches of Christ, the Latter-day Saints movement, Adventists, Muslims, Jews, Native American animists, deists and irreligious people.[323][324]

The southern churches met the shortage of Army chaplains by sending missionaries. The Southern Baptists started in 1862 and had a total of 78 missionaries. Presbyterians were even more active with 112 missionaries in January 1865. Other missionaries were funded and supported by the Episcopalians, Methodists, and Lutherans. One result was wave after wave of revivals in the Army.[325]

Military leaders

General Robert E. Lee: for many, the face of the Confederate army

Military leaders of the Confederacy (with their state or country of birth and highest rank)[326] included:

  • Robert E. Lee (Virginia) – General-in-Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States
  • P. G. T. Beauregard (Louisiana) – General
  • Braxton Bragg (North Carolina) – General
  • Samuel Cooper (New York) – General
  • Albert Sidney Johnston (Kentucky) – General
  • Joseph E. Johnston (Virginia) – General
  • Edmund Kirby Smith (Florida) – General
  • Simon Bolivar Buckner, Sr. (Kentucky) – Lieutenant General
  • Jubal Early (Virginia) – Lieutenant General
  • Richard S. Ewell (Virginia) – Lieutenant General
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest (Tennessee) – Lieutenant General
  • Wade Hampton III (South Carolina) – Lieutenant General
  • William J. Hardee (Georgia) – Lieutenant General
  • A. P. Hill (Virginia) – Lieutenant General
  • Theophilus H. Holmes (North Carolina)  – Lieutenant General
  • John Bell Hood (Kentucky) – Lieutenant General (temporary General)
  • Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson (Virginia now West Virginia) – Lieutenant General
  • Stephen D. Lee (South Carolina) – Lieutenant General
  • James Longstreet (South Carolina) – Lieutenant General
  • John C. Pemberton (Pennsylvania) – Lieutenant General
  • Leonidas Polk (North Carolina) – Lieutenant General
  • Alexander P. Stewart (North Carolina) – Lieutenant General
  • Richard Taylor (Kentucky) – Lieutenant General (son of U.S. President Zachary Taylor)
  • Joseph Wheeler (Georgia) – Lieutenant General
  • Richard H. Anderson (South Carolina) – Major General (temporary Lieutenant General)
  • John C. Breckinridge (Kentucky) – Major General, former Vice President of the United States, last Confederate States Secretary of War
  • Patrick Cleburne (Ireland) – Major General
  • John Brown Gordon (Georgia) – Major General
  • Henry Heth (Virginia) – Major General
  • Daniel Harvey Hill (South Carolina) – Major General
  • Edward Johnson (Virginia) – Major General
  • Joseph B. Kershaw (South Carolina) – Major General
  • Fitzhugh Lee (Virginia) – Major General
  • George Washington Custis Lee (Virginia) – Major General
  • William Henry Fitzhugh Lee (Virginia) – Major General
  • William Mahone (Virginia) – Major General
  • George Pickett (Virginia) – Major General
  • Camille Armand Jules Marie, Prince de Polignac (France) – Major General
  • Sterling Price (Missouri) – Major General
  • Stephen Dodson Ramseur (North Carolina) – Major General
  • Thomas L. Rosser (Virginia) – Major General
  • J. E. B. Stuart (Virginia) – Major General
  • Earl Van Dorn (Mississippi) – Major General
  • John A. Wharton (Tennessee) – Major General
  • Edward Porter Alexander (Georgia) – Brigadier General
  • Francis Marion Cockrell (Missouri) – Brigadier General
  • Clement A. Evans (Georgia) – Brigadier General
  • John Hunt Morgan (Kentucky) – Brigadier General
  • William N. Pendleton (Virginia) – Brigadier General
  • Stand Watie (Georgia) – Brigadier General (last to surrender)
  • Lawrence Sullivan Ross (Texas) – Brigadier General
  • John S. Mosby, the “Grey Ghost of the Confederacy” (Virginia) – Colonel
  • Franklin Buchanan (Maryland) – Admiral
  • Raphael Semmes (Maryland) – Rear Admiral

See also

  • History of the Southern United States
  • Congress of the Confederate States of America
  • President of the Confederate States of America
  • Cabinet of the Confederate States of America
  • Confederate war finance
  • Confederate States Army
  • Confederate Patent Office
  • Confederate postage stamps and postal history
  • Confederate Seal
  • Confederate Flag
  • List of treaties of the Confederate States of America
  • Prisoner of war camps
  • List of Confederate arms manufacturers
  • List of Confederate arsenals and armories
  • Confederados
  • Confederate colonies
  • Golden Circle (proposed country)
  • C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America 2004 film
  • Commemoration of the American Civil War
  • Commemoration of the American Civil War on postage stamps
  • List of Confederate monuments
  • National Civil War Naval Museum


  1. ^ ab “Preventing Diplomatic Recognition of the Confederacy, 1861–65”. U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on August 28, cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  2. ^ ab Arrington, Benjamin P. “Industry and Economy during the Civil War”. National Park Service. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  3. ^ McPherson, James M. (2007). This mighty scourge: perspectives on the Civil War. Oxford University Press US. p. 65. ISBN 9780198042761.
  4. ^ Thomas, Emory M. The Confederate Nation, 1861–1865 (1979) pp. 256–257.
  5. ^ “Learn – Civil War Trust” (PDF). Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  6. ^ Hacker, J. David (2011-09-20). “Recounting the Dead”. Opinionator. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  7. ^ Davis, Jefferson (1890). Short History of the Confederate States of America. p. 503. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  8. ^ ab David R. Zimring, “‘Secession in Favor of the Constitution’: How West Virginia Justified Separate Statehood during the Civil War.” West Virginia History 3.2 (2009): 23–51. online
  9. ^ Martis, Kenneth C., op. cit., 1994, pp. 43–53.
  10. ^ Burke Davis, Sherman’s march (2016) ch 1.
  11. ^ Weigley (2000), p. 453.
  12. ^ Laurence F. Jones; Edward C. Olson (1996). Political Science Research: A Handbook of Scope and Methods. HarperCollins College Publishers. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-06-501637-6. Then, in the buildup to the Civil War, large numbers of Americans began thinking of themselves as something other than American, for example, southerners.
  13. ^ Emory M. Thomas (1 February 2011). The Confederate Nation: 1861 to 1865. HarperCollins. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-06-206946-7.
  14. ^ Thomas. The Confederate Nation. pp. 3–4.
  15. ^ Thomas. The Confederate Nation. pp. 4–5 and notes.
  16. ^ Coski, John M. (2005). The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Emblem. pp. 23–27. ISBN 978-067402986-6.
  17. ^ “1860 Presidential General Election Results”. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  18. ^ The first six signatory states establishing the Confederacy counted about one-fourth its population. They voted 43% for pro-Union candidates. The four states which entered after the attack on Fort Sumter held almost half the population of the Confederacy and voted 53% for pro-Union candidates. The three big turnout states voted extremes. Texas, with 5% of the population, voted 20% for pro-Union candidates. Kentucky and Missouri, with one-fourth the Confederate population, voted a combined 68% for the pro-Union Lincoln, Douglas and Bell. See Table of election returns at United States presidential election, 1860.
  19. ^ ab “Reluctant Confederates”. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  20. ^ Coulter, E. Merton (1950). The Confederate States of America 1861–1865. p. 61.
  21. ^ Craven, Avery O. The Growth of Southern Nationalism 1848–1861. p. 390.
  22. ^ ab Craven, Avery O., The Growth of Southern Nationalism. 1848–1861 (1953). p. 350
  23. ^ Freehling, William W. (1990). The Road to Disunion: Volume II, Secessionists Triumphant. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 398.
  24. ^ Craven. The Growth of Southern Nationalism. p. 366.
  25. ^ McPherson. pp. 232–233.
  26. ^ Faust, Drew Gilpin (1988). The Creation of Confederate Nationalism: Ideology and Identity in the Civil War South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.
  27. ^ Murrin, John (2001). Liberty, Equality, Power. p. 1000.
  28. ^ Emory M. Thomas, The Confederate Nation: 1861–1865 (1979), pp. 83–84.
  29. ^ McPherson p. 244, quoting Stephens’ “Cornerstone Speech”.
  30. ^ Davis, William C. (1994). A Government of Our Own: The Making of the Confederacy. New York: Free Press. pp. 294–295. ISBN 978-0-02-907735-1.
  31. ^ “What I Really Said in the Cornerstone Speech” Stephens, Alexander Hamilton; Avary, Myrta Lockett (1998). Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens: his diary kept when a prisoner at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, 1865, giving incidents and reflections of his prison life and some letters and reminiscence. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-8071-2268-6.
  32. ^ “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union”. Avalon Project. Yale Law School. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  33. ^ “A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union”. Avalon Project. Yale Law School. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  34. ^ “Georgia’s secession declaration”. Avalon Project. Yale Law School. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  35. ^ ab “A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union”. Avalon Project. Yale Law School. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  36. ^ “Constitution of 1861, Ordinances 1 – 20”. Archived from the original on April 26, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  37. ^ “Ordinance of secession”. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  38. ^ “Young Sanders Center”. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  39. ^ “More details on Florida’s ‘declaration of causes'”
  40. ^ “Florida Declaration of Causes”
  41. ^ “Library of Virginia: Civil War Research Guide – Secession”. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  42. ^ “A Nation Divided: Arkansas in the Civil War – History”. Archived from the original on March 26, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  43. ^ “Civil War Era NC | North Carolina voters rejected a secession convention, February 28, 1861”. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  44. ^ Whiteaker, Larry H. “Civil War | Entries”. Tennessee Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  45. ^ “Virginia Ordinance of Secession”. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  46. ^ “Ordinances of Secession”. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  47. ^ Journal of Both Sessions of the Conventions of the State of Arkansas: Which Were Begun and Held in the Capitol, in the City of Little Rock, 1861, pp. 51–54
  48. ^ “Ordinances of Secession”. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  49. ^ “Ordinances of Secession”. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  50. ^ Annual Register… for 1861 (1862) pp.233–239
  51. ^ ab Freehling, pp. 448+
  52. ^ Freehling, p. 445
  53. ^ Freehling, pp. 391–394
  54. ^ Freehling, p. 416
  55. ^ Freehling, pp. 418+
  56. ^ Ralph Young (2015). Dissent: The History of an American Idea. NYU Press. p. 193.
  57. ^ Samuel Eliot Morison (1965). The Oxford History of the American People. Oxford University Press. p. 609.
  58. ^ “Constitutional Amendments Not Ratified”. United States House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2013-11-21.
  59. ^ Walter, Michael (2003). “Ghost Amendment: The Thirteenth Amendment That Never Was”. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  60. ^ Christensen, Hannah (April 2017). “The Corwin Amendment: The Last Last-Minute Attempt to Save the Union”. The Gettysburg Compiler. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  61. ^ “A proposed Thirteenth Amendment to prevent secession, 1861”. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  62. ^ Lee, R. Alton (January 1961). “The Corwin Amendment – In the Secession Crisis”. Ohio History Journal. 70 (1): 1–26.
  63. ^ abcd Freehling, p. 503
  64. ^ John D. Wright (2013). The Routledge Encyclopedia of Civil War Era Biographies. Routledge. p. 150.
  65. ^ February 28, 1861, Congress authorized Davis to accept state militias into national service. Confederate Act of Congress for “provisionals” on March 6, 1861, authorized 100,000 militia and volunteers under Davis’ command. May 6, Congress empowered Davis to accept volunteers directly without state intermediaries. Keegan, John. The American Civil War: a military history 2009.
    ISBN 978-0-307-26343-8, p. 49
  66. ^ Thomas, Emory T., The Confederate Nation: 1861–1865, 1979.
    ISBN 0-06-090703-7 Chapter 3. “Foundations of the Southern Nation”. pp. 59, 81.
  67. ^ Thomas, Emory T., The Confederate Nation: 1861–1865, 1979.
    ISBN 0-06-090703-7 Chapter 3. “Foundations of the Southern Nation”.
  68. ^ Some southern unionists blamed Lincoln’s call for troops as the precipitating event for the second wave of secessions. Historian James McPherson argues that such claims have “a self-serving quality” and regards them as misleading. He wrote:

    As the telegraph chattered reports of the attack on Sumter April 12 and its surrender next day, huge crowds poured into the streets of Richmond, Raleigh, Nashville, and other upper South cities to celebrate this victory over the Yankees. These crowds waved Confederate flags and cheered the glorious cause of southern independence. They demanded that their own states join the cause. Scores of demonstrations took place from April 12 to 14, before Lincoln issued his call for troops. Many conditional unionists were swept along by this powerful tide of southern nationalism; others were cowed into silence.

    — McPherson p. 278

    Historian Daniel W. Crofts disagrees with McPherson. Crofts wrote:

    The bombardment of Fort Sumter, by itself, did not destroy Unionist majorities in the upper South. Because only three days elapsed before Lincoln issued the proclamation, the two events viewed retrospectively, appear almost simultaneous. Nevertheless, close examination of contemporary evidence … shows that the proclamation had a far more decisive impact.

    — Crofts p. 336

    Crofts further noted that,

    Many concluded … that Lincoln had deliberately chosen “to drive off all the Slave states, in order to make war on them and annihilate slavery”.

    — Crofts pp. 337–338, quoting the North Carolina politician Jonathan Worth (1802–1869).

