1st Lt. David Richard Reynolds Camp #2270, SCV, Mount Pleasant, Texas

 

History of the Confederate States of America

The Confederacy was established in the Montgomery Convention in February 1861 (before Lincoln's inauguration in March) and disintegrated in April and May 1865. It was formed by delegations from seven Southern states that had proclaimed their secession from the Union. After the fighting began in April, four additional slave states seceded and were admitted. Later, two states (Missouri and Kentucky) and two territories were given seats in the Confederate Congress.

Many southern whites had considered themselves more Southern than American and would fight for their state and their region to be independent of the larger nation. That regionalism became a Southern nationalism, or the "Cause". For the duration of its existence, the Confederacy underwent trial by war. The "Southern Cause" transcended the ideology of "states' rights", tariff policy, or internal improvements. This "Cause" supported, or descended from, cultural and financial dependence on the south's slavery-based economy. The convergence of race and slavery, politics, and economics raised almost all South-related policy questions to the status of a moral question over "way of life," commingling love of things Southern and hatred of things Yankee (the North). Not only did national political parties split, but national churches and interstate families as well divided along sectional lines as the war approached.

During the elections of 1860, in no Southern state — other than South Carolina (which did not allow for voters to directly choose their electors) — was support for John Breckenridge (the choice of the Southern Democratic faction) unanimous. All of the other states recorded at least some popular votes for one or more of the other three candidates (Lincoln, Douglas and Bell). Support for these candidates, collectively, ranged from significant to an outright majority, with extremes running from 25% in Texas to 81% in Missouri. There were minority views everywhere, especially in the upland and plateau areas of the South, with western Virginia and eastern Tennessee of particular concentration.

Following South Carolina's unanimous 1860 secession vote, no other Southern states considered the question until 1861, and when they did none were unanimous. All had populations which cast significant numbers of Unionist votes in either the legislature, conventions, popular referendums, or in all three. However, voting to remain in the Union did not necessarily translate into being a northern sympathizer and, once hostilities actually commenced, many of these who voted to remain, particularly in the Lower South, accepted the majority decision, and supported the Confederacy.

The American Civil War became an American tragedy, the "Brothers' War" according to some scholars, "brother against brother, father against son, kith against kin of every degree.

Evolution of the CSA