The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978

Book Reviews
Biographical Register of the Confederate Congress. By Ezra J. Warner
and W. Buck Yearns. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University
Press, 1975. Pp. xxiii + 39. Appendices, bibliography. $15.)
The lives of the members of the Confederate Congress spanned the
period from the first year of Washington's administration until the
White House years of Warren G. Harding. During those decades, the
careers of the 267 men who served in the national legislature of the CSA
were typical of the times. Like their contemporaries in the pre-war
South, the overwhelming majority had been born in the older states
along the Atlantic Coast, with almost one-fourth of the group coming
from Virginia alone. Only four were foreign-born. In general, their
antebellum achievements were filled with more luster than the postwar
years, which for them were marked more by the nostalgia of the "Lost
Cause" than with the optimism of the "New South." While these lead-
ers varied in many characteristics, such as age, economic status, political
philosophy, number of slaves owned, and attitudes about Jefferson
Davis, they were similar in that a large proportion of the group were
lawyers and that both they and their descendants attached little impor-
tance to the fact that they had served in the Confederate Congress. A
number even failed to mention such service in their reminiscences. The
epitome of this inclination, however, came in the case of Marcus H.
Macwillie, a delegate from the Arizona Territory whose name was often
spelled in a number of variations, who "emerged from total obscurity
in 186o by way of a brief notice in the Mesilla (N.M.) Times offering
his legal services, and dropped completely out of sight with the collapse
of the Confederacy in 1865; not even his age or his birthplace is on rec-
ord" (p. xxi).
Seventeen Texans served among these compartively unknown repre-
sentatives and senators, first in Montgomery and later in Richmond.
Like their associates, they included the more notable like John H.
Reagan of Palestine and Louis T. Wigfall of Marshall as well as the
more obscure, such as Stephen A. Darden of Gonzales County, Caleb
C. Herbert of Columbus, and John A. Wilcox of San Antonio. Only
one of the Texans was not a native of the South, Franklin B. Sexton

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 28, 2016.

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