Synopses & Reviews
This collection of thirteen essays examines the leaders of the southern states during the Civil War. Malcolm C. McMillan writes of the futile efforts of Alabama’s wealthy governors to keep the trust of the poor non-slaveholding whites. Paul D. Escott shows Georgia Governor Joseph Emerson Brown’s ability to please both the planter elite and the yeoman farmers. John B. Edmunds, Jr. examines the tremendous problems faced by the governors of South Carolina, the state that would suffer the highest losses. Each of the contributors describes the governor’s reaction to undertaking duties never before required of men in their positions—urging men to battle, searching for means to feed and clothe the poor, boosting morale, and defending their state’s territories, even against great odds.
“This is an important book. . . . [It] contributes to our understanding of the Civil War era by bringing together into one place concise discussions of the kinds of problems that faced nearly every southern state during the Civil War and the responses of the state government to these problems.”—Journal of Southern History
“A delightful attempt to compress the various personalities of the governors, and the problems they faced, into a few short pages. . . . There is much information in the book and excellent bibliographies. . . . Yearns and the contributors have done a commendable job.”—Louisiana History
“The Confederate Governors is more than a collection of short biographies. It offers an excellent state-by-state political history of the Confederacy through an examination of a group of men who played an important part in its everyday government.”—Journal of American Studies
“The essays are well written, thoroughly documented, and even-handed in interpretation, taking into account both the failures and the successes of the Confederacy’s state-level leadership. The book consequently should be of value not only to students of the Civil War but also to those interested in the broader contours of southern political development.”—Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
About the Author
Wilfred Buck Yearns (1918–2006) was a professor emeritus of history at Wake Forest University. His books include The Confederate Congress (Georgia), North Carolina Civil War Documentary, and From Richmond to Texas.