Degree Name

PHD, Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Department of History

Advisory Committee

Committee Chair - James P. Jones

Committee Member - Jonathan Grant

Committee Member - Maxine D. Jones

Committee Member - Patrick M. O'Sullivan

Committee Member - Peter Garretson




This dissertation is a comparative study of the leadership of two Confederate governors, John Milton of Florida and Joseph E. Brown of Georgia. It examines their relations with the Confederate government as well as relations between the two governors and their respective states. Surprisingly, there are no studies of state-to-state relations during the Civil War, few published in depth accounts of relations between Confederate governors and Richmond, and no published biography of Governor John Milton.

Milton and Brown are the focus of the dissertation for three reasons: as the two longest serving Confederate governors of the war they provide the opportunity for a study of two Confederate governors whose administrations spanned virtually the entire period of the national struggle; as governors of neighboring states they often had reason to interact with one another, a fact which makes it possible to examine the wartime relationship between their states; a third reason for a comparison is the difference in their approaches to their relationship with the Confederate government.

Brown opposed any Confederate policy that he perceived to be a violation of state rights. He protested a wide array of Confederate wartime measures, including conscription. Brown

opposed the leadership of Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, whom he accused of trampling on the constitutional rights of the states. Milton, on the other hand, was one of the most loyal Confederate governors. He supported conscription and embraced most of Davis’ military and political decisions. Milton advocated Confederate unity rather than division over constitutional issues.

Through a comparison of Milton and Brown, this dissertation will attempt to contribute to the ongoing historical debate about the significance of Confederate-state relations. It will also hopefully act as a beginning for the further study of interstate relations during the Civil War, an aspect of the conflict that has yet to receive much attention from historians.


Open Access

Included in

History Commons