Jefferson Davis as Secretary of War: a reappraisal
Treadwell, James Alan
Gruber, Ira D.
Master of Arts
Jefferson Davis's biographers have credited him with responsibility for most of the changes to the army during his administration of the War Department: experiments with camels on the western frontier, increases to the pay and strength of the army, improvements to the United States Military Academy, development of new rifled weapons and infantry tactics to complement them, revision of army regulations, and a commission to observe the Crimean War. His biographers also claim that while he may have allowed sectional politics to enter into his efforts to secure selection of a southern route for the transcontinental railroad, his other actions were totally without regard to sectional considerations. Currently available evidence indicates that Davis was not nearly so important as his biographers have claimed, and that his southern sympathies were a major, if not determining, factor in many of his decisions.