Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour

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LSU Press, 1996 - History - 784 pages
1 Review
This portrait puts the emphasis on Davis's private warmth, public coolness, personal insecurity and indecisiveness during the Civil War. Relying mostly on contemporary sources, the author ( Image of the War ) explores how Davis's attitudes and values were developed at West Point and during his Mexican War service and how they were put to the test in his years as U.S. senator, as secretary of war under Franklin Pierce and as president of the Southern Confederacy. The author defends Davis (1808-1889) against the charge that he interfered with his generals, partly by showing how well he and Robert E. Lee worked together. The book also makes clear that Davis lacked managerial skill, was inflexible, could not admit making a mistake and had great difficulty delegating authority. Nevertheless, as the author points out, Davis built the systems that kept the Confederacy afloat from his inauguration in 1862 until he was captured by Union troops in 1865. This is a pragmatic but sympathetic biography that explains why Davis was respected but never loved by the citizens of the Confederate states.
 

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JEFFERSON DAVIS: The Man and His Hour

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A fine, objective portrait in paradox, shrewdly detailing how Jefferson Davis's character flaws rendered him woefully unsuited to be President of the Confederacy. The author (no relation to his ... Read full review

Jefferson Davis: the man and his hour

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Noted Civil War author Davis now tries his hand at Jefferson Davis, long an enigma to historians. He approaches his subject sympathetically, grounding his book in the quaint notion that the ... Read full review

Contents

There My Memories Begin
3
Boys Put Away That Grog
19
Something of a Martinet
39
Dreams Are Our Weakest Thoughts
61
Toughing It Out
78
How Little Do We Know That Which
96
Compromise
115
The War Is Probably Over
129
The Drooping Cause of Our Country
395
We Could End the War
419
The Vicious and the Selfish
435
To Strike Another Blow
456
The Clouds Are Truly Dark over Us
508
Not Mine Oh Lord But Thine
534
My Enemies
554
Faction Has Done Much
580

Boys Fire and at Them with Your Knives
149
The Days of the Confederation
168
All Things
240
We Will Make a History for Ourselves
326
We Have Taught Them a Lesson
349
Sidney Johnstons Step
371
There Is the Gridiron We Have Been
640
May All Your Paths Be Peaceful
689
Notes
707
Bibliography
761
Index
775
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

The author of more than forty books, WILLIAM C. DAVIS is the director of programs at the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies. He is also chief consultant for the A&&E television series Civil War Journal and teaches history at Virginia Tech. He lives in Virginia. <br>

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