A Counterfactual History Copyrighted by Carole E. Scott, 1997


1861 - 1925

taking cotton to the gin

by Patrick Waldegrave Clopton, M.A.

Edited and Updated to 1925

by Carole Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D.


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Hon. Howell Cobb

The raison d'etre for Professor Clopton's short history of the Confederate States was to present their history in an engaging manner that would engender in readers both a love of country and history. In his day such a history was much needed because our Latin citizens--many of who lived in areas that had only recently been incorporated into the Confederate States--knew little of our traditions and sacred heritage. Although, as Professor Clopton would have been the first to admit, this work is no learned treatise, nonetheless, for many years it was our most popular history. The falling out of print of his book for lack of updating was a tragedy. Although he was frequently approached about updating it, his duties at the Wade Hampton Institute (Spartanburg) and various scholarly projects prevented him from doing so.

Professor Scott is to be commended for returning her distant kinsman's path-breaking work to print and carrying it forward an additional twenty-five years. In addition to updating his work, she has edited it to make it more pleasing to the modern reader and has added to it recent findings and challenges to traditional interpretations of various events. Despite the fact that she has removed some words seldom used today; omitted events and persons now judged to be of minor importance; and shortened some sentences the modern reader would consider to be excessively verbose, Professor Clopton's charming--even when it is a bit florid and bombastic--style largely remains largely intact. Brackets [ ] which appear in the text up until the year 1900 enclose and thereby identify material she has intensively edited or has added to Professor Clopton's exposition.

Boyce McCord Malone

Professor of History Emeritus

Howell Cobb University

September 1926


Both by heritage and profession, Professor Patrick Waldegrave Clopton is particularly well qualified to pen this volume. Professor Clopton (B.A., University of Virginia; M.A., the University of South Carolina) sprang from a fine old South Carolina family whose roots reach back to Cavalier Virginia in the 1600s. His parents having lost their lives during the Second Revolutionary War--his father falling gallantly at the head of his men at Altoona and, subsequently, his mother from consumption--he was taken in by Judge David Clopton, who represented Alabama in both the United States and Confederate Congresses.

Professor Clopton's work is particularly noteworthy in that he recognized more than did other historians that those who neither sought nor gained the limelight played as large a role in the creation of the Southern Confederacy as did those so illuminated. Our sagacious statesmen were at the mercy of our brilliant generals, whose fine strategies would have come to naught without our gallant troops. Our troops could not have carried on without the support of their mothers, wives, and sisters, who nobly gave up their womanly pursuits to manage our farms and plantations. Essential, too, was the ingenuity of our mechanics, the hard work of our factory operatives, and the loyalty of our servants.

Perceiving the need for a work more attuned to the needs of the ordinary citizen than was Professor Clopton's path-breaking, 800-page, History of the Confederate States of America, 1861 - 1891 , the Daughters of the Second American Revolution persuaded Professor Clopton to produce this shorter work, which is written in a less academic, more popular style.

Nathan Forrest Jack

Professor of History

Universidad de Cuba

March 1902


(skipping the non-fiction prologue)


Farewell Address of Alabama Senator Clement C. Clay

to the United States Senate, 1861

The platform of the Republican party we regard as a declaration of war against the lives and institutions of the Southern people. It not only reproaches us as unchristian and heathenish, and imputes to us a sin and crime, but adds words insulting and hostile to our domestic tranquility. In its declaration that our Negroes are entitled to liberty and equality with white men, it is in spirit, if not in fact, a strong incitement to insurrection....To cap the climax of insult to our feelings, and the menace to our rights, this party nominated for the Presidency a man who not only endorsed the platform, and promised to enforce its principles, but disregards the judgments of your courts, the obligations of your Constitution, and the requirements of his oath, by approving any bill to prohibit slavery in the territories of the United States....It is the solemn verdict of the people of the North that the slaveholding communities of the South are to be outlawed and branded with ignominy and consigned to execration and ultimate destruction.


State of Georgia


Slave Population 426,566

Free Negro Population 1,074


Slaves $223,939,723

Land $136,681,959

Money and Solvent Notes $83,895,461

City and Town Property $30,037,061

Manufactures $5,750,001

Bank Capital $856,510

R. Barnwell Rhett, Jr., Editor

Charleston Mercury, 1860 - 1862

It very well suits men at the South who opposed secession to compliment their own sagacity by assuming that the end was inevitable. Nor do men identified with the Confederacy by office, or feeling obligation for its appreciation of their personal merits, find it hard to persuade themselves that all was done that could be done in "the lost cause." And, in general, it may be an agreeable sop to Southern pride to take for granted that superior numbers alone effected the result. Yet, in the great wars of the world, nothing is so little proved as the more numerous always and necessarily prevail. On the contrary, the facts of history show that brains have ever been more potent than brawn. The career of the Confederate States exhibits no exception to this rule. Eliminate the good sense and unselfish earnestness of Mr. Lincoln, the great ability and practical energy of Seward and Adams, and of Stanton and Chase from the control of the affairs of the United States; conceive a management of a third-rate and incompetent men in their places--will any one doubt that matters would have ended differently? To many it may be unpalatable to hear that at the South all was not done that might have been done and that cardinal blunders were made. But what is pleasing is not always true, and there can be no good excuse now for suppressing important facts or perverting history. The time has come when public attention may with propriety be directed to the realities of that momentous period at the South.

George Will

in July 1991 column

History is a rich weave of many threads. Many of them, if pulled out, could cause an unraveling, setting the past in motion as a foaming sea of exhilarating contingencies. For more than a century we have been plied by historicisms purporting to prove that history is a story of the working of vast impersonal forces unfolding according to iron laws of social evolution.

People, historicists say, are mere corks bobbing on powerful currents. This doctrine denies the possibility, ultimately, of meaningful self-government. {The investigation to determine if President Taylor was murdered--he wasn't--gives us a glimpse of possibilities, paths not taken. Things could have been different, choices and chance cannot be scrubbed from the human story, we are not corks, we matter.}

Michael Crichton

in Jurassic Park

We have soothed ourselves into imagining sudden change as something that happens outside the normal order of things....We do not conceive of sudden, radical, irrational change as built into the very fabric of existence....Real life isn't a series of interconnected events occurring one after another like beads strung on a necklace. Life is actually a series of encounters in which one event may change those that follow in a wholly unpredictable, even devastating way. That's a deep truth about the structure of our universe. But, for some reason, we insist on behaving as if it were not true.

Peggy Noonan

in What I Saw At The Revolution

...History is really biography, and you could map the probable trajectory of an administration by making a deep study of the chief and his chiefs.


by Carole Elizabeth Scott

American historians have typically taken a deterministic approach that assumes that history is shaped by fundamental forces, that is, fate, which I do not ascribe to. Like historian David Donald, I believe historians have been too prone to accept the North's victory as inevitable. ("The historian," says Donald, "is a camp follower of the successful army.") In keeping with this view, rather than--as others seem to have done--working backward from the present seeking to find an alternate path by which a world very similar to today's could have been created, in writing this imaginary history I sought to move forward along a not wildly improbable alternative route to a resulting future that differs in many significant ways from the world as we know it.

I believe that history is shaped by the free wills of individuals--both leaders and followers--and chance. This means that, for example, I believe that if George Washington had not existed, American history would have unfolded significantly differently; if the "Protestant wind" had not blown and dispersed the Spanish Armada, British history would have followed a vastly different course; and if Hitler had never been born, Germany might have followed a much different and less disastrous course.

A Confederate victory would have had a significant, long-lasting impact, not only on the North and the South, but upon the whole world. For the South to have emerged victorious, many people on both sides would have had to make different choices and performed more or less ably than they actually did and/or chance events would have had to take a different turn. As Stephen W. Sears has observed, "it is at least safe to say that the course of the Civil War as we know it would have been very different without" Robert E. Lee, and "in 1862 and 1863, before the two armies became locked in the trenches before Petersburg, Lee fought battles that were decided by chance or by fate or simply by human frailty."

Like some of today's historians, I have come to believe that it was deficiencies in the Confederacy's political, military, and economic leadership, rather than Northern strengths, which doomed the Confederacy. Like many historians, too, I have come to the conclusion that the Confederacy's defeat, which began in the West, might have been averted--even as late as 1864--if Atlanta had not fallen before the U.S. presidential election.

Every variance from reality in other counter factual histories is produced by one initial variance from reality. That this is not realistic is illustrated by the fact that when the same two teams play two games, every difference between these two games is not the result of one initial difference. The only thing that came close to happening during either of these games isn't just that a fielder missed catching a ball, but that several things nearly did or did not happen. Therefore, in my story the course of history is altered by letting several things that could easily have happened happen.

The first alterations in reality in my counter-factual history take place before the War. (One change I made was providing my great-great-great uncle David Clopton with a relative named Patrick Waldegrave.) None of the changes I have made are without a foundation in fact. For example, Howell Cobb did consider accepting the task of persuading Spain to sell Cuba to the United States, and he was advised that it would be a mistake to become Buchanan's Secretary of the Treasury. His turning down the former offer and accepting the latter reduced his popularity in the South. Cobb was considered for the post (President) awarded to Jefferson Davis. If a Supreme Court justice in poor health had died just a bit earlier, the Dred Scott decision, which inflamed the North, could easily have gone the other way.

Perhaps the greatest difficulty I encountered in writing this story was constantly having to view actual and imaginary events from the often unpalatable perspective that I believe an author in a past, alternative world would have taken. Another was that, because many things that we take for granted--including the very name of the War--would have been viewed differently if the South had been victorious, everything was fair game for possible alteration.

Northerners have always called it the Civil War, but until comparatively recently Southerners called it the War Between the States or the War for Southern Independence. Although the nomenclature of the victor is today used by virtually everyone, the old Southern label was the more accurate, because a civil war is one whose initiators have as their objective the overthrow of the existing government, and this was no more the objective of the South than was overthrowing the government of Great Britain the objective of the thirteen colonies in 1776. Because Southerners in 1861 saw themselves as following in the footsteps of their Revolutionary ancestors--as is illustrated by the fact that the seal of the Confederacy portrayed George Washington on horseback--I think that victorious Southerners would probably have called it the Second Revolutionary War.

Because its slave-based economy was what most distinguished the Old South from the rest of the nation, and this "peculiar" form of property right was the right which generated the most emotion, an understanding of the role of slavery and race in the antebellum South is essential if one is to create a reasonable counter-factural history of the South. Fortunately for me, I am a member of a generation that had first hand experience with racial attitudes similar to those which existed in the South in 1860. Members of my generation can, for example, remember when a Southern politician could assure his election by "out segging" his opponent, that is, convincing the voter that, while an opponent was weak on segregation, he was strong. Likewise, in the Old South one could gain public office by convincing the electorate that an opponent was weak on the issue of slavery, while he was strong.

I think it is clear that the "bottom line" for the antebellum Southern politician was his position on slavery. Slavery defined the South and made it far more cohesive than was the North, which had no such litmus test issue. Yet, despite their fierce attachment to slavery, Southern whites' support for equality, democracy, and individual freedom was as heartfelt as the North's. The difference was that in the North it was for all men; while in the South it was for white men only. Thus, if we could return a Southern slave owner to life, I believe he would compare himself and his peers with today's Israelis, who are unwilling to allow Arabs to gain a voting majority in their country because this would result in a drastic change in the nature of the nation's culture and institutions. (I speak, of course, of most; not all, antebellum Southerners, a minority of whom--such as Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee--opposed slavery. However, only a few Southerners tried to eradicate it--mostly through black emigration. Freeing the slaves was so unpopular that some Southerners advocating it were forced to leave the South.)

Slaves were not uniformly distributed throughout the South. The great majority of them were held in areas where large-scale agriculture was the most economic method of farming. As a result, few lived where the terrain was rugged and/or not very fertile. Few, too, lived near the Mexican border because most people considered it too risky to hold them so near a border that they could gain their freedom by crossing. (This is one reason Southerners were so anxious for the United States to acquire Florida.) Where plantation (large-scale) agriculture was practiced, blacks lived both in the countryside and in the city (over half of Charleston's residents in 1860 were black). The "blacker" an area was; the more vociferous was its defense of slavery. Possibly because it was the "blackest state", South Carolina was the chief hot bed of secession. (Whites were in the minority in South Carolina and were vastly outnumbered in some Low Country counties.)

Although most slaves were employed in farming, many in those pre-home-appliance days were house servants. Others were employed in various trades, and a few were employed in factories. The cost of training a slave in a trade was justified by either the work he could perform for his master or what he could be hired out for. However, white workmen sometimes caused barriers to be placed before both masters desiring to employ their slaves in the more skilled trades and free blacks desiring such employment.

For two generations South Carolinians believed that they saw the handwriting on the wall: someday the North was going to move to abolish slavery. Thus, for years, Carolinians figuratively shouted fire at their fellow Southerners, who, for the most part, shut their ears and crossed their fingers. So often did South Carolina threaten and bluster, that by 1860 many sons of the Palmetto State were probably convinced that it was put up or shut up time. In the North, this Carolina bluster was much resented.

The antebellum South was a police state for blacks. Patrols drawn from the militia--which white males were required to join--were supposed to make sure that blacks did not travel without passes or meet in large groups except at religious services. So that these services would be in "white" churches, in some areas blacks were discouraged from or forbidden to form their own congregations. However, in other places whites helped blacks form congregations. (One black Sunday school was headed by Thomas J. Jackson, who was to gain fame in the Confederate Army as Stonewall Jackson.) Free blacks labored under a number of restrictions on their activities; were subject to special taxes; and could not vote or hold public office. At various times and places it was illegal to teach slaves to read. (Southerners often ignored this prohibition. One who did was Georgia Congressman Alexander H. Stephens, the Confederacy's vice president.)

While restrictions on whites were vastly less severe, their freedom, too, was limited. According to Steven A. Channing, "enforcement of a public orthodoxy on the peculiar institution [slavery] was among the most effective instruments of race control. Founded in a fear that division and consequent weakness among whites on the slave question would invite rebellion by the blacks and aggression by abolitionists, the organized attack on free thought in the antebellum South was a lamentable product of African slavery." Whites suspected of opposing slavery or consorting with blacks might be whipped, tarred and feathered, and driven from the community. At various times and places, freeing a black was forbidden, and marrying one was always and everywhere forbidden. Nonetheless, a few white men lived openly with black women and provided their mulatto children with land and slaves.

Although a very large share of the South's wealth was in the form of slaves, it would be a mistake to assume that support for slavery was entirely economically motivated or due to intimidation by other whites. That something else played a role is suggested by the fact that the vast majority of whites who did not own slaves supported slavery. The reason for their support of what John C. Calhoun labeled the South's "peculiar (unique) institution" is, I believe, revealed by contemporary quotations that appear in William J. Cooper, Jr.'s, The South and the Politics of Slavery 1828 - 1856. He reports that a poor white told a traveler that many people he knew wanted slavery abolished, but "it wouldn't never do to free 'em and leave 'em here" because "nobody couldn't live here then." An Alabamian removing to Texas said that "I'd like it if we could get rid of 'em to yonst. I wouldn't like to hev' 'em freed, if they gwine to hang 'round." Distaste for blacks led many poor whites to emigrate from heavily black areas to "whiter" parts of the South and to the Midwest.

Preventing this emigration of non-slave-holding whites appears to have been one of the factors motivating "Southrons" who advocated that much more be invested in domestic manufacturing so as to create more jobs in the South for poor whites. Louis Wigfall, a Southern fire eater elected to the United States Senate in 1859, claimed that whites without slaves would be the ones most damaged by abolition because, being wealthy, slave owners could and would emigrate from the South, leaving poorer whites to deal with the freed blacks. (After the Civil War substantial colonies of well-do-do Southerners did develop in New York and Baltimore.)

Most likely naked fear was, for all classes of whites, the root cause of the intensity of their support of slavery. The reason for this fear is not hard to find. Like Haitian refugees, antebellum Southern newspapers painted a horrifying picture of the slave revolt in Haiti. Whites were tortured, raped, and murdered in their beds and their property destroyed. All Haiti's whites were either killed or forced to flee. (Thirty thousand fled to Cuba.) Even mulattoes did not entirely escape black wrath, and neighboring--and whiter--Santo Domingo was invaded and its whites slaughtered. Subsequently, Haiti, which had previously been Europe's richest colony, became the New World's poorest nation, and its rulers were frequently murderous tyrants. Although post-revolutionary Haiti evolved into a mulatto-oligopoly, it should be kept in mind, writes Larry Koger in Black Slave Owners, "that throughout the city of Charleston, there were free mulattoes who sought refuge from the revolution in Santo Domingo. They served as a symbol of the dangers of servile insurrection." (Many of the mulatto emigrants from Santo Domingo lost property which consisted of land and slaves. Consequently, they viewed the black revolution of Toussaint L'Ouverture as their ruin.")

A Santo-Domingo-like revolution was planned for Charleston by Denmark Vesey, a free black. From 1818 to 1822 he organized blacks for an uprising in which all whites--men, women, and children--would be killed. In response to slaves who were fond of their masters and objected to killing them, he quoted Joshua 6:21, in which, at the Lord's command, the Israelites destroyed "all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword." Taking the advice of a free, slave-owning mulatto, a mulatto house slave betrayed Vesey, and the uprising never took place. (Black slave owners who were not part white lacked the social acceptance of their mulatto brothers, who, on rare occasion, married white men and women and were accepted into white society. Although some of the slaves owned by blacks were family members, blacks often owned slaves for the same reason whites did: as income-earning investments.) The discovery of Vesey's plot led the execution of thirty-five blacks. Another thirty were deported from South Carolina.

When slavery existed in the North potential slave revolts stirred no lesser reaction than in the South. A rumored attempt by black slaves and white indentured servants in 1741 to overthrow the city government of New York led to the execution of more people than took place in Massachusetts as a result of the much more well known Salem witch trials. Eighteen slaves and freedmen were executed by hanging; 14 were burned alive; and 71 were banished from New York. In addition, 24 white New Yorkers were jailed. Four of them, including two women, were hanged. (At that time, of New York's 10,000 citizens, one-fifth were slaves and black freedmen.)

The fact that the Haitian slave revolt was preceded by the formation of abolitionist societies in France that flooded Haiti with anti-slavery tracts was not lost on Southerners. Undoubtedly they saw parallels between the French abolitionists and those in the North who filled Southern mails and Congress with, respectively, anti-slavery tracts and anti-slavery petitions. Not lost either on Southerners was that troops sent from Revolutionary France to retake its Haitian colony took sides with the blacks. This was widely attributed to France, like other European colonial powers, having concluded that the best way to keep the United States from annexing their Latin American colonies was to make them as black as possible.

Richard Franklin Bensel

Yankee Leviathan

The Republican coalition of yeoman agriculture and industrialists would probably have rapidly fractured in a political system that did not include the southern plantation economy. Without the South, the national political economy would have lacked the major reservoir of wealth that the coalition could potentially redistribute to its own members and the base of the party would have narrowed as each sector sought to impose redistributive claims upon the other....If an independent southern nation had been successfully established, the two wings of the Republican alliance might themselves have become separatist in the new northern political economy...beginning a] disintegration of the entire Union.



The First American War of Independence (1776) was fought by our revered forefathers, not for a permanent union of the thirteen British colonies, but to achieve independence from Great Britain. Formed for greater efficiency after independence was a confederation of independent states. To the Central Government were granted only specific, limited powers. Thereafter, in order to gain a majority of the nation's population, dominate Congress, and hold down the wage rates of American workers, the North imported a host of impoverished and uneducated Europeans laborers, many of whose faith and socialist beliefs were hostile to our traditional way of life.

Although created as a Republic, in the late Antebellum years, via this importation, the population of the Northern States came to exceed that of the slave holding states, and devious Yankee politicians began an insidious campaign to convert the United States into a "mobocracy", where might--numbers--makes right. [Slavery was readily eliminated at the North, as only a meager handful of slave owners benefited little, if any, from it, but a multitude of white wage laborers abhorred it, fearing its depressing effect on their wages.]

