Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy

By Albert Burton Moore | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
CONFEDERATE VERSUS STATE AUTHORITY IN THE UPPER SOUTH

THE upper South was the section of least political friction.1a There were no conflicts of any consequence after 1862 until the closing months of the War. In South Carolina, as Professor Stephenson has well said, "the prevailing view was that of experienced, disillusioned men who realized from the start that secession had burnt their bridges, and that now they must win the fight or change the whole current of their lives."1b There was a similar situation in Virginia.2 The leadership was experienced and practical; the State had invested its best and most trusted talent in the civil and military councils of the Government; the Government was on the ground, it was not a mysterious something beyond the horizon that could be conjured by the imagination into the proportions of a monster, obsessed with a passion to consume the rights of the States and of the people; the enemy was always near and formidable; and, thanks to military strategy, at the climax of the war the Government ordered troops into Virginia from all sources and seemed to brood over the "Old Dominion." There were in Virginia, then, conditions and a leadership that tended

____________________
1a
This chapter is a study of South Carolina and Virginia. Little evidence of conflict has been found in Tennessee.
1b
Op. cit., 75.
2
The great journalists, Pollard and Rhett, played the roll of merciless critics in these States and did their part in creating an atmosphere of distrust and hostility toward the President.

-297-

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