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The Confederate Peace Resolutions and Negotiations of 1864 – 1865

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by jgoodguy, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    A PDF for reference purposes. Useful for anyone studying the CSA attempts at peace in the latter part of the war.

    The Confederate Peace Resolutions and Negotiations of 1864 – 1865

     

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  3. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    jgoodguy,

    Thanks for this bit of interesting history.

    Made for a very good read.

    Appreciate you taking the time and effort to post it for the membership here.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
     
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  4. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

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    Interesting link, thanks. I chewed through the "congress talk" a little slowly.

    The problem is the two sides wanted things that were mutually exclusive.
     
  5. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    This document makes it very evident, especially from the CSA side.
     
  6. trice

    trice Major

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    The story of those negotiations reminds me of the talk of the stories about Japan trying to negotiate a surrender through Stalin and the USSR in 1945. The Japanese really did send a mission to Moscow. The US was reading the Japanese diplomatic coded messages (the IJN changed their codes during the war, but the diplomats were still using the same codes we had broken in 1941 until Congress disclosed the news after the war that we had the codes). FDR knew that one of the key membersof the mission, a Japanese General, had been sent with instructions to propose to Stalin and Molotov that they switch sides, attacking the US and Britain in Europe while Japan fought on in the Pacific. So much for Japanese ideas of "peace".

    Davis sent those commissioners with instructions he knew would make the talks useless. Lincoln's position was reasonable and might even be called generous after four years of war; the Davis position was incredibly delusional. As soon as Spring brought decent campaigning weather to Virginia, the Confederate house of cards was going to collapse.

    Tim
     
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  7. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    The bottom line was independence, nothing else was acceptable. I suppose Davis was willing to fight to the last ARNV infantryman for that.

    IMHO slavery was not a real issue aside from independence as the Southerners left the Union to protect it. Returning to the Union under the best of possibilities, would simply return to the status quo antebellum. Might as well go down in defeat. Returning in the realities of 1865 was simply not a possibility.
     
  8. Carronade

    Carronade Sergeant Major

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    Same old same old - why don't those nasty people give us what we demand so we can have peace?
     
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  9. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Captain

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    From Davis' perspective the Peace Talks, were a political ploy to discredit Stephens and other soft war southerners.
    Lincoln saw that any meeting would be fruitless and at first refused to agree to any such meeting that promised nothing as far as ending the war. But, he later allowed himself to be convinced to meet with the southerners, probably, because Lincoln like personal contact with friends and enemies and he was curious to see and talk with actual representatives of the forces that he had been in combat with for over 3 yrs., even with no expectation that anything of substance could be achieved.
     
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  10. Red Harvest

    Red Harvest 2nd Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    Since each of the Confederate States considered themselves sovereign, it isn't even apparent that any agreement reached would be accepted by the individual states. They could instead hold out seeking "a better deal." Texas seemed to have that in mind reading the resolutions in the link...

    Also it is amusing that the CSA was finally coming to the idea that it should negotiate in late Feb. 1865 to mutually independent nations with trade, transport, and defense agreements...something it should have started doing in earnest in late 1860 early 1861 rather than going to war. Doing that might very well have gained them the independent slave republic they claimed was their goal.
     
  11. KeyserSoze

    KeyserSoze 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    The amount of hubris it took to send a delegation to Lincoln in January 1865 to say "Well, you ready to surrender yet?" absolutely staggers the imagination.
     
  12. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Captain

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    Well, as previously noted, Davis certainly entertained no illusions of any practical results, other than discrediting his political opponents(Alex Stephens, et. al.,) and he made doubly sure the talks would fail, by taking any discussion of reunification off the table.
     

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