Today we are happy to welcome back guest author Philip Leigh. Philip received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology, and received his MBA from Northwestern University. He has written 22 articles for the New York Times Disunion. In 2013 Philip authored his first Civil War book Co. Aytch: Annotated and Illustrated; which is an illustrated and annotated version of the memoirs of Confederate Private Sam Watkins. Next month Westholme Publishing will release his newest work titled Trading With the Enemy, which is about intersectional commerce between the North and South during the War. Philip also authored self-published an illustrated and annotated version of Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Fremantle’s Civil War diary titled Three Months in the Southern States.
First, after the fall of Vicksburg the previous summer federal gunboat patrols on the Mississippi River prevented Texas beef from reaching hungry Rebel armies on the left bank. Florida cattle became a prime substitute for Texas beeves. Second, the lightly defended state was a promising area to recruit emancipated slaves into the Union army. Third, an occupying federal army would give Lincoln justification to readmit the state into the Union on terms almost assuring him of Florida’s delegate and electoral votes in the 1864 presidential nominating convention and subsequent general election. A December 1863 Lincoln proclamation authorized former Confederate states to be readmitted into the Union once a mere ten percent of their 1860 voters signed a new allegiance oath. In response a small contingent of Union-loyal Floridians invited Lincoln’s private secretary, John Hay, to become the state’s Congressional representative should it gain readmission. Continue reading