  69. ^ ab James W. Loewen (July 1, 2015). “Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? Because our textbooks and monuments are wrong”. Washington Post.
  70. ^ Journal and Proceedings of the Missouri State Convention Held at Jefferson City and St. Louis, March 1861, George Knapp & Co., 1861, p. 47
  71. ^ Eugene Morrow Violette, A History of Missouri (1918). pp. 393–395
  72. ^ “Secession Acts of the Thirteen Confederate States”. Archived from the original on March 8, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  73. ^ Weigley (2000) p. 43 See also, Missouri’s Ordinance of Secession.
  74. ^ A. C. Greene (1998). Sketches from the Five States of Texas. Texas A&M UP. pp. 27–28.
  75. ^ Wilfred Buck Yearns (2010). The Confederate Congress. University of Georgia Press. pp. 42–43.
  76. ^ The text of South Carolina’s Ordinance of Secession. Also, “South Carolina documents including signatories”. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  77. ^ The text of Mississippi’s Ordinance of Secession.
  78. ^ The text of Florida’s Ordinance of Secession.
  79. ^ The text of Alabama’s Ordinance of Secession.
  80. ^ The text of Georgia’s Ordinance of Secession.
  81. ^ The text of Louisiana’s Ordinance of Secession.
  82. ^ The text of Texas’ Ordinance of Secession.
  83. ^ The text of Lincoln’s calling-up of the militia of the several States
  84. ^ The text of Virginia’s Ordinance of Secession. Virginia took two steps toward secession, first by secession convention vote on April 17, 1861, and then by ratification of this by a popular vote conducted on May 23, 1861. A Unionist Restored government of Virginia also operated. Virginia did not turn over its military to the Confederate States until June 8, 1861. The Commonwealth of Virginia ratified the Constitution of the Confederate States on June 19, 1861.
  85. ^ The text of Arkansas’ Ordinance of Secession.
  86. ^ The text of Tennessee’s Ordinance of Secession. The Tennessee legislature ratified an agreement to enter a military league with the Confederate States on May 7, 1861. Tennessee voters approved the agreement on June 8, 1861.
  87. ^ The text of North Carolina’s Ordinance of Secession.
  88. ^ Curry, Richard Orr, A House Divided, A Study of Statehood Politics and the Copperhead Movement in West Virginia, Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 1964, pg. 49
  89. ^ Rice, Otis K. and Stephen W. Brown, West Virginia, A History, Univ. of Kentucky Press, 1993, 2nd edition, pg. 112. Another way of looking at the results would note the pro-union candidates winning 56% with Bell 20,997, Douglas 5,742, and Lincoln 1,402 versus Breckenridge 21,908. But the “deeply divided sentiment” point remains.
  90. ^ The Civil War in West Virginia Archived 2004-10-15 at the Wayback Machine. “No other state serves as a better example of this than West Virginia, where there was relatively equal support for the northern and southern causes.”
  91. ^ Snell, Mark A., West Virginia and the Civil War, Mountaineers Are Always Free, History Press, Charleston, South Carolina, 2011, pg. 28
  92. ^ Leonard, Cynthia Miller, The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619 – January 11, 1978: A Bicentennial Register of Members, Virginia State Library, Richmond, Virginia, 1978, pgs. 478–493
  93. ^ “Marx and Engels on the American Civil War”. Army of the Cumberland and George H. Thomas. and “Background of the Confederate States Constitution”.
  94. ^ Glatthaar, Joseph T., General Lee’s Army: from victory to collapse, 2008.
    ISBN 978-0-684-82787-2
  95. ^ Freedmen & Southern Society Project, Chronology of Emancipation during the Civil War, University of Maryland. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  96. ^ Bowman, p. 48.
  97. ^ Farish, Thomas Edwin (1915). History of Arizona,. 2.
  98. ^ Troy Smith. “The Civil War Comes to Indian Territory”, Civil War History (2013) 59#3 pp. 279–319.
  99. ^ Declaration by the People of the Cherokee Nation of the Causes Which Have Impelled Them to Unite Their Fortunes With Those of the Confederate States of America.
  100. ^ The Texas delegation was seated with full voting rights after its statewide referendum of secession on March 2, 1861. It is generally counted as an “original state” of the Confederacy. Four upper south states declared secession following Lincoln’s call for volunteers: Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina. “The founders of the Confederacy desired and ideally envisioned a peaceful creation of a new union of all slave-holding states, including the border states of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri.” Kentucky and Missouri were seated in December 1861. Kenneth C. Martis, The Historical Atlas of the Congresses of the Confederate States of America 1861–1865 (1994) p. 8
  101. ^ The sessions of the Provisional Congress were in Montgomery, Alabama, (1) First Session February 4 – March 10, and (2) Second Session April 29 – May 21, 1861. The Capital was moved to Richmond May 30. The (3) Third Session was held July 20 – August 31. The (4) Fourth Session called for September 3 was never held. The (5) Fifth Session was held November 18, 1861 – February 17, 1862.
  102. ^ Martis, Historical Atlas, pp. 7–8.
  103. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 100
  104. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America p. 101. Virginia was practically promised as a condition of secession by Vice President Stephens. It had rail connections south along the east coast and into the interior, and laterally west into Tennessee, parallel the U.S. border, a navigable river to the Hampton Roads to menace ocean approaches to Washington DC, trade via the Atlantic Ocean, an interior canal to North Carolina sounds. It was a great storehouse of supplies, food, feed, raw materials, and infrastructure of ports, drydocks, armories and the established Tredegar Iron Works. Nevertheless, Virginia never permanently ceded land for the capital district. A local homeowner donated his home to the City of Richmond for use as the Confederate White House, which was in turn rented to the Confederate government for the Jefferson Davis presidential home and administration offices.
  105. ^ Martis, Historical Atlas, pp. 2.
  106. ^ Coulter, “Confederate States of America”, p. 102.
  107. ^ Noe, Kenneth W.; Wilson, Shannon H., eds. (1997). Civil War in Appalachia.
  108. ^ McKenzie, Robert Tracy (2002). “Contesting Secession: Parson Brownlow and the Rhetoric of Proslavery Unionism, 1860–1861”. Civil War History. 48 (4): 294–312. doi:10.1353/cwh.2002.0060.
  109. ^ Curry, Richard O. (1964). A House Divided, Statehood Politics and the Copperhead Movement in West Virginia. Univ. of Pittsburgh. p. 8. ISBN 9780822977513.
  110. ^ McGregor, James C. (1922). The Disruption of Virginia.
  111. ^ Zimring, David R. (2009). “Secession in Favor of the Constitution’: How West Virginia Justified Separate Statehood during the Civil War”. West Virginia History. 3 (2): 23–51. doi:10.1353/wvh.0.0060.
  112. ^ Browning, Judkin (2005). “Removing the Mask of Nationality: Unionism, Racism, and Federal Military Occupation in North Carolina, 1862–1865”. Journal of Southern History. 71 (3): 589–620. JSTOR 27648821.
  113. ^ ab Elliott, Claude (1947). “Union Sentiment in Texas 1861–1865”. Southwestern Historical Quarterly. 50 (4): 449–477. JSTOR 30237490.
  114. ^ Wallace, Ernest. Texas in Turmoil. p. 138.
  115. ^ Campbell, Randolph B. Gone to Texas. p. 264.
  116. ^ Baum, Dale (1998). The Shattering of Texas Unionism: Politics in the Lone Star State during the Civil War Era. LSU Press. p. 83. ISBN 0-8071-2245-9.
  117. ^ Neely, Mark E. Jr. (1999). Southern Rights: Political Prisoners and the Myth of Confederate Constitutionalism. University Press of Virginia. ISBN 0-8139-1894-4.
  118. ^ ab William Seward to Charles Francis Adams, April 10, 1861 in Marion Mills Miller, (ed.) Life And Works Of Abraham Lincoln (1907) Vol 6.
  119. ^ Carl Sandburg (1940). Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years. p. 151. ISBN 9781402742880.
  120. ^ Abraham Lincoln (1920). Abraham Lincoln; Complete Works, Comprising His Speeches, State Papers, and Miscellaneous Writings. Century. p. 542.
  121. ^ Violations of the rules of law were precipitated on both sides and can be found in historical accounts of guerilla war, units in cross-racial combat and captives held in prisoner of war camps, brutal, tragic accounts against both soldiers and civilian populations.
  122. ^ Moore, Frank (1861). The Rebellion Record. I. G.P. Putnam. pp. 195–197. ISBN 0-405-10877-X. Doc. 140. The places excepted in the Confederate States proclamation that “a war exists” were the places where slavery was allowed: States of Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri, and Delaware, and the Territories of Arizona, and New Mexico, and the Indian Territory south of Kansas.
  123. ^
    Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1868) at Cornell University Law School Supreme Court collection.
  124. ^ Blumenthal (1966)
  125. ^ Lebergott, Stanley (1983). “Why the South Lost: Commercial Purpose in the Confederacy, 1861–1865”. Journal of American History. 70 (1): 61. JSTOR 1890521.
  126. ^ Blumenthal (1966); Jones (2009); Owsley (1959)
  127. ^ Francis M. Carroll, “The American Civil War and British Intervention: The Threat of Anglo-American Conflict.” Canadian Journal of History (2012) 47#1 pp. 94–95.
  128. ^ Richard Shannon (2008). Gladstone: God and Politics. p. 144. ISBN 9781847252036.
  129. ^ Thomas Paterson, et al. American foreign relations: A history, to 1920: Volume 1 (2009) pp. 149–155.
  130. ^ Howard Jones, Abraham Lincoln and a New Birth of Freedom: The Union and Slavery in the Diplomacy of the Civil War (2002), p. 48
  131. ^ Judith Fenner Gentry, “A Confederate Success in Europe: The Erlanger Loan”, Journal of Southern History (1970) 36#2 pp. 157–188 in JSTOR
  132. ^ Stanley Lebergott, “Through the blockade: the profitability and extent of cotton smuggling, 1861–1865”. Journal of Economic History 41#4 (1981): 867–888. in JSTOR
  133. ^ Alexander DeConde, ed. Encyclopedia of American foreign policy (2001) vol. 1 p. 202 and Stephen R. Wise, Lifeline of the Confederacy: Blockade Running During the Civil War, (1991), p. 86.
  134. ^ Wise, Stephen R. Lifeline of the Confederacy: Blockade Running During the Civil War. University of South Carolina Press, 1991
    ISBN 0-87249-799-2
    ISBN 978-0-87249-799-3, p. 86. An example of agents working openly occurred in Hamilton in Bermuda, where a Confederate agent openly worked to help blockade runners.
  135. ^ The American Catholic Historical Researches. 1901. pp. 27–28.
  136. ^ Don H. Doyle, The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War (2014) pp 257–270.
  137. ^ Thomas, The Confederate Nation, pp. 219–220
  138. ^ Scholars such as Emory M. Thomas have characterized Girard’s book as “more propaganda than anything else, but Girard caught one essential truth”, the quote referenced. (Thomas, The Confederate Nation, p. 220.)
  139. ^ Fremantle, Arthur (1864). Three Months in the Southern States. University of Nebraska Press. p. 124. ISBN 9781429016667.
  140. ^ Thomas, The Confederate Nation, p. 220
  141. ^ Thomas, The Confederate Nation pp. 219, 220, 221.
  142. ^ Thomas, The Confederate Nation pp. 243.
  143. ^ Richardson, James D., ed. (1905). A compilation of the messages and papers of the Confederacy: including the diplomatic correspondence, 1861–1865. Volume II. Nashville: United States Publishing Company. p. 697. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  144. ^
    Levine, Bruce (2013). The Fall of the House of Dixie. Random House. p. 248.
  145. ^ Michael Perman; Amy Murrell Taylor, eds. (2010). Major Problems in the Civil War and Reconstruction. Cengage. p. 178. ISBN 0618875204.
  146. ^ James McPherson, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (1998)
  147. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 342–343
  148. ^ James M. McPherson Professor of American History Princeton University (1996). Drawn with the Sword: Reflections on the American Civil War: Reflections on the American Civil War. Oxford U.P. p. 152. ISBN 9780199727834.