The first Abolitionists were largely eccentric, radical reformers who usually held pacific and socialistic views. Many of them were advocates of other aberrant views, such as free love. They opposed authority of any kind, either secular or nonsecular. (Their contempt for authority and the sensibilities of others often revealed itself in their slovenly and unconventional dress and behavior.) In the Utopia they dreamed of, there would be no authority and no use of force. But, despite their opposition to violence, the thrust of their beliefs would inevitably lead to the worst violence of all: fratricidal, because theirs was a philosophy of chaos. Without order; without authority; without any recognized standards of behavior; there would be no civilization. The law of the jungle would prevail, and in the jungle survival--much less channeling society into desired pathways--can only be achieved by violence.

Frustrated by the failure of pacific means to achieve their objectives, they turned to violence with the vengeance of the righteous defied by the agents of Satan. The Republican party came into being via the harnessing of the Abolitionist cause to what early Abolitionists despised: government and political parties. Ironically, this Party's objective was to subject, in the name of abolishing Negro slavery, every man, regardless of his color, to the authority of an all-powerful central government. Thus, by an act of amazing legerdemain, the Republican Party was able to harness to the wheel of industrial capitalism a utopian socialist agenda and its adherents.

Economically the inferior region, the Northern States of the Federal Union sought both to gain control of the Central Government and fashion it into a tool for directing wealth produced in the South into Northern pockets. To gain control of the United States Senate by adding to the Union more non-slave holding states, Yankee representatives in Congress pressed aggressively for a bill to give away the nation's collective treasure--its Western lands--in small-sized parcels. [Slavery was uneconomic on small farms, and the smaller is the average farm, the more farmers there will be, and, therefore, the larger will be the number of seats in the House of Representatives that a state will have. After the Southern states left the Union, a Homestead bill, which had been opposed by Southern Congressmen, was pushed through the United States Congress. As a result, thousands of acres of prairie which never should have been put to the plow were, causing an ecological disaster which today is producing its bitter fruit and leading to the annual expenditure by the government of United States of many millions of dollars in subsidies to Plains States farmers.]

That the First American Revolution was fought for union--and a permanent one at that!--was the false claim of Northern Demagogues seeking to thus legitimize a strong central government controlled by a numerical majority: Yankeedom. This view of the founding of the United States--a view long widely accepted in the Northern states--was for many years tolerated by Southons, despite the fact that they were well aware of the fact that the United States' Constitution reserved all powers not specifically delegated to the Central Government to the States. The process of making the Central Government supreme began with John Adams, the first Northerner elected President of the United States. This led the Strict Constructionalists under the leadership of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, to organize a new political party to contend with Adam's Federalist Party. [Their home state, Virginia, joined the Union with the understanding that this action could be reversed at will.]

Jefferson's National Republicans, who later became known as Democrats, were successful in wresting the Presidency from the Federalists, who were shortly superseded by the Whigs, in 1801. While some Yankees gave lip service to States Rights, their lack of fidelity was revealed by their stance regarding slavery. Yankees in both parties were united in their hostility towards it, and in the controversy over the rights of slave holders in the Missouri Territory, Yankees took the position that the slave interest had no guaranteed rights under the Constitution, and that the numerical minority [slave owners] had no alternative but submission to the non-slave-holding majority. This was unacceptable to the South, which believed that the Constitution granted equality to each state and its citizens. [At issue was whether slavery would be allowed in new territories and states, and, if not, how this was to be decided. Southrons said that since it was allowed in their states, and they had equality in the Union with the other states, that Southrons should be able to take slaves into the states' common property: the Western territories.]

Although United States' historians typically first discuss secession in regard to South Carolina's nullification of an onerous tariff designed to enable Northern industrialists to pick the pockets of Southern agriculturalists, secession was first seriously proposed in New England during the War of 1812--a war which was very unpopular in that aptly-named, very pro-British region. It is one of the greatest of ironies that one of the most important boosts ever given to a belief in the permanent nature of the Union of the States was provided during the Nullification crisis by a Southerner then serving as President of the United States. South-Carolina-born Andrew Jackson threw down the gauntlet before his native state at an annual Jefferson anniversary dinner when he said that the Union must and shall be preserved. Acting on this belief, Jackson signed into law the infamous Force Bill. South Carolina armed herself, and for a while secession and armed conflict seemed imminent. The crisis passed, however, when a bill gradually lowering the tariff gained Congressional approval and Jackson signed it.

[Many years later calculations which appeared in the Southern press demonstrated that the bulk of the Central Government's revenues were obtained from the South. Demonstrated, too, was the fact that the North derived from forty to fifty million dollars annually from the tariff, and the aggregate of the trade of the South in Northern markets was four hundred million dollars a year. A Northern writer admitted that unequal taxation and the Southern trade gained the North over two hundred million dollars a year.]

Like the typical Yankee member of any political party, Jackson viewed the Union as an end and not merely a dispensable means to an end: individual liberty. [Southern Rights Democrats viewed the Union as a means.] But Jackson did agree with his fellow Southerners that the best government is the least government, which was the kind of government the founding fathers intended. In this, he and they differed from the prevailing view at the North.

Jackson loathed the special interests and monopolists who desired a powerful central government because its extensive powers could profitably be turned to their own, selfish ends. Like other Southrons, Jackson realized that a strong central government is a potential tyranny. [A self-aggrandizing, log-rolling, broker government which takes from the many and doles out the proceeds to a special few was an abomination in the eyes of both Unionist and Southern Rights Democrats. However, just such a powerful government was the goal of the Northern branch of the Whig Party and, to an even greater extent, its successor, the Republican Party.]

The Missouri Compromise of 1820, wherein the Northern portion of the nation's territories were declared ineligible to enter the Union as slave states, was followed by another Southern surrender of its Constitutional equality in 1850 in a compromise reached to settle the sectional disagreement over the disposition of the territory acquired as a result the victory in the Mexican War. Far-sighted Southrons, such as General John A. Quitman of Mississippi, pointed out that the South had once again given up a great deal for very little--money for Texicans and fugitive slave laws which he foresaw would not be enforced at the North.

Quitman said that unless the Southern states withdrew from the Federal Union, slavery was doomed. But prophets like him were ignored and went down to ignominious defeat throughout the South at the ballot box--even in the Palmetto State [South Carolina]. All that the Southern states could bring themselves to do in their own defense was to warn the North that the Compromise of 1850 represented the last concession they would make in order to preserve the Union. Further Northern demands, they vowed, would be resisted even to the extremity of secession.

[In addition to compensation paid Texas, which claimed part of New Mexico, the Compromise provided for the admission of California to the Union without slavery; that governments without restrictions on slavery would he organized in the territories of Utah and New Mexico, and, when they were ready to enter the Union, their people would decide whether or not slavery would be allowed. Also, in the future it would be the responsibility of the Federal Government to enforce the fugitive slave law. Slavery came to exist west of Texas only in Utah.]

Enraged by the greater refinement and ease of life in the South that its peculiar institution made possible, Yankees continued to rail against slavery, claiming to be ashamed to admit to being Americans when traveling abroad because of the slavery practiced in the Southern States. The North resented the fact, too, that Virginians had occupied the presidential chair for 32 of the Republic's first 36 years and that, for purposes of allocating seats in the House of Representatives, three-fifths of a state's slaves were counted. Yankeedom was convinced that an evil, Southron conspiracy was denying it tariff protection, government-provided internal improvements, grants of land and money, and the taxes necessary to finance the all these extravagances.

Preening in its supposed greater virtue, the North viewed the South as being an inferior country, and many at the North claimed that they would be cleansed by expelling the sinful South from the Union. Nonetheless, for many years, most of her representatives in the United States Congress claimed not to desire to abolish slavery in the States and Territories or in the District where it currently existed. They were not adverse, however, to welcoming the blizzard of anti-slavery petitions from Northern Abolitionists, signed mostly by women, that Congress was constantly bombarded with. In 1844, a rule requiring the tabling of all such petitions without their being debated, printed, read, or referred to committee or any other further action taken was rescinded, and the South's representatives were never able to restore it. [Although the number of Abolitionists in the North was then few, South Carolina's Senator John C. Calhoun had already correctly forecast that "Mr. Webster and all Northern Statesmen would, in a few years, yield to the storm of abolition fanaticism and be overwhelmed by it."]

As we have seen, a determined and concerted movement for secession did not develop in the South until 1850, when a Southern Convention for the purpose of considering the taking of this step was held in Nashville. Conservatives, who were particularly numerous in the border states, quashed the idea, and even in South Carolina, the hotbed of secession, it was clear that the majority of the voters were not yet ready to take the momentous step of breaking the bonds that bound them to the Stars and Stripes. The 1852 Presidential canvass seemed to justify moderates' optimism, as John P. Hale, who ran on an Abolitionist ticket, carried not a single state and received only 175,296 popular votes. The die was cast, however, in 1854, when the Missouri Compromise was repealed by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which made it possible--though not likely--that some territory in which slavery was barred by the Missouri Compromise might become slave territory. Outrage at the North over this possibility led to the creation of the nation's first sectional party, the Republican Party. Thus ended the uneasy peace brought about by the Compromise of 1850. Only a final straw was needed for secession to become a reality.

[The Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed a Territory, regardless of which side of the line at 36 degrees 30 minutes established by the Missouri Compromise it lay on, to determine by popular vote whether or not slavery would be allowed in it. Competition over where a transcontinental railroad was to be built: a Northern or a Southern or a "middle" route commencing at St. Louis, led to the introduction of this bill. A Southern route had both physical and political advantages over a Northern route. A Southern route terminating in San Diego would not face a severe problem with snow, and it would not have to cross as many or as high mountains. Also, a Southern route would pass through states and organized territory. A Northern route would pass through the huge, unorganized Nebraska Territory. Unable to get around the former, costly geographical problems, the North's legendary champion, Daniel Webster, decided to tackle the political problem by introducing the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Ignored was Texican Senator Sam Houston's warning that, because this would repeal the Missouri Compromise, it would result in "discord and broil." The bill was able to get through Congress because the South hoped to gain Kansas as a slave state, while the North expected to gain as non-slave states both Kansas and Nebraska as well as a Northern-routed transcontinental railroad.]

The debate in Congress over the Kansas issue led to the 22 May, 1856 caning of Senator Charles Sumner, a fanatical, self-righteous, and vituperative Abolitionist, by South Carolina's Representative Preston S. Brooks to avenge Sumner's slander on the floor of the Senate of Brooks' relative, Senator Butler of South Carolina. The caning made the detestable Sumner into a martyr in the North and Brooks a hero in the South. Although a motion to expel him failed, Brooks resigned from Congress. His $300 fine paid by admiring Carolinians who showered him with new canes, Brooks was re-elected to Congress without opposition. [Today Brooks is not viewed quite so heroically.]

As a result of Northern outrage over this Bill, under the guise of Republicanism, Abolitionism carried the day in the elections of 1854 and 1855 in the North and Northwest, and an Abolitionist, Nathaniel Banks of Massachusetts, was elevated to the Speakership of the House of Representatives. In 1856, the Republican's presidential candidate, Fremont, received 1,341,812 votes and might have gained the Presidency if the anti-Buchanan party in Pennsylvania had supported him.

Abolitionist firebrands and Southrons seeking to counter their influence financed pro- and anti-slavery Kansas settlers who would determine by their votes whether or not slavery would be allowed in the new State of Kansas. Abolitionist preacher Beecher's group shipped into Kansas boxes supposedly containing Bibles which actually contained rifles that anti-slavery Kansans were to use against their pro-slavery neighbors. Thus was created a bleeding Kansas and a most bitter enmity aroused between Missouri and Kansas.

Even more distressing to the South than the Kansas-Nebraska Bill was the defeat in 1854 of the Cuban annexation bill by the Black Republicans in Congress. As a result of the masterful negotiations-- much applauded throughout the South--conducted by Senator Howell Cobb, Spain offered to sell this vital island colony for a quite reasonable price. Located only 80 miles from Key West, Florida, its possession would have turned the Gulf into an American lake. In retrospect, however, Southrons came to be thankful for this defeat, because, by so decisively closing the door on the creation of additional slave states, the Black Republicans radicalized [made pro-secession] more Southrons than did all the exhortations of Rhett, Ruffin, and Yancey. [Even the resistance of moderates like Cobb, who was to turn down Buchanan's offer to be Treasury Secretary, was largely dissipated by the acrimonious defeat of the Cuban annexation bill at the hands of the Black Republicans.]

Southrons were also devastated in the mid-fifties by the so-called Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court--the blow being all the more crushing because of its unexpectedness, since the majority of the justices were Southrons. [The decision might have gone the other way if Justice Wayne of Georgia had not died and been replaced by Edwin M. Stanton, a Northern Democrat not then thought to be hostile to the South.] In this decision, the Court affirmed a lower court decision in a case fabricated by rabid Abolitionists, which declared that by virtue of being carried into a free state, a slave gained his freedom.

President Buchanan, a long-time Northern friend of the South, courageously pressed Congress in 1858 to admit Kansas under the Lecompton Constitution, rather than the anti-slavery Topeka Constitution, which he denounced as the work of treason and insurrection. However, Kansas was not to be admitted for nearly three more years, and then it was admitted under an anti-slavery constitution. With the expansion of slavery blocked and already outnumbered in the House, it was evident to Southrons that they were destined to become an ever shrinking minority in the Senate too.

By the late fifties, the venerable and conservative Whig Party had disintegrated, and its Northern adherents had drifted into the purely sectional (Northern) Republican Party, while many of its Southrons became Democrats. Thus, the Democratic Party became the only truly national party. Southrons were split into Democrats still hoping to preserve the Union; States Righters who, nevertheless, cooperated with the Democrats in the 1856 Presidential canvass; and Know Nothings (the American Party), who were nationalists bound together largely by their opposition to immigration, particularly of Catholics.

[Immigration was unpopular in the South because it was recognized that free labor was a threat to slavery. This is shown by the fact that white workmen in the South felt so strongly that they were being displaced by Negro labor that in some of the South's cities they got laws passed which denied slaves and free Negroes entry into many of the manual trades. That cheap labor is tremendously attractive is shown by recent studies which reveal that many of these laws restricting free Negroes were not enforced. Also revealed in recent studies is that, of the South's relatively small population of free Negroes, a significant number owned slaves, and a few of them were well to do.]

Most Southrons believed that the best mode for the association of labor and capital was slavery, which they believed is the only way for a high and stable civilization to exist in a bi-racial society, and by the late 1850s, many of them had come to believe that the threat of free labor to slavery could be eliminated only by making every white man the owner of at least one slave. That this was not simply self serving is indicated by the fact that a majority of whites in the South owned no slaves. [South Carolina's W. H. Trescot argued that either slavery must be abolished or be made the thorough basis of Southern society by eliminating "free ideas of the relation of labor and capital." Otherwise, slavery would be in even more danger than it already was.]

In the late 1850s there was renewed agitation for the revival of the long illegal slave trade, and two ship loads of slaves arrived in Charleston and Savannah. These illegal importations of slaves, said Senator Hammond of South Carolina, stripped the South of every one of its supporters in the Free States, and, thereafter, the Black Republicans attacked the South with every weapon they could lay their hands on. Further inflaming the North was Mrs. Beecher Stowe's book, Uncle Tom's Cabin. It presented a scurrilous view of slavery that whipped up much anti-slavery sentiment among the credulous in the North. In another book, blackguard Southron Hinton Helper's vowed "no co-operation with slave holders in politics; no fellowship with them in religion; no recognition of pro-slavery men, except as ruffians, outlaws, and criminals." It ought, he said, to be the objective of the Republican Party to deal a "death-blow to slavery." If, he claimed, slavery were to continue for another three-quarters of a century, the South would be to the North as "Poland is to Russia, Cuba to Spain, and Ireland to England."

That Hinton's view was widely shared by Republicans in Congress was indicated by the fact that three-fourths of them persisted in voting for an admirer of Hinton's book, Mr. Sherman, for nearly two months in a bitter contest for the Speakership of the House. Most threatening of all was the making of a martyr out of fanatical John Brown, a crazed, murdering, Abolitionist horse thief from Kansas who sought to incite the slaves into murdering their masters and their families in their beds. The success of his bloody plot would have thrown the South into barbarity by Africanizing it.

[To appreciate this fear, one should keep in mind that in many counties in the deep South slaves were in majority; sometimes vastly so, and they maintained what to whites were threatening African ways. In the forefront of every Southron's mind was the fear that the South would follow in Haiti's footsteps. Whites would be slaughtered; Negroes would dominate; anarchy would prevail; and the region would collapse economically.]

Southrons were angered when--often with the connivance of the authorities--church bells were tolled in the North when Brown was convicted and sentenced to death for his failed venture at Harper's Ferry, Virginia. Anger turned to outrage when, in order to prevent Brown from becoming a martyr in the North, Virginia's Governor Wise, contending that Brown was clearly insane, commuted his death sentence. The militia had to be called out to protect Governor Wise, who thereafter, with his family, resided in London for several years. [The meritorious services he provided the Confederacy there during the War enabled him to regain his people's affection, and he returned to Virginia after the War, but never thereafter did he find it opportune to offer himself for public office.]

Abolitionist propagandists like Mrs. Stowe, who had never set foot on a slave plantation, waxed eloquent in the fifties about the alleged mistreatment of and abuse of slaves in the South, while ignoring the mote in their own section's "eye". For example, in 1860, a prominent New York lawyer who was certainly no Southern sympathizer, George Templeton Strong, observed in his recently published diary that:

News today of a fearful tragedy at Lawrence, Massachusetts, one of the wholesale murders commonly known in newspaper literature as accident or catastrophe. A huge factory, long notoriously insecure and ill-built, requiring to be patched and bandaged up with iron plates and braces to stand the introduction of its machinery, suddenly collapsed into a heap of ruins yesterday afternoon without the smallest provocation. Some five or six hundred operatives went down with it--young girls and women mostly. An hour of two later, while people were working frantically to dig out some two hundred still under the ruins, many of them alive and calling for help, some quite unhurt, fire caught in the great pile of debris, and these prisoners were roasted. It is too atrocious and horrible to think of.

Of course, nobody will be hanged. Somebody has murdered about two hundred people, many of them with hideous torture, in order to save money, but society has no avenging gibbet for the respectable millionaire and homicide. Of course not. He did not want to or mean to do this massacre; on the whole, he would have preferred to led these people live. His intent was not homicidal. He merely thought a great deal about making a large profit and very little about the security of human life. He did not compel these poor girls and children to enter his accursed man trap. They could judge and decide for themselves whether they would be employed there. It was a matter of contract between capital and labor; they were to receive cash payment for their services....It becomes us to prate about the horrors of slavery! What Southern capitalist trifles with the lives of his operatives as do our philanthropes of the North?

[Today, of course, free workers in both the United States and the Confederacy have protected themselves against such irresponsible treatment by their employers by obtaining the passage of laws that makes employers liable for any harm their employees suffer as a result of their negligence.]

Members (of Congress) spend their time during the interval between the ballotings (for Speaker) in speech-making about John Brown, fugitive slaves, Hinton Rowan Helper's Impending Crisis, and the irrepressible nigger generally.

That black but comely biped is becoming a bore to me. No doubt he is a man and a brother, but his monopoly of attention is detrimental to the rest of the family; and I don't believe he cares much about having his wrongs redressed or his rights asserted. Our politicians are playing on Northern love of justice and a more of less morbid Northern philanthropy for their own selfish ends by putting themselves forward as Cuffee's champion. But the South is so utterly barbaric and absurd that I'm constantly tempted to ally myself with Cheever and George Curtis [abolitionists].

Burke announced sixty years ago that the 'age of

chivalry' was gone, and 'that of calculators and economists had succeeded it.' Their period has likewise passed away now, south of the Potomac, and has been followed by a truculent mob despotism that sustains itself by a system of the meanest eavesdropping and espionage and of utter disregard of the rights of those who have not the physical power to defend themselves against overwhelming odds, that shoots or hangs its enemy or rides him on a rail when it is one hundred men against one and lets him alone when evenly matched, and is utterly without mercy for the weak or generosity for the vanquished.

While recognizing that the condition of free laborers in the North was in some ways less desirable than that of slaves in the South--a slave owner might lose his temper and kill a slave, but he couldn't afford to kill very many of them--Templeton apparently overlooked forms of violence largely peculiar to the North: namely the not infrequent riots pitting one immigrant group against another, particularly during election campaigns and on pay days, when most of them got drunk.

