Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Biographies on Confederate governors

     Knowing what is available is an important thing to both the reader and the researcher. That is why I create these lists: to see what is available and to know where the holes in the scholarship are. W. Buck Years, in 1985, released The Confederate Governors, a collection of essays on the role of governors of each state during the war. There is also Malcolm C. McMillan’s The Disintegration of a Confederate State: Three Governors of Alabama’s Wartime Home Front, 1861-1865 (1986). Several (all?) states have general histories of governors. For example, North Carolina has Crabtree’s North Carolina Governors, 1585-1958: Brief Sketches (1958). This list does include published papers. North Carolina’s John W. Ellis has two volumes of published papers, including a biographical sketch, but he does not have a traditional, full-length biography. If you see anything I missed, please drop me a line.



John Gill Shorter (1861-1863)

Andrew Barry Moore (1857-1861)

Thomas H. Watts (1863-1865)


Henry Massie Rector (1860-1862)

Thomas Fletcher (acting 1862)

Harris Flanagin (1862-1864)


Madison Starke Perry (1857-1861)

John Milton (1861-1865)               

     Hughes, Civil War Correspondence of Florida’s Governor John Milton (2015)

Abraham K. Allison (1865)


Joseph E. Brown (1857-1865)

     Fielder, A Sketch of the Life and Times and Speeches of Joseph E. Brown (1883)

     Hill, Joseph E. Brown and the Confederacy (1972)

     Parks, Joseph E. Brown of Georgia (1977)

     Roberts, Joseph E. Brown and the Politics of Reconstruction (1973)


Thomas Overton Moore (1860-1864)

     Moore, Thomas Overton Moore: A Confederate Governor (1960)

Henry Watkins Allen (1864-1865)

     Cassidy and Simpson, Henry Watkins Allen of Louisiana (1964)

     Dorsey, Recollections of Henry Watkins Allen (1866)


John Jones Pettus (1859-1863)

     Dubay, John Jones Pettus, Mississippi Fire-eater (1975)

Charles Clark (1863-1865)


Claiborne Fox Jackson (1861)

     Phillips, Missouri’s Confederate: Claiborne Fox Jackson and the Creation of  Southern Identity (2021)

Thomas Caute Reynolds (1862-1865)

     Reynolds, Letters of Thomas Caute Reynolds, 1847-1885 (1943)

North Carolina

John Willis Ellis (1859-1861)

     Ellis, The Papers of John Willis Ellis (1964)

Henry Toole Clark (1861-1862)

     Poteat, Henry Toole Clark: Civil War Governor of North Carolina (2009)

Zebulon Baird Vance (1862-1865)

     Dowd, Life of Zebulon B. Vance, (1897)

     Yates, Zebulon B. Vance as War Governor of North Carolina, 1862-1865, (1937)

     Adler, Zebulon B. Vance and the “Scattered Nation” (1941)

     Yates, The Confederacy and Zeb Vance (1958)

     Camp, Governor Vance: A Life for Young People. (1961)

     Shirley, Zebulon Vance, Tar Heel Spokesman. (1963)

     Tucker - Zeb Vance: champion of Personal Freedom. (1966)

     Szittya, Man to Match the Mountains: the Childhood of Zebulon Baird Vance. (1980)

     Cooper, Zeb Vance: a Leader in War and Peace. (1985)

     Weinstein, Zebulon B. Vance and “The Scattered Nation.” (1995)

     Vance,  My Beloved Zebulon: the Correspondence of Zebulon Baird Vance and Harriett N. Espy. (1971)

     McKinney, Zeb Vance, North Carolina’s Civil War Governor and Gilded Age Political Leader. (2004)

     Mobley, “War Governor of the South” : North Carolina’s Zeb Vance and the Confederacy.(2005)

     Johnston, Zebulon Baird Vance Letters, 1843-1862 (1963)

     Mobley, The Papers of Zebulon Baird Vance, 1863 (1995)

     Mobley, The Papers of Zebulon Baird Vance, 1864-1865 (2013)

South Carolina              

    Francis Wilkinson Pickens (1860-1862)

    Milledge Luke Bonham (1862-1864)

    Andrew Gordon Magrath (1864-1865)


    Isham G. Harris (1857-1862)

         Elliott, Isham G. Harris (2009)


Edward Clark (1861)

Francis Lubbock (1861-1863)

     Lubbock, Six Decades in Texas (1900, autobiographical)

Pendleton Murrah (1863-1865)


John Letcher (1860-1864)

     Boney, John Letcher of Virginia, (1966)

William “Extra Billy” Smith (1864-1865)

     Mingus, Confederate General William “Extra Billy” Smith (2013)


Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Is my library complete?

    Many decades ago, in an old Dixie Gun Works catalog, I gained a bit of wisdom. The editor was writing about building a library. A library was more than a large group of books, he claimed. A library was a group of books that permitted a person to answer the questions that he or she had. To be honest, I write books (and blog posts) because I can’t find the answers to the questions I have. Having a good library at my fingertips allows me to access what information is available.

   Over the past forty years, I have sought to build a collection that permits me access to much of the information out there. I have my own set of the Official Records, Confederate Veteran, Battles and Leaders, Rebellion Record, and the Southern Historical Society Papers. Yes, many of these sets are online, but I really prefer turning papers. My library is Confederate specific. Yes, there are biographies on Federal generals, like Grant, Sherman, McClellan, and Burnside, and politicians, like Lincoln, Seward, and Stanton. And there are some Federal regimentals; I think Beatie’s first three volumes on the Army of Potomac a masterful work, and I wish he had lived to do more. But the vast majority of the library is Confederate in nature with numerous biographies on Lee, Jackson, Davis (along with Davis’s papers). While some people have more books on the battle of Gettysburg, my forty or fifty volumes suffice for the questions I have. There are biographies on other Southern politicians, like Stephens, Cobb, Benjamin, Yancey, and Vance. There are numerous regimentals, published letters, diaries, and reminiscences.

   Earlier this week, I picked up a set I had always wanted. In 1993, Simon and Schuster released the four volume Encyclopedia of the Confederacy. The price in 1993 was about $450 for the set, well beyond my means. I had not really thought much about the set over the years, but I found this set for $50 on an online site and added it to my collection. These volumes cover generals, politicians, battles, the roles of various church denominations, just a host of events and people. It is wealth of information right at the fingertips. It will look perfect right beside Long’s The Civil War Day by Way, Boatner’s The Civil War Dictionary, Eicher and Eicher’s Civil War High Commands, and The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference.

   Is my library complete? Well, not really. But I am comfortable in my collection, and it is much closer than in the past. Thanks to the work of Savas Beatie, I have been able to add the Bachelder Papers, the Carman manuscript, and will soon add Bearss’s three volumes on the Vicksburg campaign. I’d like to add biographies on each of the war-time Southern governors (I think I only have the biographies on Vance, but there are a lot of them). Of course, some of these men do not have biographies. But by and large, I have a good, solid, Confederate library. If a question can be answered by turning to a book, I might just have that book. Honestly, much of my collecting these days has turned to 18th and 19th century Southern politicians and jurists. That is the topic for another post.