This Week in the Civil War - 635

Aug 14, 2013

On Thursday, August 13, 1863 a Confederate army chaplain wrote to President Jefferson Davis, expressing the feelings of many in and out of the western Confederate armies “that every disaster that has befallen us in the West has grown out of the fact that weak and inefficient men have been kept in power.”

The letter criticized Davis for “his astonishing prejudices and adherence to weak favorites” such as General John Pemberton.  Urging Davis “to relieve us of these drones and pigmies,” Pemberton was accused of illegally trading cotton and tobacco with the Northern armies.

Critics increasingly denounced both Davis and his wife Varina, who was said to influence ‘promotions for dandyish young men over tested veterans because the former were “willing to pay court and smirk and dance attendance” on her.