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This webpage reproduces an article in the
Journal of Southern History
Vol. 3 No. 1 (Feb. 1937), pp43‑75

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!

p43 Zebulon B. Vance
as War Governor of North Carolina, 1862‑1865

By Richard E. Yates

On June 16, 1862, a youthful colonel in the Confederate army seated himself to write a letter which marked a turning point in his political career. For several weeks public meetings had been endorsing Zebulon B. Vance as a candidate for the governorship of North Carolina; newspapers had been grooming him for this office; and numerous friends had been urging him to accept the nomination. After a little hesitation and with a suggestion of diffidence, which was considered becoming in those days, the thirty-two-year‑old colonel composed a public letter in which he informed the people of the state that they might consider him a candidate. "If . . . my fellow-citizens," he wrote, "believe that I could serve the great cause better as Governor than I am now doing, and should see proper to confer this great responsibility upon me without solicitation on my part, I should not feel at liberty to decline it, however conscious of my own unworthiness."1 With these words Vance launched his campaign for the governorship and began a course that was to give him the unique title of "the war governor of the South."

Born in 1830 in Buncombe County, Zebulon Baird Vance received only a moderate education in the neighborhood schools and at Washington College, in East Tennessee, before he entered the University of North Carolina in 1851 to pursue the one-year law course. He returned to Asheville in 1852 and began the practice of law, but he soon deserted his office and entered politics, a profession for which he was well-fitted p44by his popularity and gift at stump speaking. First venturing into the field as a "regular built, old fashioned Whig,"2 Vance won a seat in the North Carolina House of Commons in 1854. Two political defeats then ensued, but in 1858 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives after making a speaking tour of fifteen counties that "set the mountains on fire,"3 and he continued to represent his district until the secession of North Carolina.

During the months following Lincoln's election in November, 1860, and while the secession of the Deep South was in progress, the people of North Carolina were faced with one of those important political questions which destroy old parties and erect new ones. Should the state join the Southern Confederacy which was being speedily established, or should it cleave to the Union in the hope that a compromise would adjust the sectional difficulties? For months a large majority of the people chose the latter alternative, and sternly held in check that portion of the population which favored secession. During the heated battle between these two factions from November, 1860, to April, 1861, in which public speeches, newspaper editorials, and pamphlets played an important part, old party lines gradually gave way to new groupings to which the terms Secessionists and Unionists were applied.

Despite the secession of the Lower South and the pleas of visiting politicians from that section, the Unionists controlled the legislature for several months and refused to call a convention. Their strength rested upon the belief that a constitutional amendment, along the lines laid down by the Crittenden Compromise, would assure the people of the South that slavery would be safe from the attacks of the "abolition hordes." So long as a majority of the people of North Carolina entertained this belief, the Secessionists held their public meetings and issued their newspaper editorials all in vain. Near the end of January, 1861, however, the Unionists were somewhat weakened by the growing fear p45that the North would agree to no compromise, and the Secessionists gained enough strength in the legislature to pass a bill authorizing the people to determine whether or not a convention should be called to consider Federal relations. The proposal for a convention was rejected by a majority of only 194 out of 93,012 votes, while the vote in the same election for delegates to serve if the convention should be authorized resulted in the choice of a safe majority opposed to secession.4

In the weeks that followed, the Secessionists gained strength because of the collapse of the Washington Peace Conference, but it was not until the firing on Fort Sumter and Lincoln's call for troops that the Unionists were vanquished. These events made it certain that all efforts of compromise had failed and that North Carolina must make a prompt choice between the Confederacy and the Union. With amazing unanimity the state chose the Confederacy. Public leaders who, like Vance, had been pleading for the Union began to solicit volunteers and lead them away to war. Governor John W. Ellis, an "original Secessionist," seized the United States forts, arsenal, and mint, hurried troops to Virginia, and called the legislature into extra session. Meeting on May 1, the legislature approved the governor's action and called a convention, which met twenty days later and on the first day of its session unanimously passed an ordinance of secession.

With great enthusiasm the state entered the war. A large body of troops was raised, equipped, and sent to Virginia; extra appropriations were voted; the defenses on the coast were strengthened and new forts were built. The war had scarcely begun, however, before a series of military disasters fell upon North Carolina. During the latter part of August, 1861, a Federal squadron captured the forts guarding Hatteras Inlet, and opened the waters of Pamlico Sound to United States gunboats. This spread fear throughout the eastern counties and caused heated criticism of the Confederate government and the state administration. Early in February, 1862, a Federal fleet of eighty vessels p46carrying 15,000 men captured Roanoke Island, and then steamed up the sound and took Elizabeth City. Having forced an entrance into North Carolina, the United States forces speedily occupied several eastern counties and made their headquarters at Newbern, which they captured in March, 1862.

This series of defeats on the coast greatly disheartened the people, who were already suffering from the economic dislocations caused by the war. All over the state the supplies of manufactured articles were quickly exhausted, and blockade-runners were never able to supply the need for imported products. The high prices charged for every commodity, moreover, placed a great burden upon the poor, which caused discontent all over the state. The people had expected a short, summertime war, not one which exhausted their resources and forced them to live on short rations.

Since the voters usually blame their government for military defeats and the economic dislocations of war, this feeling of discontent boded only ill for the politicians in control of the state administrations. Ever since the summer of 1861 the leaders of the old Whigs had been using the discontent to build up a political organization which they called the Conservative party. William W. Holden, who had been read out of the Democratic party in 1860 because he opposed secession, early assumed a leading place in the councils of this newly-formed party, for his Raleigh Standard had wide influence. He realized that the Secessionists in the state could perhaps be weakened by an attack upon their Confederate colleagues, and he therefore launched a campaign of criticism against the central government, especially for the passage of the Conscription Act in April, 1862. Slowly and adroitly he and the other leaders of the opposition built up the strength of the Conservative party, making the most of every unpopular action of their opponents, until in the spring of 1862 the Secessionists realized that they would have to fight with all their strength to retain control of the state in the August elections. Alarmed by the growing strength of the Conservatives, the Democrats abandoned their party name, called themselves Confederates, and appealed to the voters to quell partisan strife in the p47midst of war by maintaining them in office.5 The Confederate party newspapers agreed to support William Johnston, a railroad president of Charlotte and a Whig who had been an "original Secessionist."6 This candidate the Confederates hoped to elect unanimously, but Holden soon announced that Johnston would not be without opposition in the forthcoming election.7 Public meetings, the favorite device of politicians, were held in several counties and indicated a desire that Ex-Governor William A. Graham should contest the election with Johnston. Graham refused to run, however, and Holden and his Conservative associates were forced to choose another candidate. Realizing the need for a popular candidate and one opposed to the state administration, they determined to bring forward the youthful Vance, a Unionist who, after raising a company of "Rough and Ready Guards," had been elected colonel of the Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiment. Once more the Conservatives held public meetings, this time the resolutions calling for the election of Vance.8 With the star of his candidate rising, Holden pressed his advantage and obtained the co-operation of the Fayetteville Observer, one of the most influential Whig newspapers in the state.

