The Papers of Jefferson Davis: 1861

Front Cover
LSU Press, Jan 1, 1992 - History - 557 pages

Lynda Lasswell Crist, Editor
Mary Seaton Dix, Coeditor
Introduction by Frank E. VandiverVolume 7 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis offers a unique view of 1861, the first year of the Confederacy, Davis' presidency, and the Civil War.On January 21 Davis made his affecting farewell speech before a hushed Senate, then left for Mississippi. His uncertainty over a military or political course vanished when he received news of his unanimous election as president of the Confederate States of America. Inaugurated at Montgomery, Alabama, on February 18, Davis quickly set to work to forge a government, in a race with events to select a cabinet, establish departments, and plan for the common defense.Hopes for a peaceful separation from the North ended with the firing on Fort Sumter; subsequent documents reveal a president absorbed by the problems of waging a war that soon stretched from the Atlantic Coast to the Gulf of Mexico. Victory at Manassas produced euphoria among southerners but plunged the president into the first of several unfortunate controversies with his generals, this one over the failure to pursue the enemy and capitalize on success.Throughout 1861 the Confederate commissioners in Europe reported to Davis on their expectations of recognition, convinced that the demand for cotton would induce Great Britain and France to break the North's blockade of southern ports and help supply arms for the defense of the fledgling nation.Volume 7 provides a rare opportunity to assess anew Davis' strengths and weaknesses as executive, to reexamine his relationship with generals, governors, congressmen, cabinet officers, the press, and the public. Davis ended the year as he begun, aware of the difficulties of the course the South had adopted and confident that its cause would ultimately triumph. Containing illustrations, maps, and more than 2,500 documents drawn from numerous printed sources and more than seventy repositories and private collections, Volume 7 covers a year of paramount importance in our country's history.

 

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Contents

From Joseph E Davis January 2
3
To Isaac W Hayne January 15
15
From Francis W Pickens January 23
23
To Alexander M Clayton January 30
30
From Robert Toombs et al February 9
36
To Varina Howell Davis February 14
43
Inaugural Address February 18
45
To Francis W Pickens February 22
59
From Joseph E Johnston July 8
225
To Joseph E Johnston July 13
238
From P G T Beauregard July 18
251
From Joseph E Johnston July 24
264
To T A R Nelson August 13
282
From Lucius B Northrop August 21
296
From Henry A Wise August 28
311
From Robert Toombs September 1
316

From John Forsyth March 20
74
To John F Callan March 21
85
From Francis W Pickens April 9
99
From James M Mason April 21
113
From William Preston Johnston April 26
128
From Henry C Wayne May 3
145
From Albert T Bledsoe May 10
159
To Leonidas Polk May 22
174
From P G T Beauregard June 3
186
To P G T Beauregard June 13
199
Prom Joseph E Johnston June 26
212
From Jacob Thompson September 6
329
To Varina Howell Davis October 2
352
ToJudah P Benjamin October 21
365
From Jacob U Payne October 24
379
To Joseph E Johnston November 3
393
From Joseph F Johnston November 10
407
From Joseph F Johnston November 22
423
To Wiley P Harris December 3
433
From William Lowndes Yancev December 3031
449
Index
493
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

Lynda Lasswell Crist has edited The Papers of Jefferson Davis since 1979. Mary Seaton Dix edited The Papers of Jefferson Davis from 1968 until July, 1995.

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