The year 1861 dawned loud and clear throughout the South. The rumblings of war had been going on for several months; armies were being brought together, households making preparations, and ladies of the areas involved busily making uniforms that might be needed for their men. Lincoln had done what he could to prevent a major schism in the Union, but people on both sides began to see the inevitable failure of those efforts.
With the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on the first, the signs were writ large, and on the 9th of January, 1861, Mississippi was first to take the secession step, followed the very next day by Florida. Florida will go down in history as a state thoroughly involved in the war, but little attention was paid to her. Even today, historians begin to look at the battles and skirmishes in the Sunshine State, which for so long has been overlooked.
On the 11th, Alabama takes the mighty step to leave the Union, and on January 19, the anniversary date of the birth of General Robert E. Lee (1807), George secedes. Jackson would be born two days later, in 1824. And on the 26th of January, Louisiana pulls up stakes to join her sister Southern states in the Confederacy.
All this several months before the firing on Fort Sumter. But it was coming soon and the bloody four years would seem twice that long before the final knell sounded.
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