Thus it was that Vance sent his carefully worded letter of acceptance to the Observer and the Standard on June 16, 1862. Although the colonel's supporters had hoped that his communication would outline the platform on which he would run, the letter studiously avoided commitments of any kind. Nor did Vance take any other part in the campaign, aside from making a few amiable speeches in the army. He remained with his regiment and allowed Holden and E. J. Hale, of the Fayetteville Observer, to conduct the campaign as they saw fit, never explaining his position to the voters and never, so far as the correspondence reveals, offering any suggestions or advice. But this silence on Vance's part was no handicap to Holden who promptly appealed to the voters to elect the man who defended their homes. He pointed p48to William Johnston, who was safely at home managing his railroad, while Vance was "in the face of the foe, with his sword drawn, ready for action."9 After showing the voters the contrast between Johnston and Vance, Holden then attacked the party supporting Johnston and charged that it was inefficient and corrupt in its management of state affairs. It had failed to clothe the North Carolina soldiers properly, he said, and was supporting numerous useless officers in the adjutant general's department.10 In the hope of securing the votes of those who had grievances against the Confederate administration, the editor of the Standard blamed the Richmond authorities for many of the hardships of the war — high prices, conscription, military defeats, suffering of the soldiers, and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.

The newspapers which supported Johnston struck back at their opponents by attacking Holden and Vance. The editor of the Standard was roundly condemned for lashing "the State into a bitter party contest" and persuading Vance, "one of the bitterest partisans in the State, and a gentleman of but moderate abilities, to lend all his influence in promoting the party quarrel."11 Since Vance was supported by those newspapers which had opposed secession until Lincoln's proclamation, the editor of the State Journal declared that the issue was between Union and secession.12 The Wilmington Journal saw the campaign as an attempt "to undo what has been done, to revive the old secession and anti-secession feud."13 As Vance was supported by foes of the Davis administration, moreover, the Confederate party press warned the voters that his election would be viewed by the North as a blow against the Confederacy. "Remember," the Raleigh Register exclaimed, "if Zebulon Vance shall be elected Governor, the Yankees will claim it as indubitable sign that Yankee sentiment is in the ascendancy in the heart of the Southern Confederacy."14 Both the Standard and the Fayetteville p49Observer hotly objected to this interpretation of their action, and called upon the voters "to resent this monstrous calumny."15

While attacking the loyalty of Vance's supporters, the Confederate party press also assessed his ability and qualifications, and concluded that he was not fitted for the governorship. True, the Wilmington Journal observed, Vance was a popular stump speaker and hardly had a peer in the avocation of telling jokes, but these accomplishments would scarcely help administer the state's difficult affairs.16 In a similar vein the Raleigh Register disclosed its fear that Vance's attempts to administer North Carolina's business would be a failure, for the people of the state had no pressing need for "a good joke-teller in the Executive Chair."17

In spite of all these appeals, the voters of the state and the soldiers in the army, by one of the most overwhelming majorities in the political history of North Carolina, repudiated the Confederate party and elected the thirty-two-year‑old Vance to the governorship. Out of a total vote of 11,683, the soldiers gave Vance a majority of 3691,18 but not until the election in the counties a few days later did the crushing majority of his victory become apparent. Out of a total vote of 74,87119 (including the returns from the army), Vance received 54,423 and carried every county in the state except twelve.

Northern newspapers commenting on the election observed with pleasure that a Unionist had defeated a Secessionist in North Carolina, and expressed the hope and belief that the state would soon re-enter the Union.20 Alarmed at this development, the Confederate press pledged its support to Vance and begged him to "cut loose altogether" from the "destructive clique" which had elected him and show the world that North Carolina was loyal to the Confederacy.21

p50 Although he had no intention of breaking away from his party, Vance pledged himself in his inaugural address, on the morning of September 8, to prosecute the war until the South obtained its independence. Far from repudiating secession, he endorsed in unequivocal language that initial step in the state's effort to free itself from the North. He promised, moreover, to support the enforcement of the conscription law, which Holden had so bitterly criticized. In ringing tones he admonished the people of the desperate to forget party differences and unite to drive the invader from the South. "Let a new order of things take place," he urged, "and, whilst the contest lasts, at least, let us see nothing, hear nothing, and know nothing, but our country and its sufferings."22

Without a dissenting voice the press of both parties approved the inaugural and indicated its intention wholeheartedly to support the new governor. The Confederate party newspapers were especially delighted with the speech, for Vance's endorsement of secession and conscription approved the cardinal points in their platform.23 The governor's pledge to prosecute the war until independence had been achieved met the enthusiastic support of both parties, and showed the somewhat deluded Northern press that the state had no intention of returning to the Union.

With the pledged support of both the Conservative and the Confederate parties, therefore, Vance began his administration, early turning his attention to the problem of driving the United States troops from the soil of North Carolina. As a result of their victories at Hatteras, Roanoke Island, and Newbern, the Federal soldiers occupied every port in the state, except Wilmington, and held a number of important towns along the coast. Using Newbern as their headquarters they frequently raided the defenseless counties of eastern North Carolina, threatened the strategically important railroad between Wilmington and Weldon, and returned to the coast loaded with the spoils of their raids. To keep the United States forces confined to the extreme p51eastern counties and to hold the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad were the main objectives of Governor Vance and the Confederate war department. In order to protect this railroad, the Confederate government concentrated troops at Kinston, where they could keep a watchful eye upon the enemy at Newbern. This accomplished the main objective, but at times Federal raiding parties left their headquarters and gathered provisions in a number of counties before they could be driven back. Vance was the constant recipient of letters urging that more troops be sent to eastern North Carolina; and as he thought it his first duty to protect his people, the governor maintained a vigorous correspondence with the Richmond authorities, demanding that immediate reinforcements be sent whenever it seemed probable that the Federal troops would sally forth on a raid.24 These urgent pleas for reinforcements were often made without considering the military situation in Virginia, and of course many of them could not be granted. The Confederate authorities learned after a few months, moreover, that Vance was apt to mistake a mere raiding party for a serious threat to the railroad, and his telegrams, therefore, were not always treated with the consideration he thought they deserved.

After a series of false alarms, however, more than 10,000 Federals in December, 1862, left their headquarters at Newbern and marched towards Kinston. From Wilmington, where he was inspecting the fortifications when he heard of the movement, Vance hurried to Kinston, where he encouraged the Confederate troops and exerted himself to procure reinforcements. In an easy victory, the United States forces defeated the Confederates, captured Kinston, and moved towards Goldsboro. From Petersburg and Wilmington reinforcements were hurried to Goldsboro, where the Confederate troops were then concentrated. The Federals fell upon the defenders three miles below the town, burned the railroad bridge, tore up four miles of track, and then beat a hasty retreat to Newbern.

p52 This successful raid stirred the North Carolina legislature and helped to persuade the lower house that the state should ignore the conscription laws and raise an army of its own. In his message to the legislature the preceding month, Vance had complained that the Richmond government was not providing adequate protection for the coast. At that time he recommended that the legislature raise "at least ten regiments of reserves, to be accepted for three or four months and dismissed in time to pitch their crops in the spring."25 While considering this recommendation the joint committee on military affairs asked Vance to ascertain whether the Confederate government would arm the state troops and whether it would object if the proposed levy embraced those subject to conscription. Secretary James A. Seddon replied that no arms were available and that Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Davis would not relinquish his claim to the conscripts. The House of Commons, nevertheless, passed a bill which authorized the governor to raise a force of 10,000 men to be composed of "any persons over the age of eighteen years who are not now in the actual service of the Confederate States."26

While this bill was under discussion and after it was passed by the House, the newspapers of the state entered into a lively debate over the merits of the proposed law. The Raleigh Standard was enthusiastic in its approval and asserted that the state would defend itself, even if it did find it necessary to take the men whom the Confederate government claimed as conscripts.27 The Charlotte Bulletin professed to see a conspiracy on the part of the legislature, and suggested that the President should send a regiment to Raleigh and punish "every man engaged in the damnable plot."28 The Richmond newspapers also took part in the debate and urged the legislature not to "point the path to anarchy and subjugation" by precipitating a conflict with the Confederate government.29 Vance remained silent while this discussion was proceeding, p53and never revealed whether or not he opposed the bill which might have caused a grave conflict between the state and Confederate governments. His attitude appears to have been of only academic importance, however, for in a few days after the end of the Christmas holidays the Senate called up the bill and defeated it on its second reading.30

This failure of the legislature to raise troops for the defense of the state made Vance all the more insistent that Davis send reinforcements. There were already about 31,000 Confederate soldiers in North Carolina, however, and Seddon felt that no more could be sent. He therefore advised that Vance call out the militia, but the governor was loath to take the citizens from their homes. This institution was somewhat relieved by Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Lee's magnificent offensive during the spring and summer of 1863, which so concerned the Federal high command that no additional troops were sent to North Carolina, and the eastern counties and the railroad remained secure from attack.

