Photo of Confederate President Jefferson Davis

An enormous range of beliefs flowed across the political landscape of pre-Civil War America, and this is reflected in the rise and fall of a dozen different political parties that tried and failed to find a unifying political strategy that would end sectional strife. Only the events of April 12, 1861 would clarify this landscape and politicians of every description welcomed it… at first.

People from Politicians

Showing results 16-20 of 44

  • Humphrey Marshall

    Photo of Humphrey Marshall

    Humphrey Marshall was a congressman from Kentucky in both the United States and Confederate States Congresses who had a brief, though unsuccessful, military career early in the war. Read more

  • Isaac Murphy

    Photo of Isaac Murphy

    Isaac Murphy was a Southern Unionist and Arkansas State Legislator who fled his state after the Legislature voted to secede. He was elected Governor of Arkansas in 1864 after Union troops reestablished Federal authority. Read more

  • James A. Garfield

    Photo of James Garfield

    James Garfield was a Republican Party politician from Ohio who was rapidly promoted to major general in the Union army in the early months of the Civil War, and later elected President of the United States. He was the second U.S. president to be assassinated. Read more

  • James Henry Hammond

    Photo of James Henry Hammond

    James Henry Hammond was one of the South's most outspoken defenders of slavery, popularizing the phrase "Cotton is King" and arguing for nullification, states' rights and advancing the Mudsill Theory. Read more

  • John C. Breckinridge

    Photo of John Breckinridge

    In 1856, John C. Breckinridge became the youngest vice president in U.S. history as the running mate of James Buchanan and four years later he lost the presidency to Abraham Lincoln. Siding with the Confederacy despite his native Kentucky remaining in the Union, Breckinridge rose to the rank of major general and became Confederate Secretary of War during the final weeks of the conflict. Read more

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