Letter from North Carolina Governor
Zebulon Vance to Confederate President
Jefferson Davis, 30 December 1863.

Questions to Consider

1. What action did Vance advocate and why?
2. What does this letter suggest about popular feelings regarding
the war?

State of North Carolina
Executive Department
Raleigh, Dec. 30th. 1863
His Excellency President Davis:

My dear Sir:
After a careful consideration of all the sources of discontent in
North Carolina, I have concluded that it will be perhaps impossible
to remove it except by making some effort at negotiation with the
enemy. The recent action of the Federal House of Representatives,
though meaning very little, has greatly excited the public hope that
the Northern mind is looking towards peace. I am promised by all
men who advocate this course, that if fair terms are rejected it will
tend greatly to strengthen and intensify the war feeling and will
rally all classes to a known, as demanding only to be let alone yet
it seems to me that for the sake of humanity, without having any
weak or improper motives attributed to us, we might with propriety
constantly tender negotiations.

In doing so we would keep conspicuously before the world a
disclaimer of our responsibility for the great slaughter of our race
and convince the humblest of our citizens, who sometimes forget
the actual situation, that the government is tender of their lives and
happiness and would not prolong their sufferings unnecessarily one
moment. Though Statesmen might regard this as useless, the people
will not, and I think our cause will be strengthened thereby. I have
not suggested the method of these negotiations or their terms, the
effort to obtain peace is the principal matter. Allow me to beg your
earnest consideration of this suggestion.

Very respectfully yours
Z. B. Vance

Joe A. Mobley, ed. The Papers of Zebulon Baird Vance: Volume 2, 1863
(Raleigh, NC: State Department and Archives, 1995), 357.

200 Substitutes Wanted!


Questions to Consider

1. What does this poster suggest about the fairness of the draft?
2. How does the poster try to make serving in the army attractive?