Indeed, the United States troops were placed on the defensive and were forced to use much of their energy in withstanding the siege of Washington, North Carolina, an important town which they had occupied for many months. But the attempt of General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.D. H. Hill to starve out the garrison was not successful, and it was thought wiser to abandon the siege than to attempt the capture of the town by assault. Intensely interested in the defense of his state, Vance went down to the Confederate lines and remained until General Hill discontinued the siege. He then hurried back to Raleigh and again appealed for more troops to defend eastern North Carolina. "From Roanoke Island to the late siege of Washington," he complained to Seddon, "the history of the war has been a succession of calamities in North Carolina. . . . I shall not pretend to say that our defense is intentionally neglected, but that it is very poorly provided for is a fact too patent to deny."31

At this time, however, Lee was girding himself for the campaign which carried the Confederacy to its high noon, and instead of sending troops to North Carolina it was necessary to withdraw a number of p54regiments. Perhaps understanding the grand strategy which Lee and Davis were employing, Vance silenced his complaints and appeared contented for troops to be withdrawn from the desperate to strengthen Lee's army. In an effort to replace the regiments taken from General Hill's command, Davis issued a requisition to Vance for 7000 men to serve within the limits of the state for six months, and Vance sent out his call for the troops. A few days later, however, Lee's defeat at Gettysburg induced Davis to issue an order for the enrollment of all conscripts up to forty-five years of age. Believing that the state could not bear the drain imposed by both the call for the militia and the President's order for the remainder of the conscripts, Vance then revoked his call for the 7000 men.32 As Davis had given no assurance that the new conscripts would be used to defend North Carolina, the governor turned to the legislature and prevailed upon it to abolish the obsolete militia system and create a "Guard for Home Defence," which consisted of all males between the ages of eighteen and fifty years who were exempt from service in the Confederate army.33 More than 25,000 men were finally enrolled and placed under the authority of the governor, to be used for the defense of the state.34

The legislature had scarcely provided for the Home Guards before the Federals awoke from their inactivity and spread consternation throughout the eastern counties. On July 6, a detachment of 800 cavalrymen entered Warsaw, located on the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, where they cut the telegraph wires, burned 20,000 pounds of government bacon, and tore up a mile or more of the track. The arrival of Confederate troops led to their hasty retreat, but in the northeastern counties a similar raid was executed at the same time. With a large force, the enemy burned Williamston, occupied Tarboro, and finally came to a halt at Rocky Mount. Swiftly they burned a cotton factory, the railroad bridge on the Wilmington and Weldon line, and captured p55two carloads of munitions and 30,000 pounds of bacon. The Federal column then returned to its strong fortifications along the coast.35

This raid greatly alarmed the interior cities of the state, especially Raleigh, which was located scarcely forty miles west of the railroad. Vance called the citizens together and urged them to throw up fortifications around the city and to enroll themselves into voluntary companies for the defense of their homes. For a while the capital was busy with defensive preparations,36 but the city remained unmolested. Indeed, the entire eastern part of the state was remarkably quiet during the remainder of the year. No important engagement occurred on the North Carolina coast until January, 1864, when an unsuccessful attempt was made to capture the Federal stronghold at Newbern. Early in April, General Lee decided that another attack should be launched against the enemy in North Carolina, this time at Plymouth, a point which had been occupied by the Federals for about a year. When this venture met with complete success, President Davis thought that another attack should be made upon Newbern. Late in April, therefore, General R. F. Hoke left Plymouth, captured Washington with little difficulty, and was poised for an assault upon Newbern, when he was ordered to proceed to Petersburg and help protect that city from Butler's attack. This marked the end of the Confederate offensive in North Carolina. No longer could Lee's army, weakened by desertion and death, send detachments to dislodge the Federals from the coast of the state. Until the attack upon Wilmington in December, 1864, there was no necessity for sending troops to defend North Carolina, and Vance almost ceased his calls for reinforcements during the summer of 1864. In the meantime, he found many other duties to occupy his crowded hours — duties which were not connected so intimately with the military defense of his state.

Besides defending the state from advancing Federal troops, the young governor had the additional duty of increasing the ranks of the Confederate armies and returning deserters to their regiments. With great p56zeal he began a campaign to enroll all the conscripts in North Carolina and to send them to the armies. Militia officers in all the counties collected the men who were liable to conscription, and when threats were made to resist the unpopular law, Vance promptly issued a proclamation against the recalcitrants and warned that he would use the full power of the state to put them in the ranks.37 So energetically did the governor work, that by 1864 North Carolina had sent 21,348 conscripts to the Confederate armies — about 7000 more than any other state.38 This was not a free gift to the Confederacy, however, for Vance demanded in return that the Richmond authorities should do all in their power to lighten his task of enforcing an unpalatable law. He was especially embarrassed by the acts of some Confederate officers, who arbitrarily assigned the conscripts to certain regiments without any consideration for their wishes. This caused considerable discontent, for Vance had been authorized to promise the conscripts that they could join any regiment they chose. With asperity he reminded the conscript commander of the violated promise. "I desire to sustain the Conft. Govt. with all my power," he wrote, "but certainly don't intend to assist it in duping the soldiers in defiance of its own published orders."39 Only after appealing directly to Davis,40 however, did the governor obtain the assurance that the conscripts would be assigned to regiments of their choice.41

This controversy over the enforcement of the conscription act was scarcely allayed before Vance was angered by the appointment of Colonel T. P. August, a native of Virginia, as commandant of conscripts for North Carolina. Feeling that this appointment "smacks of discourtesy toward our people," the governor protested to Secretary Seddon and demanded that August be replaced by a North Carolinian.42 The p57state delegation in Congress also complained of the appointment, but like Vance it could suggest the name of no North Carolinian to replace August. The unwelcome Virginian, therefore, remained until Major Peter Mallett, who had been wounded, could resume his duties.43