  149. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 348. “The enemy could not hold territory, a hostile people would close in behind. The Confederacy still existed wherever there was an army under her unfurled banners.”
  150. ^ The cash crops circling the Great Seal are wheat, corn, tobacco, cotton, rice and sugar cane. Like Washington’s equestrian statue honoring him at Union Square NYC 1856, slaveholding Washington is pictured in his uniform of the Revolution securing American independence. While armed, he does not have his sword drawn as he is depicted in the equestrian statue at the Virginia Capitol, Richmond, Virginia. The plates for the Great Seal were engraved in England but never received due to the Union Blockade.
  151. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 343
  152. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 346
  153. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 333–338.
  154. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 286. After capture by Federals, Memphis, TN became a major source of supply for Confederate armies, comparable to Nassau and its blockade runners.
  155. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 306. Confederate units harassed them throughout the war years by laying torpedo mines and loosing barrages from shoreline batteries.
  156. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 287–288. The principal ports on the Atlantic were Wilmington, North Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia for supplies from Europe via Bermuda and Nassau. On the Gulf were Galveston, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana for those from Havana, Cuba and Mexican ports of Tampico and Vera Cruz.
  157. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 296, 304. Two days later Lincoln proclaimed a blockade, declaring them pirates. Davis responded with letters of marque to protect privateers from outlaw status. Some of the early raiders were converted merchantmen seized in Southern ports at the outbreak of the war
  158. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 299–302. The Torpedo Bureau seeded defensive water-borne mines in principal harbors and rivers to compromise the Union naval superiority. These “torpedoes” were said to have caused more loss in U.S. naval ships and transports than by any other cause. Despite a rage for Congressional appropriations and public “subscription ironclads”, armored platforms constructed in blockaded ports lacked the requisite marine engines to become ironclad warships. The armored platforms intended to become ironclads were employed instead as floating batteries for port city defense.
  159. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 321
  160. ^ “1862blackCSN”.
  161. ^ Joseph T. Glatthaar, Soldiering in the Army of Northern Virginia: A Statistical Portrait of the Troops Who Served under Robert E. Lee (2011) p. 3, ch 9
  162. ^ Coulter, E. Merton, The Confederate States of America: 1861–1865, op. cit., p. 313–315, 318.
  163. ^ Alfred L. Brophy, ‘Necessity Knows No Law’: Vested Rights and the Styles of Reasoning in the Confederate Conscription Cases”, Mississippi Law Journal (2000) 69: 1123–1180.
  164. ^ Rubin p. 104.
  165. ^ Levine pp. 146–147.
  166. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America pp. 308–311. The patchwork recruitment was (a) with and without state militia enrolment, (b) state Governor sponsorship and direct service under Davis, (c) for under six months, one year, three years and the duration of the war. Davis proposed recruitment for some period of years or the duration. Congress and the states equivocated. Governor Brown of Georgia became “the first and most persistent critic” of Confederate centralized military and civil power.
  167. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America pp. 310–311
  168. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America pp. 328, 330–332. About 90% of West Pointers in the U.S. Army resigned to join the Confederacy. Notably, of Virginia’s West Pointers, not 90% but 70% resigned for the Confederacy. Exemplary officers without military training included John B. Gordon, Nathan B. Forrest, James J. Pettigrew, John H. Morgan, Turner Ashby and John S. Mosby. Most preliminary officer training was had from Hardee’s “Tactics”, and thereafter by observation and experience in battle. The Confederacy had no officers training camps or military academies, although early on, cadets of the Virginia Military Institute and other military schools drilled enlisted troops in battlefield evolutions.
  169. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America pp. 310–311. Early 1862 “dried up the enthusiasm to volunteer” due to the impact of victory’s battle casualties, the humiliation of defeats and the dislike of camp life with its monotony, confinement and mortal diseases. Immediately following the great victory at the Battle of Manassas, many believed the war was won and there was no need for more troops. Then the new year brought defeat over February 6–23: Fort Henry, Roanoke Island, Fort Donelson, Nashville – the first capital to fall. Among some not yet in uniform, the less victorious “Cause” seemed less glorious.
  170. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America p. 312. The government funded parades and newspaper ad campaigns, $2,000,000 for recruitment in Kentucky alone. With a state-enacted draft, Governor Brown with a quota of 12,000 raised 22,000 Georgia militia.
  171. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America pp. 313, 332. Officially dropping 425 officers by board review in October was followed immediately by 1,300 “resignations”. Some officers who resigned then served honorably as enlisted for the duration or until they were made casualties, others resigned and returned home until conscription.
  172. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America p. 313
  173. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America pp. 313–314. Military officers including Joseph E. Johnston and Robert E. Lee, advocated conscription. In the circumstances they persuaded Congressmen and newspaper editors. Some editors advocating conscription in early 1862 later became “savage critics of conscription and of Davis for his enforcement of it: Yancey of Alabama, Rhett of the Charleston ‘Mercury’, Pollard of the Richmond ‘Examiner’, and Senator Wigfall of Texas”.
  174. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America pp. 313–314, 319. Apart from their respective system exemptions, populations under Federal administration were subject to a “wheel of fortune” draft by aggregate number from each state in each draft, rather than the Confederate’s universal selection by age. Overrun areas such as Kentucky and Missouri were not subject to the draft, these areas expanded as the war progressed. The act abolishing the substitute system and nullifying the principal’s exemption was challenged in court as a violation of contract, but “no court of importance so held”.
  175. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America pp. 315–317.
  176. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 320. One such exemption was allowed for every 20 slaves on a plantation, the May 1863 reform required previous occupation and that the plantation of 20 slaves (or group of plantations within a five-mile area) had not been subdivided after the first exemption of April 1862.
  177. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 317–318. There were no organized political parties, but elective offices were also exempted. Virtually every position was contested with as many as twenty candidates for each office. Some scholars such as Martis interpret this as robust democratic society in wartime. Coulter attributes the widely new found enthusiasm for political careers as a means to “get out of the army or keep from getting into it”. State Governor patronage expanded most notably in the tens of thousands in Georgia and North Carolina. In Greene County, Georgia, two dozen men ran for three offices; in protest, the women of the county ran a ticket of three men older than the 45 years conscription age.
  178. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 319.
  179. ^ Coulter, “The Confederates States of America”, p. 324.
  180. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America pp. 322–324, 326. The Conscription Bureau was run by Brigadier General Gabriel J. Rains until May 1863, Brigadier General Charles W. Field until July 1864, Colonel John S. Preston until “the bitter end”. The “odium and disgrace” of conscription led many to volunteer. The Bureau was “undoubtedly very inefficient” as officers were culled from those unwanted for field service. Virginia had 26,000 volunteers to 9,000 conscripts. Governor Vance NC “vigorously supported conscription”, uncharacteristically netting 21,343 conscripts to 8,000 volunteers. Necessary railroad positions once demeaned as “blacks only” were in 1864 taken by whites of military age.
  181. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 323–325, 327. Those governors with constitutional reservations refused to participate in conscription. In Fall 1864, Lee required of Davis a total number of 150,000 to match Grant’s numbers, “else I fear a great calamity will befall us”. This led to Davis appointing officers such as General Pillow to recruiting positions. As a military recruiting officer, Gideon J. Pillow for whom Fort Pillow, was named, brought in 25,000 for Braxton Bragg and Joseph E. Johnston.
  182. ^ Rable (1994) p. 265.
  183. ^ Margaret Leech, Reveille in Washington (1942)
  184. ^ Stephens, Alexander H. (1870). A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States (PDF). 2. p. 36. I maintain that it was inaugurated and begun, though no blow had been struck, when the hostile fleet, styled the ‘Relief Squadron’, with eleven ships, carrying two hundred and eighty-five guns and two thousand four hundred men, was sent out from New York and Norfolk, with orders from the authorities at Washington, to reinforce Fort Sumter peaceably, if permitted ‘but forcibly if they must’ … After the war, Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens maintained that Lincoln’s attempt to resupply Sumter was a disguised reinforcement and had provoked the war.
  185. ^
    Lincoln’s proclamation calling for troops from the remaining states (bottom of page); Department of War details to States (top).
  186. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 352–353.
  187. ^ The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Series 1. 5. p. 56.4
  188. ^ Rice, Otis K. and Stephen W. Brown, West Virginia, A History, University of Kentucky Press, 1993, 2nd edition, pg. 130
  189. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 353.
  190. ^ Glatthaar, Joseph T., General Lee’s Army: From Victory to Collapse, Free Press 2008.
    ISBN 978-0-684-82787-2, p. xiv. Inflicting intolerable casualties on invading Federal armies was a Confederate strategy to make the northern Unionists relent in their pursuit of restoring the Union.
  191. ^ Ambler, Charles, Francis H. Pierpont: Union War Governor of Virginia and Father of West Virginia, Univ. of North Carolina, 1937, p. 419, note 36. Letter of Adjutant General Henry L. Samuels, August 22, 1862, to Gov. Francis Pierpont listing 22 of 48 counties under sufficient control for soldier recruitment.
    Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 3rd Session, Senate Bill S.531, February 14, 1863 “A bill supplemental to the act entitled ‘An act for the Admission of the State of ‘West Virginia’ into the Union, and for other purposes’ which would include the counties of “Boone, Logan, Wyoming, Mercer, McDowell, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Greenbrier, Monroe, Pendleton, Fayette, Nicholas, and Clay, now in the possession of the so-called confederate government”.
  192. ^ Martis, Historical Atlas, pp. 27. In the Mississippi River Valley, during the first half of February, central Tennessee’s Fort Henry was lost and Fort Donelson fell with a small army. By the end of the month, Nashville, Tennessee was the first conquered Confederate state capital. On April 6–7, Federals turned back the Confederate offensive at the Battle of Shiloh, and three days later Island Number 10, controlling the upper Mississippi River, fell to a combined Army and Naval gunboat siege of three weeks.

