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


Ordinances of Secession
 

The election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 was the final straw for many southerners. In all 11 states seceded from the Union. Four of these (Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee) did not secede until after the Battle of Fort Sumter that occurred on April 12, 1861. Four additional states were Border Slave States that did not secede from the Union: Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware.

In addition, the area that would become West Virginia was formed on October 24, 1861 when the western portion of Virginia chose to break away from the rest of the state instead of seceding.

The ordinances of secession were the actual legal language by which the seceded states severed their connection with the Federal Union. The declarations of causes are where they tended to disclose their reasons for doing so, although only Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia issued separate declarations of causes.

The political theory of the time among secessionists required that the act of secession be carried out by a specially elected convention or by referendum. In this sense the "secessions" of both Missouri and Kentucky were flawed, as neither was carried out in this manner. The Missouri secession ordinance was passed by a rump legislature and never approved by the people at large. The Kentucky secession ordinance was adopted by a convention of 200 participants representing 65 counties, held in Russellville.

These are offered in chronological order. If the state convention passed a declaration of causes document, then it will be listed at the bottom of the ordinance document.

 

Member State
(Click on State name to
read their Secession)

Confederate
State Flag

(Click on Flag to
see larger image)

Current
State Flag

(Click on Flag to
see larger image)

Ordinance
of
Secession

Admission
to
Confederacy

Readmitted to
representation
in U.S. Congress

South Carolina

South Carolina Flag

South Carollina Flag

20 Dec 1860

04 Feb 1861

09 Jul 1868

Mississippi

Mississippi Flag

Mississippi Flag

09 Jan 1861

04 Feb 1861

23 Feb 1870

Florida

Florida Flag

Florida Flag

10 Jan 1861

04 Feb 1861

25 Jun 1868

Alabama

Alabama Flag

Alabama Flag

11 Jan 1861

04 Feb 1861

13 Jul 1868

Georgia

Georgia Flag

Georgia Flag

19 Jan 1861

04 Feb 1861

1st Date 21 Jul 1868;
2nd Date 15 Jul 1870

Louisiana

Louisiana Flag

Louisiana Flag

26 Jan 1861

04 Feb 1861

09 Jul 1868

Texas

Texas Flag

Texas Flag

01 Feb 1861

02 Mar 1861

30 Mar, 1870

Virginia

Virginia Flag

Virginia Flag

17 Apr 1861

07 May 1861

26 Jan 1870
West Virginia:
20 Jun 1863

Arkansas

Arkansas Flag

Arkansas Flag

06 May 1861

18 May 1861

22 Jun 1868

North Carolina

North Carolina Flag

North Carolina Flag

20 May 1861

21 May 1861

04 Jul 1868

Tennessee

Tennessee Flag

Tennessee Flag

08 Jun 1861

02 Jul 1861

24 Jul 1866

Missouri
(exiled
government)

Missouri Flag

Missouri Flag

31 Oct 1861

28 Nov 1861

Missouri remained
seated in
U.S. Congress

Kentucky
(Russellville Convention)

Kentucky Flag

Kentucky Flag

20 Nov 1861

10 Dec 1861

Kentucky remained
seated in
U.S. Congress

 

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