Confederate and Federal Government Officials
Civil War Photographs
By Melissa Kelly, About.com Guide
On December 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. They were soon followed by others until by June 8, 1861, eleven states had seceded and joined the Confederate States of America. The federal government led by President Abraham Lincoln never accepted the secession. According to the National Park Service, Lincoln believed that the states did not have the right to secede. He believed that if the government allowed secession, it would eventually 'disintegrate into anarchy'. Further, it was important for the future of democratic nations that this experiment of a government founded on the idea of consent of the governed must survive.
Obviously, the South felt differently. The first Congress of the states who had seceded met on February 4, 1861 in Montgomery, Alabama. By February 8th, the title Confederate States of America (CSA) had officially been accepted. The CSA wrote a Constitution which was structured on the US Constitution. However, it explicitly included the right for individuals to own slaves, even though it did forbid the slave trade from continuing. Following is the preamble of the Constitution:
We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity - invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God - do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America.
Following are a selection of images and detailed information about individuals from both the federal and confederate governments. These individuals set the government policy that shaped the course of the US Civil War.
Confederate Government Officials
Federal Government Officials
Abraham Lincoln - President - 1861-1865
Hannibal Hamlin, Vice President - 1861-1865
Andrew Johnson, Vice President - 1865
William H. Seward, Secretary of State
Simon Cameron, Secretary of War - 1861
Edwin M. Stanton, US Attorney General - 1860-61; Secretary of War 1862-68
Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury
Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy
John P. Usher, Secretary of the Interior
Allan Pinkerton, Head of Military Intelligence