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North Carolinians in the Era of the Civil War and Reconstruction$
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Paul D. Escott

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832226

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837269_escott

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The Order of Nature Would Be Reversed: Soldiers, Slavery, and the North Carolina Gubernatorial Election of 1864

The Order of Nature Would Be Reversed: Soldiers, Slavery, and the North Carolina Gubernatorial Election of 1864

Chapter:
(p.101) The Order of Nature Would Be Reversed: Soldiers, Slavery, and the North Carolina Gubernatorial Election of 1864
Source:
North Carolinians in the Era of the Civil War and Reconstruction
Author(s):

Chandra Manning

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807837269_escott.7

This chapter discusses the challenges faced by North Carolina governor Zebulon Baird Vance in 1864. The Civil War engulfed Vance's nation; weather, labor shortages, and the presence of armies played havoc with harvests; and food and supply shortfalls afflicted his people. On top of it all, a peace movement swept Vance's state, and the gubernatorial election loomed. Contesting Vance for the governor's office was William Woods Holden, editor of a Raleigh newspaper called the Weekly Standard and organizer of the peace movement, who proposed stopping the war by negotiation. For a time, Holden seemed so sure to win that Vance made halfhearted plans to return to the army following his probable defeat. Among North Carolina soldiers, the popularity of Holden's peace stance led Private George Williams to predict Holden would sweep his regiment “by a large majority.” Yet once the results were tallied, Vance won easily with 80 percent of the total vote, including a stunning 87.9 percent of the soldier vote.

Keywords:   North Carolina governor, Zebulon Baird Vance, Civil War, peace movement, gubernatorial election

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