One might have thought that the North would have realized the falsity of the Abolitionist claims about widespread slave mistreatment when the slaves of Western Virginia ignored John Brown's call to rise, but they did not. Nor did they recognize [or maybe did not care] that such threats to Southrons' safety and livelihood reduced, rather than promoted, Negroes' welfare. Charlestonians, for example, had previously turned a blind eye to its black citizens organizing schools for their children and engaging in extensive trading with whites. They had tolerated Negroes congregating in both their own churches and in grog shops. Although there had been some complaints, Negroes had been allowed to enter many trades, and with the help of some whites, they had even begun pooling their funds to buy their peers' freedom. (Southrons expressed only amusement at the development of a Negro aristocracy which paraded on Sunday in silks and high hats.) In the countryside, patrol activity had fallen to a low level. However, after John Brown's raid, whites' attitude came about 180 degrees, and repression commenced.

[As Joseph T. Derry observed in his 1895 history, most masters treated their slaves kindly:

Their toil was not unrequited, for they were supplied with whatever they needed and were cared for in sickness and in old age. Many of them were allowed opportunities for making money for themselves. Much attention had always been given to their religious instruction. Southern ladies labored for the conversion of their slaves. Missionaries sent by the Southern churches preached to them on the plantations. In malarial districts, where negroes only could live with safety, some of those devoted missionaries laid down their lives. The negroes had churches of their own in the towns and on many plantations. In the churches of the whites there were always galleries set apart for them, and in the city churches it was often difficult to say which were the better dressed, the masters or the slaves.]

In 1860, the Democratic vote was split between rival Democratic candidates, and a gangling Black Republican nonentity, Abraham Lincoln, was elected with a minority of the popular vote. Thus were the South's hopes for rapprochement with the North dashed. The Black Republicans, who would, despite its unconstitutionally, not stop short of abolishing slavery throughout the nation, were in command of the ship of state. The election of a man dedicated to the belief that the nation could not continue to exist "half slave, half free" left the South no alternative but to dissolve the Union its forefathers had shed their blood to found in order to preserve their liberty; not take it from them.

As South Carolina's Robert Barnwell Rhett observed, the South's long-wronged, distinct civilization could hope for no prosperity, justice, or safety under Northern domination. Lincoln's election meant that a war had been declared against slavery which would not end until it ceased to exist in the United States. Lincoln's election meant that Southern States would lose both their equality with Northern states and the power of self government and self protection.

[Some today speculate that Yancey and Rhett stage managed the split in the Democratic party with the intention of assuring Lincoln's election and, therefore, the South leaving the old Union. To achieve this they had to prevent a Southerner from being nominated. Because they dashed several Southron's hopes of becoming president of the United States, this may explain why they were so unpopular among the Southern politicians who made up the Confederate government.]

The compact theory so eloquently developed by the late Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina gave to each State the right to judge violations of the compact made by our Revolutionary forefathers between the thirteen sovereign States. It had been violated by thirteen Northern states annulling the fugitive slave law and less drastic measures taken by other Northern States. Northerners had helped thousands of slaves escape and had incited servile insurrection. Southrons had been precluded from taking property to territory held in common by the states. Now the Yankees had voted as a block and made an Abolitionist President and filled most of the seats allocated to their states in Congress to his fellow Black Republicans. Therefore, South Carolina took the lead in taking the only action which would preserve civilization in the South: secession.

The Palmetto State was followed in short order by Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Hoping that there still could be reconciliation with the incoming Lincoln administration, the other states which were to join the new Confederacy took no action until the Republican administration refused either to compromise or let them leave the Union peacefully.

[As Thomas Jefferson so wisely had forecast, periodic revolutions are necessary if liberty is to be preserved. If the Southern states had not left the old Union, Southrons would have been deprived of many millions of dollars of property and the region would have been thrown into social, political, and economic chaos. Massive poverty, at best, would have been the outcome; violent anarchy the worst.]

South Carolina's secession was followed by the most rank hypocrisy at the North, where, suddenly, the Union assumed Biblical-like sanctity. Conveniently forgotten was the fact that the Northern Democracy's own silver-tongued champion, Daniel Webster, had defended the right of secession thusly: "If," he said, "the Northern States refuse, willfully and deliberately, to carry into effect that part of the Constitution which respects the restoration of fugitive slaves, and Congress provides no remedy, the South would no longer be bound to observe the compact. A bargain cannot be broken on one side and still bind the other." Conveniently forgotten, too, was the Hartford Convention during the War of 1812 at which the traitorous, pro-British New England States, for self-serving reasons, came close to declaring their independence.

The South had panicked, some Northerners claimed, not in the face of the appearance of a team of wild horses, but upon the sight of a gawky, half-starved old Dobbin. It was enough to make one wonder if his memory had failed! Had William Lloyd Garrison's really pronounced, as he publicly burned a copy of it, that the United State's Constitution is "a covenant with death and an agreement with Hell"? [The Union, Garrison claimed, was an insane experiment which sought to reconcile eternally hostile elements, and destroying it would destroy slavery by denying it federal protection. Thus, in 1857, a group largely composed of Garrisonians met in Worchester, Massachusetts to consider dissolving the Union as a way to disassociate the United States from slavery.]

Southrons should, if its critics are to be believed, have put no stock in declarations like those of one Lincoln retainer, who declared that, "the Republican Party is a party of the North pledged against the South." In what could only be either mock wonder or imbecility, they asked the South what it had to fear from the control of the executive authority by a party which believed it to be its duty to not simply to damn, but to actually defy any federal law or Supreme Court decision it found unpalatable. [This is what they threatened to do if Dred Scott had gone against them.] Why, they wondered, did the South attach so much importance to slavery? For an answer, they had only to turn to Edmund Ruffin, who had pointed out the fact that it is upon this institution that the social and political existence of the South rests. "Come reason with us", they said. Yet, our petitioners, groaning under the weight of proposed compromises with the Republican blackguards were turned away by Mr. Lincoln without so much as a "maybe".

Would the South be allowed to leave the Union in peace? The more sagacious Southrons believed not. How could the power-mad Black Republicans and their hungry little piglet minions bent upon creating an all powerful, tumefacient central teat to feed from let even one net-tax-producing state elude its leach-like grip? No, the Yankees were determined to rule the nation, and a nation without the wealth of the South would be only half a loaf.

The insurmountable problem of the Old Union was that, while Southrons had no desire to tell anyone else how to live, whether he be Yankee or Indian, the Yankees' message was, "live like we do or die!" Indians must give up their heathen, primitive existence, and Southrons must give up their likewise "sinful", heathen ways. [Because of their traditional practice of slavery--originally, of course, only of their own kind--many Indian citizens in the Indian Territory adhered to the Confederacy.]



In short order, the legislatures of the first states to secede (Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas) selected delegates to meet at Montgomery, Alabama--that State's Capital City--to organize a provisional government of the new country, which was christened the Confederate States of America. Although the Honorable Robert Barnwell Rhett of South Carolina--the widely-hailed Father of Secession--was selected to represent his state in the Provisional Confederate Congress, sadly, despite his experience in the Senate of the United States, he was not even granted a minor post in the new government. Silver-tongued Congressman William L. Yancey of Alabama was also passed over as being too radical for the Cabinet.

Elected Provisional President of the Confederacy by the delegates was Senator Howell Cobb of Georgia. Another former United States Senator, Alabama's Clement C. Clay, was elected Provisional Vice President. Several months later Cobb and Clay were confirmed as the Confederacy's permanent President and Vice President.

The task of selecting a cabinet from a daunting list of superb candidates was carried out surprisingly quickly by President Cobb. Selected for the post of Secretary of State was Senator L. Q. C. Lamar of Mississippi. Senator Robert Toombs of Georgia was persuaded to accept the post of Secretary of War (he preferred an army commission), and the Honorable George A. Trenholm of South Carolina became Secretary of the Navy. Mr. Gazaway B. Lamar, a Georgia and New York banker, was selected to fill the Treasury post, and Senator John Slidell of Louisiana was named Attorney General.

Rounding out this extraordinarily well qualified group as Postmaster General was Senator Elias L. Yulee of Florida. When, 10 months later, Senator Yulee gave up this post in order to resume the management of his railroad, he was replaced by the Honorable William Elliott Simms of Kentucky, an advocate of total war and a leader of the secession movement in his State. [Cobb received a great deal of criticism for appointing two Georgians and his wife's two cousins (the Lamars) to his cabinet.]

Dispatched, respectively, to London and Paris to represent the Confederacy were Louisianians the Honorable Duncan Lamar Kenner and Senator Judah P. Benjamin. Texas Senator Louis T. Wigfall was sent to Canada to represent the Confederacy's interests there, and Senator Pierre Soule of Louisiana was assigned to Mexico, where local insurgents were resisting troops sent there by its European creditors. [Ultimately all but the French, who installed the emperor Maximillian, left.] After Virginia joined the Confederacy, Senator R. M. T. Hunter was assigned responsibility for representing the new nation to Germany and Russia.

Because it was the cradle of abolitionism, recognition and active support of the Confederacy by Great Britain appeared to have been foreclosed shortly after the Confederacy was formed by an emancipation proclamation issued by the government of the United States; thus, Kenner's primary task was to prevent Great Britain from becoming an ally of the United States by avoiding letting slavery and the Confederacy become synonyms in the eyes of the British and providing them mercenary and political incentives for surreptitiously aiding the Confederacy. France seemed a more fertile field, and there Benjamin's task was to paint an attractive picture of Confederate-French hegemony in Latin America in exchange for recognition and active support.

[Kenner's greatest contribution to the Confederate cause was probably his instigation of a propaganda campaign designed to dissuade destitute Europeans from immigrating to the United States to join its Army and take up free lands in the West after the War. Since many of these potential immigrants were Catholic Irishmen and Germans, all Kenner and his agents had to do was publicize the positions taken by the Know Nothings and exaggerate their influence in the United States in order to discourage them from immigrating. It is impossible to determine how many who would otherwise have immigrated were thus persuaded not to. Clearly, however, few were influenced by Kenner's agents to do the opposite: immigrate and join the Confederate Army.

Kenner's agents also took advantage of the dissatisfaction and frequent disturbances in New York City--the United States' chief port of entry--telling potential immigrant recruits to the Federal ranks that upon disembarkation they were likely to be set upon by anti-Republican mobs. Potential immigrants were also told that if the United States should emerge from the War victorious, as unskilled or low-skilled agricultural and industrial workers, they would have to compete with a host of newly freed slaves who, encouraged and assisted by Negro-loving Abolitionists would flood into the North.]

The South's greatest pre-war hero was Texas' pugnacious Senator Louis T. Wigfall. Senator Wigfall bedeviled the Black Republicans by taking advantage of their refusal to recognize the right of a state to secede by convincing many Southern senators and representatives to retain their seats in Congress. In this way, these Southron representatives--with a modest amount support from a few Northern Democrats--paralyzed the Congress.

[Some Southrons, such as Georgia's Alexander H. Stephens, refused to participate in this action, believing it to be dishonorable. Stephens' attitude led to hard feelings which lasted throughout the War and beyond. Senator Wigfall was outraged over Stephens branding him dishonorable, for he very much prided himself on being an honorable gentleman, having several times in the past challenged men who had questioned his honor to duels. Mr. Stephens' frail physique and poor health probably is all that deterred Senator Wigfall from calling Mr. Stephens out over this issue.] In addition to bedeviling the Black Republicans while tarrying in Washington, Senator Wigfall recruited troops for the Confederacy in Baltimore and Washington, and arranged for the purchase and shipment to the Confederacy of Colt revolvers.

Gaining even more attention was the outcome of another of his activities: the organizing and carrying out the attempted abduction of President-elect Abraham Lincoln. Aiding him in this endeavor was a large and varied cast of characters, including actor John Wilkes Booth; Washington socialite, Mrs. Rose O'Neal Greenhow; Captain Thomas Jordan, then still a United States Army officer; and Methodist minister Thomas N. Conrad. [Essential to the scheme was the cooperation of several of the soldiers and Washington policemen assigned to guard Mr. Lincoln. Apparently the scheme was planned and carried out without President Cobb's knowledge, although some participants seem to have believed that Senator Wigfall had obtained his approval.]

The attempt to spirit President-elect Lincoln away was made at the Williard Hotel in the dead of night two days before his inauguration. Perceiving that he would quickly fall under suspicion, Senator Wigfall wisely fled Washington only a few hours before the abduction attempt. Hearing a commotion on the landing on the main staircase, Lincoln's bodyguards awakened Lincoln and rushed him to another staircase. Because they heard the sound of footsteps rapidly ascending this staircase, Lincoln and his bodyguards began running up the stairs.

From this point forward in time accounts of the events of that momentous night diverge radically. Both Mr. Conrad in his report to President Cobb and that of Mr. Booth in his testimony at his trial claimed that they came upon the bodyguards standing over Mr. Lincoln, who was lying prone on the steps, evidently in the throes of a seizure which proved to be fatal. Of the Confederates participating in this endeavor, only Mr. Booth, because--owing to his fame as an actor--he was recognized, was apprehended by the authorities.

The Yankees' insatiable thirst for a revenge upon the seceding states led the Black Republicans to trump up a murder charge against Booth in which it was claimed that he had grabbed and thrown Lincoln down the stairs, and this was what killed him. Mr. Conrad and two other participants in the affair offered--if granted immunity and the right to return to the Confederacy--to testify in Mr. Booth's behalf, but their offers were rebuffed by the United States' new President, Hamibal Hamlin, who, as Vice-President elect, fell heir to the presidency upon Mr. Lincoln's death.

The level of outrage in the United States over the purported murder of the President-elect was matched, if not exceeded, in the Confederacy when Booth was hung. Ever thereafter, Booth has occupied a place in the hearts of his countrymen like that granted to Nathan Hale of First Revolutionary War fame. [Recently released medical reports by the physicians who attended Abraham Lincoln that night support Booth and Conrad's claim that he died of natural causes. Current speculation is that Lincoln suffered from a very rare inherited affliction. Lending credence to the belief that he suffered from this syndrome is Lincoln's great height, gangling frame, and unusually long limbs and fingers. Sudden exertion--such as arising from bed and dashing up a flight of steps--on the part of persons suffering from this disorder may result in the bursting of the aorta, which is the main artery from the heart. At the time of his death, Lincoln was at an age when, in those days, well over half of those with this syndrome would already have died. It is also suspected that Mr. Lincoln suffered from chronic depression which, of course, would have affected the decisions he would have made as president. It remains, of course, pure speculation as to whether or not this would have hindered the Union cause.]

President Hamlin, a rabid Abolitionist, had not been in office even two weeks before he issued his infamous proclamation freeing every person held in bondage anywhere within the boundaries of the United States, including persons residing in those "states claiming to have left the Union." [He also decreed that Negroes enlisting in the armed forces of the United States would receive the same pay as whites. This was not well received by the officers and men of the United States Army. Union historians today believe that a much more serious military mistake President Hamlin made was rejecting out of hand General Winfield Scott's so-called Anaconda Plan for strangling and splitting the Confederacy.]

Declaring it to be immoral to pay people to be moral, Hamlin offered no compensation to slave owners residing either within the "so-called Confederate States" or any other state. As a man of greater wisdom would have anticipated, every remaining slave state, save tiny Delaware, shortly thereafter adopted ordinances of secession. In reaction to the secession of these states, violence broke out in parts of Missouri and Maryland populated by pro-Unionists. Abolitionist resistance in these areas ultimately resulted in the creation of the State of North Missouri and the attachment of a few Maryland counties to Pennsylvania and, thus, to the United States. [A war within a war was waged in Missouri during the War. Partly for this reason, St. Louis was allowed to fall into the enemy's hands in April 1863.]

Because adequate accommodations were not available in Montgomery, in the Confederacy talk of establishing a permanent capital elsewhere began almost immediately. Selected by President Cobb to fill a post we would today label Chief of Staff was General Joseph E. Johnston, and he, along with several others, including Senator Judah P. Benjamin, who were possessed of influence with him, advocated that the capital be relocated in Atlanta, Georgia, a city far more defensible than, say, such vastly larger cities as Baltimore, New Orleans, and Richmond; yet better able to meet the needs of government than tiny Montgomery. Therefore, when the Confederacy was only four months old, its capital was transferred to this modest-sized, but rapidly-growing rail hub located deep in the heart the Confederacy's bread basket. [Thus did the forecast the late John C. Calhoun had made when it was but a tiny rail junction that, because of its temperate climate and location, Atlanta would someday become a great metropolis, begin to come to fruition.

Cities such as New Orleans and Richmond were like spiders sitting on the edge of their webs, while Atlanta was like a spider sitting in the center of its web. A further advantage of this often criticized selection was neutralizing the Confederacy's most obstreperous governor, Joseph Emmerson Brown, who threatened to become a real thorn in President Cobb's side. Putting the seat of the National Government in his State reduced his power to little more than that of a caretaker. Although he objected to sending Georgia troops and Georgia equipment, such as railroad engines, out of the State, he was unable to hinder either action. Perhaps, more than anywhere else, Atlanta's selection was applauded in tiny Milledgeville, Georgia, because making Atlanta the nation's capital appeared to doom the movement to transfer the State's capital there.]

Militarily, President Cobb's most important initial steps after making General J. E. Johnston his chief of staff, was appointing General Albert S. Johnston Quartermaster General; General Robert E. Lee (General Joseph E. Johnston's long time friend and classmate at West Point) Commander of the Army of Virginia; and General P. G. T. Beauregard Commander of the Army of Kentucky. [General Beauregard, it turned out, was unable to work effectively with General J. E. Johnston. However, because General Johnston gave the Confederacy's commander in the West substantial independence, this proved to be no serious handicap.

General Johnston's less tight control of activities in the West was due to the fact that there was no East/West railroad connection between Louisville and Chattanooga--a distance of 200 miles. Therefore, the Eastern and Western departments were effectively separated, almost as if two wars, rather than one, were being fought. Confederate grand strategy, which shaped actions in both departments, was based upon General Johnston's belief--one shared by the rest of the Confederacy's top generals--that preserving the Army; not territory, is what must be given priority. If the Army is preserved, territory given up can always be retaken, but if it is not, it cannot be.]

It was nip and tuck as to whether or not General Albert S. Johnston would serve the Confederacy or languish in a Yankee dungeon. Serving with the United States Army in California when the Southern states left the Union and knowing that an order for his arrest had been issued, he had to detour through Mexico in order to reach the Confederacy. By the time he made his way to the Confederacy, many of the posts he might otherwise have been assigned had been filled. Many believed he would have been more useful to the Confederacy in a field command, but Secretary Toombs, who had no administrative experience prior to the War, was not one of them. And certainly General Johnston, who had served as the Republic of Texas' Secretary of War and had held many important commands in the service of the United States, was of inestimable assistance to him in Atlanta as Quartermaster General.

Considering the importance the President's native state attached to railroads, it was not surprising that one of Cobb's earliest appointments was that of Mr. William Wadley, the Confederacy's leading railroader and the former chief of Georgia's state-owned Western and Atlantic Railroad, as Commissioner of Railroads. His responsibility was to coordinate the Confederacy's railroads for maximum efficiency in transporting troops and all the arms an supplies necessary to maintain them in the field while providing enough service to keep the civilian economy healthy. [At the time the importance of his role was not fully appreciated. In this endeavor he received valuable assistance and support from Secretary Yulee, not only because of the importance of the railroads in transporting the mail, but also because of the Secretary's interest in and knowledge of railroading. Railroads were particularly important to the Confederacy, whose use of them was unprecedented, because it had interior lines; thus it could shift troops by railroad from one front to the other faster than could the United States.]

One of Union President's Hamlin's first acts was a declaration that there existed an insurrection which could not be dealt with except by military force, and so he issued a call for 100,000 volunteers. [Before Hamlin took the oath of office all military installations in the first group of states to leave the Union, save Charleston's Fort Sumter and forts in Florida at Pensacola and at the tip of the Florida Keys, had been evacuated by the Buchanan administration.]

