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Morale in the Western Confederacy, 1864-1865: Home Front and Battlefield

Morale in the Western Confederacy, 1864-1865: Home Front and Battlefield

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Date: May 2006
Creator: Clampitt, Brad R.
Description: This dissertation is a study of morale in the western Confederacy from early 1864 until the Civil War's end in spring 1865. It examines when and why Confederate morale, military and civilian, changed in three important western states, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Focusing on that time frame allows a thorough examination of the sources, increases the opportunity to produce representative results, and permits an assessment of the lingering question of when and why most Confederates recognized, or admitted, defeat. Most western Confederate men and women struggled for their ultimate goal of southern independence until Federal armies crushed those aspirations on the battlefield. Until the destruction of the Army of Tennessee at Franklin and Nashville, most western Confederates still hoped for victory and believed it at least possible. Until the end they drew inspiration from battlefield developments, but also from their families, communities, comrades in arms, the sacrifices already endured, simple hatred for northerners, and frequently from anxiety for what a Federal victory might mean to their lives. Wartime diaries and letters of western Confederates serve as the principal sources. The dissertation relies on what those men and women wrote about during the war - military, political, social, or otherwise - ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Break-up of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Army, 1865

The Break-up of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Army, 1865

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Date: May 2001
Creator: Clampitt, Brad R.
Description: Unlike other Confederate armies at the conclusion of the Civil War, General Edmund Kirby Smith's Trans-Mississippi Army disbanded, often without orders, rather than surrender formally. Despite entreaties from military and civilian leaders to fight on, for Confederate soldiers west of the Mississippi River, the surrender of armies led by Generals Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston ended the war. After a significant decline in morale and discipline throughout the spring of 1865, soldiers of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department chose to break-up and return home. As compensation for months of unpaid service, soldiers seized both public and private property. Civilians joined the soldiers to create disorder that swept many Texas communities until the arrival of Federal troops in late June.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries