The New Student's Reference Work/Confederate States of America, The
Confed′erate States of America, The. When the Republican or antislavery party gained control of the government, by the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency, certain of the slave-states took steps to withdraw from the Union and establish a separate government. A convention assembled at Columbia, South Carolina, Dec. 17, 1860, but adjourned on the same date to Charleston, where, on the 20th, a resolution was passed declaring that the union hitherto existing between South Carolina and the other states under the name of The United States of America was dissolved. Other states were quick to follow. In less than six weeks Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas passed ordinances of secession and withdrew from the Union. On the 4th of February, 1861, delegates from six of these states met in convention at Montgomery, Alabama, and organized a new government, with the title of The Confederate States of America. On the 8th of the same month, the organization was completed by the choice of Jefferson Davis of Mississippi as president and Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia as vice-president. The seceded states at once seized, with few exceptions, all the forts, arsenals, navy-yards, military stores and other Federal property within their limits.
The Civil War followed, beginning with the attack on Fort Sumter on April 12. On the 17th Virginia seceded and joined the Confederacy. Arkansas followed on May 6, North Carolina on the 20th of the same month and Tennessee on June 6, making 11 states in all. The history of the Confederacy is confined to the years of the Civil War, and it ceased to exist with the surrender of the Confederate army at Appomattox, Va., April 9, 1865.