Zebulon Baird Vance

Vance, Zebulon Baird, 1830–94, American political leader, Confederate governor of North Carolina (1862–65) in the Civil War, b. Buncombe co., N.C. A lawyer and a Whig, he served in the state legislature (1854) and in Congress (1858–61). Opposed to secession until President Lincoln's call for troops, he promptly urged support of the Confederacy. He distinguished himself in the Seven Days battles (June–July, 1862) before assuming the governorship. Vance was loyal to the Southern cause, but for him the interests of North Carolina superseded those of the Confederate government of Richmond. After the war he was arrested but soon released. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1870, he was denied his seat. In 1876 he was again elected governor, but resigned in 1878 to enter the Senate, where he was an important figure and a popular orator until his death.

See biographies by F. R. Shirley (1963) and G. Tucker (1966).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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