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CSA SealAS THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR OF 1861-1865 ground on into 1864 there was continuing pressure within both the North and the South to negotiate some kind of peace settlement. There were factions within both governments that were adamant that peace negotiations should be pursued at any cost.
      There were such peace overtures early in the conflict, but  the “Peace Commission” of 1861 obviously failed. Confederate Vice-President Alexander Stephens mentioned in his post-war account that there was a proposed peace conference in 1863, which did not materialize. Critics on both sides maintained that the enemy did not want peace. This was obviously not true. But, on the Confederate side, the majority of representatives in the House and Senate maintained that they were fighting for their independence and that independence would not be compromised. Nevertheless, the peace resolutions made public by the Confederate House of Representatives show that the Confederacy did desire peace.
      Assembled here are documents from two sources: one is the set of six peace resolutions printed by the Confederate House of Representatives that are part of the Confederate imprints in the Rosanna Blake Collection at Marshall University (Parrish & Willingham numbers: 745, 746, 747, 750, 788 and 817). The other consists of excerpts from the Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865, published by the U.S. Government Printing Office in 1905, giving a chronology of events in the Confederate Congress.
     

 EVENTS IN THE CONFEDERATE CONGRESS ABOUT THE HAMPTON ROADS PEACE CONFERENCE


     December 16, 1864

Mr. Josiah Turner’s resolution tendering peace
     December 16, 1864 Mr. Ethelbert Barksdale’s amendment to Turner's resolution
     December 17, 1864 The House considers Turner's resolution
     December 19, 1864 Mr. LaFayette McMullin’s amendment to Barksdale amendment
     January 10, 1865 (Secret) Mr. John Adams Gilmer’s joint resolution
     January 11, 1865 Mr. William P. Miles’ resolution
     January 12, 1865 (Secret) Resolutions from the Committee on Foreign Affairs
     January 19, 1865 Joint Resolutions from Texas Legislature
     January 23, 1865 Mr. James T. Leach’s resolutions
     January 30, 1865 Joint Resolution “Constituting basis for negotiations for peace”
     February 3, 1865 The Hampton Roads Conference took place on this date
     February 6, 1865 Letter from President Jefferson Davis
     February 20, 1865 Mr. John Perkins, Jr. presents resolution from the Committee on Foreign Affairs
     February 24, 1865 House considers joint resolution “Expressing the sense of Congress”
   

ALL THE CONFEDERATE CONGRESSIONANL DOCUMENTS ON THE HAMPTON ROADS PEACE CONFERENCE (PDF file)
UNION CORRESPONDENCE ON THE HAMPTON ROADS PEACE CONFERENCE (PDF file)
NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE ON THE HAMPTON ROADS PEACE CONFERENCE (PDF  file)

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS   ——   INTRODUCTION and SOURCES   ——    RETURN
 Created by Jack Dickinson and designed by Lisle Brown, Curator Special Collections
© 2010, Special Collections, Marshall University

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