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The Papers of Jefferson Davis: Volume 09, January 1863-September 1863
de Jefferson Davis, Lynda Lasswell Crist (Editor), Mary Seaton Dix (Editor), Kenneth H. Williams (Editor)
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?The New Year . . . comes in auspiciously for us,? Jefferson Davis proclaimed in January, 1863, and indeed there were grounds for optimism within the Confederacy. By September, however, various hopes for ending the con?ict with the North had given way to the harsh realities of a prolonged war, increasingly con?ned to southern soil. Although Davis suffered poor health during much of the nine-month period, he remained an active and vital leader. Volume 9 of The Papers of Jefferson Davis gives a vivid picture of the tasks he faced. Military matters consumed most of Davis? time. Already strained relations with Joseph E. Johnston worsened in the spring, and he was eventually relieved of his overall command of the western armies. Surrenders at Vicksburg and Port Hudson ended Confederate access to the Mississippi River, and in the East, Robert E. Lee?s stunning victory at Chancellorsville was blotted out by bloody repulse south of Gettysburg. Correspondence from Europe reveals what Davis knew of the Erlanger loan and the diminishing chances of French and British intervention. As problems for the Confederacy mounted, discontent grew. Davis received complaints from across the young country, the conscription system being of particular concern. In April he saw ?rsthand the unhappiness over limited resources as he took to the streets to help calm the Richmond bread riot. Over 2,000 documents, many never before published, are included in Volume 9. Eighty-one are printed with annotation, 242 more in full text, and about 1,750 others are calendared in summary form. They show Davis ?ghting to maintain morale and military cohesion during one of the Confederacy?s most dif?cult periods.
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