Daniel, John Moncure

Life Span
to
Full name
John Moncure Daniel
Place of Birth
Birth Date Certainty
Exact
Death Date Certainty
Exact
Gender
Male
Race
White
Sectional choice
South
Origins
Slave State
No. of Spouses
0
Family
John Moncure Daniel (father), Elizabeth Mitchell (mother)
Occupation
Diplomat
Journalist
Political Parties
Democratic
Other Affiliations
Fire-Eaters (Secessionists)
Government
Pierce Administration (1853-57)
Diplomat
Military
Confederate Army

John Moncure Daniel (American National Biography)

Scholarship
At the outset of the Civil War, Daniel expressed confidence in Confederate president Jefferson Davis and advocated a strong central government and an aggressive military strategy. "No power in Executive hands can be too great, no discretion too absolute, at such moments as these. We need a dictator" (Examiner, 8 May 1861). He urged the adoption of conscription, traditionally unpopular in American culture, as the most judicious way to recruit soldiers from all classes of the population. By early 1862, frustrated with the "fatal paralysis" of the army and Davis's refusal to include him in his councils, Daniel turned against the administration with a vengeance. He began to attack Davis personally, accusing him of meddling excessively in military affairs, appointing unqualified cronies to his cabinet and to military posts, and in general mismanaging the war effort. Nothing but "the extinction of the dynasty of ignorant and imbecile politicians who have long monopolized place and power" would bring southern victory, Daniel claimed (Examiner, 15 Apr. 1862). One particularly biting attack on Confederate secretary of the treasury Edward A. Elmore in 1864 resulted in a duel--one of nine Daniel fought in his lifetime--in which Daniel was wounded in the foot. Like other harsh critics of the Confederate government, he distinguished between the Confederate administration and the cause of southern independence, to which he remained deeply committed.
Susan Wyly-Jones, "Daniel, John Moncure," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00293.html.
How to Cite This Page: "Daniel, John Moncure," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/5528.