There were no controversies with the Confederate government, however, when Vance exerted himself to return deserters to the ranks; instead the governor ran afoul of the decisions of a state judge and found himself accused of trampling the judiciary under foot. By the time Vance assumed the governorship, the evil of desertion had attained a menacing aspect, especially as it related to the North Carolina regiments.44 Shortly after he was inaugurated, the governor ordered the desperate militia to arrest deserters wherever they could be found, and by the spring of 1863 these militiamen were guarding all fords, ferries, and public highways.45 Just when valuable efficiency in this work had been accomplished, a clash between deserters and the military occurred in Yadkin County, which led to important legal repercussions. As two of the militia officers were killed, the deserters were captured and charged with murder. On a writ of habeas corpus, however, they were released by Chief Justice R. M. Pearson, who declared that Vance had no legal authority to enforce Confederate laws. News of Pearson's decision soon reached the army, where it created the impression that the conscription laws had been declared unconstitutional. Many soldiers left their regiments, therefore, and flocked to North Carolina, confidently expecting to receive protection from the civil authorities. Although Vance was importuned to exert pressure on the chief justice, he refused to do so; but he did evade the decision and continued to employ militia for the arrest of deserters.46 In July, 1863, the legislature overruled Pearson's decision by giving the governor the specific authority to arrest deserters from the Confederate armies. During the same month, however, it abolished the militia and created the "Guard for Home Defence." Believing that he had the same authority over this organization as he had p58over the militia, Vance used it extensively for the arrest of deserters, but once more the chief justice interposed. In habeas corpus proceedings Pearson declared that Vance could not use the Home Guard for the arrest of deserters, because the legislature had not given him that authority.47 Although he was willing to abide by the chief justice's decision in the particular case it decided, Vance refused to accept it as a precedent and continued to use the Home Guard to arrest deserters. Only a decision by a majority of the Supreme Court, he believed, would finally adjudicate the case and settle the question of law involved.48 The legislature once more came to the governor's rescue, and gave him the authority to employ the Home Guard to arrest deserters and recalcitrant conscripts.49

Fortunately for the Confederate service, however, Vance had not depended solely upon armed forces in his efforts to return deserters during the critical year of 1863. He freely drew upon his powerful personal and official influence in his efforts to keep the North Carolina regiments full, and by a series of strongly-worded proclamations he urged the absent soldiers to return to their commands. Late in January the governor issued a proclamation which promised amnesty to all deserters who should return by February 10 and threatened those who remained in hiding with the full penalties of military law.50 During the course of the next few weeks, the effect of this proclamation wore off, and at the urgent request of General Hill, the governor issued another. Vigorously he denounced those who harbored and encouraged deserters. "No plea can excuse it," Vance said. "The father or the brother who does it should be shot instead of his deluded victim, for he deliberately destroys the soul and manhood of his own flesh and blood." Then he dwelt upon the punishment which an outraged public would visit upon the deserters and their friends at the end of the war p59and when "the land will be full of veteran soldiers."51 Once more the deserters took advantage of Vance's amnesty and large numbers returned to the armies. The disastrous defeats which the Confederacy suffered in July, 1863, however, caused desertion to increase enormously, in spite of the governor's later efforts to keep the North Carolinians in the army.

While Vance was willing to aid the Confederate government by enrolling conscripts and returning deserters, he was insistent, nevertheless, that the Richmond authorities should exert their war power with due regard for the rights of North Carolina and with especial consideration for her civil law.52 Tirelessly and with a fair measure of success, the young governor protested against the illegal activities of Confederate military forces. Hearing that "a parcel of armed soldiers from Georgia" had seized and carried off three citizens of Cherokee County, Vance issued orders to officers of that county "to call out the militia and shoot the first man who attempts to perpetrate a similar outrage."53 At about this same time (in the spring of 1863) a Confederate officer, Colonel J. A. Keith, captured and killed thirteen men and boys who had been accused of robbing the stores and houses of a small mountain town. Angered by what he considered to be the murder of civilians, Vance demanded that Keith be punished. While an investigation was pending, however, the officer resigned and escaped punishment, despite the governor's later attempts to try him for murder.54

Throughout most of the war, Vance was embarrassed by the administration's policy of arresting North Carolina citizens who were suspected of disloyalty, transporting them to Salisbury or Richmond, imprisoning them without making specific charges, and finally releasing the accused persons without bringing them to trial. The governor considered this conduct to be in defiance of North Carolina's civil law and a violation of the rights of her citizens; and in numerous bluntly-worded letters he demanded that the citizens of the state be given a prompt and fair trial p60when they were arrested by the agents of the central government.55 The most serious conflict with the Confederate government over the legal rights of North Carolina citizens, however, came when the Richmond administration began its policy of ignoring adverse decisions of state judges. In the spring of 1863, this conflict opened with the case of John W. Irvin, and for more than a year it strained the relations of the two governments. His substitute having become liable to conscription by an extension of the military age, Irvin was arrested and placed in a camp of instruction. He appealed to Chief Justice Pearson for a writ of habeas corpus and was released, but Seddon ordered that no attention be paid to the decision.56 The enrolling officer in North Carolina therefore arrested Irvin again. As soon as he heard of this action, Vance wrote crisply to Secretary Seddon: "I wish to inform you or rather to remind you that although the War Dept. may not be bound by the decisions of the State Courts, yet the Executive of that State is. . . . an attempt on the part of Confederate officers to seize citizens in defiance of their decisions, . . . might lead to unpleasant and unprofitable consequences."57 Seddon replied with several pages of closely-reasoned argument, tending to prove that the state courts had no authority to acceptance jurisdiction of the case,58 but he acquiesced when the North Carolina Supreme Court affirmed Pearson's decision and released Irvin.59

Early in 1864, when Congress had abolished substitution and had made the principals of substitutes liable to service, Vance and Seddon once more exchanged threatening letters. In the case of Edward S. Walton, Pearson declared that Congress had no authority to violate the contract made with principals of substitutes, and Walton was accordingly discharged.60 A few weeks later, similar cases came before Justices W. H. Battle and Charles Manly, who refused to issue the writ of habeas corpus on the ground that Congress had suspended it. In the meantime, Pearson ignored the suspension of the writ and continued to release the p61principals. Many enrolling officers, however, paid no attention to his decision and hustled their prisoners off to Raleigh,61 where Governor Vance was confronted with a serious problem. Should he allow the central authorities to disregard the state judiciary, or should he protect the men who had been released by Pearson? As he was at that time running for re-election, he felt it wise to show the people that he would not bow to Confederate military authority. On the other hand, he did not wish to deprive the army of sorely needed reinforcements, nor did he desire to precipitate a conflict with the central government. He therefore adopted a course of action which brought him political support, but which was not likely to result in a serious clash between the two governments. Loudly he protested against the "usurpations" of the military; with letters and telegrams, which were later published for the enlightenment of the voters, Vance threatened resistance to the enrolling officers. "If the man is discharged," he wrote Seddon, "I am bound to protect him, and if the process of the court is resisted I am forced by my oath of office to summon the military power of the State to enforce it."62 A few days later Vance telegraphed the secretary of war: "The enrolling officers are arresting men who have been discharged by competent Judicial Authority. Will you for the sake of about eighty (80) men force me to resist. I warn you of the consequences."63 Even before this telegram was received, Seddon had already sent assurance that no more men would be arrested who had been discharged by Pearson.64 The controversy was finally settled in June, 1864, when the Supreme Court, by a two to one decision, overruled the chief justice and upheld the constitutionality of the act conscripting the principals of substitutes.65

The execution of judicial decisions was not the only way in which Vance attempted to maintain the civil law and the sovereignty of his p62state. Throughout his governorship he insisted upon his authority to exempt from military service all the officers whom he considered necessary to administer the affairs of the state. This position, he explained soon after he became governor, was not only necessary to the administration of the government, "but due to the rights and dignity of the sovereign State over whose destinies I have the honor to preside."66 "God forbid," he wrote a few weeks later, "that the rights, honor, and the existence itself of the States should rest only upon the grace and mercy of a bureau of conscription."67 Informed that the Confederate laws did not exempt all the officers whom he considered necessary, Vance appealed to the North Carolina delegation in Congress and insisted that the exemption laws be modified. Early in 1863 the governor's desire was gratified, for Congress passed an act which exempted "all State officers whom the Governor of any State may claim to have exempted for the due administration of the government and laws thereof."68 Vance promptly compiled a list of state officers, which included justices of the peace, county trustees, solicitors, and a number of other petty officials.69 Even this generous list was later expanded, and in November, 1864, Vance demanded, and in some instances obtained, the exemption of "any and all persons in the actual employ of the State."70 In this way, he exempted many workers in cotton and woolen factories where the state had contracts for the manufacture of clothing.