    Federal occupation of Confederate territory expanded to include northwestern Arkansas, south down the Mississippi River and east up the Tennessee River. The Confederate River Defense fleet sank two Union ships at Plum Point Bend (naval Fort Pillow), but they withdrew and Fort Pillow was captured downriver.

  193. ^ abc Martis, Historical Atlas, pp. 28.
  194. ^ ab Martis, Historical Atlas, pp. 27. Federal occupation expanded into northern Virginia, and their control of the Mississippi extended south to Nashville, Tennessee.
  195. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 354. Federal sea-based amphibious forces captured Roanoke Island, North Carolina along with a large garrison in February. In March, Confederates abandoned forts at Fernandia and St. Augustine Florida, and lost New Berne, North Carolina. In April, New Orleans fell and Savannah, Georgia was closed by the Battle of Fort Pulaski. In May retreating Confederates burned their two pre-war Navy yards at Norfolk and Pensacola. See Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 287, 306, 302
  196. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 294, 296–7. Europeans refused to allow captured U.S. shipping to be sold for the privateers 95% share, so through 1862, Confederate privateering disappeared. The CSA Congress authorized a Volunteer Navy to man cruisers the following year.
  197. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 288–291. As many as half the Confederate blockade runners had British nationals serving as officers and crew. Confederate regulations required one-third, then one-half of the cargoes to be munitions, food and medicine.
  198. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 287, 306, 302, 306 and CSS Atlanta, USS Atlanta. Navy Heritage. In both events, as with the CSS Virginia, the Navy’s bravery and fighting skill was compromised in combat by mechanical failure in the engines or steering. The joint combined Army-Navy defense by General Robert E. Lee, and his successor and Commodore Josiah Tattnall, repelled amphibious assault of Savannah for the duration of the war. Union General Tecumseh Sherman captured Savannah from the land side in December 1864. The British blockade runner Fingal was purchased and converted to the ironclad CSS Atlanta. It made two sorties, was captured by Union forces, repaired, and returned to service as the ironclad USS Atlanta supporting Grant’s Siege of Petersburg.
  199. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 303. French shipyards built four corvettes, and two ironclad rams for the Confederacy, but the American minister prevented their delivery. British firms contracted to build two additional ironclad rams, but under threat from the U.S., the British government bought them for their own navy. Two of the converted blockade runners effectively raided up and down the Atlantic coast until the end of the war.
  200. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 354–356. McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign caused the surprised Confederates to destroy their winter camp to mobilize against the threat to their Capital. They burned “a vast amount of supplies” to keep them from falling into enemy hands.
  201. ^ Nevin’s analysis of the strategic highpoint of Confederate military scope and effectiveness is in contra-distinction to the conventional “last chance” battlefield imagery of the High-water mark of the Confederacy found at “The Angle” of the Battle of Gettysburg.
  202. ^ Allan Nevins, War for the Union (1960) pp 289–290. Weak national leadership led to disorganized overall direction in contrast to improved organization in Washington. With another 10,000 men Lee and Bragg might have prevailed in the border states, but the local populations did not respond to their pleas to recruit additional soldiers.
  203. ^ Rice, Otis K.; Brown, Stephen W. (1993). West Virginia, A History (2nd ed.). Univ. of Kentucky Press. pp. 134–135. ISBN 0-8131-1854-9.
  204. ^ “The Civil War Comes to Charleston”.
  205. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 357
  206. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 356
  207. ^ Martis (1994) p. 28.
  208. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 297–298. They were required to supply their own ships and equipment, but they received 90% of their captures at auction, 25% of any U.S. warships or transports captured or destroyed. Confederate cruisers raided merchant ship commerce but for one exception in 1864.
  209. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 294. Confederates estimated that the Union Blockade interdicted no more than 10% of the cotton exported, but the Lincoln administration claimed one of every three blockade runners were being captured.
  210. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, pp. 305–306. The most successful Confederate merchant raider 1863–1864, CSS Alabama had ranged the Atlantic for two years, sinking 58 vessels worth $6,54,000 [sic?], but she was trapped and sunk in June by the chain-clad USS Kearsarge off Cherbourg, France.
  211. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, in 1862, CSS Atlanta, USS Atlanta. Navy Heritage, in 1863 the ironclad CSS Savannah
  212. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 305
  213. ^ Mary Elizabeth Massey, Refugee Life in the Confederacy (1964)
  214. ^ Foote, Shelby (1974). The Civil War, a narrative: Vol III. p. 967. ISBN 0 394 74622 8. Sherman was closing in on Raleigh, whose occupation tomorrow would make it the ninth of the eleven seceded state capitals to feel the tread of the invader; all, that is, but Austin and Tallahassee, whose survival was less the result of their ability to resist than it was of Federal oversight or disinterest.
  215. ^ Coulter, The Confederate States of America, p. 287
  216. ^ The French-built ironclad CSS Stonewall had been purchased from Denmark and set sail from Spain in March. The crew of the CSS Shenandoah hauled down the last Confederate flag at Liverpool in the UK on November 5, 1865. John Baldwin; Ron Powers. Last Flag Down: The Epic Journey of the Last Confederate Warship (May 6, 2008 ed.). Three Rivers Press. p. 368. ISBN 0-307-23656-0.
  217. ^ United States Government Printing Office, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, United States Naval War Records Office, United States Office of Naval Records and Library, 1894
    This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
  218. ^ Gallagher p. 157
  219. ^ Davis, Jefferson. A Short History of the Confederate States of America, 1890, 2010.
    ISBN 978-1-175-82358-8. Available free online as an ebook. Chapter LXXXVIII, “Re-establishment of the Union by force”, p. 503. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  220. ^ Dorris, J. T. (1928). “Pardoning the Leaders of the Confederacy”. Mississippi Valley Historical Review. 15 (1): 3–21. JSTOR 1891664.
  221. ^ Johnson, Andrew. “Proclamation 179 – Granting full pardon and amnesty for the offense of treason against the United States during the late Civil War”, December 25, 1868. Accessed July 18, 2014.
  222. ^ Nichols, Roy Franklin (1926). “United States vs. Jefferson Davis, 1865–1869”. American Historical Review. 31 (2): 266–284. JSTOR 1838262.
  223. ^ Jefferson Davis (2008). The Papers of Jefferson Davis: June 1865 – December 1870. Louisiana State UP. p. 96. ISBN 9780807133415.
  224. ^ Nichols, “United States vs. Jefferson Davis, 1865–1869”.
  225. ^ Eberhard P. Deutsch, “United States v. Jefferson Davis: Constitutional Issues in the Trial for Treason”. American Bar Association Journal (1966): 139–145. in JSTOR and Vol. 52, No. 3 (MARCH 1966), pp. 263–268 part 2 in JSTOR
  226. ^ John David Smith, ed. Interpreting American History: Reconstruction (Kent State University Press, 2016).
  227. ^ Cooper, William J.; Terrill, Tom E. (2009). The American South: a history. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. xix. ISBN 0-7425-6095-3.
  228. ^ Murray, Robert Bruce (2003). Legal Cases of the Civil War. Stackpole Books. pp. 155–159. ISBN 0-8117-0059-3.
  229. ^ Zuczek, Richard. “Texas v. White (1869)”. Encyclopedia of the Reconstruction Era. p. 649. ISBN 0-313-33073-5.
  230. ^ Owsley, Frank L. (1925). State Rights in the Confederacy. Chicago.
  231. ^ Thomas. The Confederate Nation. p. 155.
  232. ^ Owsley (1925). “Local Defense and the Overthrow of the Confederacy”. Mississippi Valley Historical Review. 11: 492–525. JSTOR 1895910.
  233. ^ Rable (1994) 257. For a detailed criticism of Owsley’s argument see Beringer, Richard E.; Still, William N. Jr.; Jones, Archer; Hattaway, Herman (1986). Why the South Lost the Civil War. University of Georgia Press. pp. 443–57. Brown declaimed against Davis Administration policies: “Almost every act of usurpation of power, or of bad faith, has been conceived, brought forth and nurtured in secret session.”
  234. ^ See also Beringer, Richard; et al. (1986). Why the South Lost the Civil War. University of Georgia Press. pp. 64–83, 424–57.
  235. ^ ab Rable (1994). The Confederate Republic: A Revolution Against Politics. pp. 258, 259. ISBN 9780807821442.
  236. ^ Moretta, John (1999). “Pendleton Murrah and States Rights in Civil War Texas”. Civil War History. 45 (2): 126–146. doi:10.1353/cwh.1999.0101.
  237. ^ Moore, Albert Burton (1924). Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy. p. 295.
  238. ^ Cooper (2000) p. 462. Rable (1994) pp. 2–3. Rable wrote, “But despite heated arguments and no little friction between the competing political cultures of unity and liberty, antiparty and broader fears about politics in general shaped civic life. These beliefs could obviously not eliminate partisanship or prevent Confederates from holding on to and exploiting old political prejudices. … Even the most bitter foes of the Confederate government, however, refused to form an opposition party, and the Georgia dissidents, to cite the most prominent example, avoided many traditional political activities. Only in North Carolina did there develop anything resembling a party system, and there the central values of the Confederacy’s two political cultures had a far more powerful influence on political debate than did organizational maneuvering.”
  239. ^ Donald, David Herbert, ed. (1996). Why the North Won the Civil War. pp. 112–113. Potter wrote in his contribution to this book, “Where parties do not exist, criticism of the administration is likely to remain purely an individual matter; therefore the tone of the criticism is likely to be negative, carping, and petty, as it certainly was in the Confederacy. But where there are parties, the opposition group is strongly impelled to formulate real alternative policies and to press for the adoption of these policies on a constructive basis. … But the absence of a two-party system meant the absence of any available alternative leadership, and the protest votes which were cast in the [1863 Confederate mid-term] election became more expressions of futile and frustrated dissatisfaction rather than implements of a decision to adopt new and different policies for the Confederacy.”
  240. ^ ab Coulter. Confederate States of America. pp. 105–106.
  241. ^ Escott, Paul (1992). After Secession: Jefferson Davis and the Failure of Confederate Nationalism. Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 0-8071-1807-9.
  242. ^ Coulter. Confederate States of America. pp. 108, 113, 103.
  243. ^ “Jefferson Davis (1808–1889)”. Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  244. ^ Davis p. 248.
  245. ^ Coulter, “Confederate States of America”, p. 22. The Texas delegation had four in the U.S. Congress, seven in the Montgomery Convention.
  246. ^ Coulter, “Confederate States of America”, p. 23. While the Texas delegation was seated, and is counted in the “original seven” states of the Confederacy, its referendum to ratify secession had not taken place, so its delegates did not yet vote on instructions from their state legislature.
  247. ^ Coulter, “Confederate States of America”, pp. 23–26.
  248. ^ Coulter, “Confederate States of America”, pp. 25, 27
  249. ^ Martis, Kenneth C. (1994). The Historical Atlas of the Congresses of the Confederate States of America: 1861–1865. Simon & Schuster. p. 1. ISBN 0-13-389115-1.
  250. ^ Martis, Historical Atlas, pp. 1
  251. ^ Martis, Historical Atlas, pp. 72–73
  252. ^ Martis, Historical Atlas, pp. 3
  253. ^ Martis, Historical Atlas, pp. 90–91
  254. ^ Legal Materials on the Confederate States of America in the Schaffer Law Library”, Albany Law School”. Archived from the original on November 3, 2007. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  255. ^ Constitution of the Confederate States of America – Wikisource, the free online library. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  256. ^ ab [Moise, E. Warren, Rebellion in the Temple of Justice (iUniverse 2003)]
  257. ^ “Records of District Courts of the United States, National Archives”. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  258. ^ “JOHN H. REAGAN – The Old Roman”. John H. Reagan Camp #2156; Sons of Confederate Veterans. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  259. ^ “REAGAN, John Henninger, (1818–1905)”.
    Biographical Directory of the United States. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
  260. ^ “U.S. Postal Issue Used in the Confederacy (1893)”. Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
  261. ^ Walter Flavius McCaleb, “The Organization of the Post-Office Department of the Confederacy”, American Historical Review Vol. 12, No. 1 (Oct. 1906), pp. 66–74 in JSTOR
  262. ^ L. R. Garrison, “Administrative Problems of the Confederate Post Office Department I”, Southwestern Historical Quarterly Vol. 19, No. 2 (Oct. 1915), pp. 111–141 and Vol. 19, No. 3 (Jan. 1916), pp. 232–250 in JSTOR and in JSTOR
  263. ^ “Confederate States Post Office”. Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  264. ^ Neely (1999) p. 1
  265. ^ Neely (1999) p. 172. Neely notes that. “Most surprising of all, the Confederacy at a greater rate than the North arrested persons who held opposition political views at least in part because they held them, despite the Confederacy’s vaunted lack of political parties. Such arrests were more common before 1863 while memories of the votes on secession remained fresh.”
  266. ^ Neely (1993) pp. 11, 16.
  267. ^ Wiley, Bell Irvin (1938). Southern Negroes, 1861–1865. pp. 21, 66–69.
  268. ^ “African Americans In The Civil War”. History Net: Where History Comes Alive – World & US History Online.
  269. ^ Litwack, Leon F. (1979). Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery. New York: Knopf. pp. 30–36, 105–66. ISBN 0-394-50099-7.
  270. ^ Vorenberg, Michael, ed. (2010). The Emancipation Proclamation: A Brief History with Documents.
  271. ^ Kolchin, Peter (2015). “Reexamining Southern Emancipation in Comparative Perspective”. Journal of Southern History. 81 (1): 7–40.
  272. ^ Thomas, The Confederate Nation pp. 13–14
  273. ^ R. Douglas Hurt, Agriculture and the Confederacy: Policy, Productivity, and Power in the Civil War South (2015)
  274. ^ William L. Barney (2011). The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Civil War. Oxford Up. p. 291. ISBN 9780199878147.
  275. ^ Leslie Alexander (2010). Encyclopedia of African American History. ABC-CLIO. p. 351. ISBN 9781851097746.
  276. ^ Thomas The Confederate Nation pp. 12–15
  277. ^ Thomas The Confederate Nation pp. 15–16
  278. ^ Thomas The Confederate Nation p. 16
  279. ^ Thomas Conn Bryan (2009). Confederate Georgia. U. of Georgia Press. pp. 105–9. ISBN 9780820334998.
  280. ^ Tariff of the Confederate States of America, May 21, 1861.
  281. ^ Ian Drury, ed. American Civil War: Naval & Economic Warfare (2003) p. 138.
    ISBN 0-00-716458-0. “The Confederacy underwent a government-led industrial revolution during the war, but its economy was slowly strangled.”
  282. ^ Hankey, John P. (2011). “The Railroad War”. Trains. Kalmbach Publishing Company. 71 (3): 24–35.
  283. ^ Charles W. Ramsdell, “The Confederate Government and the Railroads, American Historical Review, (1917) 22#4 pp. 794–810 in JSTOR
  284. ^ Mary Elizabeth Massey. Ersatz in the Confederacy (1952) p. 128.
  285. ^ Ramsdell, “The Confederate Government and the Railroads”, pp. 809–810.
  286. ^ Spencer Jones, “The Influence of Horse Supply Upon Field Artillery in the American Civil War”, Journal of Military History, (April 2010), 74#2 pp 357–377,
  287. ^ G. Terry Sharrer, “The great glanders epizootic, 1861–1866”, Agricultural History, (1995) 69#1 pp 79–97 in JSTOR
  288. ^
    Keith Miller, “Southern Horse”, Civil War Times, (February 2006) 45#1 pp 30–36 online
  289. ^ Cooper, William J. (2010). Jefferson Davis, American. Knopf Doubleday. p. 378. ISBN 9780307772640.
  290. ^ Burdekin, Richard; Langdana, Farrokh (1993). “War Finance in the Southern Confederacy, 1861–1865”. Explorations in Economic History. 30 (3): 352–376. doi:10.1006/exeh.1993.1015.
  291. ^ Wright, John D. (2001). The Language of the Civil War. p. 41. ISBN 9781573561358.
  292. ^ Coulter. Confederate States of America. pp. 151–153, 127.
  293. ^ Kidd, Jessica Fordham (2006). “Privation and Pride: Life in Blockaded Alabama”. Alabama Heritage Magazine. 82: 8–15.
  294. ^ Massey, Mary Elizabeth (1952). Ersatz in the Confederacy: Shortages and Substitutes on the Southern Homefront. pp. 71–73.
  295. ^ Coulter, E. Merton (1927). “The Movement for Agricultural Reorganization in the Cotton South during the Civil War”. Agricultural History. 1 (1): 3–17. JSTOR 3739261.
  296. ^ Thompson, C. Mildred (1915). Reconstruction In Georgia: Economic, Social, Political 1865–1872. pp. 14–17, 22.
  297. ^ McCurry, Stephanie (2011). “Bread or Blood!“. Civil War Times. 50 (3): 36–41.
  298. ^ Williams, Teresa Crisp; Williams, David (2002). “The Women Rising’: Cotton, Class, and Confederate Georgia’s Rioting Women”. Georgia Historical Quarterly. 86 (1): 49–83. JSTOR 40584640.
  299. ^ Chesson, Michael B. (1984). “Harlots or Heroines? A New Look at the Richmond Bread Riot”. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. 92 (2): 131–175. JSTOR 4248710.
  300. ^ Titus, Katherine R. (2011). “The Richmond Bread Riot of 1863: Class, Race, and Gender in the Urban Confederacy”. The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era. 2 (6): 86–146.
  301. ^ Paskoff, Paul F. (2008). “Measures of War: A Quantitative Examination of the Civil War’s Destructiveness in the Confederacy”. Civil War History. 54 (1): 35–62. doi:10.1353/cwh.2008.0007.
  302. ^ ab Paskoff, “Measures of War”
  303. ^ Ezell, John Samuel (1963). The South since 1865. pp. 27–28.
  304. ^ Frank, Lisa Tendrich, ed. (2008). Women in the American Civil War.
  305. ^ Faust, Drew Gilpin (1996). Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War. pp. 139–152. ISBN 0-8078-2255-8.
  306. ^ Jabour, Anya (2007). Scarlett’s Sisters: Young Women in the Old South. U of North Carolina Press. pp. 273–280. ISBN 978-0-8078-3101-4.
  307. ^ Coulter, Ellis Merton. The Confederate States of America, 1861–1865 Retrieved 2012-06-13, published in LSU’s History of the South series, on page 118 notes that beginning in March 1861, the Stars-and-Bars was used “all over the Confederacy”.
  308. ^ Sansing, David. Brief History of the Confederate Flags at “Mississippi History Now” online Mississippi Historical Society. Second National Flag, “the stainless banner” references, Devereaux D. Cannon, Jr., The Flags of the Confederacy, An Illustrated History (St. Lukes Press, 1988), 22–24. Section Heading “Second and Third National Flags”. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  309. ^ Sansing, David, Brief History of the Confederate Flags at “Mississippi History Now” online Mississippi Historical Society. Third National Flag, “the bloodstained banner” references 19. Southern Historical Society Papers (cited hereafter as SHSP, volume number, date for the first entry, and page number), 24, 118. Section Heading “Second and Third National Flags”. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  310. ^ Two-thirds of soldiers’ deaths occurred due to disease. Nofi, Al (June 13, 2001). “Statistics on the War’s Costs”. Louisiana State University. Archived from the original on July 11, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2008.
  311. ^ “1860 Census of Population and Housing”. January 7, 2009. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  312. ^ “Form available for viewing atshows how data on slave ownership was collected” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 7, 2011. Retrieved September 1, 2008.
  313. ^ Calculated by dividing the number of owners (obtained via the census) by the number of free persons.
  314. ^ All data for this section taken from the University of Virginia Library, Historical Census Browser, Census Data for Year 1860 Archived October 11, 2014, at the Wayback Machine..
  315. ^ “U.S. Bureau of the Census, Population of the 100 Largest Urban Places: 1860, Internet Release date: June 15, 1998”. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  316. ^ Dabney 1990 p. 182
  317. ^ Randall M. Miller, Harry S. Stout, and Charles Reagan, eds. Religion and the American Civil War (1998) excerpt and text search; complete edition online
  318. ^ Pamela Robinson-Durso, “Chaplains in the Confederate Army.” Journal of Church and State 33 (1991): 747+.
  319. ^ W. Harrison Daniel, “Southern Presbyterians in the Confederacy.” North Carolina Historical Review 44.3 (1967): 231–255. online
  320. ^ W. Harrison Daniel, “The Southern Baptists in the Confederacy.” Civil War History 6.4 (1960): 389–401.
  321. ^ G. Clinton Prim. “Southern Methodism in the Confederacy”. Methodist history 23.4 (1985): 240–249.
  322. ^ Edgar Legare Pennington, “The Confederate Episcopal Church and the Southern Soldiers.” Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church 17.4 (1948): 356–383. online
  323. ^ David T. Gleeson, The Green and the Gray: The Irish in the Confederate States of America (2013).
  324. ^ Sidney J. Romero, “Louisiana Clergy and the Confederate Army”. Louisiana History 2.3 (1961): 277–300.
  325. ^ W. Harrison Daniel, “Southern Protestantism and Army Missions in the Confederacy”. Mississippi Quarterly 17.4 (1964): 179+.
  326. ^ Eicher, Civil War High Commands.