Because President Hamlin was determined to defy the "viper" [South Carolina] he blamed "for this treasonous behavior," he categorically refused to abandon Fort Sumter, which was located in Charleston Harbor. Militarily, his decision made no sense. Fort Sumter could not hope to hold out against a bombardment by the surrounding Forts on the mainland, which had been occupied by the Confederacy, much less defeat both them and all the additional earthen batteries which the Confederacy could, and did, construct. Even if the Confederacy did not fire a shot at the Fort, starvation would eventually compel its commander to capitulate if the Confederacy prevented Federal ships from vicualing the garrison. [Under orders from the Confederate government, Charleston merchants refused to supply the Fort.]

President Cobb was torn between those advising the reduction of Fort Sumter because, otherwise, the Confederacy's sovereignty might not be recognized abroad and holding off because attacking the Fort would incite Northerners and, thus, increase support for Hamlin's plan to subjugate the Confederacy. [Senator Wigfall, particularly, pressed him to reduce the Fort, while Secretary of War Toombs took the opposite position.]

President Cobb, for the time being, refrained from reducing the Fort because he desired that, if hostilities were to break out, the Yankees be the ones to start them. Therefore, the first shots of the War were fired in Maryland when Union troops transported there by a commandeered train tried to march through Baltimore in order to reach Washington. News of the arrival of Federal troops at a Baltimore railroad station spread like lightning, and soon the troops were surrounded by a huge, hostile crowd seeking to deny them passage to another railroad station, whose personnel were frantically seeking out the engineers needed in order to remove the engines needed to transport the Yankee troops.

When rocks and bricks began raining down on the Union troops, they panicked and began firing into the crowd, wounding 48 and killing 15 and enraging, not only the people of Baltimore, but Southrons everywhere, including many in the City of Washington. [A similar riot broke out in St. Louis when it was occupied by Union troops.] Thousands of brave Maryland youths responded to the invasion of their sacred soil by enlisting in the ranks of the then forming Confederate Army.

Denied transit to Washington via train, the Union troops beat a hasty retreat from Baltimore and took to the roads to reach Washington. Their march, however, was not easy. Recently activated Maryland militia forces intercepted them on their way there, inflicting significant losses upon them at the Patuxent River, but not preventing their decimated ranks from reaching Washington. [Historians are critical of Maryland's militia authorities for not being better prepared to resist the uncoordinated and disorganized effort of the United States to strengthen its forces in Washington]. Meanwhile the garrison at Fort Sumter was starved out.

Hamlin's strategy for subjugating the Confederacy was multi-pronged and, thus, played into Confederate General Joe Johnston's hands. [Because the United States' forces were the larger, General Johnston knew that it was essential to divide them. If the United States would not voluntarily divide its forces, the Confederacy would have force it to do so by making it necessary for troops to be detailed to defend as many points--preferably widely separated--as possible. Then, if a Confederate army still faced a larger foe, his strategy was that of a boxer fighting a much larger man: dance nimbly around him, darting out of his reach and tiring him. Wait for an opening, and land a knock-out blow where he least expects it.]

The United States' chief strategic objectives were to defend (subsequently to retake) Washington; take Baltimore, which would help achieve the former; incite a slave rebellion to make the United States' Army's task easier; take the Confederate capital, Atlanta; and through a blockade of its ports, including those on the Mississippi River, cut off vital Confederate imports of war materials and the export of cotton to pay for them. Unfortunately, the blockade of the Mississippi River also caused serious economic hardship in the Northwest, and this played a major role in producing a steady erosion of support for the Black Republicans in that region and helped bring about the creation a group of Democrats called Peace Democrats.

[While the United States never formulated a grand strategy, the Confederacy, with its much superior complement of experienced officers, did. Recognizing that, because their's was the smaller force, its forces could not remain static and could not afford a battle of attrition, concentration of combat power and economy of force was essential. A strategy which was entirely defensive was intolerable, as the people of the United States needed to be demoralized and those of Europe impressed with the South's ability to gain its independence on its own.]

Vital to the Confederacy was holding the Shenandoah Valley, as it was one of the Confederacy's chief granaries and provided a direct invasion route to Pennsylvania. Because, moving Southwards, it led nowhere, it was not valuable to the United States. In contrast, the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers was valuable to both sides, and gaining and holding this position were given high priorities by both the Confederacy and the United States; thus Cairo was taken in a fierce campaign early in the War by troops from Missouri and Kentucky under the command of General Sterling Price. [Commanding the Union troops defending Cario was General John M. Scofield.] An even higher priority was assigned to holding the other end of the Father of Waters: New Orleans, which was very heavily fortified and protected by several ironclads.

[Never admitted for political reasons during the War was the Confederacy's decision to "write off" much of westernmost Virginia and portions of Missouri, Maryland, Kentucky, and the Indian Territory (Arkansas and Oklahoma). Missouri Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson, who took much of the credit for his state joining the Confederacy, was very embittered by the Confederacy's failure to allocate more resources to the defense of Missouri. Particularly galling to him was the abandonment of St. Louis to Union troops under General Thomas W. Sweeny. Many historians dispute Govenor Jackson's post-war claim that without Missouri the War would have been lost.

The ship yards in St. Louis which had turned out a number of iron clads and rams for the Confederacy were, like those in Cario, Illinois, destroyed by retreating Confederate troops. Many of these vessels survived and were used in the defense of Memphis, Vicksburg, and New Orleans. Destroyed, too, at St. Louis were several of the invading Union forces' iron clads by the many torpedoes constructed by Zere McDaniel which were sown in the Mississippi River there before this city was evacuated.

Most of the relatively small engagements in Oklahoma were internecine warfare amongst the Indians. The Confederacy's victory in Oklahoma was due to the fact that the most civilized Indians: mixed breed Cherokees and Lower Creeks, allied themselves with the Confederacy under the leadership of Cherokee General (later Senator) James McIntosh and General Stand Waite. Slave ownership was not the factor which determined which side Indians took, as there were slave owners on both sides.

Local (white) troops also conducted the Confederacy's initially successful small-scale operations in the gold-rich far West. The failure to capture the Colorado gold fields opened by Georgia miners represented a major financial set back for the Confederacy. Some feel the failure to gain access to Pacific ports also represented a major set back, but most historians discount this because of the impracticality of transporting in those pre-transcontinental railroad days from there any substantial amount of supplies East of the Mississippi where the War would be decided.

To be confident of success, an attacking force needs to outnumber defenders by about three-to-one. Because the Confederacy's population, a substantial proportion of which was Negro, was smaller than the United States', this meant that it had significantly fewer potential soldiers. This, of course, mitigated against the Confederacy taking an offensive stance. On the other hand, because of the vastness of the Confederacy--all of which, unfortunately, its inhabitants expected to be defended--particularly if the War was protracted, the Union might obtain the decisive advantage needed by an attacker. Thus, the Confederate high command decided that the War had to be short--it wasn't--and this would require the Confederacy to go on the offensive. In order to make it a short war, the Confederacy's forces must be concentrated, and, thus, the territory defended had to be minimized. Crucial was that the Confederacy choose when and where battles would be fought.]

Blame for the Unions' many defeats in the field has been largely placed at the feet of its inept general officers, rather than at its private soldier's, although they, too, it is generally conceded, were inferior to those of the Confederacy, who, with much greater frequency, were farmers and hunters well acclimated to a strenuous, outdoor life. More common, too, among Confederate troops were skills acquired from service in the militia. Not to be underestimated, too, was the much higher regard in the Southern States for the military profession--a result of which was that the profession of arms accounted for a larger percent of Southrons than Yankees. Also, Southrons had the habits of command acquired by slave owners absent among Yankee agriculturalists, who typically employed little or no non-family labor except, perhaps, at harvest time.

[The United States Army also suffered from the fact that its senior officers were peers. No general was ever put in overall command of a region. Thus, all coordination of their efforts had to come from the Capital. Under the best of circumstances this would have been a severe handicap, but circumstances were far from being optional, because President Hamlin--who always put political needs before military necessity--lacked both the necessary military and command skills.]

Initially possessing no army, other than local militia units, at first the Confederacy could do little to prevent the reinforcement of Washington. To defend Washington--virtually without defenses when the Southern States began seceding--the Yankees had to depend primarily upon sending troops through Philadelphia and Baltimore. However, the latter soon passed into Confederate hands when that State left the Union, and it did not take long for the Confederacy to deny the use of the Potomac River by placing batteries on its banks and torpedoes [mines] beneath its surface.

General Ambrose Powell Hill was placed in command of Confederate forces in Baltimore, and he established a defensive line near Westminster. [One of his corps was detached and posted in Havre De Grace.] The responsibility for blocking Union troops descending from Pittsburgh was placed in the hands of General Thomas J. Jackson, whose troops established a line near Hagerstown. [General Jackson's performance during the War has become a military classic, and in studies of his campaigns they are viewed as those of the ideal military leader in action.]

Blocking the other major route into Washington were troops near Frederick under the command General James Longstreet. General Jackson was instructed that, unless he could gain a decisive advantage, he was to withdraw, while inflicting as much damage as possible on opposing Union forces, to Frederick, where he would join his forces with those of General Longstreet. [If this withdrawal took place, the forces in Frederick and Westminster would join, if necessary, to halt a Union advance.]

To General Jackson's troops fell both the distinction of being the first to come under fire, and the first to emerge victorious. In a brilliant, lightning attack at Brown's Mill, Jackson's troops routed Union General Irvin McDowell's strung-out, slowly-moving and still very green troops. Tragically, the gallant Confederate General Bernard Bee lost his life during this battle when a Union artillery shell landed on the hilltop from which he was directing his troops.

While this battle was in progress, in order to sow fear in Washington and thoroughly cut it off from the rest of the United States, General James E. B. (Jeb) Stuart's calvary circumnavigated the Federal City, destroying railroad tracks and bridges. Meanwhile, General Lee was assembling the Confederacy's largest army in the vicinity of his home [Arlington] on the Potomac River. [The City of Washington was visible from the home his wife had inherited from her father, the step-son of George Washington.] Concerned that his troops were still too untrained to mount an attack, General Lee delayed the commencement of an attack on the City of Washington and its defenders, who were under the command of General George B. McClellan. Greatly dissatisfied with what he considered to be Lee's unnecessary procrastination, President Cobb considered replacing him, but was dissuaded from doing so by General Joseph E. (Joe) Johnston.

After a last, hurried conference with General Joe Johnston, General Lee commenced the attack on Washington. General McClellan, who had wisely delayed advancing on Confederate positions in order to train his troops, had by that time been replaced by President Hamlin with General Joseph Hooker. [General McClellan, an officer of sterling repute, but also a Democrat rumored to be interested in holding public office and, thus, not one the Republicans wanted to become a hero, was thus denied the opportunity to prove himself in battle.] At Falls Church, General Lee caught Hooker's advancing forces in a pincer movement, driving them back in confusion across he Potomac, where they took shelter behind breastworks largely erected by impressed Negro labor.

For several days the opposing sides glared at each other across that languid river. Then, under the cover of intense artillery fire directed by Major John Pelham, Lee's troops crossed the Potomac upstream from Washington and descended upon the Federal City from the West. The untested Union troops panicked and ran, and so President Hamlin and his cabinet were forced to flee, their escape made possible by the ineptitude of both flustered Confederate private soldiers and junior officers. Much to the United States' embarrassment, numerous Senators and Congressmen fell into Confederate hands. [President Hamlin largely owed his escape to the coolness and presence of mind of Colonel Charles P. Stone. Having failed to prevent the Lincoln abduction attempt, Colonel Stone was determined that he not lose another president.] Hooker's loss of the nation's capital so damaged his reputation that he shortly thereafter returned to civilian life.

In the Autumn, an ill-fated attempt under the command of Union General Henry Wager Halleck was made to regain Washington. In the face of Halleck's much larger force, Confederate troops at Frederick fell back after only light skirmishing to join with the main body of Confederate troops, who were well dug in near Gaithersburg. Halleck advanced entirely too slowly and gave inadequate instructions to his subordinates, and his leisurely advance gave General Lee plenty of time to prepare his defenses.

Because of the inadequacy of his instructions to his unit commanders, General Halleck's attack on Lee's troops at what came to be known as the Battle of Gaithersburg was very uncoordinated. Thus, the few Federal units which achieved break throughs were not supported and so had to retreat. [Halleck unjustly blamed others for his lack of success.] In the meanwhile, however, General Jackson had lacked the number of troops necessary to prevent Union troops under General McDowell from occupying portions of Western Maryland. Too prevent Western Virginia from experiencing a like fate, General Jackson withdrew his troops to Winchester, where he repulsed a too hastily mounted attack by General McDowell's troops.

Upon the capture of Washington, church bells had been rung and cannon fired in wild celebrations throughout the Confederacy. The foreign press all but proclaimed the War over. So did newspapers throughout the Confederacy, and their columns began to fill with forecasts of the new nation's bright future. Alas, these celebrations were premature, for the Black Republicans were not about to give up, and a Confederate offer to end hostilities in exchange for recognition of the new nation was summarily refused.

In a much-criticized gesture of good will branded appeasement by the Charleston Mercury, President Cobb released the United States Senators and Congressmen captured in Washington. President Hamlin's response to this generous gesture was to issue a call for additional troops and ask the Congress to pass a conscription bill. [Any hopes Cobb may have had about the Southern States ultimately rejoining the Union must certainly have died at this time.] Hamlin and his cabinet having already refugeed to Philadelphia, it was decided to temporarily move the capital of the United States to that historic city. Hardly had this move been made before a new, major crisis emerged. New York's legislature passed a resolution sponsored by the State's governor declaring its neutrality.

Shortly thereafter New York City's mayor, Fernando Wood, supported by the City's political and business leaders, declared New York a "free" city. Both the Federal Government and New York's promptly declared this action null and void, and the State dispatched State militia troops to the City, warning the Federal Government not to dispatch troops. These Upstate New York troops were met by mobs largely composed of Irish toughs armed with clubs, knives, and muskets. When forced to retreat, the mobs retaliated with widespread arson. Seeing that the New York militia were unable to take control of the City, over Albany's strong objections, President Hamlin sent in Federal troops. Albany responded by dispatching orders withdrawing the New York troops--whether to avoid clashes between State and Federal troops or out of a desire not to make the Federal troops' task any easier is a question which has never been satisfactorily answered.

By the time the rioters had been quelled, much of the City was a smoking ruin and an estrangement between New York City and the rest of the United States which lasts until this very day came into being. [To maintain order in New York, a large number of Federal troops had to be garrisoned there; thus, handicapping the United States in its efforts to subjugate the Confederacy. Also, additional troops were denied the United States because New York State resisted Washington's requests for the services of troops enrolled in New York militia units. Undoubtedly, too, far fewer goods would have been smuggled into the Confederacy by New York merchants--highly mercenary though they were--if if New Yorkers had not been so disaffected with the Federal cause. After the Conscription Act was passed, Federal troops had to be sent to other Yankee cities to put down anti-draft riots. [Some of this anti-draft activity was the work of Confederate agent provoquers.]

No major battles were fought in the West until August, 1861, and after the comparatively easy capture of Cairo, Illinois the War did not go well for the Confederacy. The most severe blow to the Confederacy's cause was the collapse of General Beaugregard's attempt to capture Cincinnati. The precipating loss of the Battle of Cold Spring was due both to inadequate planning and bad luck. More than once during this battle Beauregard delayed too long in sending out orders, and several couriers became lost and were late in arriving or were killed or captured before reaching their destination. Also, several officers left the last staff meeting before the battle of 19 August with a critical misunderstanding of their assignments.

Particularly disastrous was the failure of an artillery barrage to precede the advance of the infantry on the right flank. However, the losses of Union troops under the command of General Ulysses S. Grant were severe, and Cincinnati and surrounding communities were thereafter subject to continuing harassment from Southron troops commanded by flamboyant General Nathan Bedford Forrest which kept them in a constant state of terror. [Adding to the terror were horological torpedoes designed by Zere McDaniel which were planted by the Confederate Secret Service in Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana.]

Another setback took place less than two weeks later when, after the closely-fought Battle of Guist Creek [near Louisville, Kentucky], troops under the command of General Jefferson Davis were forced to retreat into Tennessee by Federal troops under the command of flinty General George H. Thomas, a renegade Virginian who had cast his lot with the United States. General Davis' defeat was due to the fact that, unlike his opponent in the Mexican War, General Thomas would not march his troops into the trap General Davis set utilizing the V-formation he had made famous in the Mexican War. As a result, he was flanked and had to retreat.

[Military historians in recent years have damned Davis for failing to take the initiative and spreading his troops too thinly. Some, too, have claimed that it was a mistake to place Davis in such an important post due to his mental instability, which was quite obvious, as he had became a recluse after the death of his first wife, and then fell into an even deeper state of melancholy after the subsequent death of his fiance.] However, the cost of his failure was offset by the fact that Bluecoat deprecations in Louisville while it was occupied by troops commanded by General Benjamin Butler played a major role in turning many previously neutralist Kentuckians against the United States.

General Sterling Price was forced to withdraw from Cairo, which his troops had taken shortly after Washington. [The almost simultaneous loss of its Capital City and this key western river city stunned the United States.] Subsequently, when confronted by forces under the command of General William T. Sherman which vastly out numbered his, General Price obeyed his instructions to proceed with an orderly retreat, joining his troops with those under General P. G. T. Beauregard. Subsequently, in a truly Napoleonic master stroke, General Beauregard concentrated Confederate forces as his command fell back toward Memphis.

His intention was to lure Union forces ever deeper into the Confederacy and ever lengthening their line of supply, which was interrupted with devastating effects by cavalry troops under General Forrest's command. Generals Sherman and Thomas took the bait because they saw this as an opportunity to precipitate a Confederate rout which would carry them all the way to New Orleans. However, their hopes were crushed at Redman Point when General Beauregard wheeled, first to the East, delivering a hammer-like blow to General Thomas's exposed right flank, which fell back in disarray, colliding with the advance forces of General Sherman. Then, wheeling to the West--utterly confusing the enemy--Beauregard's men fell upon Sherman's troops--many of whom had been panicked by Thomas' fleeing troops--in a highly successful turning movement in which, tragically, General Braxton Bragg lost his life. [A promising Union officer, James B. McPherson was also killed in this engagement.] Subsequently, Cairo was reoccupied by General Price and held until October, 1862, when Confederate troops holding it were withdrawn to Columbus.

[General Beauregard, who excelled in the kind of grand strategy this campaign was an excellent example of, unfortunately often fumbled in executing it. In this battle, however, his only major lapse caused no problem because General William Joseph Hardee, the author of the period's standard American military manual, Hardee's Tactics, took it upon himself to order his men to advance in an attack which virtually wiped out Sherman's finest corps. Unfortunately, having left himself no reserves, General Beauregard was unable to fully exploit his success.]

Much to his dismay, General Beauregard was reassigned to supervise the fortification of New Orleans, where his engineering expertise served the Confederacy well, as a later Union attack from the sea upon New Orleans was successfully turned back by forces under his command. Subsequently, he did like, superb work at Columbus, Memphis, and Vicksburg. Placed in command in his stead over the Western department and the Army of Kentucky was General Jackson. [Perhaps only General Joe Johnston could have persuaded General Lee to willingly give up this, his most trusted lieutenant.] General Jackson's request that General D. H. Hill be reassigned with him was honored, and General Jackson was replaced by General James Longstreet, who, though a less brilliant tactician, was to prove himself a worthy successor to "Professor" Jackson. [When the War began, General Jackson was a professor at the Virginia Military Institute.]



There is no question but that the United States was singularly damned by a general lack of quality amongst its generals, and many historians in both this country and in the United States place much of the blame for the outcome of the War on the inadequacies of these men. Like the majority of the Confederacy's most senior officers, those of the United States were West Point graduates, but, while those of the Confederacy had generally stood at or near the head of their classes, typically those of the United States brought up the rear. General U. S. Grant, for example, graduated 21st in a class of 39. [Due to his propensity for sacrificing his troops in futile frontal assaults, Grant was known as Butcher Grant.] Both Generals George G. Meade and Philip Henry Sheridan, who required five years to complete West Point, were plagued with violent tempers.

