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 21-25 of 41

  • John Jones Pettus

    Photo of John Pettus

    Governor of Mississippi at the time of the Civil War, John Pettus was a dedicated secessionist who boldly proclaimed: "I am Mississippian to the Core. My ancestors are buried upon her hillsides. I am, and have been and ever expect to be within her borders. Whatever may happen, I am with her Heart and Soul." Read more

  • John Milton

    Photo of John Milton

    John Milton, the son and grandson of Revolutionary and War of 1812 veterans and a descendent of the famed poet of the same name, was elected Governor of Florida during the election of 1860. An ardent southern supporter, he may have survived the battles of the Civil War, but could he survive the bitter agony of defeat? Read more

  • John Willis Ellis

    Photo of John Willis Ellis

    Governor John Willis Ellis wasn't a secessionist but as leader of North Carolina and a Democrat, he knew he had to stand with his state. Read more

  • Judah P. Benjamin

    Photo of Judah Benjamin

    A close personal friend of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Judah P. Benjamin served the Confederate cause as its Attorney General, Secretary of War and Secretary of State. Following the surrender of the Confederacy Benjamin fled to England and spent the rest of his life in exile, never returning to the United States. Read more

  • Louis Wigfall

    Photo of Senator Louis Trezevant Wigfall

    Ardent secessionist Louis Wigfall was one of the most hated men in the North in 1861, his name a byword for treason. On the eve of war, he was a United States senator from Texas staunchly set against compromise with the North. After a brief military career, he became a Confederate senator and opposed the central government of Jefferson Davis. Read more

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