Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy

By Albert Burton Moore | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
CONFEDERATE VERSUS STATE AUTHORITY IN THE LOWER SOUTH1

THE inherent character of the Confederate political system made unity of purpose and coördination of effort during the war impossible. Friction between the Confederate Government, with full constitutional power to raise armies, and to wage war, and the States, severally capacitated by the possession of sovereign power not only to judge the acts of the Confederate Government but to redress themselves against any apprehended encroachment, was inevitable. Some leaders were unable to see the logic of surrendering State sovereignty to the Confederate Government as a means of establishing it against the Federal Government. The character and extent of the conflicts would be determined, of course, by the temperament and attitude of mind of those sponsoring the governments, and of influential citizens everywhere. To the extent that men failed to see and to reconcile themselves to the inexorable demands of war, just so far would they be unable to make the compromise of political prepossessions, official prerogatives, personal pride, and State autonomy that was necessary to avoid working at cross purposes.

The first year of the war demonstrated the imprac-

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1
The South is divided into three sections for the purpose of this investigation: the lower South, including Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas; Georgia and North Carolina; and the upper South, South Carolina and Virginia.

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