IMPRESSMENT, CONFEDERATE. From the early part of the Civil War, the Confederate War Department practiced impressment, seizing supplies from producers and appropriating slaves for work on fortifications. In March 1863 it received congressional approval for impressment, but lack of official sanction had not prevented the practice before that time. Confederate policy ordered agents to impress only surplus supplies and slaves and to offer fair prices to the owners. Nevertheless, criticism of the administration of the law and the law itself increased with the growing suffering. By the winter of 1864–1865, the Confederacy had abandoned the system.
Grimsley, Mark, and Brooks D. Simpson, ed. The Collapse of the Confederacy. Key Issues of the Civil War Era Series. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001.
Henry T.Shanks/a. e.