In 1860, the Southern states of the nation were the last in the Western world to still occupy and enforce human slavery. The Dutch had brought black slaves to the United States in early 17th century and from there, the use of slaves grew. By the 18th century, there were half a million in the country. In a country that’s Declaration of Independence started off with “all men are created equal”, this was a far cry from it and nothing short of hypocrisy. By building a nation built off of the tolerance of slavery, it was denying its own occupancies, the very same principles it stood for. The Country had spent most of the last ten years divided over the issue of slavery, and many voters believed the well-being of the nation depended upon the new president. One candidate, Abraham Lincoln was at the forefront of the race and this was what the people of the North had hoped for. The Union wished for preservation of the North, and Lincoln seemed to want the same. Lincoln promised to prevent the expansion of slavery into new territories outside of the South, and this angered the South. For southerners, slavery was considered vital to the economy and without it, the economy would fail. In turn, many southerners vowed that they would leave or secede from the Union if Lincoln was elected.
On Tuesday, November 6, 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States. Following suit, the southerners kept their promise and South Carolina seceded on December 20, 1860. The ordinance read “We, the people of the State of South Carolina…do declare and ordain…that the union now subsiding between South Carolina and other States under the name of the United States of America is herby dissolved." Following South Carolinas secession, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana all seceded too. By February 1861, all the seceded southern states had formed the Confederate States of America. Immediately, the new country had a provisional government, constitution and president. Jefferson Davis, former Senator, Congressman and Secretary of State would serve as the backbone and decision maker of the Confederacy from there on out.
“We are not enemies but friends”- Abraham Lincoln
On April 12, 1861, the attack on Fort Sumter would begin the most disastrous military conflict fought throughout the entire world. Fort Sumter guarded Charleston Harbor in South Carolina. It was protected by Major Robert Anderson and 127 of his finest men. After an attack on Sumter’s defender’s supply ship that was sent by Lincoln, the men and Major were faced with a dwindling food supply. This affliction left Anderson no choice but to abandon his fort soon; however, days before the crisis would even take place, the Fort was attacked. The Confederate, General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard ordered his cannons to open fire on Sumter. The attack would result in little bloodshed, the wars first casualty of the war, the surrender of the Fort to the Confederacy, and prompted four more states to join the Confederacy
With Richmond being named the Confederate capitol and each state either pledging its loyalty to the Union or the Confederacy, inexperienced men lined up to defend their honor and support what they...