7 April 2018

Causes of secession: Mississippi

The second state to declare its secession was Mississippi. They set out their reasons in a document, beginning as follows: In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course. Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world. ... Read more

6 April 2018

The Battle of Pittsburgh Landing

On 6 April 1862 the Army of the Tennessee, under General Ulysses S. Grant, was encamped at Pittsburgh Landing on the west bank of the Tennessee River. That morning, Confederate forces commanded by former General Albert Sidney Johnston carried out a surprise attack. Johnston was shot in the leg by a Confederate Enfield rifle, presumably by accident, and bled to death on the first day of battle. That evening, second in command P. ... Read more

5 April 2018

Causes of secession: South Carolina

South Carolina was the first southern state to declare its secession from the United States. It explained its reasons in a lengthy document, complaining that northern states were no longer carrying out what it saw as their constitutional duty to return escaped slaves to their owners in the south: We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof. ... Read more

4 April 2018

Lincoln tours the ruins of Virginia

On 4 April 1965, President Abraham Lincoln toured the burned-out ruins of Richmond, Virginia. When numerous freed slaves began kneeling at his feet, he told them “Don’t kneel to me. That is not right. You must kneel to God only, and thank Him for the liberty you will afterward enjoy.” General Weitzel asked for guidance on how to treat city folk who had been loyal to the secessionist cause. Lincoln responded: “If I were in your place, I’d let ‘em up easy, let ‘em up easy. ... Read more

3 April 2018

The US flag is raised over Virginia

On 3 April 1865, Johnston Livingston de Peyster raised the US flag over Virginia following its capture from Confederate forces. He later wrote to his mother: My dearest mother,— This morning, about four o’clock, I was got up, just one hour after I retired, with the information that at six we were going to Richmond. At six we started. The rebs. had gone at three, along a road strewn with all the munitions of war. ... Read more

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