Although accurate figures are not available, it is certain that Vance exempted thousands of men as necessary state officers. The three reports which were submitted to the bureau of conscription varied, in the order of their submission, from 25,500 to 5153, but there can be no doubt, whatever the correct figure was, that not all the men were "necessary state officers." Many were exempted for political and personal reasons,71 p63and some were withheld from the Confederacy simply as an assertion of state sovereignty.72

While protecting his people from the arbitrary acts of the Confederate government, and at the same time maintaining the sovereignty of his state, Vance had the additional duty of clothing the North Carolina soldiers in the Southern armies. Continuing the arrangement by which the state clothed its own troops and received commutation money from the Confederacy, Vance made contracts with the North Carolina factories73 and attempted to monopolize the resources of his state.74 Since he found the domestic production somewhat inadequate,75 he looked around for a better source of supply; and his eye, at the suggestion of Adjutant General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.James G. Martin, rested approvingly upon the rich resources of the British Isles. Would it not be profitable, Martin asked, if the state purchased steamships, transported cotton to England, and imported clothing and other supplies through the blockade? Vance agreed to the plan and employed John White, a merchant of Warrenton, to act as state agent in England. After making a contract with White, the governor obtained the legislature's consent to the venture and also an appropriation of $2,000,000 for the purchase of cotton.76 Since the cotton could not be transported to England until a ship was purchased, Vance authorized White to raise the necessary funds by the sale of cotton warrants.

Accompanied by Colonel T. M. Crossan, who had been commissioned to purchase a ship, White boarded a blockade-runner at Wilmington, and early in 1863 arrived in England.77 After attempting for more than five months to raise funds he finally negotiated a loan in May with Alexander Collie and Company of London and Manchester, which amounted to approximately £100,000. Colonel Crossan bought the steamer Clyde, rechristened it the Advance, loaded it with about 125 p64tons of assorted merchandise, and on May 30 started the blockade-running operations of the state.78 Aided by D. K. McRae, another agent whom Vance had employed,79 White remained in England and continued his purchases of clothing.80 These were shipped to Bermuda, where Continental Congress Crossan waited with the Advance and ran them into Wilmington. On his outward voyages Crossan carried large cargoes of cotton to Bermuda, which were reshipped to England and there sold by White. After working steadily for nearly six months, shipping clothing to Bermuda and making contracts for future delivery, White concluded that he had fulfilled his mission, and in December, 1863, he returned to North Carolina. Before his departure from England, however, he signed a tentative agreement with Alexander Collie, by the terms of which the state was to purchase one-fourth interest in four vessels owned by Collie.81 A copy of the contract was sent to Vance, who promptly signed it and obtained the legislature's consent.

These new arrangements had scarcely been completed before Vance sold a half interest in the Advance, making a handsome profit on the sale. Of the four vessels authorized by the contract with Collie, the Don and the Hansa were immediately placed in the service, and the Annie followed a few weeks later, while the fourth was never sent. With four ships partly owned by the state, the governor was in a good position to ship large quantities of cotton to Bermuda and to run in the immense supplies which had been purchased by White and McRae. So well did this arrangement work that Vance was able to clothe the North Carolina soldiers and still have a surplus of 60,000 uniforms in February, 1864.82 By the end of the war this surplus had grown to 92,000 uniforms,83 but Vance made only feeble efforts to reduce it by distributing the clothing to Lee's and Johnston's tattered armies.

While he was adding to the resources of his state, the governor paid attention to his own depleted fortunes. On the vessels partly p65owned by North Carolina, he shipped out thirty or more bales of cotton84 and had the proceeds — about $5000 in gold — credited to his account on Collie's books, where they remained until after the war was ended.85

Soon after Vance purchased one-fourth interest in Collie's steamers and sold one-half interest in the Advance, the Confederate government adopted blockade regulations which forced all privately owned ships to rent one half of their cargo space to the Confederacy. After great exertion, the governor persuaded the Richmond authorities to release the Advance from the regulations, but the Don, the Hansa, and the Annie remained subject to their toll. Vance and the other Southern governors then entered into a spirited campaign to force the repeal of the regulations.86 After Davis had vetoed one bill,87 Congress passed another in March, 1865, which exempted vessels partly owned or chartered by a state. This was an empty victory, however, for the port of Wilmington was closed and Charleston was so closely guarded that blockade-running was rapidly dwindling in importance. Both the Don and the Advance, moreover, had been captured by the enemy.

Despite the effect of the regulations, the governor's policy of blockade-running was remarkably successful. The North Carolina soldiers were comfortably clothed, and the people of the state received many manufactured articles of which the operation of the war had deprived them.88 As a financial venture, blockade-running was not a very profitable one, for at the close of the war the Confederacy owed the state several millions of dollars for clothing which had been furnished to the troops; but in adding to the resources of the state and the Southern armies, Vance's policy was eminently successful.

Solicitous as he was for the comfort of the North Carolina soldiers, Vance never forgot the plight of their families, and throughout his administration he made earnest efforts to relieve the suffering which p66the war brought to them. Under any circumstances, the depression caused by the war would have resulted in widespread suffering, but as speculators entered the market and bought up supplies of food and clothing, the lot of the poor became almost intolerable. As a result of the activities of the speculators and the depreciation of the currency, price levels rose steadily throughout the war. Soon after he became governor, Vance determined to relieve the suffering of his people by striking directly at what he considered to be a primary cause — the activities of the speculators who bought supplies of food and clothing and held them for a rise in prices.89 From the legislature, he received permission to place an embargo on food and clothing,90 and for nearly a year it was illegal to ship certain necessities from the state except for public use. This had little real effect upon speculation, however, and the governor turned to other causes of the economic depression. Realizing that the mountain counties were suffering because their labor supply had been drained into the army, he tried vainly to persuade the Confederate authorities that the conscription laws should be modified in the western part of the state.91 The exigencies of the service would not allow it,92 however. Since the execution of the impressment laws also caused great suffering in the mountains, Vance demanded that the people be not forced to support a "large lot of broken down Cavalry horses."93 "When the question of starvation," he wrote, "is narrowed down to women and children on the one side and some worthless cavalry horses on the other I can have no difficulty making a choice. Unless they are removed soon I shall be under the painful necessity of calling out the militia of adjoining counties and driving them from the State."94 The horses were moved, but only after great delay.95

p67 These attempts to relieve suffering by striking directly at the causes largely failed. It was well, therefore, that Vance started early in the war to aid his people by supplying them with some of the necessities of life which the conflict had made scarce in North Carolina. Continuing the salt works on the coast, which had been set up early in the war, the state administration manufactured and sent to the counties about 5000 bushels per month,96 which was sold at about one third of the market price. By December, 1862, more than 21,000 bushels had been distributed to the counties,97 and by June, 1864, this amount was increased to about 130,000 bushels.98 The works continued to relieve the necessities of the people until late in 1864, when the conscription of their employees brought them to a close.99

Following his policy of rendering direct aid to the poor, Vance constructed cribs along the North Carolina Railroad, made arrangements for storing large supplies of corn and pork, and then asked the legislature for an appropriation to help care for the soldiers' families.100 With the money thus appropriated he bought food supplies and sold them to the counties at cost, they in turn giving the food to the wives and children of soldiers. In subsequent sessions, the legislature made direct gifts to the poor totaling $6,000,000, each appropriation being given to the counties according to their white population.101