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  • Bowman, John S. (ed), The Civil War Almanac, New York: Bison Books, 1983
  • Eicher, John H., & Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001,
    ISBN 0-8047-3641-3
  • Martis, Kenneth C. The Historical Atlas of the Congresses of the Confederate States of America 1861–1865 (1994)
    ISBN 0-13-389115-1

Further reading

Overviews and reference

  • American Annual Cyclopaedia for 1861 (N.Y.: Appleton’s, 1864), an encyclopedia of events in the U.S. and CSA (and other countries); covers each state in detail
  • Appletons’ annual cyclopedia and register of important events: Embracing political, military, and ecclesiastical affairs; public documents; biography, statistics, commerce, finance, literature, science, agriculture, and mechanical industry, Volume 3 1863 (1864), thorough coverage of the events of 1863
  • Beringer, Richard E., Herman Hattaway, Archer Jones, and William N. Still Jr. Why the South Lost the Civil War. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986.
    ISBN 0-8203-0815-3.
  • Boritt, Gabor S., and others., Why the Confederacy Lost, (1992)
  • Coulter, E. Merton The Confederate States of America, 1861–1865, 1950
  • Current, Richard N., ed. Encyclopedia of the Confederacy (4 vol), 1993. 1900 pages, articles by scholars.
  • Davis, William C. (2003). Look Away! A History of the Confederate States of America. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-684-86585-8.
  • Eaton, Clement A History of the Southern Confederacy, 1954
  • Faust, Patricia L., ed. Historical Times Illustrated History of the Civil War. New York: Harper & Row, 1986.
    ISBN 978-0-06-273116-6.
  • Gallagher, Gary W. The Confederate War. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.
    ISBN 978-0-674-16056-9.
  • Heidler, David S., and Jeanne T. Heidler, eds. Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2000.
    ISBN 978-0-393-04758-5. 2740 pages.
  • McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. Oxford History of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
    ISBN 978-0-19-503863-7. standard military history of the war; Pulitzer Prize
  • Nevins, Allan. The War for the Union. Vol. 1, The Improvised War 1861–1862. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1959.
    ISBN 0-684-10426-1; The War for the Union. Vol. 2, War Becomes Revolution 1862–1863. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1960.
    ISBN 1-56852-297-5; The War for the Union. Vol. 3, The Organized War 1863–1864. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971.
    ISBN 0-684-10428-8; The War for the Union. Vol. 4, The Organized War to Victory 1864–1865. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971.
    ISBN 1-56852-299-1. The most detailed history of the war.
  • Roland, Charles P. The Confederacy, (1960) brief survey
  • Rubin, Sarah Anne A Shattered Nation: The Rise & Fall of the Confederacy 1861–1868 (2005)
  • Thomas, Emory M. The Confederate Nation, 1861–1865. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.
    ISBN 978-0-06-014252-0. Standard political-economic-social history
  • Wakelyn, Jon L. Biographical Dictionary of the Confederacy Greenwood Press
    ISBN 0-8371-6124-X
  • Weigley, Russell F. A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861–1865. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2000.
    ISBN 0-253-33738-0.


  • Bailey, Anne J., and Daniel E. Sutherland. “The history and historians of Civil War Arkansas.” The Arkansas Historical Quarterly 58.3 (1999): pp 232+
  • Boles, John B. and Evelyn Thomas Nolen, eds. Interpreting Southern History: Historiographical Essays in Honor of Sanford W. Higginbotham (1987)
  • DeCredio, Mary. “The Confederate Home Front”, in Lacy Ford, ed., A Companion to the Civil War and Reconstruction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), pp 258–76
  • Gallagher, Gary W., “Disaffection, Persistence, and Nation: Some Directions in Recent Scholarship on the Confederacy”, Civil War History, 55 (September 2009), 329–53.
  • Grant, Susan-Mary, and Brian Holden Reid, eds. The American civil war: explorations and reconsiderations (Longman, 2000.)
  • Link, Arthur S. and Rembert W. Patrick, eds. Writing Southern History: Essays in Historiography in Honor of Fletcher M. Green (1965)
  • Woodworth, Steven E. ed. The American Civil War: A Handbook of Literature and Research, 1996 750 pages of historiography and bibliography

State studies

  • Tucker, Spencer, ed. American Civil War: A State-by-State Encyclopedia (2 vol 2015) 1019pp

Border states

  • Ash, Stephen V. Middle Tennessee society transformed, 1860–1870: war and peace in the Upper South (2006)
  • Cooling, Benjamin Franklin. Fort Donelson’s Legacy: War and Society in Kentucky and Tennessee, 1862–1863 (1997)
  • Cottrell, Steve. Civil War in Tennessee (2001) 142pp
  • Crofts, Daniel W. Reluctant Confederates: Upper South Unionists in the Secession Crisis. (1989)
    ISBN 0-8078-1809-7.
  • Dollar, Kent, and others. Sister States, Enemy States: The Civil War in Kentucky and Tennessee (2009)
  • Durham, Walter T. Nashville: The Occupied City, 1862–1863 (1985); Reluctant Partners: Nashville and the Union, 1863–1865 (1987)
  • Mackey, Robert R. The Uncivil War: Irregular Warfare in the Upper South, 1861–1865 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2014)
  • Temple, Oliver P. East Tennessee and the civil war (1899) 588pp online edition

Alabama and Mississippi

  • Fleming, Walter L. Civil War and Reconstruction in Alabama (1905). the most detailed study; Dunning School full text online from Project Gutenberg
  • Rainwater, Percy Lee. Mississippi: storm center of secession, 1856–1861 (1938)
  • Rigdon, John. A Guide to Alabama Civil War Research (2011)
  • Smith, Timothy B. Mississippi in the Civil War: The Home Front University Press of Mississippi, (2010) 265 pages; Examines the declining morale of Mississippians as they witnessed extensive destruction and came to see victory as increasingly improbable
  • Sterkx, H. E. Partners in Rebellion: Alabama Women in the Civil War (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1970)
  • Storey, Margaret M. “Civil War Unionists and the Political Culture of Loyalty in Alabama, 1860–1861”. Journal of Southern History (2003): 71–106. in JSTOR
  • Storey, Margaret M., Loyalty and Loss: Alabama’s Unionists in the Civil War and Reconstruction. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004.
  • Towns, Peggy Allen. Duty Driven: The Plight of North Alabama’s African Americans During the Civil War (2012)

Florida and Georgia

  • DeCredico, Mary A. Patriotism for Profit: Georgia’s Urban Entrepreneurs and the Confederate War Effort (1990)
  • Fowler, John D. and David B. Parker, eds. Breaking the Heartland: The Civil War in Georgia (2011)
  • Hill, Louise Biles. Joseph E. Brown and the Confederacy. (1972); He was the governor
  • Inscoe, John C. (2011). The Civil War in Georgia: A New Georgia Encyclopedia Companion. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 9780820341828.
  • Johns, John Edwin. Florida During the Civil War (University of Florida Press, 1963)
  • Johnson, Michael P. Toward A Patriarchal Republic: The Secession of Georgia (1977)
  • Mohr, Clarence L. On the Threshold of Freedom: Masters and Slaves in Civil War Georgia (1986)
  • Nulty, William H. Confederate Florida: The Road to Olustee (University of Alabama Press, 1994)
  • Parks, Joseph H. Joseph E. Brown of Georgia (LSU Press, 1977) 612 pages; Governor
  • Wetherington, Mark V. Plain Folk’s Fight: The Civil War and Reconstruction in Piney Woods Georgia (2009)

Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and West

  • Bailey, Anne J., and Daniel E. Sutherland, eds. Civil War Arkansas: beyond battles and leaders (Univ of Arkansas Pr, 2000)
  • Ferguson, John Lewis, ed. Arkansas and the Civil War (Pioneer Press, 1965)
  • Ripley, C. Peter. Slaves and Freedmen in Civil War Louisiana (LSU Press, 1976)
  • Snyder, Perry Anderson. Shreveport, Louisiana, during the Civil War and Reconstruction (1979)
  • Underwood, Rodman L. Waters of Discord: The Union Blockade of Texas During the Civil War (McFarland, 2003)
  • Winters, John D. The Civil War in Louisiana (LSU Press, 1991)
  • Woods, James M. Rebellion and Realignment: Arkansas’s Road to Secession. (1987)
  • Wooster, Ralph A. Civil War Texas (Texas A&M University Press, 2014)

North and South Carolina

  • Barrett, John G. The Civil War in North Carolina (1995)
  • Carbone, John S. The Civil War in Coastal North Carolina (2001)
  • Cauthen, Charles Edward; Power, J. Tracy. South Carolina goes to war, 1860–1865 (1950)
  • Hardy, Michael C. North Carolina in the Civil War (2011)
  • Inscoe, John C. The Heart of Confederate Appalachia: Western North Carolina in the Civil War (2003)
  • Lee, Edward J. and Ron Chepesiuk, eds. South Carolina in the Civil War: The Confederate Experience in Letters and Diaries (2004), primary sources


  • Ayers, Edward L. and others. Crucible of the Civil War: Virginia from Secession to Commemoration (2008)
  • Bryan, T. Conn. Confederate Georgia (1953), the standard scholarly survey
  • Davis, William C. and James I. Robertson, Jr., eds. Virginia at War 1861. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 2005.
    ISBN 978-0-8131-2372-1; Virginia at War 1862 (2007); Virginia at War 1863 (2009); Virginia at War 1864 (2009); Virginia at War 1865 (2012)
  • Snell, Mark A. West Virginia and the Civil War, Mountaineers Are Always Free, (2011)
    ISBN 978-1-59629-888-0.
  • Wallenstein, Peter, and Bertram Wyatt-Brown, eds. Virginia’s Civil War (2008)
  • Furgurson, Ernest B. Ashes of Glory: Richmond at War (1997)
    ISBN 978-0679746607

