Confederate Cabinet Departments and Secretaries

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About the Book

Thousands of books have been written covering every aspect of the Civil War. Yet scant attention has been given to the civilian government of the Confederacy. The most recent book on the subject was published in 1944, and what little has been written since is scattered among various journals and magazines.
Drawing on scholarship old and new, this book provides a detailed overview of each of the Confederacy’s six executive departments, along with biographical sketches of each man who held a position in Jefferson Davis’s cabinet, from Secretary of State to Postmaster General.

About the Author(s)

Dennis L. Peterson is an historian and editor with numerous articles published in journals and magazines. A former history teacher, his areas of interest include Southern history, the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II. He lives in Taylors, South Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Dennis L. Peterson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 296
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos & illustrations, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6521-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2514-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

Acknowledgments 5

Introduction: The Birth of the Confederate Nation 7

1. Jefferson Davis’s Selection of a Cabinet 11

Part I. Justice Department

2. Overview 29

3. Judah P. Benjamin 40

4. Thomas Bragg 47

5. Thomas Watts 50

6. Wade Keyes, Jr. 54

7. George Davis 56

Part II. Treasury Department

8. Overview 61

9. Christopher Memminger 73

10. George Trenholm 79

11. John Reagan 83

Part III. War Department

12. Overview 89

13. Leroy Pope Walker 130

14. Judah P. Benjamin 139

15. George Randolph 143

16. James Seddon 148

17. John C. Breckinridge 154

Part IV. Navy Department

18. Overview 165

19. Stephen Mallory 186

Part V. Post Office Department

20. Overview 197

21. John Reagan 202

Part VI. State Department

22. Overview 211

23. Robert Toombs 226

24. Robert M. T. Hunter 237

25. Judah P. Benjamin 242

Conclusion. A Final Assessment of Davis’s Cabinet 245

Appendix A. The Constitution of the Confederate States of America 251

Appendix B. Governors of the Confederate States 262

Chapter Notes 263

Bibliography 275

Index 283


Book Reviews & Awards

“valuable…well researched and well written…offers readers much helpful information on the inner workings of the Confederate government”—Civil War News.