The governor's efforts to relieve the suffering of his people had important political effects upon both Vance and the Confederacy. They gave him a hold upon the affections and gratitude of the voters that made it easier for him to defeat the peace movement which was led by Holden, and enabled him to keep the state true to the Confederacy when it appeared even to him that the Tar Heels were sick of the war and ready to accept any peace which the North would give.

p68 There had been murmurings of discontent in North Carolina as early as July, 1861, but it was not until early in 1863 that disaffection attained serious proportions. The impressment of property, tithing laws, and the conscription of men made many people dissatisfied with their government and long for peace. For some time these discontented elements were without leadership, but in the spring of 1863 they found a leader in Holden, editor of the Raleigh Standard. Never overlooking an opportunity to criticize the Richmond authorities, he eagerly led the malcontents and demanded that Davis open negotiations for peace.102 Although denying that he favored "reunion with our enemies or . . . submission to them,"103 he never defined the peace terms which he would accept, and many newspapers of the state were convinced that he was working for a reconstruction of the Union.104

While Holden was pleading for peace and denouncing the Confederate government for not opening negotiations with a victorious enemy, a large number of public meetings were held in the central and western counties of the state during August, 1863, in which resolutions were passed demanding that the authorities negotiate for peace. Probably instigated by Holden, these meetings denounced the abuses growing out of some Confederate laws and called for a state convention, which in some unexplained manner was to obtain an "honorable peace."105

This widespread discontent had a direct effect upon the fortunes of the Confederacy. Thousands of North Carolinians deserted from the armies, and some who were caught confessed that reading the Standard had induced them to abandon their comrades.106 The people at home wrote numerous letters to the soldiers urging them to desert.107 News of the disaffection reached the North, where it was confidently believed that North Carolina was on the verge of secession from the Confederacy.108 p69Alarmed by the evil effects of the peace movement, almost the entire state press joined in attacks upon Holden and warned the people that independence could be won only by defeating the Northern armies.109 These newspapers also insisted that Vance denounce the peace movement and break away from Holden, but for months the governor could not reconcile himself to the idea of repudiating the man who had been so instrumental in electing him in 1862. Although privately he was fiercely opposed to the movement, for political reasons Vance refrained from making his views public.110

Some of the officers and men of the Confederate army, however, did not hesitate to take direct action. On the evening of September 9, 1863, a detachment of soldiers from Benning's brigade attacked the office of the Standard, destroyed the furniture, and scattered the type in the streets. On the following morning a mob of Raleigh citizens advanced on the State Journal office and by way of retaliation scattered the type and smashed the presses of that newspaper.111

Holden soon resumed publication and began a campaign to elect peace Representatives to Congress. Of the ten candidates who were elected, eight were new and five or six of them were pledged to obtain an honorable peace. Emboldened by this victory, the editor of the Standard then insisted that the Southern states call conventions for the negotiation of peace.112 These demands for a state convention alarmed Vance, and he wrote to Davis that perhaps the Confederate government should try to open negotiations. Davis replied that the Richmond administration had made "three distinct efforts to communicate with the authorities at Washington," all of which had been unsuccessful. Perhaps, he concluded, Vance could weaken the disaffection in North Carolina if he would publicly repudiate Holden.113

A few days before he received this letter, however, Vance had already made up his mind to break away from Holden. Late in December, he p70heard that the editor intended to support a movement to call a state convention, and that if Vance should not favor it his re-election in August, 1864, would be opposed. Believing that a convention and separate negotiations for peace would be ruinous to the South, the governor resolutely decided to oppose the movement with all his influence.114 Having ended his vacillation and decided to oppose Holden's peace movement, Vance made preparations to launch a speaking tour that would carry his message far and wide. With a boldness that was in sharp contrast with his hesitation of 1863, the governor began his speaking tour on February 22 in Wilkesboro — a mountain town which was in the very heart of the disaffected region. Before a crowd of 2000 persons, with soberness mingled with levity and jest, Vance appealed to the people to support the Confederacy and trust it to negotiate a peace in due time. The convention which had been proposed, he said, would involve the state "in a new war — a bloodier conflict than that which we now deplore." The North and South would make a battleground of the state, and all hopes for Southern independence would be dead.115

This speech was mild and conciliatory and appealed to many prejudices of his audience, but on the question of calling a convention he was firm. Published by many of the newspapers, this address drew praise from all quarters. The Democratic press flocked to his standard and made it clear that their party would not put a candidate in the field. After reading the speech, Holden announced that he would oppose Vance for the governorship, and would obtain a speedy peace if he were elected. Like an electrical storm, Vance's Wilkesboro speech cleared the air. There would be two gubernatorial candidates — one pledged to bring peace by calling a convention, the other appealing to the people to stand by their government and help it win independence.

Continuing his campaign, Vance appeared in the Army of Northern Virginia early in March and spoke to the different North Carolina brigades. Explaining his opposition to the convention movement, the p71governor made a series of patriotic addresses in which the jokes for which he became famous assumed an important part. When he returned to North Carolina he found many invitations to speak to the people, some of which suggested that he and Holden appear on the same platform. The editor of the Standard, however, excused himself from a joint canvass on the ground that he did not care to add to the excitement of the times by "haranguing the people for their votes."116 Vance therefore accepted the invitations alone and covered the state in an unprecedented speaking tour. On April 23 he appeared in Fayetteville, where he launched a vigorous attack upon Holden and accused him of attempting to lead North Carolina into internecine warfare.117 During May, the governor spoke at Asheboro, Carthage, Pittsboro, Graham, and Raleigh. He paused at the capital city for a brief rest, and then set out for the western part of the state early in July, where he addressed the people at Greensboro, Lexington, Salisbury, Concord, Shelby, Asheville, Lenoir, Yadkinville, and other towns.

While Vance was carrying the campaign directly to the people, Holden attempted to defend himself by thundering at the governor through the columns of the Standard. He charged that Vance's administration was wasteful and corrupt,118 that he was neglecting the duties of his office while "haranguing the people for their votes,"119 and that he had abandoned his party and gone over to the Secessionists.120 As for himself, Holden disclaimed any intention of taking North Carolina out of the Confederacy, and insisted that a convention would not be called for that purpose.

Although all except three of the newspapers in the state were united in their condemnation of Holden, perhaps the most effective work was done by the Raleigh Conservative, which Vance established to act as his organ. In the columns of this newspaper, the governor and his friends conducted an adroit campaign which was well calculated to p72make deep inroads into Holden's followers. Again and again the Conservative reminded the voters that the governor stood for the supremacy of the civil law, that he objected to many policies of the Confederacy, and that he, too, yearned for peace but would not bring infamy to his people to obtain it.121

As the campaign drew to a close, it became apparent that Holden would be defeated. Nearly all the newspapers were opposed to him; the legislature, with only five dissenting votes, endorsed Vance's administration; and only one member of Congress supported the editor's candidacy. When the soldiers voted on July 28, it was clearly shown that Holden had lost his power "to kill and make alive." Out of a total of 15,033 votes cast in the army, the governor received 13,209. A crushing defeat for Holden was thus foretold. This defeat was made a reality on August 4 when the citizens of the state went to the polls and gave Vance a total vote of 57,873,122 while Holden received 14,432 and carried only three counties — Randolph, Johnston, and Wilkes.123 Vance's triumphant victory showed that, although the people of North Carolina might stir uneasily and grumble, they had no intention of making a separate peace and would continue to support the Confederacy. "My Competitor, a bold and popular demagogue," Vance wrote Alexander Collie, "made the issue distinctly of peace on terms less than independence and I have beaten him worse than any man was ever beaten in North Carolina."124