General Daniel E. Sickles, the first man to be acquitted of a murder charge on the basis of being temporarily insane, was often absent from his command seeking favors in the Capital. General Ambrose E. Burnside was an inexperienced bungler. General James Shields had exceptional talent for losing even when possessing a superior position and force. General Henry W. Halleck invariably gave inadequate instructions and blamed others for his failures. General John C. Fremont, the Black Republican's first presidential candidate, was mercurial, headstrong, and unstable. Expelled from Charleston College, as a United States Army officer he was later found guilty of mutiny and insubordination. In terms of character, one of the worst of the Federal generals was the very immodest and immoral General Joseph Hooker. A drunkard, his headquarters--incredibly, even more so than those of James Shields and Daniel Butterfield--was a combination of a bar and a brothel.

Neither an excessive fondness for drink or women, of course, per se, affects the outcome of battle, but Union generals' weaknesses of the flesh were matched by military short comings which did affect the outcome of battles. And although a clouding of the mind by spirits cannot be proven to have been the cause of the making of poor decisions, on some occasions Union failures can be attributed to the absence or incapacitation of its generals due to over indulgence. [Matching, perhaps, Hooker's drunkenness was that of General Ulysses S. Grant. Fortunately for the United States, it was not long plagued by Grant's lapses, because early in the War a train he was a passenger on was captured by General John Hunt Morgan, and he was taken prisoner, spending the rest of the War incarcerated in Atlanta. Thus protected from losing any battles, he was one of the few Yankee generals to enjoy the advantage of being able to reenter civilian life with an unblemished War record. However, his luck in business did not change, and in the several endeavors he pursued after the War, he failed.]

When the War began, on land the Confederacy at least had the nucleus of an army in its militia, but on the high seas it had nothing, while the United States boasted one of the world's larger navies. Because the Confederacy realized that it could not hope to defend the entirety of its lengthy coast line; it decided to focus on holding a few, widely scattered ports--selecting to defend those which were the most vital and defensible. Because the great majority of the Confederacy's coast line was left undefended, in the Spring of 1862 detachments of Union soldiers landed by the United States Navy occupied a number of lightly-populated--mainly with slaves---coastal areas. Despite its relatively large size, the task facing the United States Navy was daunting. Excluding California and Oregon, the land area of the Confederacy was far larger than that of the United States, and much of this area bordered the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Adding to the difficulty was the fact that the Confederacy's coast line was dotted with rivers--leading away from the United States--and harbors. [Many European military observers believed that, due to its size, the Confederacy could never be subdued.]

Some argued that the best use of a fleet which the Confederacy could cobble together would be to attack the North's merchant and fishing fleets so as to draw its Navy away from the South's coasts. Most experienced Confederate naval officers and others knowledgeable in naval matters counseled against this. They claimed that because protecting the United States' numerous, widely scattered whalers from even a few, lightly-armed raiders would be impossible task, and the cost to the United States of the loss of these ships would be far less than the cost to it of failing to halt Confederate imports, it would not employ any of its Navy to defend its merchant and fishing fleets. Therefore, they believed that the best use of the South's existing and potential naval resources was to engage in an all out defense of New Orleans and the organization of a strong squadron which would escort, in an unpredictable manner, blockade runners first to one port and then to another. This plan was adopted.

Under the able and courageous command of Marylander Admiral Raphael Semmes, the Confederate Navy played a highly successful game of hide and seek with the United States' blockading fleets, successfully escorting blockade runners. [Ships headed for the Confederacy collected in the British West Indies and in Mexico for the dash to Confederate ports.] Although their losses were severe, Confederate ironclads foiled efforts to take New Orleans and Mobile late in the War via assault from the sea. [Although ironclads were constructed at a variety of points in the Confederacy, early in the War most were built at Baltimore, St. Louis, and New Orleans.]

Although the Confederacy had some success in purchasing cruisers and rams in Great Britain, thanks to the adroit maneuvering of Senator Benjamin, an even larger number of ships were obtained in France. Senator Benjamin signed a secret treaty with Napoleon III which promised France a substantial rebate from the Confederate government, which would not be given Great Britain, so long as the current conflict with the United States continued and for five years there after on every bale of cotton purchased from the Confederacy by French importers. In addition, Napoleon III received an informal promise that the Confederacy would not interfere with the French-backed rule of the Emperor Maximilian in Mexico; nor would it oppose an attempt by Mexico to reclaim those of its former lands then in the hands of the United States. In exchange, France recognized the Confederacy's right to Texas (originally a Mexican territory). Furthermore, if and when Mexico regained the Southwestern portion of the United States, the Confederacy would have the right to construct a transcontinental railroad through this territory or, alternatively, an Atlantic-to-Pacific railroad could be constructed through currently Mexican territory. Ownership of the transcontinental railroad would be joint.

In abandoning military installations when Virginia seceded, United States' forces destroyed the Navy Yard at Norfolk and, in an act of wanton destruction, left half the City a sea of "skeleton chimneys rising like wrathful and accusing things from the wreck of pillaged homesteads.". [Despite this reduction in its value, once Maryland joined the Confederacy, holding Norfolk was given top priority because it was the first line of defense of the Chesapeake Bay area. The loss early in the War of both its sea-going trade and its trade with the North devastated Baltimore's economy.]

Political considerations dictated that Baltimore, the Confederacy's largest city, and Annapolis, Maryland's capital, could not be surrendered without a major effort being made to defend them. Unfortunately, these Chesapeake Bay cities were almost as accessible to the Federal Navy as was Norfolk, and they were much closer to the United States. Since at its narrowest point South of Baltimore (just North of Annapolis) the Bay is still about four miles wide, unlike Washington, which can be reached by sea only by sailing up the Potomac River, shore batteries and mines could not prevent Federal ships from reaching Annapolis and Baltimore. Therefore, extensive defensive works were built at Baltimore and Annapolis for the joint purpose of firing upon attacking ships and preventing troops from being landed from them. [Additional defenses included rams and fire rafts.]

The Confederacy's possession of Baltimore both robbed the United States of a second--New Orleans being the first--major port and put the Confederacy within easy striking distance of another major U.S. port, Philadelphia, and throughout the War the Confederacy took great pains to make Philadelphia feel threatened. The chief tool for doing this was frequent Confederate cavalry raids in its vicinity led by Colonel, later General, James (Jeb) Ewell Brown Stuart.

Difficult as the defense of Baltimore was for the Confederacy, in Washington the United States faced an even more difficult defensive problem. Seen from a strictly military point of view, Washington should have been abandoned, but President Hamlin was unwilling to do this, believing that the loss of the nation's capital would cause the United States to lose face abroad and--even worse--it might dishearten the Northern people to such an extent that they would lose their will to fight. For the Confederacy his attitude was a Godsend, because the Yankees' fixation in the East early in the War on holding and then retaking Washington gave the Confederacy more time to build its defenses in the Chesapeake Bay region and enabled it to concentrate its forces for the purpose of capturing Washington.

In Kentucky General Jackson soon had Union forces under the command of General Nathaniel P. Banks mystified. The Professor moved his men in strange directions so that not only the enemy, but his own men as well, had no idea of what he was up to. [Jackson figured that if he could deceive his friends, then certainly the enemy would be deceived.] So rapidly did Jackson move his men [over 60 miles in less than 50 hours] that they came to be called the "Foot Cavalry." [Jackson, who believed that one may be whatever he resolves to be, always got the task he was assigned done regardless of the difficulties involved.] His assignment in 1862 was ridding the Commonwealth of Kentucky of Yankees, and he largely accomplished this in a rapid fire series of battles: Boonesboro, Shelbyville, and Licking River [near Cincinnati]. Lamentably, in the second of these battles, Kentucky lost one of her favorite sons, General George B. Crittenden.

Jackson's favorite strategy was to take a defensive position on a reverse slope with his flanks protected by cavalry, woods, and cannon massed with exceptional skill. [One of the exceedingly rare Generals who maintained sufficient control over his troops to mount a punishing pursuit of a defeated enemy, he often turned an orderly retreat into a rout. Throughout the War, Jackson managed to tie down Federal troops whose numbers exceeded those of his own by from three to four times.]

Unfortunately, after Licking River the Foot Cavalry appeared to throw a shoe. Its pursuit of the fleeing Bluecoats was slow and disorganized and an excellent opportunity to take Cincinnati was lost. [The speed with which this campaign was conducted has never ceased to amaze even the most blase of students of military history. It was not until well after the War that the amazing endurance and subsequent, strange lassitude of Jackson's troops was satisfactorily explained. Well known to pharmacists of that day was the tremendous endurance of certain natives of Latin America arising out of their chewing of the cola leaf. A hypochondriac, General Jackson was well acquainted with a variety of physicians and pharmacists' products. Therefore, a much-disputed claim has been made that his troops used cocaine.

Jackson's fabled success was partially attributable to the excellent working relationship he had with General D. H. Hill, his brother-in-law. Jackson, a stern eccentric, and Hill, gloomy and sarcastic, remained a team after the War, but in an entirely different field. Jackson was highly religious--some would say overly religious. So was Hill. Before the War Hill--a South Carolina native who had removed to North Carolina before the War--had already authored "A Consideration of the Sermon on the Mount and Crucifixion of Christ". After the War, Jackson felt the call to the ministry and, joined by Hill, held evangelical tent meetings throughout the Confederacy that caused his conservative denomination, the Presbyterian, to become disaffected from him.]

The age of iron men in wooden ships came to a close at the epochal 1862 battle of Confederate and Federal ironclads at Norfolk. Although this battle ended in a draw, Confederate forces were withdrawn from Norfolk and used to reinforce its forces at Annapolis. Shortly after this battle the high concentration of slaves along the Atlantic seaboard led President Hamlin to direct his forces in the East to mount an invasion of the Confederate heart land--with Atlanta as its ultimate objective--via a coastal route. Although this took advantage of the United States' naval superiority, traversing this area is a living hell for an army--particularly one composed of troops from such frigid climes as Massachusetts, Maine, and Michigan. Union troops were frequently bogged down or lost or both, and they were constantly ambushed by Confederate cavalry units, who were more familiar with this territory and much more at home in it.

The lack of railroad lines in the region made it impossible to adequately supply Union forces, and, although a number of slaves were induced to join its ranks, on balance the slaves were a handicap, rather than an asset, as most of the male, coastal Negroes were only superficially civilized field hands. Also, the great majority of the slaves, most of whom were women and children, became, not soldiers; but camp followers entirely dependent upon the Union army for their support. Camp followers, said one Yankee, made "it a moving mob; not an army." Another said that the Negroes thought freedom meant freedom from work, and the campaign for them was simply a traveling party." A Union colonel said that he felt like a sailor thrown overboard with riding boots and an overcoat on.

Yankee efforts to incite slave rebellion largely came to naught. [Many slaves, we now know, were receptive to the idea, but on the barrier islands and the nearby mainland there were very few whites to revolt against, for, early in the War, most whites fled the region, leaving their plantations in the hands of slave overseers.] However, few with homes in this region failed to experience terrific losses from General Benjamin Butler's vicious hoards, as their plantations were burned; their crops destroyed; and their livestock slaughtered or driven off. Abolitionist agitators were able to incite a few slaves into rising and brutally murdering their masters and their families, and this created panic throughout the Confederacy [most particularly in the Black Belt]. But, rather than causing Southrons to falter in their support of the Confederacy, this strengthened their resolve to break their country's bonds to a government inciting such barbarity.

[In response to the uprisings fomented by invading Yankees, draconian restrictions were imposed throughout the Confederacy on its slave population, and old men and young boys were armed and organized into patrols to enforce them. Many women living in isolated areas whose husbands were away in the army fled to the safety of nearby cities]. To their credit, the great majority of slaves not exposed to invading Yankees continued about their duties, and, to a large extent, the engendering by invading Abolitionists of hatred in Negro hearts towards their masters hurt the United States more than the Confederacy, as the Yankee-exposed Negroes became very demanding and insolent towards all whites, including those in the service of the United States.

General Lee believed that the best defense is to attack, and that is just what he did at the Battle of Tarboro (North Carolina) with splendid results. Hurling overwhelming numbers of troops exactly where General Butler least expected them to be, he convinced the Unionists that they would prefer to retire back to Norfolk. Displeased as a result with General Butler, President Hamlin replaced him with General Ambrose Burnside. Finally persuaded to follow his generals' and admirals' pleading, Hamlin agreed to a campaign to begin in 1863 with the objective of taking Baltimore and Annapolis via a combined land and sea assault involving moving troops under General McClellan South from Philadelphia and troops under General Burnside North from Norfolk. [Castigated for the favoritism he displayed towards Republican generals and desirous of placating the Democrats, President Hamlin had inveigled a miffed General McClellan into reassuming his command.]

Meanwhile, in a hit and run campaign, General James Longstreet drove Federal forces under General Henry Halleck from Western Virginia, where uniformed Yankee minions, including officers as well as private soldiers, had rummaged in trunks and drawers and paraded from vandalized homes in gaudy stolen jewelry. [The United States was intent on occupying Western Virginia and Western and Northern Maryland because these were areas which contained the bulk of these States' Union sympathizers. Union troops were dispersed thinly over this region and, thus, were easy prey for Longstreet's smaller, but concentrated force, which seemed to materialize, first here, and then there, in lightning-like attacks reminiscent of Jackson's. No attempt, however, was made to eject Union troops from several Unionist-infested Virginia cities along the Virginia/Ohio border.]

President Cobb initially agreed with those who believed that Great Britain and France could be induced to recognize and aid the Confederacy by an embargo on cotton because this would throw thousands of their people out of work. That he changed his mind was not by chance. It was the result of concerted action by a number of Southrons who were convinced that a cotton embargo would not work and might spell disaster. Opposition to a cotton embargo was organized by a wealthy Confederate businessman with interests in Macon, Charleston, and New York, Leroy M. Wiley, who was an in-law of Alabama Congressman David Clopton. One of the several routes he took to gain the president's ear was through one of his partners, Thomas Baxter, an Athens, Georgia neighbor of President Cobb. Influence on President Cobb was also exerted by two of his closest associates, Gazaway B. and John B. Lamar of Macon. Another route of influence was through Christopher Memminger and Secretary Trenholm. Representative Clopton also sought the President's ear on this subject, and through him the support of Vice President Clay was obtained.

Public support was generated through the efforts of Robert Barnwell Rhett or the Charleston Mercury and J. D. B. DeBow, who edited New Orlean's DeBow's Review. William Gregg, a leading South Carolina cotton textile manufacturer published articles in these and other publications opposing a cotton embargo. Secretary Toombs and Senator Benjamin, too, inveighed upon the President not to embargo cotton. Without heavy purchases abroad, they said, the Confederacy could not obtain all the ships it needed to break the blockade and arm its troops, as selling cotton was the only way it could pay for them.

Because huge stocks of cotton were being held in England and England was the leader of the anti-slave movement, many of these men were convinced that there was no hope of enlisting the aid of the Mother Country, even if she had not been in dire need of the North's chief export, wheat. However, as Senator Benjamin pointed out, the situation in France was different. France did not hold large stocks of cotton; nor did it have a colony, as did the British (India) from which it could obtain cotton. And it was in France that the Confederacy had its greatest diplomatic success.

[With the loss of the Southern States, the United States lost over one-half of its export income, that is, its cotton receipts. Yet, because of the demands of war, the North's need for imports were far greater than before. Since it was clear that the United States' credit was not adequate to finance its imports, it had to increase its exports. The only feasible alternative export available to it was the only crop well suited to its cold and dry new lands: wheat, which was then in great demand in throughout Europe.]

At first, because the Confederacy could not hope to blockade the United States' ports, there seemed to be no way to prevent wheat from being used to finance the United States' imports. Then General Nathan Bedford Forrest--whom General Joe Johnston labeled a born military genius--conceived the idea of raids into the Northwest for the dual purpose of destroying wheat stores and the means of moving it and sowing confusion and dissatisfaction among the people of this region. [Novel, new incendiary devices developed by Confederate laboratories made this campaign a "blazing" success. Kansas was converted from the "bleeding Kansas" of a few years earlier to "burning Kansas".] Well aware of the United States industrial superiority, Mr. Gregg and other Southern manufacturers persuaded President Cobb to instruct General Johnston to have Generals Nathan Bedford Forrest, John Hunt Morgan, and John Singleton Mosby destroy factories producing war goods. [The larger-than-life status these dashing raiders subsequently achieved has tempted some revisionist historians to question the importance of the activities of these practitioners of "irregular warfare."]

Under the impact of the deprecations of Tennessee's Forrest, Kentucky's Morgan, and Virginia's Mosby, the Northwest--its economy already staggering under the burden of the Union-imposed blockade of New Orleans--fell into deep economic depression. This galvanized the Democratic representatives of this region, led by Congressman Clement Valandigham of Ohio, to demand peace negotiations with the Confederacy. However, the quest of the Copperheads [Peace Democrats] for an end to the War did not meet with success until after General Longstreet's smashing victories in Pennsylvania.

[Even Longstreet's victory in Pennsylvania might have been inadequate to force the Hamlin administration to the bargaining table if the Democrats had not gained seats during the off-year Congressional elections. Democratic gains were greatest in the southern portions of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, which were largely initially settled by immigrants from the South who their Yankee neighbors derisively labeled Butternuts.]

President Hamlin suffered a devastating political setback in 1862 when the Democrats increased their strength in both the House and the Senate. Playing a major role in the Democrats' comeback was wide spread outrage over the numerous arbitrary arrests and indefinite imprisonment without charges or trial of many prominent citizens, including several public officials thought to be Southern sympathizers, and the closing of many Democratic newspapers. Hamlin's suspension of habeas corpus reached the Supreme Court in 1862, and it struck it down as being unconstitutional. Subsequently, public opinion was inflamed when Hamlin, in imitation of President Jackson, commented, "well, let's see how the Chief Justice plans to enforce his decision." Then, when Hamlin had the aged and infirm Chief Justice Taney arrested, claiming that the Marylander was a traitor, riots broke out in a number of cities which had historically given the Democratic Party strong support. Troops were called out and martial law was declared.

Another signal event of that year were two other decisions by the United States Supreme Court which greatly strengthened the hands of Northern Democrats; the first declared that it was clear from the discussions which took place in the various states when the Union was formed that secession was an option; the second declared that, since the Confederacy was being treated by the United States' government as a belligerent, the country was in a state of war, but no war had been declared by Congress as the Constitution required. Buoyed by these decisions, the demands by Democrats in the U.S. Congress for negotiation became impossible to ignore.

Eighteen sixty three began inauspiciously with the loss of Annapolis, Maryland in the East and Paducah, Kentucky in the West. Military historians believe that the latter might not have fallen if General John C. Pemberton had not been content to sit behind his breastworks, for, if he had advanced, he could have caught the enemy troops under the command of General William T. Sherman with their columns broken. Subsequent attempts by Union forces to move down the Mississippi from their base in Paducah were brought to a halt by Generals C. R. Wheat, E. K. Smith, and G. W. Smith. One of the most crushing Union defeats was inflicted on General Fitz John Porter when he led his men against Confederate fortifications at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Yankees in the West complained that, "if Florida's Smith doesn't get you, Kentucky's will." [Being so gotten was called being "Smithed".]

Meanwhile, because, over the protests of the commanders of "regular" armies, Forrest, Morgan, and Mosby were allocated significant numbers of men and artillery, large numbers of Union troops were running to and fro in the Southern portions of Illinois and Illinois in a fruitless attempt to prevent them from destroying huge amounts of military stores, stored grain, railroad equipment, and factories. [Only in recent years has the full extent of the destruction they wrought been revealed. As a result, today a good deal of the credit for the Confederacy's success in maintaining control of the lower Mississippi River is given to these men's troops. However, the reputation of these and other men who fought in border areas was brought into disrepute by the despicable, murderous behavior of some of those operating in border areas, despite the fact that the great majority of those who engaged in such barbaric practices as scalping--a Yankee-initiated outrage--were irregulars or just simply unabashed marauders.]

