Actions & Repercussions
Confederate Support of Lincoln's Re-Election


    Reading through the Augusta Constitutionalist in November of 1864, quotes discovered therein had raised the eye brow of the Confederate President. Alexander Stephens, the Vice President of the Confederacy had given the public the impression that Jefferson Davis may have done more to ensure the recent re-election of President Abraham Lincoln instead of supporting the Northern Peace Party Platform under George B. McClellan.

     Davis was aghast and wrote to Stephens for an explanation to his comments. The letter was sent to Georgia where Stephens had been at the time, but did not catch up to him until arriving back in Richmond, Virginia in mid December. Upon receipt of the correspondence the Confederate Vice President kept his response focused on two points rather than fruitlessly listing all of which he'd been aware of.

     During the Battle of Ocean Pond, Florida on February 20, 1864, Mr. David F. Cable had been captured and sent to Andersonville, Georgia. He had gotten permission to open correspondence with Stephens in Richmond, stating that he spoke for the Northern Peace Party and had authority to open conference with the South regarding the party's plan for peace. Mr. Cable had requested parole, exchange and an opportunity to meet with the vice president for such a purpose.

     Stephens immediately notified the President of the matter, who was not impressed, and would not allow the conference without a staff officer performing an investigation into the legitimacy of his claim.

     Weary of waiting, the Georgian wrote to the Commandant of Andersonville inquiring into having Mr. Cable sent to him, but a reply came back informing him that he could not be released, his authority was found to be unsatisfactory. Attempting to see the findings of Davis' investigation, the Vice President was informed by Andersonville that there was no investigation done.

    Mr. Stephens urged Davis to open a prompt investigation on Cable's case, however, while this was being done, Andersonville notified the government of Mr. Cable's death on the 23rd of July 1864. Stephens was furious over the news and drew the conclusion that the President's lack of appropriate action was stabilizing the Lincoln ticket.

     Later on in Columbia, South Carolina during a speech of Mr. Davis' which had later been published, his word and tone painted a picture of destroying the northern aggressors, willing to fight until the last man of the south was gone. Davis was under the impression that the only way to make a spaniel civil was to whip him.

     The reply that Vice President Stevens had sent pained him greatly. He had wished the President would have simply kept his mouth shut rather than to give the Peace Democrats up north the impression the south could care less about their platform.

     The mistakes Mr. Davis made by lashing out emotionally in public seemed the Confederate President was looking forward to Mr. Lincoln's second term, mistakes which certainly caught the eye and ear of his Vice President. By not keeping his own mouth in check, Mr. Davis received a first hand lesson on the word perception, and his prideful actions left the world to think that even the south understood the Union was going to stand as one nation once again.


Dan (Aldie) Daniel Moran
© 2002

Editors Note: Mr.Moran is a feature writer on the US-Civilwar.com writers staff. He may be contacted with your questions, ideas and requests at dmoran@us-civilwar.net