Civil War Sesquicentennial

South Carolina's Congressional Delegation at the Time of Secession (Harpers Weekly, December 22, 1860)

One hundred fifty years ago today – just six weeks after the election of Abraham Lincoln and more than three months before his inauguration as sixteenth President of the United States – a special convention called by the state’s governor voted overwhelmingly for South Carolina to secede from the Union. This act, followed over the ensuing two months by the secession of six more states, became the first act of the American Civil War.

For more than four years, America would be challenged by the scourge of internecine war, a war more costly than any other American conflict to date.

Less than a year and a half after South Carolina’s secession, more Americans would die in the single battle of Shiloh than had been killed in all the wars in which the United States had fought prior to the advent of the Civil War.

And forty days to the day after South Carolina’s secession, Kansas – the state whose early history was so intimately bound with the conflict splitting the nation asunder – would be admitted as the thirty-fourth state of a rapidly disintegrating Union.

At Haysville Community Library, we’ll be commemorating the Sesquicentennial of Kansas’ statehood with a series of special events, beginning with a unique program on Kansas Statehood Day, this coming January 29th featuring guest speaker Jim Hoy.

We’ll also be hosting a number of events commemorating the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, beginning with a not-to-be-missed special presentation in early spring 2011 on “The Music of the Civil War”, with Dr. C.J Combs.

A contemporary cartoon deriding the folly of secession.

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Published in: on December 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

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