Despite making a valiant, but unsuccessful effort, Confederate naval and shore batteries were unable to prevent Maryland's capital city from experiencing a devastating bombardment which was followed by an attack by Union troops under the command of General Ambrose Burnside. Believing that one, but not both, Annapolis and Baltimore could be held, Confederate troops in Annapolis were ordered to retreat to Baltimore, which had yet to come under attack because General McClellan still did not believe he had enough troops to mount a successful attack. It was at this point in the course of the conflict that General Robert E. Lee devised what many consider to be the most brilliant military operation in history.

This momentous campaign began when, in a most daring and brazen maneuver, most of the troops in and around Washington were withdrawn to Baltimore and the thus augmented Armies of Maryland and Virginia simultaneously began moving into Pennsylvania, presumably with the intent of attacking Philadelphia. [Burnside was asleep at the switch while all this was going on.] The Army of Maryland, which was under General James Longstreet's command, advanced from Winchester through Hagerstown, Chambersburg, Carlisle, and Harrisburg. From Harrisburg, the Army of Virginia, which General Lee personally commanded, turned East, towards Philadelphia, while the Army of Maryland turned in the opposite direction, following the railroad between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, burning bridges and cutting telegraph lines. [Left in its wake to "engage" pursuing Union troops were sub-terra shells (land torpedoes) designed by Gabriel Raines.] Panicked, President Hamlin readily agreed to General McClellan's hastily prepared plan to concentrate the United States' Eastern armies in and around Philadelphia. [McClellan never felt that he had enough of anything and typically over estimated the enemy's strength.]

At Lancaster, Lee wheeled his Army southward and fell upon the City of Annapolis, which was defended by troops under the command of Don Carlos Buell. [Burnside had been ordered to Delaware to defend it against a possible Confederate attack and to be better positioned to come to Philadelphia's defense.] First contact with the enemy was made by General John B. Gordon's Corps at Frederick. Gordon's Georgia troops attacked and practically wiped out an entire Bluecoat regiment, forcing the Union left to begin to bend. Although General Lee inexplicably delayed in sending a message ordering him to advance, nevertheless, the bulk of General A. P. Hill's Division arrived shortly before Yankee reinforcements fell upon Gordon's troops. The entire Union left disintegrated when General Hill threw his men forward in support of General Gordon's stubbornly-resisting men.

After retreating behind an inner set of breastworks in Annapolis's outskirts, General Buell determined to sally forth in a counterattack, which, because it was not coordinated; less than half the forces he had available were used; and his troops were used in a piecemeal fashion, failed. After enduring a tremendous artillery barrage directed by Colonel Francis Asbury Shoup [an Indiana native turned Floridian], Buell was forced to withdraw from Annapolis. Anxious to take full advantage of his victory, Lee directed his forces to pursue the Union army in its retreat to Norfolk. [Lee's forces prevented the Yankees from escaping to the North, and transports which might have evacuated Buell's troops had sailed to Philadelphia with reinforcements for that City's garrison.]

Before he could reach Norfolk, Buell's forces were further reduced by skirmishes with the forward most elements of Lee's forces. Particularly effective were strikes by Confederate cavalry forces commanded by the Palmetto State's most renown hero of the War, General Wade Hampton. [Hampton was known for fighting like a private soldier, carving his way through the ranks of Yankees with his massive, two-edged sword.] At Norfolk, Lee, by shifting his forces and otherwise simulating the presence of a much stronger force, made Generals Buell and Daniel Sickles, who had been left in command at Norfolk, believe they were substantially outnumbered. [Sickles' general's stars were political patronage]. This deterred the Bluecoats from mounting an attack and, instead, taking a defensive position.

For several days there ensued a fierce and highly destructive artillery battle between Union and Confederate shore batteries, the former being augmented by the cannon of its ships anchored in the harbor. Upon the appearance of Confederate ironclads stationed in the Potomac, a naval battle broke out in which four United States Navy frigates were lost and one Confederate ironclad was severely damaged. At this point, General Buell sued for peace. Thus, on 18 August, 1863 was Norfolk finally released from the ravishing grasp of the Yankees.

As the Confederacy's true intentions became clear, Pandemonium broke out in Pittsburgh, and forces under the command of General Phillip Sheridan were dispatched from Philadelpia but, due to General Longstreet's destruction of the rail line to Pittsburgh, they could not arrive in time to aid their comrades in Western Pennsylvania. [Longstreet's advance on the United States' industrial capital can be simply described: advance; overwhelm a Union weak point or poor position; and move on, leaving the Yankees two options: follow or retire.] In the Pittsburgh campaign, like General Jackson in Kentucky, General Longstreet often adopted the risky strategy of splitting his troops; Longstreet taking one corps to the North, and General Pat Cleburne taking the other to the South.

The decisive engagement in the battle for Pittsburgh was fought at Altoona. Determined to stem the seemingly inexorable advance of Longstreet's troops, the Union's boy general, George Armstrong Custer, was assigned to launch an attack which degenerated into a simple frontal assault designed to envelop both flanks and simultaneously penetrate the center. It failed miserably, in large part because the main body of Custer's troops was well forward; was unsupported; and occupied a poor tactical position. Seeking to rally his troops, Custer led a charge into a hail storm of minnie balls and lost his life for his foolhardiness. [Confederate General Jubal Early also lost his life in this engagement.]

Pittsburgh was taken and occupied, and the breaking of the will of the bulk of the citizens of the United States begun with the retaking of Annapolis and Norfolk was made complete by the loss of a truly Northern--as Washington was not--city. [It soon became clear that it was not feasible for the Confederacy to hold Pittsburgh; so General Longstreet withdrew his forces to Wheeling.] Further eroding Yankee morale was a devastating raid on 20 April, 1863 by the minuscule Confederate Navy on Portsmouth, New Hampshire by a mini-fleet of ironclads under the command of Admiral Raphael Semmes. [In his memoirs, Semmes' second-in-command, Lieutenant John McIntosh Kell, vividly describes the incredulous chagrin of Portsmouth's mayor when Kell demanded a large ransom for the City.] Extensive damage was done at Portsmouth to the large Navy shipyard there. [The ironclads used in these raids were ships built of wood in Confederate ports and clad in iron imported from Europe.]

The most bitter of the pills the Confederacy had to swallow in late 1863 was the failure of General Lee's attempt to take Wilmington, Delaware. [It was hoped that Delaware might yet be lured into the Confederate fold.] His fatal error in this campaign was his belief in a weakness in the Union center which led him to order a disastrous frontal assault by troops under the command of General Simon Bolivar Buckner which was repulsed with heavy loss of life. Lee's forces were forced to retire a defensive line near Havre de Grace. It was at that point in time time that the Yankees unleashed a massive combined land and sea assault on Baltimore.

From the North came troops under McClellan's command. Simultaneously, a Union fleet under command of Admiral David D. Porter arrived off Baltimore with transports full of troops under the command of General Montgomery Meigs. Fortunately for the Confederacy, one fine morning General Jeb Stuart swooped into the headquarters of General John A. McClernand, who commanded one wing of General McClellan's forces, and found something far more important than money and supplies. Purloined were papers showing the disposition of the entire Union Army advancing upon Baltimore. With this information in hand, General Lee was willing to take the bold step of splitting his forces in the face of the enemy so as to fall from the rear upon the Yankees advancing on Havre de Grace from both flanks; precipitating a turning movement toward the center which created chaos and confusion in the Federal ranks which was enormously intensified by a simultaneous, massive artillery barrage on the Union center.

In the meanwhile, after two days of bombardment of the Confederate batteries located at Sparrow's Point, General Meigs was able to begin landing his troops there. However, awaiting General Meigs' men behind the heavy fortifications surrounding Baltimore proper were Confederate troops under the command of General A. P. Hill. [Porter's ships had run a punishing gauntlet of Confederate ironclads, fire rafts, and mines as he sailed up the Chesapeake. In this engagement--at that time the world's largest modern-style sea battle--losses on both sides were heavy.] Victory was in the Yankees' grasp, but it was lost because General McClellan, instead of pursuing General Lee, who had promptly retired from the field and sent his troops back to beleaguered Baltimore, retreated back to Philadelphia, leaving Porter and Meigs to face, not only Hill's troops, but within a few days, Lee's too. In a series of sharp engagements, the Bluecoats were fended off, retiring to a position near the still festering carnage of the Havre de Grace battlefield. [McClellan was removed from command after the Battle of Havre de Grace.]

In Kentucky General Jackson could not be beaten, but he was having to relinquish ground. However, in a series of punishing engagements in the numerous tiny valleys in the vicinity of Ashland, Kentucky and Huntington, Virginia, General Jackson's battle-hardened troops--mainly Virginians, Tennesseans, and Kentuckians--inflicted heavy casualties on the Bluecoats commanded by General William S. Rosecarns; thus further cementing General Jackson's already august reputation as a master tactician. [Many believe that, without Jackson, the West would have been lost.]

In Ohio, General John S. Mosby and some of his men were captured in conjunction in a raid on the Johnston's Island prison camp which devised in Canada by Senator Wigfall and participated in by some of his agents there. The freeing of thousands of Confederate prisoners from this hell hole raised great consternation among the citizens of Ohio and may have influenced their votes in the upcoming election, but it failed to set off an uprising among the Copperheads against the Black Republican administration, and most of the escapees were recaptured. Only a few of these ragged, half-starved men managed to escape to Canada, Kentucky, or Virginia.

With one eye on the upcoming presidential canvass, President Hamlin set into motion a frenzied attempt to capture the Confederate capital at Atlanta. This limited Union action on most other fronts to holding actions. The Yankees first sought to reach Atlanta via Charleston. This ill-inspired campaign was beaten off with severe losses being inflicted on the Union Navy by Charleston's forts and Confederate ironclads. Tragically, in this battle the Confederacy lost one of its most heroic generals, Richard S. Ewell. The Yankees had hoped that after capturing this source of a great many of the Confederacy's imports they would be able to move inland and take the Confederate Capital. [Striking Charleston, "that nest of traitorous vipers," was President Hamlin's doing, as his naval advisers were opposed to it.]

The next major Union initiative was targeted at Savannah, and at first the Yankees met with success, as troops under the command of crusty General Samuel Curtis were able to force the surrender of Fort Pulaski, a masonry fort located near the mouth of the Savannah River; thus completely closing the Port of Savannah. However, thanks largely to the artillery under the command of General Edward Porter Alexander, the Yankees were unable to overwhelm the several sand fortifications [built with slave labor] standing between Pulaski and Savannah. [The flooding of the rice fields around Savannah played an important role in this Confederate victory because this greatly reduced the number of possible routes into the City; thus enabling the defenders to concentrate their forces.]

The failure to capture Savannah led to the mounting of a successful Union expedition in early June, 1864 under the command of the merciless, red-bearded, William T. Sherman, which captured Darien, a small port to the South of Savannah not far from the Florida state line. [Ironically, Sherman owed his appointment as Superintendent of the State Military Academy at Alexandria, Louisiana to his friends P. G. T. Beauregard and Braxton Bragg. Other Blue/Gray friendships included that of Joe Johnston and George McClellan.] Between the Yankees and Atlanta lay, supply-wise, a long stretch of virtual desert--a sparsely-populated, table-top land of spindly pines and saw-toothed palmetto grass over which hovered swarms of mosquitoes and gnats and among which lurked alligators. Although Sherman's troops ravished surrounding plantations and farms, many of his supplies had to be brought in by sea and transported along with his troops.

Would General Sherman head North with the intent of capturing Savannah from its inland side; subsequently advancing upon Macon and Atlanta along the Central of Georgia railroad, or would he bypass Savannah, moving up the Altamaha and Oconee Rivers to Macon? The former seemed unlikely because he had reason to believe Savannah was heavily defended. The most probable scenario, General Joe Johnston believed, was a march to the Central of Georgia line West of Savannah and the following of those ribbons of steel to Macon and Atlanta. Only this course of action gave reasonable promise of making possible the capture of Atlanta in time to influence the 1864 presidential canvass in the Republican's favor. Because of the great importance to the Confederacy of preventing the fall of Atlanta, General Joe Johnston assumed direct command of the troops contesting General Sherman's march. [The battle directed by General Johnston in which Sherman's troops were decisively defeated has since become a classic studied at military academies throughout the world.]

[It was at this point that President Cobb played one of the most masterful political "cards" the world had ever seen. He proposed an armistice; thus placing Hamlin between Scylla and Charybdis. [President Cobb expected that, regardless of which course Hamlin took, the Democrats would be assured of victory, and that they would offer the Confederacy attractive terms in order to end the War. His Party split into two bitter, warring factions--a rump group having nominated Seward for the Presidency--Hamlin knew that if he reined in General Sherman just as he was possibly on the brink of capturing the Rebel Capital, his faction of the Party would disown him because they believed it would impossible to restart the War no matter how unsatisfactory might be the conditions demanded by the Confederacy. On the other hand, the Democrats and moderate Republicans, who yearned for an end to the slaughter would crucify him if he spurned Cobb's offer. Deciding to hew to the demands of the radical Republicans who formed the core of his support, he refused Cobb's offer. However, if Atlanta did not fall, they would desert him.]

General Johnston decided to gamble that the Yankees would forgo another attempt to take Savannah. Therefore, he concentrated his forces on the East side of Commissioner Creek where it was crossed by the Central of Georgia's Savannah to Macon line. (Today gray beards recall anticipating that a titanic struggle was in the making when, as wide-eyed children, they watched platform car after platform car filled with troops roll out of Atlanta heading South.) A site so distant from Darien was picked because it would stretch out and make less efficient and more vulnerable to marauding Confederate cavalry Sherman's supply line and, hopefully, exhaust his troops, who were unused to the hot and sultry summer climate of Southeastern Georgia.

[The giving up of so much territory to the depredations of Sherman's troops was vociferously objected to by Georgia's Governor Joseph (Joe) Emerson Brown, who demanded General Johnston's removal and replacement with a "General who would fight." His demand denied, Brown ordered conscripted into the Georgia militia all relatively able-bodied men between 16 and 50 to augment what he considered to be the Central Government's inadequate defense of his State.] The Confederacy's most successful cavalry general, Forrest, was summoned from the West for the defense of the Capital, and that "devil Forrest," as Sherman was wont to call him, shattered Sherman's attenuated lines of supply and communications.

[Because they had no engines--all of them having been removed from the line between Macon and Savannah--the Bluecoat infantrymen were reduced to traveling on foot, all the while under the constant harassment from Confederate cavalry and the sultry, blistering heat of South Georgia. Infantry troops, too, under the command of Georgia's part Cherokee general, Henry Lewis Benning, were assigned the task of harassing Sherman's troops while avoiding a pitched battle; always keeping themselves between Sherman's troops and Savannah. To encourage Sherman to bypass Savannah in his race with the date of the upcoming presidential election, great pains were taken to convince him that Savannah was being reinforced rather than its garrison being reduced. Troops in the Savannah garrison were marched back and forth so as to appear to be much more numerous than they were. Double agents were also utilized to spread disinformation.]

In a brief encounter subsequently known as the Battle of Commissioner Creek, General Sherman's troops, who probably numbered two or three thousand more than did Johnston's, were repulsed with heavy losses as a result of Johnston's superior position. General Sherman reacted by moving to the Southwest in an attempt to flank the Confederates. General Johnston's response was to call out Macon's old men and boys under Colonel James H. Blount and put his troops onto waiting cars so as to move them rapidly to a new position nearer Macon. [Macon--one of Georgia's larger cities--was a major Confederate supply center. It had rail connections with Atlanta, Columbus, and Augusta, all of which were major Confederate supply centers.] As a result, Sherman's foot sore men found their path to Macon barred by rested Confederate troops.

Despite a rash attack by Confederate troops under the command of Texican John B. Hood, which was repulsed with heavy loss of live, including the General's, at the Battle of Big Sandy Creek General Sherman's Army was again decisively defeated. Thus, when election day in the United States finally arrived, a badly battered Union force was groping its way back toward the Ogeechee River crossing of the Central of Georgia line.

In a wildly celebrating Atlanta, President Cobb was enjoying a magnificent banquet followed by ball hosted by the normally frugal Governor Joe Brown. [There was no presidential election in the Confederacy because its president's term of office was six years.] The cause for the celebration was two fold: Johnston's victory and the election in the United States of the Democratic ticket of Horatio Seymour, President, and William Bigler, Vice President. [Seymour was the former governor of New York, and Bigler was both a former Pennsylvania governor and U.S. Senator.] Shortly after his election, President Seymour, a vigorous opponent of emancipation, conscription, and Hamlin's numerous military arrests [invariably of Democrats], kept his campaign promise and invited President Cobb to a peace conference to be convened at a mutually satisfactory site to be determined later. [The British government offered to serve as a mediator at this conference.]



It is manifest destiny which will ever make a strong, vigorous, and healthful race over run and crush out a weak and effete one. Our people will go South among the Mexicans and Spaniards, and will carry with them the love of our civilization and our liberty.

-- Representative Thomas Bocock (Virginia)

Lamentably, the negotiations which led to the formal end of the War were quite protracted, and Vice President Clay, who died in 1866, barely lived long enough to witness this happy occasion. President Cobb, too, died in office in 1868. President-elect Louis T. Wigfall was, as specified by the Constitution, selected by the Congress to fill the short time remaining in his term of office. [Cobb was elected by the people president of the Confederacy in 1862.] The nominee of the Democratic Party, Senator Wigfall (Texas) had faced only token opposition because no organized opposition party had yet arisen. Elected vice president was General Joseph B. Kershaw of South Carolina. At President Wigfall's suggestion, the Democratic Party was renamed the National Democratic Party. Not long thereafter most people began referring to it simply as the Nationalist Party.

Because the gulf between the two North American giants was, as one wag put it, as deep as hell and as high as heaven, peace negotiations were both long and acrimonious. According to the testimony of not a few involved in the negotiations, the most vexatious issues separating the two sides were fugitive slaves and territorial disputes. On one point the representatives of the United States were adamant. Their country would not return slaves who had already fled to its territory; nor would it agree to return any who might flee in the future. [In this it had the support of the British peace commissioners.]

The United States also demanded, in the strongest of terms, the return of its Capital, Washington, and that it be allowed to keep various border counties occupied by its troops at the cessation of hostilities. Supporting the latter demand before the British peace commissioners were delegations of citizens from border counties who had remained loyal to the Union who claimed that incorporation into the Confederacy would threaten, not only their well being, but, claimed the greatest of the liars among them, their very lives. [The most vocal of these were the Germans of northern Missouri.]

The City of Washington, responded the Confederacy, was just as much the capital of the former Southern States as it was of the Northern States. And if containing residents loyal to the enemy was to be the determining factor in deciding in which nation a country was to be located, because substantial numbers of people residing in the southern counties of Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio had supported the Confederacy, then these areas should pass into the Confederacy's possession. However, except for Washington, more important to the Confederacy than laying claim to territory not occupied by Confederate troops when hostilities ceased were reparations for the destruction of numerous of its cities; factories; railroad engines, cars, bridges, and tracks; and homes. [Such losses by the Confederacy vastly exceeded like losses in the Union.]

The Confederacy countered the United States' demand for compensation for government-owned facilities in its former Southern states (forts, navy yards, court and customs houses, and sundry other government buildings) by observing that tax monies collected in the South had helped pay for like facilities in the Northern states. Also, the Confederate negotiators noted, much of the U.S. Navy and its foreign embassies had been financed by Southrons. Therefore, the Confederacy was entitled to a portion of these.

The border between the two nations ultimately agreed upon altered the composition of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and the Indian Territory. Guiding the drawing of the new border were plebiscites conducted under British supervision. In exchange for agreeing to the creation of a new state carved out of Missouri (North Missouri) to be attached to the United States, the Confederacy gained the City of Washington. To compensate Maryland for the loss of some of its western counties, the Confederate Congress returned the District of Columbia (Washington) to Maryland. [This killed an incipient movement to move the Confederacy's capital to Washington.]

A handful of naval vessels and a few embassies were turned over to the Confederacy. A claims commission [which did not complete its work until 1883] was created to hear and award damages to the owners of private property destroyed or confiscated by the two armies. While complaints about the Commission's work were widespread in both nations, the greatest dissatisfaction was in the Confederacy, largely because compensation for the slaves who ran away to the United States was usually deemed to be grossly inadequate. [In the Union some Congressmen from New England who had approved of paying compensation for slaves lost their seats as a consequence.]

