Confederate culture

THE SOUTHERN PRESS

The Southern Illustrated News was one of the few publications read throughout the South. It was modeled on

Northern illustrated newspapers such as Harper's Weekly. Once Union forces interrupted Southern mail service, the newspaper's arrival in Confederate homes became irregular.

Upright collar

Upright collar

Satin vest

Cameo bracelet

Satin vest

Confederacy And Union

The confederate states of america existed for four years. It came into being when officials of the seceded states met to elect a leader in the spring of 1861. It died when Union troops occupied its capital city, Richmond, Virginia, in the spring of 1865. During those years, the people of this rebel nation tried to set up the institutions that citizens of more mature countries enjoyed. They chose a president and a vice president, elected members to a House of Representatives and a Senate, set up a Supreme Court, and appointed representatives to foreign governments. They also printed their own currency, raised a national flag, took the song "Dixie" as their national anthem, and adopted a constitution identical to the United States's document — except that the Confederate constitution contained an amendment guaranteeing the existence of slavery. The Confederacy also had national newspapers and magazines, supported theaters in its big towns, published patriotic poetry, and created its own legends and heroes.

THE CONFEDERACY'S FIRST COUPLE

Jefferson Davis was the only president the Southern nation ever had. This is a copy of one of his official portraits. He was elected to a six-year term. Before taking that office, he was a U.S. senator, a member of President Franklin Pierce's cabinet, and a Mexican War hero. As a young man, he married the daughter of future U.S. President Zachary Taylor. His bride died just months after their wedding. Varina Howell Davis was the First Lady of the Confederate States of America. She was Davis's second wife and mother of their six children. She gave birth to one of those offspring in the Confederate White House in Richmond. Following her /> husband's death in 1889, /A she moved to New York ' City and supported herself as a professional writer.

Copy of an official portrait of Varina Davis

Cameo bracelet

Varina Davis Portrait

Copy of an official portrait of Varina Davis

AT PLAY DURING THE WAR

Southerners tried to amuse themselves during the war years with games, books, and theater. These Confederate women are escaping their worries by playing a game of croquet on the lawn of their Virginia home, Patellus House.

WORTHLESS MONEY

At the start of the war, the Confederate government backed up its paper currency with gold kept in Southern and European banks. It also counted on backing up its money by exchanging cotton for gold in European markets. As the war went on, however, much of the South's gold was spent and it became hard to ship cotton abroad. Soon, food and clothing that had sold for $2 in the South cost $20. This was not because those things had really become much more expensive. It was because Confederate currency gradually became worth less and less as the conflict continued.

A SOUTHERN ARISTOCRAT

Caroline Deslonde was the daughter of an influential Creole plantation owner in Louisiana.

Shortly before the Civil War began, she married Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, one of the Confederacy's first hero-generals. Caroline was a member of what was known as the "Southern Aristocracy," the wealthy class of Southerners that had a strong influence on politics and society. Many working-class Confederates disliked these people and blamed them for the war and its hardships. After the conflict, the Southern Aristocracy was less prosperous, but it still remained influential in society and government.

SOUTHERN INDUSTRY

Some historians have said the Confederacy was doomed because it lacked sophisticated industry. The Augusta, Georgia, gunpowder factor)' shown here illustrates that point. A material called niter was needed to manufacture explosives. This ingredient could not be obtained in quantity from Southern mines. Instead, factory chemists got niter by processing the contents of chamber pots they had collected throughout Augusta. Some locals later joked that they gave "their all" for the cause.

WARTIME SUBSTITUTES

This is the dress coat of Confederate General D. W. Adams. Regulations called for his uniform to be made of gray wool, but this coat is made of denim, the same cloth that is used to make blue jeans. In the war's last days, most Southerners wore and ate things made of substitute items because the Confederacy could not obtain good raw materials. Imitation coffee was made from the chicory plant. Flour was made from ground acorns. Quality items, such as real sugar, salt, and spices, were saved to be used as commodities for barter. In barter, people did not purchase necessities with money. They swapped valuable items for the things that they needed.

President Jefferson Davis

President Jefferson Davis

Vice President Alexander Stephens

Vice President Alexander Stephens

Mrs. Lucy Pickens, First Lady of South Carolina

Secretary of War George W.

Mrs. Lucy Pickens, First Lady of South Carolina

Secretary of War George W.

General Thomas "Stoneivall" Jackson

General Thomas "Stoneivall" Jackson

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