Social history, blacks, women

  • Ash, Stephen V. The Black Experience in the Civil War South (2010) online
  • Bartek, James M. “The Rhetoric of Destruction: Racial Identity and Noncombatant Immunity in the Civil War Era.” (PhD Dissertation, University of Kentucky, 2010). online; Bibliography pp 515–52.
  • Brown, Alexis Girardin. “The Women Left Behind: Transformation of the Southern Belle, 1840–1880” (2000) Historian 62#4 pp 759–778.
  • Cashin, Joan E. “Torn Bonnets and Stolen Silks: Fashion, Gender, Race, and Danger in the Wartime South.” Civil War History 61#4 (2015): 338–361. online
  • Chesson, Michael B. “Harlots or Heroines? A New Look at the Richmond Bread Riot.” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 92#2 (1984): 131–175. in JSTOR
  • Clinton, Catherine, and Silber, Nina, eds. Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War (1992)
  • Davis, William C. and James I. Robertson Jr., eds. Virginia at War, 1865 (2012) online
  • Elliot, Jane Evans. Diary of Mrs. Jane Evans Elliot, 1837–1882 (1908)
  • Faust, Drew Gilpin. Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War (1996)
  • Faust, Drew Gilpin. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (2008)
  • Frank, Lisa Tendrich, ed. Women in the American Civil War (2008)
  • Frankel, Noralee. Freedom’s Women: Black Women and Families in Civil War Era Mississippi (1999)
  • Gleeson. David T. The Green and the Gray: The Irish in the Confederate States of America (U of North Carolina Press, 2013); online review
  • Levine, Bruce. The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South (2013)
  • Lowry, Thomas P. The Story the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell: Sex in the Civil War (Stackpole Books, 1994).
  • Lowry, Thomas P. Sexual Misbehavior in the Civil War: A Compendium (Xlibris Corporation, 2006).[self-published source]
  • Litwack, Leon F. Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery (1979), on freed slaves
  • Massey, Mary Elizabeth Bonnet Brigades: American Women and the Civil War (1966)
  • Massey, Mary Elizabeth Refugee Life in the Confederacy, (1964)
  • Mobley, Joe A. (2008). Weary of war: life on the Confederate home front. Praeger. ISBN 9780275992026.
  • Rable, George C. Civil Wars: Women and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism (1989)
  • Slap, Andrew L. and Frank Towers, eds. Confederate Cities: The Urban South during the Civil War Era (U of Chicago Press, 2015). 302 pp.
  • Stokes, Karen. South Carolina Civilians in Sherman’s Path: Stories of Courage Amid Civil War Destruction (The History Press, 2012).
  • Whites, LeeAnn. The Civil War as a Crisis in Gender: Augusta, Georgia, 1860–1890 (1995)
  • Wiley, Bell Irwin Southern Negroes: 1861–1865 (1938)
  • Wiley, Bell Irwin Confederate Women (1975)
  • Wiley, Bell Irwin The Plain People of the Confederacy (1944)
  • Woodward, C. Vann, ed. Mary Chesnut’s Civil War, 1981, detailed diary; primary source

Intellectual history

  • Bernath, Michael T. Confederate Minds: The Struggle for Intellectual Independence in the Civil War South (University of North Carolina Press; 2010) 412 pages. Examines the efforts of writers, editors, and other “cultural nationalists” to free the South from the dependence on Northern print culture and educational systems.
  • Bonner, Robert E., “Proslavery Extremism Goes to War: The Counterrevolutionary Confederacy and Reactionary Militarism”, Modern Intellectual History, 6 (August 2009), 261–85.
  • Downing, David C. A South Divided: Portraits of Dissent in the Confederacy. (2007).
    ISBN 978-1-58182-587-9
  • Faust, Drew Gilpin. The Creation of Confederate Nationalism: Ideology and Identity in the Civil War South. (1988)
  • Hutchinson, Coleman. Apples and Ashes: Literature, Nationalism, and the Confederate States of America. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2012.
  • Lentz, Perry Carlton Our Missing Epic: A Study in the Novels about the American Civil War, 1970
  • Rubin, Anne Sarah. A Shattered Nation: The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy, 1861–1868, 2005 A cultural study of Confederates’ self images

Political history

  • Alexander, Thomas B., and Beringer, Richard E. The Anatomy of the Confederate Congress: A Study of the Influences of Member Characteristics on Legislative Voting Behavior, 1861–1865, (1972)
  • Cooper, William J, Jefferson Davis, American (2000), standard biography
  • Davis, William C. A Government of Our Own: The Making of the Confederacy. New York: The Free Press, a division of Macmillan, Inc., 1994.
    ISBN 978-0-02-907735-1.
  • Eckenrode, H. J., Jefferson Davis: President of the South, 1923
  • Levine, Bruce. Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans to Free and Arm Slaves during the Civil War. (2006)
  • Martis, Kenneth C., “The Historical Atlas of the Congresses of the Confederate States of America 1861–1865” (1994)
    ISBN 0-13-389115-1
  • Neely, Mark E. Jr., Confederate Bastille: Jefferson Davis and Civil Liberties (1993)
  • Neely, Mark E. Jr. Southern Rights: Political Prisoners and the Myth of Confederate Constitutionalism. (1999)
    ISBN 0-8139-1894-4
  • George C. Rable The Confederate Republic: A Revolution against Politics, 1994
  • Rembert, W. Patrick Jefferson Davis and His Cabinet (1944).
  • Williams, William M. Justice in Grey: A History of the Judicial System of the Confederate States of America (1941)
  • Yearns, Wilfred Buck The Confederate Congress (1960)

Foreign affairs

  • Blumenthal, Henry. “Confederate Diplomacy: Popular Notions and International Realities”, Journal of Southern History, Vol. 32, No. 2 (May 1966), pp. 151–171 in JSTOR
  • Daddysman, James W. The Matamoros Trade: Confederate Commerce, Diplomacy, and Intrigue. (1984)
  • Foreman, Amanda. A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War (2011) especially on Brits inside the Confederacy;
  • Hubbard, Charles M. The Burden of Confederate Diplomacy (1998)
  • Jones, Howard. Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations (2009)
  • Jones, Howard. Union in Peril: The Crisis Over British Intervention in the Civil War. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, Bison Books, 1997.
    ISBN 978-0-8032-7597-3. Originally published: Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992.
  • Mahin, Dean B. One War at a Time: The International Dimensions of the American Civil War. Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 2000.
    ISBN 978-1-57488-301-5. Originally published: Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 1999.
  • Merli, Frank J. The Alabama, British Neutrality, and the American Civil War (2004). 225 pp.
  • Owsley, Frank. King Cotton Diplomacy: Foreign Relations of the Confederate States of America (2nd ed. 1959)
  • Sainlaude, Steve. La France et la Confédération sudiste (2011)
  • Sainlaude, Steve. Le gouvernement impérial et la guerre de Sécession (2011)

Economic history

  • Black, III, Robert C. The Railroads of the Confederacy. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1952, 1988.
    OCLC 445590.
  • Bonner, Michael Brem. “Expedient Corporatism and Confederate Political Economy”, Civil War History, 56 (March 2010), 33–65.
  • Dabney, Virginius Richmond: The Story of a City. Charlottesville: The University of Virginia Press, 1990
    ISBN 0-8139-1274-1
  • Grimsley, Mark The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy toward Southern Civilians, 1861–1865, 1995
  • Hurt, R. Douglas. Agriculture and the Confederacy: Policy, Productivity, and Power in the Civil War South (2015)
  • Massey, Mary Elizabeth Ersatz in the Confederacy: Shortages and Substitutes on the Southern Homefront (1952)
  • Paskoff, Paul F. “Measures of War: A Quantitative Examination of the Civil War’s Destructiveness in the Confederacy”, Civil War History (2008) 54#1 pp 35–62 in Project MUSE
  • Ramsdell, Charles. Behind the Lines in the Southern Confederacy, 1994.
  • Roark, James L. Masters without Slaves: Southern Planters in the Civil War and Reconstruction, 1977.
  • Thomas, Emory M. The Confederacy as a Revolutionary Experience, 1992

Primary sources

  • Carter, Susan B., ed. The Historical Statistics of the United States: Millennial Edition (5 vols), 2006
  • Commager, Henry Steele. The Blue and the Gray: The Story of the Civil War As Told by Participants. 2 vols. Indianapolis and New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1950.
    OCLC 633931399. Many reprints.
  • Davis, Jefferson. The Rise of the Confederate Government. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2010. Original edition: 1881.
    ISBN 978-1-4351-2066-2.
  • Davis, Jefferson. The Fall of the Confederate Government. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2010. Original edition: 1881.
    ISBN 978-1-4351-2067-9.
  • Harwell, Richard B., The Confederate Reader (1957)
  • Hettle, Wallace, ed. The Confederate Homefront: A History in Documents (LSU Press, 2017) 214 pp
  • Jones, John B. A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary at the Confederate States Capital, edited by Howard Swiggert, [1935] 1993. 2 vols.
  • Richardson, James D., ed. A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence 1861–1865, 2 volumes, 1906.
  • Yearns, W. Buck and Barret, John G., eds. North Carolina Civil War Documentary, 1980.
  • Confederate official government documents major online collection of complete texts in HTML format, from University of North Carolina
  • Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861–1865 (7 vols), 1904. Available online at the Library of Congress0

External links

  • Confederate offices Index of Politicians by Office Held or Sought
  • Civil War Research & Discussion Group -*Confederate States of Am. Army and Navy Uniforms, 1861
  • The Countryman, 1862–1866, published weekly by Turnwold, Ga., edited by J.A. Turner
  • The Federal and the Confederate Constitution Compared
  • Confederate Currency at the Wayback Machine (archived July 19, 2011)
  • Confederate Postage Stamps
  • Photographs of the original Confederate Constitution and other Civil War documents owned by the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia Libraries.
  • Photographic History of the Civil War, 10 vols., 1912.
  • DocSouth: Documenting the American South – numerous online text, image, and audio collections.
  • The Boston Athenæum has over 4000 Confederate imprints, including rare books, pamphlets, government documents, manuscripts, serials, broadsides, maps, and sheet music that have been conserved and digitized.
  • Oklahoma Digital Maps: Digital Collections of Oklahoma and Indian Territory
  • Confederate States of America Collection at the Library of Congress
  • Works by or about Confederate States of America at Internet Archive
  • Works by Confederate States of America at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
  • Works by Confederate States of America at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)

Plantation complexes in the Southern United States

The austere Georgian-style main house at Stratford Hall, built on an H-plan that was more typical of the earlier Elizabethan and Jacobean architecture of England. It was completed in 1738 near Lerty, Virginia.

Plantation complexes in the Southern United States refers to the built environment (or complex) that was common on agricultural plantations in the American South from the 17th into the 20th century. The complex included everything from the main residence down to the pens for livestock. A plantation originally denoted a settlement in which settlers were “planted” to establish a colonial base. Southern plantations were generally self-sufficient settlements that relied on the forced labor of slaves, similar to the way that a medieval manorial estate relied upon the forced labor of serfs.[1]

Today, as was also true in the past, there is a wide range of opinion as to what differentiated a plantation from a farm. Typically, the focus of a farm was subsistence agriculture. In contrast, the primary focus of a plantation was the production of cash crops, with enough staple food crops produced to feed the population of the estate and the livestock.[2] A common definition of what constituted a plantation is that it typically had 500 to 1,000 acres (2.0 to 4.0 km2) or more of land and produced one or two cash crops for sale.[3] Other scholars have attempted to define it by the number of slaves that were owned.[4]


  • 1 The Plantation complex
  • 2 Plantation house
  • 3 Slave quarters
  • 4 Other residential structures
  • 5 Kitchen yard
  • 6 Ancillary structures
  • 7 Agricultural structures
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links

The Plantation complex

The whimsical Gothic Revival-style Afton Villa in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Built from 1848 to 1856, the masonry structure burned in 1963.

The vast majority of plantations did not have grand mansions centered on a huge acreage. These large estates did exist, but represented only a small percentage of the plantations that once existed in the South.[2] Although many southern farmers did own slaves prior to emancipation, few owned more than five. These farmers tended to work the fields alongside their slaves.[5] Of the estimated 46,200 plantations known to exist in 1860, 20,700 had 20 to 30 slaves and only 2,300 had a workforce of a hundred or more, with the rest somewhere in between.[4]

Many plantations operated by absentee-landowners never had a main house on site. Just as vital and arguably more important to the complex were the many structures built for the processing and storage of crops, food preparation and storage, sheltering equipment and animals, and various other domestic and agricultural purposes. The value of the plantation came from its land and the enslaved people (later sharecroppers or tenants) who toiled on it to produce crops for a profit. These same people produced the built environment, from the main house for the plantation owner, the slave cabins, barns, and other structures of the complex.[6]

1862 photograph of the slave quarter at Smiths Plantation in Port Royal, South Carolina. The slave house shown is of the saddlebag type.

The materials for a plantation’s buildings, for the most part, came from the lands of the estate. Lumber was obtained from the forested areas of the property.[6] Depending on its intended use, it was either split, hewn, or sawn.[7] Bricks were most often produced onsite from sand and clay that was molded, dried, and then fired in a kiln. If a suitable stone was available, it was used. Tabby was often used on the southern Sea Islands.[6]

Few plantation structures have survived into the modern era, with the vast majority destroyed through natural disaster, neglect, or fire over the centuries. With the collapse of the plantation economy and subsequent southern transition from a largely agrarian to an industrial society, plantations and their building complexes became obsolete. Although the majority have been destroyed, the most common structures to have survived are the plantation houses. As is true of buildings in general, the more substantially built and architecturally interesting buildings have tended to be the ones that survived into the modern age and are better documented than many of the smaller and simpler ones. Several plantation homes of important persons, including Mount Vernon, Monticello, and The Hermitage have also been preserved. Less common are intact examples of slave housing. The rarest survivors of all are the agricultural and lesser domestic structures, especially those dating from the pre-Civil War era.[6][8]

Plantation house

The Palladian-inspired main house at Drayton Hall near Charleston, South Carolina, built in 1738. Its planned side-wings and linking arcades were executed but demolished in the late 19th century.