The War saddled the Confederacy with huge domestic and foreign debts, and dealing with these debts was one of President Wigfall's most urgent and onerous duties. One way in which the enormous war debt was reduced with during the Wigfall administration was the making available for sale to the public the nation's rich, undeveloped, publicly-owned lands. [The purchase of some of this land by Yankees who held it out of production in order to reduce competition for their businesses in the Union led to the levying in many states of heavy taxes on undeveloped foreign-owned land.]

The need for revenues propelled through a Confederate Congress hostile to them modest tariffs on manufactured goods imported from the United States. This had the salutary effect of stimulating domestic manufacturing as well as generating substantial revenues. [The Confederacy's heavy dependence on imported goods having created great hardship and nearly proving fatal during the War converted many to a belief in the need for the nation to become at least minimally self sufficient in essential manufactured goods.

It was not until late in the following administration of Robert Toombs (Nationalist, Georgia) that the non-redeemable currency issued by the Central Government to finance the War was withdrawn from circulation and banking returned to a gold basis. In the Confederacy only a few favored--and a great many vigorously opposed--the formation of a financial octopus like the national banking system created in the United States during the War. Thus, the Confederacy did not have the great, post-war concentration of enormous wealth and power in a few hands which took place in the United States after the War. Nor, because the Confederacy lacked as powerful silver-mining interests, was there ever a drive as intense as in the United States for the free coinage of silver. Despite an ever lessening dependence after the War on the coffers of New York financiers, capital was often hard to come by in the Confederacy, and there were several financial panics--two of which were severe--before the close of the century. [In the Union there were complaints that the loss of the South had ruined the economy.]

Many events in the United States after the War confirmed the wisdom of withdrawing from the Union. For example, the United States continuously raised its tariffs. Also, its Supreme Court, in a ruling regarding a challenge to the constitutionality of the Legal Tender Act because it violated the law of contracts, declared that the U.S. Constitution only precluded the Federal government from denying one his rights under a contract. [The Legal Tender Act allowed debtors to pay debts contracted in gold with government-issued paper money not redeemable in gold.] This was exactly the kind of behavior predicted by those who had agitated for secession throughout the fifties.

Critics have described President Wigfall as overly aggressive. If so, he must have relished the first major undertaking of his administration, the building of a transcontinental railroad in competition with the United States. Financed in large part by British and French capital raised by George A. Trenholm's firm, a transcontinental railroad, the Atlantic and Pacific (A&P) connecting Atlanta and points to its North to the Pacific Coast city of Mazatlan, Mexico via San Antonio, Texas and Monterrey, Mexico was completed in 1867. Supervising this enormous undertaking was Langdon Cheves, a respected South Carolina engineer. Despite having been promised by the French the right to terminate this railroad in Mexico, the original plan was for the railroad to terminate in San Diego, California but, much to the dismay of citizens of the Southwestern United States, their rulers in Philadelphia refused to allow it. Anger in the West over this was so great that there was some talk of forming a Western Confederacy. [So seriously was this talk taken in Philadelphia that 25,000 troops were shipped to San Francisco.]

Difficult negotiations with Maximilian, the French-installed emperor of Mexico, produced the alternative route terminating in Mexico. The completion of this road before the Union could build one far to its North was due to the rapidity with which an agreement with Mexico was hammered out and the much more favorable terrain. [Those who saw it as the Confederacy's manifest destiny to expand southward until the South American continent was reached had advocated this route from the beginning.]

Besides providing the Confederacy with a Pacific outlet for its trade, it was hoped that the transcontinental railroad would enable the Confederacy to gain a monopoly on the Mexican trade. Also, like the Union, the Confederacy was eager to use its transcontinental railroad to expand its trade (mainly cotton, sugar, and rice) with the Orient. Because the completion of this railroad engendered in many Confederates a desire for their nation to become a Pacific as well as an Atlantic power, covetous eyes turned toward the deserts, mountains, and jungles of their exotic southern neighbor.

To understand the Confederacy's long-troubled relationship with Mexico one has to realize that this was a nation trapped under the hooves of ignorance and vice. The great majority of its people were illiterate peasants, and they were divided into three, constantly warring classes. At the apex of Mexico's social structure were the Creoles (native-born whites). Below them stood the Mestizos (part-Indian and part white). Both these classes--but particularly the latter--despised the third and vastly larger class, the Indians, who were treated like beasts of burden. [The Mestizos frequently have seemed determined to exterminate the Indians, whose blood they were ashamed to bear.]

When Sonora's Yaquis Indians fled to the mountains to escape peonage, an army was sent after them. Its soldiers [brave men led by cowardly incompetents] were paid $100 for every pair of Yaquis ears they produced. Yaquis men and their families who were induced by a promise of amnesty to surrender were marched to Vera Cruz and transported to the tropical Yucatan. Those who survived the horrid voyage were sold to planters who worked them under the lash twelve hours a day. Then the Yaquis-- men, women, and children--would be confined for the night in crowded prisons and fed one meal of beans and rotten fish. In Oaxaca thousands of Indian slaves, 95 percent of whom died of disease, malnutrition, or beatings every year, were employed in cultivating tobacco.

A huge portion of Mexico's land was owned by non-tax-paying priests who were both handmaidens of the ruling class and merciless in enforcing Catholic orthodoxy and opposing freedom of speech. A nation dependent on foreign capital, its government was corrupt beyond belief. Its typical ruler came to power by force and quickly cleaned out the nation's treasury; sold off monopolies to his associates, who were often bandits; pocketed customs duties; and borrowed heavily abroad. Invariably, this foreign debt could not be repaid, and the nation's European creditors would sent troops to Mexico to take over the customs houses and collect the duties.

One such intrusion led to the establishment of the most desirable government this siesta-plagued land had ever had: that of the Emperor Maximilian, a member of the Austrian royalty put in place by French troops. [Incorrectly assuming that a native government would be more malleable, in the eighties the Confederate government allowed Mexican revolutionaries sanctuary in the Confederacy. The Union followed a like policy. As a result, the regime installed in Mexico by France's Napoleon III was overthrown in 1879 by forces led by Porfirio Diaz, an unscrupulous, a part Mixtec Indian ashamed of this ancestry.]

Even after the completion of the transcontinental railroad, the C.S. Navy [then under the leadership of Admiral John McIntosh Kell, a Georgian from the old navy who had sailed with Admiral Semmes during the War] focused mostly on the troubled Gulf and the South Atlantic. [It was not feasible to both dominate this region and compete with the British and Union navies in the Pacific.] The much larger U.S. Navy, in contrast, was dedicated to creating a Pax Yankee Americana in the Pacific. Essential to this effort was the obtaining of coaling facilities in this vast region. One of the most advantageous sites was in the Kingdom of Hawaii. [Hawaii was to become a major competitor of Confederate sugar planters and one of the bones of contention between the two Americas and several European powers and Japan.]

By 1872, an opposition party which called itself the Progressive Party came into being in the Confederacy. It unsuccessfully ran its first candidate, General John Sappington Marmaduke (Missouri), against Robert Toombs, the Nationalist Party nominee. [The kingly Toombs, said the Progressives, was unsuitable for this post because he was a man of too strong passions; too bitter in his enmities; too relentless in his tactics; and too committed to the past.] Desired by the Progressives, whose strength was concentrated in the upper Confederacy and among manufacturers, bankers, and other businessmen, were higher tariffs; encouragement of [white European] immigration; and the elimination of state-owned banks. Most of its members opposed the concept of manifest destiny. [Because white immigrants--particularly the most desirable ones from Northwestern Europe--were unwilling to under-live blacks, most immigrants belonged to the minority of potential immigrants who could afford to buy businesses and farms or were highly skilled.] Progressives were greatly concerned about the fact that the growth of manufacturing in the Confederacy continued, as it had when it was part of the old Union, to lag behind that of the United States. If this did not change, they said, Southrons would continue to play a colonial role vis a vis the Yankees and might even be reabsorbed by the Union.

The National Democratic Party's strength was centered in the lower Confederacy and among cotton, rice, and sugar planters and the agricultural community in general, that is, men of all classes who tilled the soil and the businessmen dependent upon them. [Because the Nationalists were led by well-to-do planters, while the Progressive Party was led by businessmen, factory operatives felt at home in neither party.] While the Progressives' support in the Lower South was largely urban, the Nationalist's strength in the Upper South was largely rural. The sectional orientation of these two parties gradually increased over the years. Third party movements were short lived.

Because the loss of the War destroyed the Republican Party, in the Union the Whig Party was resurrected as the New Whigs. [By the early twentieth century the political divide in the Union was between labor and capital, with the Whigs representing the latter and the Democrats the former.] The leftward shift in the political tides in the Union after the War convinced many Confederates that Dr. J. H. Thornwell, president of the South Carolina College (now University), had been right back in the fifties when he had described abolitionists as atheists, socialists, communists, red republicans, and jacobins and Southrons as friends of order and regulated freedom.

[In the years immediately following the War the chief political division in the Union had been geographic: the East and the West. This changed as heavy railroad subsidies led to the tying of the West commercially very tightly to the East. Motivating wealthy Eastern businessmen to finance these subsidies was the fear that, otherwise, some of the western states would secede to form a new nation. The resulting better rail connections with with the East diverted a great deal of trade from Confederate ports.]

The Confederacy's attitude toward Great Britain changed after the War. Although Great Britain did not recognize the Confederacy until it was clear that the Confederacy was going to emerge victorious, the British government had, from the beginning, taken a lukewarm, pro-Confederate stance. Therefore, despite the fact that the British had long pressured Spain to emancipate Cuba's slaves, when the War ended most Southrons were favorably inclined toward the British. However, when after the War it became clear that the lower classes in Britain had been largely pro-Union, and some of the upper classes had been more anti-Union than pro-Confederate, that changed. [Also, many Southrons felt that the British Peace Commissioners had shown a pro-Yankee bias.]

Relations between the Mother Country and the Confederacy were soured, too, by British opposition to the annexation by the Confederacy of Cuba. Great Britain, whose colonies of Jamaica, the Bahamas, and the Caymans lay just off the coast of Cuba, strenuously opposed the annexation of Cuba by either the Confederacy or the United States, but it was far more opposed to the former than the latter. [In addition to its unrelenting hostility to slavery, leading to ever more tense relations was Britain's drive to commercially dominate Latin America.

The annexation of Cuba was desirable for a variety of reasons. Militarily it had strategic importance. Economically it was attractive for its agricultural wealth. Civilizing it and thus making its people capable of self government had moral appeal. Acquiring it would reduce Europe's power in the Americas. But what made its acquisition absolutely essential was preventing the creation of another black republic. One nation like Haiti was more than the Americas needed.] Virtually no one questioned that a nation dominated by former black slaves 90 miles from our border would be a dagger at our nation's breast.

The British claimed they opposed slavery for moral reasons. [Confederate ministers scoffed at this, saying such a moral stance is not supported by the Bible]. In reality, Britain's anti-slavery crusade was predominantly motivated by employers' fear of foreign factories employing cheap slave labor and workers' fear that domestic manufacturers might import and employ slaves. [A land with few natural resources, the British had to trade to live. In order to sell the output of its factories in the world's markets, its prices had to be competitive. If slave labor came to be used extensively in foreign factories, Great Britain's wares would not be competitive, and Great Britain would slide into ruin.]

Toward the close of President Wigfall's administration Spain, a rapidly declining nation by then in a state of extreme torpor, became engaged in putting down an insurrection (La Guerra Grande) which, in secret, the Confederacy supported. [In exchange for the Confederacy's help, rebels led by General Calixto Garcia agreed to support annexation and to cease allowing black officers to lead white troops. The most important result of this policy change was the removal of black General Antonia Maceo.]

Agents of the Confederacy made it clear to the Cuban elite, the Creoles, who feared that a change in government would threaten their privileges and property, that annexation would threaten neither; in fact it would preserve both by preventing savage black rule. Upon learning of the Confederacy's support of the rebels, Spain took a step it had been giving serious consideration to ever since the end of the War and precipitously emancipated all the slaves in Cuba. Like the mother who coats her baby's thumb with vinegar, in this way it hoped to make Cuba unpalatable to the Confederacy. [Instead, the effect it had on the Confederacy was akin to that of throwing pitch in a fire.]

Although our people were grievously war weary, a black republic only 90 miles from our coast was so intolerable that they were immediately galvanized for war. They got their wish on April 26, 1872. The first clash of arms took place after Confederate troops landed in surf boats on beaches near Matanzas and Cienfuegos. These troops, commanded, respectively, by General P. T. G. Beauregard and General Thomas J. Jackson, then took these ports, which made possible the landing of the heavy ordnance needed for the proposed siege of La Habana [Havana], the Cuban capital. [General Jackson, lured from the ministry to again serve his country on the field of battle, was particularly well suited for his post-war role as the island's military governor because he had learned to speak Spanish after the Mexican War because he was considering settling in that land.]

The Confederate armies' first objective was to cut the island in half; thus isolating La Habana and cutting it off from supplies and reinforcement by land. The tactics used in the early battles of the Second War of Independence: closed-rank, linear formations and the very aggressive bayonet and cavalry charges which had been so enormously successful in the Mexican War, were not so successful in this war. This was because, by greatly increasing the power of troops in a defensive position, the development since the Mexican War of long-range rifles and fast-firing small arms often made such attacks suicidal. Modern weapons also made cavalry effective only when dismounted as dragoons or as scouts.

By the time of the Cuban War the development or breech-loading crucible steel artillery had further enhanced the power of defensive forces, as the concentrated fire of this artillery would decimate charging infantry. [Fortunately, the Confederacy had such artillery, but Spain did not.] To deal with these developments offensive troops must, as Confederate troops did, either dig linear trenches made continuously longer in an attempt to flank the enemy or by extremely rapidly closing with the enemy. [A machine gun developed during the Second Revolution by Captain D. R. Williams, but which saw no service then, was used in Cuba with great effectiveness. Williams' gun, which, unlike any other gun developed during this period, used the gas generated by the firing of a round to operate the gun, was the most advanced gun designed by either side during the Second Revolution.]

While Confederate officers had learned--the hard way--that the tactics of the past were no longer effective, lacking recent battlefield experience, the Spanish officer corps had not. Also, few Spanish troops were equipped with modern small arms or artillery. Concern over the possibility that there might be another clash with the Union had led the Confederacy to reequipt many of its troops with the latest weapons. As a result, while the ratio of Confederate to Spanish losses was not quite so favorable as had been American to Mexican losses in 1848, from the start, this war progressed very favorably for the Confederacy. Particularly telling was the Confederate forces' use of artillery. [Because at sea the Confederacy was at a disadvantage, the Confederate navy assiduously avoided contact with concentrated Spanish forces.]

The War's first major engagement took place at Colon. This engagement was used by Confederate forces to test its new tactics which--with a few modifications based on its experience at Colon--were employed with stunning success only a few months later at La Habana. [This is the engagement from this War today most often studied at the Military Academy at Nashville.] As was to be the case at La Habana, the Spanish garrison at Colon was subjected to a devastating artillery barrage directed by Alabama's gallant Colonel John Pelham, who, like most of the senior officers who participated in this War, had earned his spurs during the Second War of Independence. Forced by the ravages of starvation to attack, the Spanish troops were cut to pieces by the small arms of entrenched Confederate troops.

Leaving General Longstreet in command of forces whose responsibility was to seal off the western tip of the island from its eastern end, the armies of Generals Beauregard and Jackson then marched on La Habana. A challenge to the advance of the Confederate forces took place at San Jose which featured a brave, but foolhardy, old-fashioned charge by cavalrymen wielding sabers.

The Spanish were forced to withdraw to La Habana, which was soon encircled and the siege which led to its surrender begun. Spain sued for peace in little over a year, agreeing to cede Cuba to the Confederacy. Nearly five more years were needed to deal with black and mulatto Cuban bandits, the remnants of which were dealt with simply by chasing them to and isolating them in the mountains of eastern Cuba. [In 1881 the Union purchased Puerto Rico from a spiteful Spain.]

Two of the first acts of Cuba's new government was to reinstate slavery and to repeal the noxious act promulgated by the Spanish Captain-General of Cuba, Juan de la Pezuela, which allowed white men to marry black women. It was the former of these two acts which incited a widespread rebellion among the island's blacks. As a deterrent to a repetition of this uprising, just as the Spanish had done in the forties and fifties, the Confederacy brought a number of industrious Chinese contract labors to Cuba in the late-seventies in order reduce the relative size of Cuba's African population. [In the early years of the twentieth century former Chinese contract laborers came to dominate the small merchant class in Cuba.]

The most significant achievement of the Toombs administration was the signing of a commercial agreement which facilitated trade with the Dominion of Canada, a British possession. Canada was very concerned after the Second War of Independence that the United States would seek to offset its southern territorial losses by expanding to the North. Generating this fear was the fact that during both the First War for Independence and the War of 1812 the United States had invaded Canada, and subsequently various of its politicians had spoken in favor of annexing Canada. Canada's concern escalated sharply in 1868 when the United States purchased Alaska from Great Britain's traditional enemy, Russia. So, even though this was not a friendship Great Britain wished for its colony, Canada sought to cultivate the friendship of the Confederacy. [My enemy's enemy is my friend.]

In the twilight of the Toombs administration troops were dispatched to Mexico to deal with bandits plaguing the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. Despite the fact that the Emperor Maximilian had granted the Confederacy the right to protect the railroad's property if local authorities were unable to do so, the Mexican authorities vigorously protested this action. President Toombs responded by attacking Mexico in a speech in which he declared that the reason why in Mexico the land is rich and most of its people dreadfully poor is despotic and rapacious government and the squandering of the nation's wealth on an army of priests and alters studded in gold, silver, and precious stones. A mother whose husband has been impressed into the Mexican army, he thundered, cannot afford food for her baby, but the church can afford 500 church bells within hearing distance of her hovel. [Without doubt, this intemperate speech signaled a turning point in the Confederate government's attitude towards the government of the Emperor Macmilian.]

This problem with Mexico was not unexpected. The outbreak of war in 1861 had brought to a halt Sam Houston's planned invasion of Mexico to punish the Indians who were constantly crossing the Mexican border with Texas to gather booty and scalps and then slipping back across the border. The shallowness of the Rio Grande and the thick chapparral surrounding it made it impossible to prevent the Indians from slipping, undetected, into and out of Texas. It was easy, too, for runaway slaves to slip into Mexico where, like the Indians, the authorities turned a blind eye toward them.

After the War ever increasing pressure was put on the Confederate authorities to do something about these raids. Mexicans, the authorities in Atlanta were told, are the "most brutal, the most barbarous, the most ignorant of all the people who claim the right of being civilized--cowardly, treacherous, ferocious half-Indians--white men worse than they--robbers, murders, fugitives from justice of all descriptions." [As has become clear in the years since the Mexican protectorate was established, the problem in Mexico lay with its authorities, which failed to control a criminal minority of the Mexican people.]

As proof of the menace the Mexican represented, those advocating intervention in Mexico reminded the Confederate government of the fate of Henry Crabb, a former California state senator, who, before the War, had led 90 followers into Mexico, where they had surrendered to Mexicans who promised to let them return to the United States. The perfidious greasers then shot all but one of the Americans, a fourteen-year-old boy. Crabb was decapitated and his head was placed on display in a large, wine-filled vessel.

In contrast to Mexico, [like the Union] the Confederacy had no territorial ambitions in China and [with the exception of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900] it sent no troops there to maintain or gain trade concessions or assist those of its citizens residing there. Both the Confederacy and the Union had territorial ambitions in Mexico, and this was yet another factor explaining the constant tension between these two nations.

[The Mexicans, who were aware of the fact that both its northern neighbors sought some of its territory, tried to protect themselves by playing these two nations off one another; thus further intensifying their hostility towards each other. Over time the Confederacy's interest in Mexico grew. By the late 1880s manufactured goods--mainly from the upper Confederacy--accounted for a significant share of the Confederacy's exports both to Mexico and through it to the Orient.]

The Confederacy's commercial and financial ties with the United States were so extensive that depressed conditions there led to like conditions in the Confederacy in the late seventies. Beginning in that period, too, due to increased production, a long term downward drift in the price of cotton began.

