The Papers of Jefferson Davis: 1861

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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
3
To Isaac W Hayne January
10
To Clement C Clay January
16
From Francis W Pickens January
23
Library of Congress Loan Record January
30
From Robert Toombs et al February 9
36
Speech at Atlanta February 16
43
Inaugural Address February 18
45
From Gustavus W Smith September 3
323
From Jacob Thompson September 6
329
From P G T Beauregard September 13
337
To Varina Howell Davis October 2
352
To P G T Beauregard October 16
358
To Judah P Benjamin October 21
365
From Edwin De Leon October 24
374
On P G T Beauregards Manassas Report October 30
383

From Louis T Wigfall February 18
51
From P G T Beauregard June 3
186
Speech at Richmond June 1
193
From Braxton Bragg July 9
229
From Joseph E Johnston July 15
242
From Pierre A Rost July 20
255
From Joseph E Johnston August 3
272
From Robert Toombs September 1
316
From A Dudley Mann November 46
395
From Leonidas Polk November 7
402
From Herschel V Johnson November 11
408
From Joseph E Johnston November 22
423
To Wiley P Harris December 3
433
From William Lowndes Yancey December 3031
449
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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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