Most historical research has focused on the main houses of plantations, primarily because they were the most likely to survive and usually the most elaborate structures in the complex. Also, until fairly recent times, scholars and local historians usually focused on the life of the plantation owner, that is, the planter, and his or her family rather than the people they held as slaves.[6] All romanticized notions aside, the plantation house was, at its most basic, a functioning farmhouse. Although some plantation houses were planned as grand mansions and were built all at once from the ground up, many more began as fairly rudimentary structures that either stayed that way, were replaced, or were enlarged and improved over time as fortunes improved.[8] In most areas of the South the earliest settlers constructed houses to provide basic shelter suited to their local climate, not to establish permanence or demonstrate wealth or power.[9]

Montpelier near Laurel, Maryland, built 1783. A Georgian-style mansion with Palladian-inspired side wings.

Pleasant Prospect, built c. 1798 in Bowie, Maryland is an excellent example of the more restrained Federal style architecture that was popular following American independence.

In colonial Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, the earliest plantation houses tended to follow British-derived folk forms such as the hall and parlor house-type and central-passage house-type.[10]

Grander structures during the later colonial period usually conformed to the neoclassically-influenced Georgian and Palladian styles, although some very early and rare Jacobean structures survive in Virginia. Following the Revolutionary War, Federal and Jeffersonian-type neoclassicism became dominant in formal plantation architecture.[11]

Large portions of the South outside of the original British colonies, such as in Kentucky and Tennessee, did not see extensive settlement until the early 1800s. Although large portions of Alabama and Mississippi were settled at roughly the same time, there were areas of these states, along with portions of western Georgia and southeastern Tennessee, that did not see wide-scale settlement until after the Indian removal in the 1830s. Very little formal architecture existed within these newly settled areas, with most dwellings being of hewn logs into the 1840s. The dogtrot-type plan was common for many of these log houses.[8]

The main house at the Destrehan sugar plantation in Destrehan, Louisiana, built 1787–1790. Built in the French Colonial style, the original slender wooden gallery posts were replaced with monumental Doric columns when the Greek Revival-style was popular.

Rough vernacular architecture for early plantations was also true in Arkansas and Missouri although in their river regions, and in the southern portion of what became the state of Louisiana, the plantations reflected French Colonial architectural types, often with Spanish influences, well after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Admitted to the Union in the mid-1840s, early architecture in Florida and Texas generally showed a stronger Spanish Colonial architectural influence, blended with French and British forms.[6]

Some of the wealthiest planters never built grand residences. One example was noted by Albert J. Pickett, an early Alabama historian. In 1850 he visited Nicholas Davis, the owner of the prosperous Walnut Grove Plantation. Despite owning more than 100 slaves, he was still living in the large log house he had built after his migration from Virginia in 1817. He told Pickett that he “would not exchange (it) for a palace.” Even Gaineswood, now a National Historic Landmark due to it being considered a lavish example of a plantation house, began as a two-story hewn-log dogtrot that was eventually enveloped within the brick mass of the house.[8][12]

Moss Hill near Pine Apple, Alabama, completed in 1845. An example of a simple I-house or Plantation Plain-style house. This folk house style, along with similarly proportioned log and frame houses, were once the most common types of plantation houses.

After the period of initial settlement, more refined folk house types came from the older portions of the South, especially the I-house, thought by architectural scholars to be a descendant of the hall and parlor and the central-passage house-types.[13] The central-passage house continued to be popular and could be either single-pile (one room deep) or double-pile (two rooms deep).[13] If it had a porch, it was under a separate roof attached to the main house.[14]

I-houses were always two stories high, always single-pile, with side gables or a hipped roof. They were at least two rooms wide, with latter examples usually having a central hall dividing them. In the South, they usually had full-width one-story shed extensions to the front and rear. These sheds could manifest as open porches, enclosed rooms, or a combination of the two. This I-house with sheds came to be commonly referred to as “Plantation Plain.” It also proved to be one of the most adaptable folk house types to changing architectural tastes, with some even having neoclassical porticoes and other high-style elements added to them at a later date.[14]

Millford Plantation in South Carolina. Regarded as one of the finest examples of Greek Revival residential architecture in the United States.


Another house type, the Creole cottage, came from the areas along the Gulf Coast and its associated rivers that were formerly part of New France. It was always one-and-a-half stories, with a side-gabled roof, and often had upper floor dormer windows. However, it accommodated a full-width front porch under the main roof, with doors or jib-windows opening from all of the rooms onto the porch, and was usually raised high above the ground on a full raised basement or piers. It was a common form for many early plantation houses and town houses alike in the lower reaches of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.[14]

Gaineswood in Demopolis, Alabama, built from 1843 to 1861. Designed by its owner from pattern books, it is a Greek Revival with Italianate-influenced asymmetrical massing.

When the cotton boom years began in the 1830s, the United States was entering its second neoclassical phase, with Greek Revival architecture being the dominant style. By this point trained architects were also becoming more common, and several introduced the style to the South. Whereas the earlier Federal and Jeffersonian neoclassicism displayed an almost feminine lightness, academic Greek Revival was very masculine, with a heaviness not seen in the earlier styles.[16]

Annandale Plantation in Mannsdale, Mississippi, built from 1857 to 1859. It replaced a log house that the family lived in for almost 20 years. Their new Italianate-style mansion was derived from plans published by Minard Lafever in 1856. It was destroyed by fire in 1924.

Earlier neoclassicism had often used ancient Roman models and the Tuscan order, along with the Roman versions of the original three Greek orders. The original Greek orders were Doric, Ionic, and the Corinthian. The academic version of Greek Revival embraced the pure form of ancient Grecian architecture. Due to its popularity during a time of great wealth for many southern plantations, it was the Greek Revival that became permanently linked to the plantation legend. Though some houses were architect-designed, many, if not most, were designed by the owners or their carpenters from pattern books published by Asher Benjamin, Minard Lafever, John Haviland, and others. Greek Revival proved to very adaptable to the hot and humid climate of the South, with colloquial adaptations of the style seen from one region, and sometimes from one town, to another.[16][17]

The Samuel Sloan-designed “Oriental Villa” mansion, Longwood, in Natchez, Mississippi. It was started in 1859 and never completed.

Greek Revival would remain a favorite architectural style in the agrarian South until well after the Civil War, but other styles had appeared in the nation about the same time as Greek Revival or soon afterward. These were primarily the Italianate and Gothic Revival.[18] They were slower to be adopted in whole for domestic plantation architecture, but they can be seen in a fusion of stylistic influences. Houses that were basically Greek Revival in character sprouted Italianate towers, bracketed eaves, or adopted the asymmetrical massing characteristic of that style.[16]

Although never as popular as Greek Revival, fully Gothic Revival and Italianate plantation houses began to appear by the 1850s, after being popularized by the books of men such as Alexander Jackson Davis, Andrew Jackson Downing, and Samuel Sloan. The Gothic Revival was usually expressed in wood as Carpenter Gothic. Italianate was the most popular of the two styles. It was also most commonly built using wood construction when used for plantation houses, although a few brick examples, such as Kenworthy Hall, have survived.[19]

The outbreak of war in 1861 put an abrupt end to the building of grand mansions. Following the war and the end of Reconstruction, the economy was drastically altered.[19] Planters often did not have the funds for upkeep of their existing houses and new construction virtually ceased on most plantations. The new sharecropping method kept many plantations going, but the days of extravagance were over.[6]

Slave quarters

1870s photo of the brick slave quarters at Hermitage Plantation (now destroyed) near Savannah, Georgia.

Slave housing, although once one of the most common and distinctive features of the plantation landscape, has largely disappeared from most of the South. Many were insubstantial to begin with.[20] Only the better-built examples tended to survive, and then usually only if they were re-purposed for other uses after emancipation. Slave quarters could be adjacent to the main house, well away from it, or both. On large plantations they were often arranged in a village-like grouping along an avenue away from the main house, but sometimes were scattered around the plantation on the edges of the fields where the slaves toiled, like most of the sharecropper cabins that were to come later.[21]

Slave house with a sugar kettle in the foreground at Woodland Plantation in West Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana.

Slave houses were often one of the most basic construction. Meant for little more than sleeping, they were usually rough log or frame one-room cabins; early examples often had chimneys made of clay and sticks.[20][22] Hall and parlor houses (two rooms) were also represented on the plantation landscape, offering a separate room for eating and sleeping. Sometimes dormitories and two-story dwellings were also used as slave housing. Earlier examples rested on the ground with a dirt floor, but later examples were usually raised on piers for ventilation. Most of these represent the dwellings constructed for field slaves. Rarely though, such as at the former Hermitage Plantation in Georgia and Boone Hall in South Carolina, even field slaves were provided with brick cabins.[23]

More fortunate in their accommodations were the house servants or skilled laborers. They usually resided either in a part of the main house or in their own houses, which were normally more comfortable dwellings than those of their counterparts who worked in the fields.[22][23] A few slave owners went even further to provide housing for their household servants. When Waldwic in Alabama was remodeled in the Gothic Revival style in the 1852, the household servants were provided with large accommodations that matched the architecture of the main house. This model, however, was exceedingly rare.[8]

Remnants of the slave quarter at Faunsdale Plantation near Faunsdale, Alabama.

Famous landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted had this recollection of a visit to plantations along the Georgia coast in 1855:

.mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}

In the afternoon, I left the main road, and, towards night, reached a much more cultivated district. The forest of pines extended uninterruptedly on one side of the way, but on the other was a continued succession of very large fields, or rich dark soil – evidently reclaimed swamp-land – which had been cultivated the previous year, in Sea Island cotton, or maize. Beyond them, a flat surface of still lower land, with a silver thread of water curling through it, extended, Holland-like, to the horizon. Usually at as great a distance as a quarter of a mile from the road, and from a half mile to a mile apart, were the residences of the planters – large white houses, with groves of evergreen trees about them; and between these and the road were little villages of slave-cabins…The cottages were framed buildings, boarded on the outside, with shingle roofs and brick chimneys; they stood fifty feet apart, with gardens and pig-yards…At the head of the settlement, in a garden looking down the street, was an overseer’s house, and here the road divided, running each way at right angles; on one side to barns and a landing on the river, on the other toward the mansion…

— Frederick Law Olmsted, A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States[24]

Other residential structures

Overseer’s house at Oakland Plantation near Natchitoches, Louisiana.

A crucial residential structure on larger plantations was an overseer’s house. The overseer was largely responsible for the success or failure of an estate, making sure that quotas were met and sometimes meting out punishment for infractions by the enslaved. The overseer was responsible for healthcare, with slaves and slave houses inspected routinely. He was also the record keeper of most crop inventories and held the keys to various storehouses.[25]

A garçonnière (bachelor’s quarters) at The Houmas, near Burnside, Louisiana.

The overseer’s house was usually a modest dwelling, not far from the slave cabins. The overseer and his family, even when white and southern, did not freely mingle with the planter and his family. They were in a different social stratum than that of the owner and were expected to know their place. In village-type slave quarters on plantations with overseers, his house was usually at the head of the slave village rather than near the main house, at least partially due to his social position. It was also part of an effort to keep the slave population compliant and prevent the beginnings of a slave rebellion, a very real fear in the minds of most plantation owners.[25]

Economic studies indicate that fewer than 30 percent of planters employed white supervisors for their slave labor.[26] Some planters appointed a trusted slave as the overseer, and in Louisiana free black overseers were also used.[25]

Another residential structure largely unique to plantation complexes was the garconnière or bachelors’ quarters. Mostly built by Louisiana Creole people, but occasionally found in other parts of the Deep South formerly under the dominion of New France, they were structures that housed the adolescent or unmarried sons of plantation owners. At some plantations it was a free-standing structure and at others it was attached to the main house by side-wings. It developed from the Acadian tradition of using the loft of the house as a bedroom for young men.[27]

Kitchen yard

The detached brick kitchen building at the former Lowry Plantation outside of Marion, Alabama. The main house is wood-frame with brick columns and piers.

A variety of domestic and lesser agricultural structures surrounded the main house on all plantations. Most plantations possessed some, if not all, of these outbuildings, often called dependencies, commonly arranged around a courtyard to the rear of the main house known as the kitchen yard. They included a cookhouse (separate kitchen building), pantry, washhouse (laundry), smokehouse, chicken house, spring house or ice house, milkhouse (dairy), covered well, and cistern. The privies would have been located some distance away from the plantation house and kitchen yard.[28]

The cookhouse or kitchen was almost always in a separate building in the South until modern times, sometimes connected to the main house by a covered walkway. This separation was partially due to the cooking fire generating heat all day long in an already hot and humid climate. It also reduced the risk of fire. Indeed, on many plantations the cookhouse was built of brick while when the main house was of wood-frame construction. Another reason for the separation was to prevent the noise of cooking activities from reaching the main house. Sometimes the cookhouse contained two rooms, one for the actual kitchen and the other to serve as the residence for the cook. Still other arrangements had the kitchen in one room, a laundry in the other, and a second story for servant quarters.[8][28] The pantry could be in its own structure or in a cool part of the cookhouse or a storehouse and would have secured items such as barrels of salt, sugar, flour, cornmeal and the like.[29]

1940 photograph of the washhouse (laundry) at Melrose Plantation in Melrose, Louisiana.

The washhouse is where clothes, tablecloths, and bed-covers were cleaned and ironed. It also sometimes had living quarters for the laundrywoman. Cleaning laundry in this period was labor-intensive for the domestic slaves that performed it. It required various gadgets to accomplish the task. The wash boiler was a cast iron or copper cauldron in which clothes or other fabrics and soapy water were heated over an open fire. The wash-stick was a wooden stick with a handle at its uppermost part and four to five prongs at its base. It was simultaneously pounded up and down and rotated in the washing tub to aerate the wash solution and loosen any dirt. The items would then be vigorously rubbed on a corrugated wash board until clean. By the 1850s, they would be passed through a mangle. Prior to that time, wringing out the items was done by hand. The items would then be ready to be hung out to dry or, in inclement weather, placed on a drying rack. Ironing would have been done with a metal flat iron, often heated in the fireplace, and various other devices.[30]

Smokehouse at Wheatlands near Sevierville, Tennessee.