Although there were several strikes in the Confederacy in the late seventies, they did not compare in number, size, scope, or violence with the wave strikes which swept the Union, the worst of which were strikes of railroad workers. Most observers attributed this difference to the absence in the South of large numbers of immigrants with a socialist cast of mind. [On a more cheerful note, the seventies saw the introduction of marvelous inventions like the telephone and the electric light which were to raise living standards in only a few decades more than they had risen in all previous recorded history!]

In 1878, dashing General Simon Bolivar Buckner (Nationalist, Kentucky), was elected president. [Because he was from the upper Confederacy, he drew many votes which might otherwise have gone to the Progressive candidate.] To give the Nationalist ticket balance, Alabama's Edmund Winston Pettus was selected as his running mate. General Buckner had been in office not quite two years when Louisiana's gallant General Roberdeau Wheat [with the support of the Confederate government] mounted a successful filibustering expedition to Nicaragua.

A new republic was declared there within six months of General Wheat's arrival. Shortly thereafter the new Congress of the Republic of Nicaragua restored slavery and petitioned the Confederacy for annexation, which was granted on March 24, 1881. [This achievement was particularly satisfying to General Wheat because he had been associated with the temporarily successful Nicaraguan campaign conducted by William Walker in the fifties.]

Like Cuba, Nicaragua became a lively market for the many slaves being sold by owners in the upper states of the Confederacy as a result of the problem of runaways in areas along the border with the United States. Many were sold, too, in the lower Confederacy, and by the late eighties some alarm was being expressed over the very heavy slave majorities in South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. [The upper Confederacy continued to exhibit a trend of a relatively diminishing slave population begun before the War as a result of a shift away from crops suitable to the use of slave labor to those which were not.] Under Confederate rule Nicaragua prospered, soon pulling ahead economically of her impoverished neighbors.

Although the great majority of the Confederacy's slaves were employed in cotton cultivation, large numbers of the slaves in South Carolina and Louisiana were employed in rice and sugar production. In these states, too, as was true throughout the Confederacy, an ever larger share of their slaves was employed in manufacturing, predominantly as low-skilled operatives or laborers. [In most cities ordinances barred slaves from the skilled trades.]

By 1885 Confederate textile mills had taken away much of the business formerly enjoyed by manufacturers in the United States and Great Britain. Both these nations responded to this by levying huge tariffs on goods produced by slave labor. The outraged Confederate Congress retaliated by enacting like, prohibitively high tariffs against these nation's goods. As a result, the Confederacy's foreign trade shifted towards the Continent and Latin America. [Some trade with Great Britain and the Union continued via Confederate products being exported to a third nation, which then exported them as their own.

Because when slave labor is utilized labor costs are fixed, rather than variable as is the case with free labor, slave labor is suitable only in the manufacture of goods sold to consumers, whose demand fluctuates much less than does that for goods sold to manufacturers. Manufacturers subject to significant or prolonged declines in sales which employed large numbers of slaves would at such a time be forced into bankruptcy because they had to continue to feed and clothe these workers, rather than laying them off as they would free workers.]

To provide them with more labor, some manufacturers and planters advocated amending the Constitution to allow the slave trade to be reopened. Because this would reduce the value of the slaves they already owned, many slave owners opposed this. White workers uniformly opposed it. Furthermore, both the Union and Great Britain promised to use their great navies to prevent the reopening of this trade. So nothing came of it except more hostility towards the Union and the British.

An 1882 incident in President Buckner's home state led the Confederacy to the brink of a second war with the United States. A slave insurrection beginning on several plantations near Lexington quickly spread until nearly one thousand slaves were involved. Before troops put it down, 30 whites (21 civilians and 9 soldiers) were slaughtered, and 54 slaves lost their lives in the fighting. An additional 18 slaves were subsequently hanged along with four Yankee abolitionists who were convicted of fomenting the insurrection. [Subsequent to this incident slave overseers almost became extinct.]

Further inflaming Confederate passions was the murder only two weeks later of an entire Virginia family--man, wife, and children with an axe--by their slaves, who fled to the United States. The United States refused to allow the extradition of the abolitionists involved in the Kentucky incident, but ultimately it did relinquish the Virginia slaves. [Thereafter, in order to enter the Confederacy citizens of the United States had to obtain visas, and, despite the protests of the Confederate relatives of some of them, certain of their number were banned from the Confederacy for life.]



The most placid of the post-war years were those during the administration of President L. Q. C. Lamar (Nationalist, Mississippi), who was elected in 1884. Great pride was taken during this period in the rapid rise of a new city, Birmingham, Alabama, which by the turn of the century rivaled Pittsburgh as a steel maker. [British capital played a major role in establishing the steel industry in Birmingham.] Making tremendous strides throughout the Piedmont states [at the expense of the Union and Great Britain] during this period was the cotton textile industry.

[For the first time in its history, the nation became a major exporter of cotton goods as well as raw cotton. To the extent that this was possible in the political climate of the day, President Lamar promoted this and other industrial achievements.] The annexation of Cuba invigorated Florida's economy and led, once a railroad was built in 1893, to the creation of a busy port at that sparsely-populated state's southern tip which, in honor of our first president, was named Cobb City.

A calm economic sea, however, did not mean that President Lamar faced no political storms. Convinced that "truth was better than falsehood, honesty better than policy, courage better than cowardice," Lamar stood against the tide in his party for a war to liberate Haiti from its despotic black rulers and annex it to Cuba. His opposition was based on his belief that it would add too many difficult-to-control blacks to the Confederacy's population, and it would bring on a war with Great Britain.

When, near the end of his term of office, economic conditions worsened, he resisted following a monetary policy favored by many Nationalists which Lamar believed was dangerously inflationary. His opposition, however, was muted, as he had not yet recovered from an attack of "violent vertigo and paralysis" he experienced during the Haiti crisis. [We now know that President Lamar had previously suffered like attacks during periods of extreme stress.]

By 1890 Norfolk, Virginia had become the nation's largest port, a development arousing much resentment in New Orleans and in Baltimore. In Virginia and Mississippi ship building became important industries. Mobile and Pensacola thrived on trade with Cuba, Nicaragua, and other Central American lands, and Atlanta became the nation's largest inland city, easily out distancing its sister to the South, Savannah.

General Fitzhugh Lee, the Confederacy's last war hero president, is elected President in 1890. [Progressives sneered about the Nationalists saving their skins by trotting out an old war horse.] The election of a military man was soon shown to have been a wise choice, because only a few months into his term of office President Lee was faced with an outbreak of banditry in Nicaragua.

Statehood for Cuba, which he had supported in his campaign lost favor with the public when a "Cuba Libre" insurrection centered in Camaguey and Oriente provinces led by black General Antonio Maceo broke out. To put it down President Lee dispatched a large number of troops under the command of General Joe Wheeler. Shortly thereafter, the worst financial panic the nation has ever experienced took place. All the banks suspended gold payments, and a quarter of them were forced to forever close their doors.

The most difficult issue President Lee had to contend with during his administration did not directly concern the Confederacy. Although outrage in the Confederacy over Japan's brutal annexation of Hawaii in 1894 was subdued compared to that of the United States, some demanded that the Confederacy declare war with Japan. [The Confederacy would have preferred that Hawaii remain a weak, independent nation, but if it was to be annexed by a foreign power, the Confederacy preferred it be annexed by Japan than by Great Britain or the United States because these nations were much stronger than Japan, and their interests conflicted more with the Confederacy's. Union interest in annexing Hawaii of course, dated back to the Pierce administration.]

Japan's excuse for annexing Hawaii was the harsh treatment of Japanese slaves in Hawaii. [That these workers, disingenuously labeled "contract workers" by their Yankee masters were, in truth, slaves is revealed by the fact that if any of them left the plantations where they were employed, they were labeled runaways and were subject to arrest and imprisonment.]

The fact that a large number of New Englanders who had settled in Hawaii and dominated its sugar cane industry had suffered greatly at the hands of the Japanese inflamed passions so in the Union that a reluctant President Grover Cleveland was forced to ask his Congress for a declaration of war.

[Many in the Union had for years advocated the annexation of Hawaii by the United States, both for its magnificent Pearl Harbor and in order to make the Union independent of the Confederacy for sugar. To promote the development of Hawaii's sugar industry, in 1889 the United States lowered the tariff on Hawaiian sugar, while raising the one on Confederate sugar. Some believe this reduced Hawaiian-Yankee planters' interest in the annexation of Hawaii by the Union.]

There was some concern in the halls of government in Philadelphia that Great Britain, which viewed Japan as a potential ally in its effort to contain Russia, might throw her support to Japan. The British, however, followed a profoundly neutral policy which enraged the Yankee populace, who were unaware of their government's fear that the British would go so far as to support the Japanese. There was resentment, too, of the Confederacy, for its failure to support the Union.

Openly promised assistance by the Japanese [and covertly by the Confederacy], Mexico took this opportunity to attempt to regain some of the territory the United States had taken from it after the Mexican War. It sent a huge army across the Union's southern border which soon split into two contingents: one of which headed for San Francisco and the other for the transcontinental railroad near the Great Salt Lake. The Mexicans believed that the key to winning this war was to prevent the Union from sending troops and supplies from the East by rail or by sea through San Francisco. The United States reacted by declaring war on both Mexico and Japan.

Confederate troops were quickly dispatched to Mexico to protect the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, and several submarines were built and sold to Mexico for use in breaking the blockade the Union imposed upon it. This effort was not successful. As a result, Mexico was cut off from aid from Japan. [This did not make a lot of difference because, despite what Japan had promised Mexico, it was not in a position to offer much aid.]

The blockade of Mexico's West coast drastically reduced traffic on the Western and Pacific Railroad, which had previously carried a large amount of freight destined for China. The blockade of both Mexico's Atlantic and Pacific ports, most of which are located on her eastern coast, reduced the Confederacy's trade with Mexico because it almost cut off all its imports, as only a few blockade runners were able to get through . The blockade also challenged the dominance of the C.S. Navy in the Caribbean.

Early in the war the Confederate ambassador in Philadelphia delivered a note to the U.S. State Department warning that the Union was risking war if the U.S. Navy did not cease halting on the high seas and searching suspected blockade runners owned by Confederate citizens. However, despite public enthusiasm in both nations for war, the two nations remained in uneasy peace.

It appears that largely responsible for this was the attitude of the U.S. government, which, because it considered a three-front war too risky, was willing to make concessions to avoid war. These included a reduction in the tariff on Confederate sugar; a cessation of opposition to Confederate interests in Latin America; restraining the cross-border activities of Yankee abolitionists; and a well-kept secret agreement regarding possible future changes in the Mexican-Confederate and Mexican-Union borders. In exchange the Confederacy promised to reduce its trade with Mexico in military goods.

The typical Yankee's thirst for war with the Tokio regime has sometimes been attributed to the fact that the United States had enjoyed an easy victory over Mexico in 1848, and that Japan, a nation inhabited by "puny yellow men", had only begun to emerge from feudalism not much more than a quarter of a century before. (Conveniently ignored was the fact that the Mexican victory was largely due to Southern born troops and officers such as Quitman, Taylor, Davis, Lee, Jackson, Bragg, Beauregard, Scott, and Thomas. (The latter two went with the Union in 1861.) The Yankees' overconfidence as they entered the war with Japan was swelled enormously by the fact that many Japanese military officers had begun their military careers as Samurai mounted on horseback, wearing armour, and wielding a battle-ax.

Because the Japanese posed no threat to Union territory, the United States initially concentrated its efforts on dealing with the Mexicans. Unable to prevent them from cutting the transcontinental railroad and occupying Southern California, the Union decided to invade Mexico by the route used in 1848, hoping to force the Mexican troops in the United States to withdraw in order to protect their homeland. This strategy worked. After Mexico City fell, the Confederacy took advantage of the situation to establish protectorates in Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas. The Union established protectorates in Lower California, Sonora, and Chihuahua.

By this time the U.S. Navy had almost entirely converted to steam and armored vessels and had adopted a strategy of fleet concentration and blockade. The key to winning battles, it believed, was closing with the enemy and bringing to bear greater fire power. The Japanese Navy, which had fewer and more lightly-armed battleships than did the United States, countered with some success by employing a large number of torpedo boats. However, defeat for the Japanese Empire was assured when much of its fleet was bottled up in Pearl Harbor by block ships sunk in the narrow channel leading to it.

In a very close 1896 presidential election in the Confederacy, a fiery young orator and champion of he farmer, Tom Watson (Nationalist, Georgia), rode into the office on the back a paralysis of farming and the concentration of wealth in the urbanized and industrial sector of the economy. Opposing him in this hard fought campaign was a magnetic East Tennessean, Robert Lee Taylor, who, like Watson, had a strong rural appeal essential in an overwhelmingly agricultural society. In capturing the President's mansion, which he refused to occupy because it is too ostentatious, Watson exploited the discontent of rural dwellers--the majority of our citizens--who were angered because they saw the nation's wealth being concentrated in the hands of railroad tycoons, merchants, bankers, and manufacturers, who had formed several huge combines which, like the railroad monopolies, were exploiting the public and buying judges, juries, legislatures, and governors.

Elected on a reform platform, President Watson attributed the failure of many of his initiatives to Senator Carter Glass (Virginia, Progressive), who he damned as a tool of the monied, capitalist class. The Watson program Senator Glass most vociferously opposed was one whereby the government would store farmers' crops, providing them in exchange for them certificates of deposit which they could convert into cash. The Glass program Watson most strenuously opposed was the creation of a national central bank.

A still somewhat depressed economy and the fact that Confederate troops were fighting insurgents in both Cuba and Mexico made possible in 1902 the election of the first Progressive Party presidential candidate, John Griffin Carlisle (Kentucky). Carlisle campaigned on a platform of preserving the Anglo-Saxon character of the Confederacy (no statehood for Cuba); turning over the task of pacifying Cuba to its militia; sending enough troops to Mexico to end banditry there; and producing economic prosperity through increased industrialization. [President Watson had supported statehood for Cuba, which, because it was dominated by planter interests, was expected to vote Nationalist.]

President Carlisle was succeeded in office by another Progressive, Andrew Jackson Montague (Virginia), who in a campaign full of such spleen as the following doggerel, which took as its inspiration the steady leftward drift of the Democratic Party in the United States.

Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee:

That's Democrats and Nationalists.

Sprung from the same sire,

That's mighty dire,

'Cause both are socialists.

Elect them and that's what we'll be.

The Nationalists, claimed Montague, intended to follow the lead of their former compatriots in the Union and nationalize the railroad, telegraph, and telephone industries.

The most significant event during the administration of President Montague was the opening in 1911 of a sea route through Nicaragua connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. An engineering marvel matched only by the Suez, it began on the Caribbean at Greytown (San Juan del Norte); followed the San Juan River to Lake Nicaragua; and reached the Pacific via a 12-mile-long canal which ended at San Juan del Sur. [A medical miracle also played a role in the creation of the canal for, without the efforts of Dr. William Gorgas, yellow fever might, by having struck down so many workers, made building it impossible.]

Concerned about the Confederacy's image in the world and possible dire, future problems, Progressive Maryland Senator Ferdinand C. Latrobe, whose father was one of the founders of Liberia, introduced a bill which required that all slaves born after 1890 be given the opportunity to buy their freedom if they would agree to emigrate. To enable their slaves to gain the wherewithal to buy their freedom, masters would be required to pay slaves for working more than 40 hours per week, and slaves having worked this many hours for their masters would have to be allowed, if they wished, to work for other employers.

Because, starting in 1883 with Maryland and Missouri, the state legislatures in each of the states bordering the Union had passed legislation providing for the compensated elimination of slavery, the passage of this had an impact only in the Lower South. It passed because the Lower South was seriously concerned over the potential for a mass uprising of its slave population and the increasing concentration of the nation's rapidly growing black population within its borders, while the Upper South welcomed the possibility of reducing the population and thus the power of the Lower South in Congress. The Lower South hoped, too, that a lessening of its negro population would reverse its net outflow of whites to the Upper South.

The bill failed to achieve its purpose because, while many negroes wished to buy their freedom, they did not wish to emigrate unless it was to the United States, which was unwilling to more than a token handful of negro immigrants. Bounties offered African nations induced several of them to agree to accept a limited number of immigrants, but even this many Confederate negroes were unwilling to remove to these lands.

The next presidential election placed in the presidency Senator Hoke Smith (Progressive, Georgia), who won a hard-fought campaign with former Virginia governor and University of Virginia president Woodrow Wilson, who favored a much more active role for the Central Government in economic affairs than did Senator Smith. (Neither of these men used his first name.) Although Senator Smith, who some labeled a Nationalist in Progressive clothing, had a more favorable view of the business community than did President Watson, he shared Watson's desire to break up both the trusts,which eliminated competition between manufacturers, and the railroad monopolies. Neither Watson nor Smith was in agreement with Wilson's desire for government ownership of railroads and utilities.

Party loyalty played a lesser role in this than in any other presidential canvass. Like Smith, Wilson promised that a Wilson administration would not involve the nation in Europe's rapidly evolving troubles. The fact that in his law practice Smith had won many suits against the railroads made him unpopular with many voters in his own party, but this was offset by his popularity with many Nationalist voters. Both men's parties hoped to gain cross-over votes from the fact that each of these men were from states where their parties were relatively weak.

The years from 1914 to 1920 can only be compared to the Black Death of the Dark Ages. The Great War in Europe, which killed 10,000,000 people, was followed by a pandemic of Spanish influenza which, worldwide, took more than 20,000,000 lives. For six years the stalemated troops of the British and French faced German troops in a labyrinth of parallel trenches which stretched for 400 miles. In all, 25,000 miles of dismal, rat- and lice-infested trenches were dug. (Each side had a frontline trench, a support trench; a reserve trench, and communications trenches at right angles to these.) Periodically, in futile charges, each side would "go over the top." In one battle alone the British fired 1,700,000 shells trying to destroy the barbed wire between the opposing forces.

The people of the Americas were horrified and sickened by the carnage, and both the Confederacy and the Union, through appeals to both sides, tried to bring it to an end. Because of its large German- American population, public opinion in the Union was almost evenly split. In the Confederacy, however, it was tilted towards the Allies, but few showed much interest in sending their sons to help them. Attacks on Confederate and Union shipping by German U-boats shifted public opinion in both nations away from Germany. Mercifully the War finally ground to an end in what a sporting man would call a draw.

What kept the Americas out of the Great War which brought prosperity to both by tremendously increasing their exports and slashing their imports? Many have attributed it to the fact that the people of the Union were war weary and divided in their sympathies, while the Confederacy, on the other hand, was distracted by distressing domestic problems. Many thousands of Confederate troops were tied down by foreign-aided black and Indian insurgents in our Latin territories. Also, starting in 1906, a series of ever worsening race riots had begun which necessitated the posting of numerous troops to the lower Confederacy. Also, many historians today speculate that both the Confederacy and the Union held back waiting to see if the other would enter the fray and whose side it would take.

The recovery of agricultural output in Europe after the War and the boll weevil sent the Confederacy into a depression. Free negroes fled the countryside for the nation's cities, which could not find employment for them all. Friction with the Union arose when large numbers of them began to illegally slip into the Union because, while a few Yankee industrialists welcomed their cheap labor, most of the public--despite their much proclaimed sympathy for the plight of the Confederacy's slaves--abhorred them.

Their receipts drastically reduced, Southron slave owners found themselves unable to afford to feed their slaves, and so they put them on the market. The resulting glut of the slave market caused their prices to tumble to levels not seen in 100 years. A great many slaves purchased their freedom for only a few dollars, but refused to even attempt to emigrate. Some were set free without any payment being made.

Over the very vocal objections of many non-slave holders about the expense and despite threats of secession, in 1925 a bill was passed by Congress which provided for the freeing of all remaining slaves through the issuance by the government to their owners of long term bonds. Also authorized by this bill was the issuance of bonds to negroes agreeing to remove to one of our Latin American possessions.

The End

Of a counter factual history by Carole E. Scott

Go to short descriptions of real people who appear in this story or who inspired some of the events that take place in it.

Copyrighted, 1997

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