Friday, May 20, 2011

150 Years Ago -- North Carolina Secedes

North Carolina had a pro-Union majority until Lincoln's call for troops after the fall of Fort Sumter.  Virtually overnight the state started moving toward secession.  Jonathan Worth, a Unionist leader in the state, declared, "Lincoln prostrated us.  He could have devised no scheme more effectual that the one he has pursued to overthrow the friends of the Union here."

On May 20, 1861, North Carolina's secession was officially complete.  A state convention in Raleigh voted unanimously to repeal the state's ratification of the Constitution.  North Carolina became the eleventh and final state to join the Confederacy.

Also on this date, Kentucky Governor Beriah Magoffin signed the declaration of neutrality passed by the legislature on May 16.  The declaration forbade the movement of troops on both sides on state soil.  In order to woo the state, both sides played along, but quickly gave it up.  For the two sides to get at each other west of Virginia, Kentucky would have to be crossed.

In Montgomery, Alabama, the Confederate Congress voted to move the capital to Richmond, Virginia.

And throughout the North, U.S. Marshals raided telegraph offices and confiscated all files of telegrams sent throughout the year in order to uncover spy sources and other pro-secessionist evidence.

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