The milkhouse would have been used by slaves to make milk into cream, butter, and buttermilk. The process started with separating the milk into skim milk and cream. It was done by pouring the whole milk into a container and allowing the cream to naturally rise to the top. This was collected into another container daily until several gallons had accumulated. During this time the cream would sour slightly through naturally occurring bacteria. This increased the efficiency of the churning to come. Churning was an arduous task performed with a butter churn. Once firm enough to separate out, but soft enough to stick together, the butter was taken out of the churn, washed in very cold water, and salted. The churning process also produced buttermilk as a by-product. It was the remaining liquid after the butter was removed from the churn.[31] All of the products of this process would have been stored in the spring house or ice house.[28]

1937 photograph of one of two identical pigeonniers at Uncle Sam Plantation in Convent, Louisiana. One of the most ornate and complete plantation complexes left at that time, it was bulldozed in 1940 for levee construction.

The smokehouse was utilized to preserve meat, usually pork, beef, and mutton. It was commonly built of hewn logs or brick. Following the slaughter in the fall or early winter, salt and sugar were applied to the meat at the beginning of the curing process, and then the meat was slowly dried and smoked in the smokehouse by a fire that did not add any heat to the smokehouse itself.[32] If it was cool enough, the meat could also be stored there until it was consumed.[28]

The chicken house was a building where chickens were kept. Its design could vary, depending on whether the chickens were kept for egg production, meat, or both. If for eggs, there were often nest boxes for egg laying and perches on which the birds to sleep. Eggs were collected daily.[28] Some plantations also had pigeonniers (dovecotes) that, in Louisiana, sometimes took the form of monumental towers set near the main house. The pigeons were raised to be eaten as a delicacy and their droppings were used as fertilizer.[33]

Few functions could take place on a plantation without a reliable water supply. Every plantation had at least one, and sometimes several, wells. These were usually roofed and often partially enclosed by latticework to keep out animals. Since the well water in many areas was distasteful due to mineral content, the potable water on many plantations came from cisterns that were supplied with rainwater by a pipe from a rooftop catchment. These could be huge aboveground wooden barrels capped by metal domes, such as was often seen in Louisiana and coastal areas of Mississippi, or underground brick masonry domes or vaults, common in other areas.[8][34]

Ancillary structures

Schoolhouse for the owner’s children at Thornhill near Forkland, Alabama.

Some structures on plantations provided subsidiary functions; again, the term dependency can be applied to these buildings. A few were common, such as the carriage house and blacksmith shop; but most varied widely among plantations and were largely a function of what the planter wanted, needed, or could afford to add to the complex. These buildings might include schoolhouses, offices, churches, commissary stores, gristmills, and sawmills.[8][35]

Found on some plantations in every southern state, plantation schoolhouses served as a place for the hired tutor or governess to educate the planter’s children, and sometimes even those of other planters in the area.[8] On most plantations, however, a room in the main house was sufficient for schooling, rather than a separate dedicated building. Paper was precious, so the children often recited their lessons until they memorized them. The usual texts in the beginning were the Bible, a primer, and a hornbook. As the children grew older their schooling began to prepare them for their adult roles on the plantation. Boys studied academic subjects, proper social etiquette, and plantation management, while girls learned art, music, French, and the domestic skills suited to the mistress of a plantation.[36]

Plantation office at Waverley near West Point, Mississippi.

Most plantation owners maintained an office for keeping records, transacting business, writing correspondence, and the like.[8] Although it, like the schoolroom, was most often within the main house or another structure, it was not at all rare for a complex to have a separate plantation office. John C. Calhoun used his plantation office at his Fort Hill plantation in Clemson, South Carolina as a private sanctuary of sorts, with it utilized as both study and library during his twenty-five year residency.[37]

The “Negro Baptist Church” at Friendfield Plantation near Georgetown, South Carolina.

Another structure found on some estates was a plantation chapel or church. These were built for a variety of reasons. In many cases the planter built a church or chapel for the use of the plantation slaves, although they usually recruited a white minister to conduct the services.[38] Some were built to exclusively serve the plantation family, but many more were built to serve the family and others in the area who shared the same faith. This seems to be especially true with planters within the Episcopal denomination. Early records indicate that at Faunsdale Plantation the mistress of the estate, Louisa Harrison, gave regular instruction to her slaves by reading the services of the church and teaching the Episcopal catechism to their children. Following the death of her first husband, she had a large Carpenter Gothic church built, St. Michael’s Church. She latter remarried to Rev. William A. Stickney, who served as the Episcopal minister of St. Michael’s and was later appointed by Bishop Richard Wilmer as a “Missionary to the Negroes,” after which Louisa joined him as an unofficial fellow minister among the African Americans of the Black Belt.[39]

The Chapel of the Cross at Annandale Plantation near Madison, Mississippi.

Most plantation churches were of wood-frame construction, although some were built in brick, often stuccoed. Early examples tended towards the vernacular or neoclassicism, but later examples were almost always in the Gothic Revival style. A few rivaled those built by southern town congregations. Two of the most elaborate extant examples in the Deep South are the Chapel of the Cross at Annandale Plantation and St. Mary’s Chapel at Laurel Hill Plantation, both Episcopalian structures in Mississippi. In both cases the original plantation houses have been destroyed, but the quality and design of the churches can give some insight into how elaborate some plantation complexes and their buildings could be. St. Mary Chapel, in Natchez, dates to 1839, built in stuccoed brick with large Gothic and Tudor arch windows, hood mouldings over the doors and windows, buttresses, a crenelated roof-line, and a small Gothic spire crowning the whole.[40] Although construction records are very sketchy, the Chapel of the Cross, built from 1850 to 1852 near Madison, may be attributable to Frank Wills or Richard Upjohn, both of whom designed almost identical churches in the North during the same time period that the Chapel of the Cross was built.[41][42]

Plantation store at Oakland Plantation near Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Another secondary structure on many plantations during the height of the sharecropping-era was the plantation store or commissary. Although some antebellum plantations had a commissary that distributed food and supplies to slaves, the plantation store was essentially a postbellum addition to the plantation complex. In addition to the share of their crop already owed to the plantation owner for the use of his or her land, tenants and sharecroppers purchased, usually on credit against their next crop, the food staples and equipment that they relied on for their existence.[8][43]

Planters maintained a record of the purchases, often adding exorbitant interest rates. A 1909 estimate by the Department of Agriculture concluded that the average sharecropper cleared only about $175 from his crops before settling his accounts at the plantation store. However, afterward the tenant farmer had to pay for the coming year’s staples, thereby keeping himself permanently indebted to the plantation owner.

This type of debt bondage, for blacks and poor whites, led to a populist movement in the late 19th century that began to bring blacks and whites together for a common cause. This early populist movement is largely credited with helping to cause state governments in the South, mostly controlled by the planter elite, to enact various laws that disenfranchised poor whites and blacks, through grandfather clauses, literacy tests, poll taxes, and various other laws.[43]

Agricultural structures

Carriage house (left) and stable (right) at Melrose in Natchez, Mississippi.

The agricultural structures on plantations had some basic structures in common and others that varied widely. They depended on what crops and animals were raised on the plantation. Common crops included corn, upland cotton, sea island cotton, rice, sugarcane, and tobacco. Besides those mentioned earlier, cattle, ducks, goats, hogs, and sheep were raised for their derived products and/or meat. All estates would have possessed various types of animal pens, stables, and a variety of barns. Many plantations utilized a number of specialized structures that were crop-specific and only found on that type of plantation.[44]

Plantation barns can be classified by function, depending on what type of crop and livestock were raised.[45] In the upper South, like their counterparts in the North, barns had to provide basic shelter for the animals and storage of fodder. Unlike the upper regions, most plantations in the lower South did not have to provide substantial shelter to their animals during the winter. Animals were often kept in fattening pens with a simple shed for shelter, with the main barn or barns being utilized for crop storage or processing only.[44] Stables were an essential type of barn on the plantation, used to house both horses and mules. These were usually separate, one for each type of animal. The mule stable was the most important on the vast majority of estates, since the mules did most of the work, pulling the plows and carts.[44]

Tobacco barn near Lexington, Kentucky.

Barns not involved in animal husbandry were most commonly the crib barn (corn cribs or other types of granaries), storage barns, or processing barns. Crib barns were typically built of unchinked logs, although they were sometimes covered with vertical wood siding. Storage barns often housed unprocessed crops or those awaiting consumption or transport to market. Processing barns were specialized structures that were necessary for helping to actually process the crop.[45]

Tobacco plantations were most common in certain parts of Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Virginia. The first agricultural plantations in Virginia were founded on the growing of tobacco. Tobacco production on plantations was very labor-intensive. It required the entire year to gather seeds, start them growing in cold frames, and then transplant the plants to the fields once the soil had warmed. Then the slaves had to weed the fields all summer and remove the flowers from the tobacco plants in order to force more energy into the leaves. Harvesting was done by plucking individual leaves over several weeks as they ripened. The leaves were then hung in the vented tobacco barn to cure them.[46][47]

Winnowing barn (foreground) and rice pounding mill (background) at Mansfield Plantation near Georgetown, South Carolina.

Rice plantations were common in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Until the 19th century, rice was threshed from the stalks and the husk was pounded from the grain by hand, a very labor-intensive endeavor. Steam-powered rice pounding mills had become common by the 1830s. They were used to thresh the grain from the inedible chaff. A separate chimney, required for the fires powering the steam engine, was adjacent to the pounding mill and often connected by an underground system. The winnowing barn, a building raised roughly a story off of the ground on posts, was used to separate the lighter chaff and dust from the rice.[48][49]

Ruins of a sugar mill at Laurel Valley Plantation in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

Sugar plantations were most commonly found in Louisiana. In fact, Louisiana produced almost all of the sugar grown in the United States during the antebellum period. From one-quarter to one-half of all sugar consumed in the United States came from Louisiana sugar plantations. Plantations grew sugarcane from Louisiana’s colonial era onward, but large scale production did not begin until the 1810s and 1820s. A successful sugar plantation required a skilled retinue of hired labor and slaves.[50]

The most specialized structure on a sugar plantation was the sugar mill (sugar house), where, by the 1830s, the steam-powered mill crushed the sugarcane stalks between rollers. This squeezed the juice from the stalks and the cane juice would run out the bottom of the mill through a strainer to be collected into a tank. From there the juice went through a process that removed impurities from the liquid and thickened it through evaporation. It was steam-heated in vats where additional impurities were removed by adding lime to the syrup and then the mixture was strained. At this point the liquid had been transformed into molasses. It was then placed into a closed vessel known as a vacuum pan, where it was boiled until the sugar in the syrup was crystallized. The crystallized sugar was then cooled and separated from any remaining molasses in a process known as purging. The final step was packing the sugar into hogshead barrels for transport to market.[51]

Cotton press from the Norfleet Plantation, now relocated to Tarboro, North Carolina.

Cotton plantations, the most common type of plantation in the South prior to the Civil War, were the last type of plantation to fully develop. Cotton production was a very labor-intensive crop to harvest, with the fibers having to be hand-picked from the bolls. This was coupled with the equally laborious removal of seeds from fiber by hand.[52]

Following the invention of the cotton gin, cotton plantations sprang up all over the South and cotton production soared, along with the expansion of slavery. Cotton also caused plantations to grow in size. During the financial panics of 1819 and 1837, when demand by British mills for cotton dropped, many small planters went bankrupt and their land and slaves were bought by larger plantations. As cotton-producing estates grew in size, so did the number of slaveholders and the average number of slaves held.[1][52]

A cotton plantation normally had a cotton gin house, where the cotton gin was used to remove the seeds from raw cotton. After ginning, the cotton had to be baled before it could be warehoused and transported to market. This was accomplished with a cotton press, an early type of baler that was usually powered by two mules walking in a circle with each attached to an overhead arm that turned a huge wooden screw. The downward action of this screw compressed the processed cotton into a uniform bale-shaped wooden enclosure, where the bale was secured with twine.[53]

See also

  • Slavery in the United States
  • Sharecropping in the United States
  • Casa-Grande & Senzala (similar concept in Brazilian plantations)
  • Plantations of Leon County (Florida)


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  35. ^ Roberts, Bruce; Elizabeth Kedash (1990). Plantation homes of the James River. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. pp. 4–6. ISBN 978-0-8078-4278-2.
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  40. ^ “St. Mary Chapel, located on Laurel Hill Plantation in Adams County, approximately eight (8) miles south of Natchez. This property was an English land grant to the Richard Ellis family and continues to be owned by his descendants. {Note that there is also a Laurel Hill Plantation in Jefferson County that was owned by the Rush Nutt family}”. St. Mary Basilica Archives. Episcopal Diocese of Jackson: St. Mary Basilica Archives. Retrieved April 15, 2011.
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  43. ^ ab Whayne, Jeannie M. (1990). A New Plantation South: Land, Labor, and Federal Favor in Twentieth-century Arkansas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. pp. 55–57. ISBN 978-0-8139-1655-2.
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External links

  • The Plantation System in Southern Life. Short documentary from 1950