This Week in the Civil War - 591

Jun 13, 2013

On Friday, June 12, 1863 Confederate Vice-President Alexander Stephens at home in Crawfordville, Georgia offered by letter to President Jefferson Davis to undertake a mission to Washington, D. C. to effect “a correct understanding and agreement between the two Governments.” 

Stephens acknowledged that no adjustment could be made that did not admit the right of each state “to determine its own destiny.”  The Vice-President, disenchanted with the Confederate national government he helped to create, had publicly criticized the Davis government over the issue of states’ rights. 

Davis had little use for Stephens but recognized the advantage of having an emissary on site when Lee invaded the American North.  Davis authorized Stephens’ mission but defined it as a mission of humanity which had few, if any, “political aspects.”