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Husband, father, grandfather, friend...a few of the roles acquired in 62 years of living.  I keep an upbeat attitude, loving humor and the singular freedom of a perfect laugh.  I don't let curmudgeons ruin my day; that only gives them power over me.  Having experienced death once, I no longer fear it, although I am still frightened by the process of dying.  I love to write because it allows me the freedom to vent those complex feelings that bounce restlessly off the walls of my mind; and express the beauty that can only be found within the human heart.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Civil War: March 1861

A new government takes shape in the south.  In Washington, a new President assumes office over a decidedly less-than-United States of America
On March 1, 1861 P. G. T. Beauregard appointed Brigadier General in the Confederate States Army and was sent immediately to Charleston, SC.  General Beauregard would eventually carry the attack on Ft. Sumter in April, starting the Civil War.
On that same day, 1861 Texas was accepted as a state by the provisional government of the Confederate States of America.  The next day, the Texas Secessionist Convention reconvened, where on March 5th, the Convention accepted Confederate Statehood.  Also on March 1st, the U.S. Congress would reject the proposals put forth by the Washington Peace Convention.
The next day, March 2, the U. S. Congress passes a proposed 13th Amendment stating that the Congress will not abolish or interfere with slavery where it exists. The amendment would never be ratified. 
General P. G. T. Beauregard arrives at Charleston on March 3rd and assumed command of Confederate troops South Carolina
On March 4, 1861 Confederate Convention in Montgomery adopted the "Stars and Bars" as the new nation's flag. The flag was introduced to the public the next day. 
Under heavy security on March 4, 1861 Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated President of the United States, already smaller by seven seceded states.  In his inaugural address, he says…

"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slaveryin the States where it exists.  I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."
“…the property, peace, and security of no section are to be in any wise endangered by the now incoming Administration.”
“It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.”
"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
On March 9, 1861 The South establishes it’s currency as the Coinage Bill is passed by the Confederate Congress.  50 million dollars in Confederate currency is to be printed 
On March 11, 1861 Confederate Congress at Montgomery unanimously adopts their new Constitution.  
The Confederate States of America attempted one last peaceful adjustment of issues on March 13th.  Union Secretary of State William Seward, under the direction of the President, refused.  
March 16, 1861 Confederate provisional congress creates the Confederate Marine Corps. It never numbers more than 600 members and its records are destroyed on purpose near the end of the war 
The Arkansas convention defeats a secession motion by the narrow margin of four votes on March 18th. The question of secession will go to the people in a general election to be held in August. 
Three days later, their northern neighbor, Missouri, soundly rejected secession by a nearly unanimous vote by the Secessionist Convention. 
On March 29, Abraham Lincoln, noting the difficult situation of a Federal fort in a hostile harbor,  decided to reinforce Fort Sumter.  
On March 29, 1861 Mississippi became the first Confederate state to ratify the new constitution.
Next month, a quiet pre-dawn is shattered by the roar of guns in Charleston Harbor.  The war begins.
Information gleaned from various sources, but primarily http://blueandgraytrail.com/
Notable commemorative events in March:
3/2  Concert, Civil War music by the Tredegar Brass Band at Hanover Tavern, 13181 Hanover Courthouse Road (Route 301) in Virginia 7-8 pm. $3 donation. www.hanovertavern.org.
3/3  Living history, “Raise the First National Flag of the Confederacy” commemorating the adoption of the flag, at Fort Pulaski National Monument near Savannah, GA. Firing demo follows. 2 pm. Free with admission. www.nps.gov/fopu.
3/3  Lecture, “‘The Diary of a Public Man’ and Abraham Lincoln,” an account of secret talks among leaders prior to the Civil War, at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, VA. Noon. $6. www.vahistorical.org.
3/5  Reenactment of the Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln at the Capitol Hill Visitor Center, Washington, DC. Includes reading of First Inaugural Address and a reenactment of the swearing-in ceremony. 10–11:45 am. Free. www.lincolninauguration2011.com.
3/6  Lecture, “1861: The Medical Corps Goes to War,” at the Gettysburg National Military Park visitor center. 1:30 pm. Free. www.nps.gov/gett or call 717-334-1124 extension 8023.
3/9  Lecture, “Richmond on the Eve of War,” at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, VA. 7 pm. $6/adult. www.nps.gov/rich or 804-771-2145.
3/12  Children’s program, “The Civil War Soldier’s Trusty Steed,” a living history cavalry program at Boykin’s Tavern, 17130 Monument Circle, Isle of Wight, VA. 2-4 pm. $10/child. www.historicisleofwight.com or 757-357-0115
3/19-20  Living history, “’The Union is Dissolved: Mustering Soldiers off to War,” with camps, recruitment activities and more at the Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site near Four Oaks, NC. 10 am-4 pm. Free. 910-594-0789.
3/24  Lecture, “Year of Meteors: Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and the Election that Brought on the Civil War,” at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, VA. Noon. $6/adult. www.vahistorical.org.
3/31  Lecture, “They Fought Like Demons: Female Combatants in the Civil War,” at the Old Manassas Courthouse, 9248 Lee Ave, Manassas, VA. 7 pm. Free. 703-367-7872.
For a complete listing, see http://www.civilwartraveler.com/events/03-11.html

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