Civil War reports from the pages of The Madison Da
Davis, Lincoln prepare for new roles
Saturday, February 19, 2011 3:55 AM
On Feb. 9, 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress, representing the six states of the deep south that had seceded from the Union by that date, elected former U.S. Senator Jefferson Davis as the provisional president of the Confederate States of America. Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, was elected provisional vice president.
The capital of the Confederacy at that time was Montgomery, Alabama. Richmond, Virginia would become the capital of the Confederacy after Virginia seceded from the Union on April 17, 1861.
On Feb. 11, 1861, president-elect Lincoln left Springfield, Ill. to head to Washington, D.C. for his inauguration, which would take place on March 4. His body would be brought back to Springfield for burial after his assassination in 1865.
Research conducted by the
Jefferson County Civil War Roundtable.
The Madison Daily Courier
Feb. 11, 1861
(The following is supposed to be a part of a speech by Jeff. Davis:)
It is sufficient to say that this day a new Republic has been formed; the Confederate States of America have been ushered into existence to take their place amongst the nations of the earth; under a temporary or provisional government, it is true, but soon to be followed by one of a permanent character, which, while it surrenders none of our ancient rights and liberties, will secure them more perfectly. We trust for peace, security, and domestic tranquility; that ought to be the object of all Governments.
What is the future of this new Government. The fate of this new republic will depend upon ourselves. Six States only at present constitute it, but six States yet appear in our Constellation and Constitution. The permanent Government may have a greater number than the original 13 of the original Union with more than three times their population, wealth and power.
With such a beginning, the prospect of the future presents strong hopes to the patriotic heart for bright prospects in our career. But what the future shall be depends upon ourselves and those who shall come after us. Our republic, and all republics, to be permanent and prosperous must be supported by the virtue, intelligence, integrity and patriotism of the people. They are the corner stones upon which the temple of liberty must be constructed to stand secure and permanently. Resting our trust on these, we need not fear.
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Lincoln left here at 7:30 a.m., accompanied by a large concourse to the depot, where nearly 1,000 citizens had already collected. After he had shaken hands with a number of friends he took his stand on the platform of the car and spoke as follows:
My Friends: No one not in my position can appreciate the sadness with which I feel this parting. To this people, I owe all that I am; here I have lived more than a quarter of a century; here my children were born; here one of them lies buried. I know not how soon I shall see you again. A duty devolves upon me which is perhaps greater than that which has devolved upon any other man since the days of Washington. He never would have succeeded except for the aid of Divine Providence, upon which he, at all times, relied. I feel that I cannot succeed without the same divine aid which sustained him, and in the same Almighty Being place my reliance for support. I hope you, my friends, will all pray that I may receive that Divine assistance without which I cannot succeed, but with which, success is certain.
I again bid you all an affectionate farewell...
The train left precisely at half past eight o'clock...
The Madison Daily Courier
Feb. 13, 1861
It is proposed that all citizens in favor of the preservation of the Union - at all hazards, and without provision - hoist the American flag or hang one or more out of the front windows of their dwellings or stores on the 22nd of February. All political platforms, all political partisan feelings, must give way when the Union is to be saved. The old Jackson motto ought to rule in this crisis - "The Union must be preserved."
We suggest to the patriots inhabiting the snug county offices the propriety of their flinging to the breeze, from the dome of the cupola of the Court-house, the Flag of the Free - show faith by works.