Vance's difficulties were not ended, however, with Holden's defeat. The Confederate cause, which he had so ably upheld on the stump, was sinking on the battlefield. Realizing that Lee's army must be strengthened and that the despondent people of North Carolina must be cheered, the governor issued a proclamation on August 24, appealing to the deserters to return to their regiments and urging the citizens at home to support wholeheartedly the Confederate cause.125 In obedience p73to this proclamation and the amnesty it promised, a number of deserters returned to the armies, but Vance's action had little effect upon the despondency of his people. The fall of Atlanta and Lee's desperate condition before Petersburg seemed to prove that the South was making its last stand, and this impression was heightened when a Federal fleet and land force pounded the defenses of Fort Fisher into bits and captured that strategic post in January, 1865. With the port of Wilmington closed, and the capture of the city itself merely a matter of time, the people of the state nearly abandoned themselves to despair. In another effort to cheer his people and to return the thousands of deserters, Vance once more issued a vigorous proclamation, asserting that the Confederacy could still win its independence and reminding the people of the horrors of subjugation.126

These proclamations, however, had little effect upon the broken spirit of North Carolina. As Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Sherman, after having devastated Georgia, marched through South Carolina, a feeling akin to panic passed over the state and had its reverberations in Richmond, where a group of congressmen thought the war could be ended if Vance could be persuaded to withdraw the troops of North Carolina from the Confederate armies. William A. Graham carried this message to the governor, but Vance indignantly and profanely refused to issue an order which he believed would attach eternal infamy to North Carolina.127

In the meantime, Sherman entered the state, captured Fayetteville, made a junction with General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.John M. Schofield at Goldsboro, and began a march on the state capital. Richmond having been evacuated, Raleigh was the only capital city still in the hands of the Confederates, and for a while preparations were made to defend it. On April 10, however, General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Joseph E. Johnston received a dispatch from Davis announcing Lee's surrender, and Johnston gave Vance notice that the army would abandon Raleigh and retire to the western part of the state. The governor hurriedly transferred the state records and the huge military and commissary stores which he had accumulated to depots at p74Graham, Greensboro, and Salisbury, where in the course of a few days they were pillaged by both the Confederates and the Federals. Knowing that Raleigh must be captured and hoping to secure the safety of its inhabitants and the state's buildings, the governor on April 12 sent Graham and D. L. Swain on a mission to Sherman to obtain a promise of leniency. When the commissioners reached Sherman's headquarters, however, that officer politely detained them until the following day. Not knowing what treatment to expect and hearing that Graham and Swain were being held, Vance mounted his horse at midnight on April 12 and left the city, making his way to Hillsboro. There Graham found him two days later and assured him that Sherman, who had entered Raleigh with comparatively little damage to the city, would not molest him if he returned. But Vance had received an urgent summons from Davis, and accordingly he declined to return to Raleigh. He met Davis in Charlotte, where he listened to the suggestion that he accompany the president to the trans-Mississippi West and there continue the war. Believing that the Confederacy was doomed, he refused to enter into such a hopeless undertaking, and went to Greensboro with the intention of returning to Raleigh. The Confederate officers, however, would not allow him to pass through the lines while negotiations between Sherman and Johnston were pending.128

On April 26, Johnston surrendered his army, and two days later Vance issued his last proclamation to the people of North Carolina, urging them to remain quietly in their homes, obey the laws, and exert themselves to preserve order.129 He then surrendered himself to General Schofield, but that officer had no orders for his arrest and allowed the governor to go to Statesville, where his wife and children were staying. Arriving in Statesville on May 4, Vance remained quietly with his family until May 13, when a cavalry command, executing President Johnson's orders, arrested him and sent him under guard to Washington. Although no formal charge was ever lodged against him, Vance p75was incarcerated in the Old Capitol Prison, sharing a small cell with John Letcher, ex‑governor of Virginia. He remained in this close confinement until July 6, 1865, when he was paroled and allowed to return to North Carolina.130 Handicapped by political disabilities, Vance could only look on helplessly during the next few years while Carpetbaggers and Scalawags controlled the state government and burdened its people with a heavy debt. As soon as he was pardoned, however, he once more entered politics and helped drive the Republicans from power. Remembering his administration during the Civil War, the voters again raised him to the governorship in 1876, and then elected him to the United States Senate, where he remained until his death in 1894. As his funeral train passed slowly through western North Carolina, thousands of his devoted people came down from the hills and sat around bonfires all night, waiting to pay their last respects to a beloved leader.


The Author's Notes:

1 Z. B. Vance to the "Editors of the Observer," June 16, 1862, quoted in Clement Dowd, Life of Zebulon B. Vance (Charlotte, 1897), 67.

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2 Vance to "Cousin Kate," September 6, 1854, a typewritten copy of which is filed in the Zebulon B. Vance Papers, 1853‑1869. (All manuscript sources for this monograph are filed in the North Carolina Historical Commission, Raleigh, North Carolina.)

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3 Richard H. Battle, "Z. B. Vance," in Literary and Historical Activities in North Carolina, 1900‑1905 (Raleigh, 1907), 379‑83.

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4 Ellis Letter Book, 1859‑1861, pp392, 393. For a satisfactory survey of the discussion over secession, see J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Reconstruction in North Carolina (New York, 1914), 13‑21; Samuel A. Ashe, History of North Carolina, 2 vols. (Raleigh, 1925), II.545‑46, 563‑69.

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5 Raleigh Weekly State Journal, February 12, 1862.

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6 Charlotte Western Democrat, March 25, 1862.

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7 Raleigh Standard, quoted in Charlotte Western Democrat, April 15, 1862.

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8 Fayetteville Observer, June 9, 16, 1862.

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9 Raleigh Standard, quoted in Ashe, History of North Carolina, II.716.

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10 Raleigh Standard, quoted in Raleigh Weekly State Journal, July 23, 1862.

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11 Raleigh Weekly State Journal, June 25, 1862.

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12 Ibid., August 6, 1862.

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13 Wilmington Journal, July 17, 1862.

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14 Weekly Raleigh Register, July 23, 30, 1862.

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15 Raleigh Weekly Standard, July 30, 1862; Fayetteville Observer, August 4, 1862.

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16 Wilmington Journal, June 26, 1862.

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17 Weekly Raleigh Register, July 16, 1862.

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18 Hamilton, Reconstruction in North Carolina, 43.

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19 Clark Letter Book, 1861‑1862, p408.

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20 Wilmington Journal, August 28, 1862; Hamilton, Reconstruction in North Carolina, 42 n.

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21 Wilmington Journal, August 28, 1862.

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22 North Carolina Legislative Documents, 1862‑1863, Doc. No. 18.

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23 See the Weekly Raleigh Register, September 10, 1862.

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24 The War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, 1880‑1901), Ser. I, Vol. XVIII.749‑50; Vol. LI, Pt. II, 643, 644.

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25 Ibid., Ser. IV, Vol. II, 180‑81.

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26 Journal of the House of Commons of North-Carolina, at its Session 1862‑'63, pp110, 111.

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27 Raleigh Weekly Standard, December 10, 17, 31, 1862, January 14, 1863.

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28 Quoted in ibid., January 14, 1863.

