Leroy Pope Walker: Confederate Secretary of War

Leroy Pope Walker: Confederate Secretary of War

Leroy Pope Walker: Confederate Secretary of War

Leroy Pope Walker: Confederate Secretary of War

Excerpt

LEROY POPE WALKER, the first Secretary of War of the Confederate States, is probably the least known of the five men who occupied that office. His brief administration of the War Department has long been considered undistinguished. Nevertheless, his accomplishments of organizing the department and placing an army of 200,000 men in the field by September, 1861 reveal that he played a vital role in shaping the military effort of the Confederacy during its formative months. Nor was Walker altogether a man of straw in Jefferson Davis' Cabinet, as has been sometimes depicted. Few Confederate leaders were as dedicated and energetic in the performance of their public duties as he was. And I hope that this monograph, although at times unfavorably critical, will bring long-due credit to him as an outstanding figure of the period.

Among the many persons who helped me write this book, I am especially grateful to Dr. Thomas B. Alexander, who read the manuscript with considerable thoroughness and made countless corrections and suggestions. I am also indebted to Mr. David Young, Mr. Henry Marks, and Mr. Wilkins Winn, for their helpful criticisms.

Finally, I tender my thanks to my wife, Betty, for typing the manuscript and for her patience with an abstracted husband.

Tuscaloosa , Alabama W.C.H.

December, 1961 . . .

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