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29 Richmond Enquirer, quoted in Raleigh Weekly State Journal, December 30, 1862. See also the Richmond Whig, quoted in Wilmington Journal, January 29, 1863.

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30 Journal of the Senate of the General Assembly of the State of North-Carolina, at its Second Session, 1863, pp37, 38.

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31 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. XVIII, 1027‑28.

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32 J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton (ed.), The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, 2 vols. (Raleigh, 1909), I.246.

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33 General orders from the adjutant general's office, July 1, 1864, in the Z. B. Vance Papers, XVIII. See also North Carolina State Journal, Extra Sess., 1863, pp19, 31.

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34 Executive and Legislative Documents, Adjourned Sess., 1864, Doc. No. 1, pp21, 22.

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35 Ashe, History of North Carolina, II.823‑24, 855.

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36 Raleigh Daily Progress, July 7, 1863; Raleigh Weekly State Journal, July 15, 1863.

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37 Charlotte Western Democrat, September 23, 1862.

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38 Official Records, Ser. IV, Vol. III, 1101. About one fourth of all the conscripts came from North Carolina.

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39 Vance Letter Book, I.18.

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40 Vance to Secretary G. W. Randolph, in Official Records, Ser. IV, Vol. II, 114‑15; Vance to Jefferson Davis, ibid., 146‑48.

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41 Ibid., 154.

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42 Ibid., 375.

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43 Ibid., 458.

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44 Ibid., Ser. I, Vol. XXV, Pt. II, 814‑15.

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45 Vance Letter Book, I.274.

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46 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. LI, Pt. II, 709.

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47 Winston Western Sentinel, October 1, 1863; Raleigh Daily Progress, September 25, 1863.

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48 W. H. Battle to Vance, November 12, 1863, in Vance Letter Book, II.19.

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49 Public Laws . . . of North Carolina, Adjourned Sess., 1863, pp15, 16.

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50 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. XVIII, 860‑61.

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51 Ibid., Vol. LI, Pt. II, 706‑708.

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52 Dowd, Life of Zebulon B. Vance, 453.

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53 Ibid., 81.

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54 Vance Letter Book, I.258.

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55 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. LI, Pt. II, 644, 645; Ser. II, Vol. VII, 1205.

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56 Vance Letter Book, I.267, 268.

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57 Ibid., 264, 265.

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58 Ibid., 302‑309.

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59 60 North Carolina, 20 (1863).

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60 Raleigh Daily Progress, February 26, March 5, 1864.

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61 D. Loftin to Vance, February 27, 1864, in Governors' Papers, Zebulon B. Vance, 1864, February.

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62 Official Records, Ser. IV, Vol. III, 176‑77.

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63 Vance Letter Book, II.135.

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64 Official Records, Ser. IV, Vol. III, 197‑98.

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65 J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, "The North Carolina Courts and the Confederacy," in North Carolina Historical Review (Raleigh, 1924‑), IV (1927), 399.

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66 Dowd, Life of Zebulon B. Vance, 80.

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67 Official Records, Ser. IV, Vol. II, 466.

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68 Trinity College Historical Papers (Durham, 1897‑), XIV (1922), 8.

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69 North Carolina Public Laws, Adjourned Sess., 1863, pp11, 12.

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70 Official Records, Ser. IV, Vol. III, 754‑55; Hamilton, "The North Carolina Courts and the Confederacy," loc. cit., 400; Wilmington Journal, November 24, 1864.

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71 Raleigh Weekly Conservative, June 1, 1864.

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72 Official Records, Ser. IV, Vol. III, 684‑85.

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73 Vance Letter Book, I.21, 22.

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74 Official Records, Ser. IV, Vol. III, 691.

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75 Raleigh Weekly Standard, October 15, 1862.

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76 Acts and Resolutions of the General Assembly, Secret Sess. [1862], 71, 72.

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77 Dowd, Life of Zebulon B. Vance, 179, 180; Vance Letter Book, I.327, 328.

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78 Vance Letter Book, I, 327, 328, 346.

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79 Raleigh Weekly Confederate, July 6, 1864.

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80 Vance Letter Book, I.354, 355.

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81 Ibid., II.58‑60.

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82 Raleigh Weekly Conservative, April 20, 1864.

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83 Dowd, Life of Zebulon B. Vance, 71.

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84 Vance to John White, September 21, 1864, in Governors' Papers, 1864, September.

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85 Statements of Denniston & Co., January 6, May 12, 1866, May 27, 1867, in Z. B. Vance Papers, IX.

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86 Frank L. Owsley, State Rights in the Confederacy (Chicago, 1925), 141‑42.

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87 Journal of the Confederate Congress, 7 vols. (Washington, 1904‑1905), IV.209.

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88 Dowd, Life of Zebulon B. Vance, 70‑71.

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89 Vance Letter Book, I, 6, 7.

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90 Official Records, Ser. IV, Vol. II, 182; North Carolina Senate Journal, 1 Sess., 1862, pp30‑32, 34, 35.

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91 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. XVIII, 771‑73.

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92 Ibid., Vol. LIII, 324‑25.

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93 Vance Letter Book, I.95.

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94 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. XVIII, 895.

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95 Ibid., Vol. XXV, Pt. II, 701‑702.

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96 Vance Letter Book, I.8‑10.

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97 Hamilton (ed.), Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, I.215.

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98 Ibid., 311.

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99 Vance Letter Book, II.289.

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100 Official Records, Ser. IV, Vol. II, 182, 183.

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101 North Carolina Public Laws, Adjourned Sess., 1862‑1863, pp63, 64; ibid., 1863, pp26, 27; ibid., 1864, pp16‑18.

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102 See Raleigh Weekly Standard, June 24, 1863.

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103 Ibid., July 29, 1863.

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104 Raleigh Weekly State Journal, August 5, 1863.

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105 Raleigh Weekly Standard, August 12, 1863.

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106 I. M. Goff to Vance, February 9, 1864, in Governors' Papers, 1864, February.

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107 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. XXIII, Pt. II, 951.

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108 Weekly Raleigh Register, March 25, 1863.

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109 Ibid., June-August, 1863.

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110 Z. B. Vance Papers, II.

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111 Raleigh Daily Progress, September 11, 18, 1863.

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112 See Raleigh Weekly Standard, December 30, 1863.

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113 Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. LI, Pt. II, 807‑10.

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114 Vance to D. L. Swain, January 2, 1864, in the Z. B. Vance Papers, III.

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115 Raleigh Weekly Conservative, April 20, 1864.

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116 Raleigh Semi-Weekly Standard, April 20, 1864.

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117 Raleigh Weekly Conservative, May 4, 1864.

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118 Raleigh Weekly Standard, June 26, July 6, 1864.

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119 Ibid., May 18, 1864.

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120 Ibid., May 25, 1864.

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121 See Raleigh Weekly Conservative, July 6, 1864.

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122 Returns from the army were added to those of the counties to make the total vote.

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123 North Carolina Senate Journal, Sess. of 1864‑1865, p75; Hamilton, Reconstruction in North Carolina, 64.

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124 Vance Letter Book, II.219‑21.

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125 Proclamation of August 24, 1864, in Z. B. Vance Papers, V.

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126 Vance Letter Book, II.365‑71.

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127 Battle, "Z. B. Vance," loc. cit., 393‑94.

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128 Cornelia A. Spencer, The Last Ninety Days of the War in North Carolina (New York, 1866), 142‑62; Dowd, Life of Zebulon B. Vance, 482‑88.

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129 Proclamation of April 28, 1865, in Z. B. Vance Papers, VII.

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130 Dowd, Life of Zebulon B. Vance, 95‑101.


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