The Honorable George Percy was an English explorer and early Colonial Governor of Virginia. George Percy was born in England, the youngest son of Henry Percy, 8th Earl of Northumberland and Lady Catherine Neville, he was sickly for much of his life suffering from epilepsy or severe asthma. He graduated from Oxford University in 1597. While at university, he gained admission to the Middle Temple. Percy's vocation was the military, his first service came in the Dutch struggle for independence from Spain in the early 1600s. He served in Ireland. Percy was part of the first group of 105 English colonists to settle the Jamestown Colony, he kept a journal of his voyage. He arrived in Virginia in April 1607 and recorded the struggles of the colonists to cope with the American environment and the Powhatan Native Americans. "Thus we lived for the space of five months in this miserable distress," he wrote in his journal, "not having five able men to man our bulwarks upon any occasion."Although Percy had a higher social rank than all of the other first colonists, he was denied a seat on the Virginia Council.
He took the lead in the early life of the colony, taking part in the expedition to the James River falls in May and June 1607. In autumn 1607, he sided with the President of the colony, Edward Maria Wingfield, subsequently deposed by John Ratcliffe, Gabriel Archer, John Smith. From late 1607 until autumn 1609, Percy had little power in Jamestown but served as Smith's subordinate; when Smith left the colony in September 1609, Percy assumed the presidency of the colony. However, his persistent illness kept him from executing his office, leaving the duties of the presidency to Ratcliffe and John Martin, it was during Percy's tenure that the colony suffered through the "Starving Time" in the winter of 1609-10. "Now all of us at James Town beginning to feel that sharp prick of hunger, which no man describe but he which hath tasted the bitterness thereof," he recounted later. Percy accomplished little while President, other than to order to construction of Fort Algernon at Old Point Comfort; when Sir Thomas Gates arrived in May 1610, Percy surrendered control of the colony to him.
In June 1610, Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr arrived in Jamestown and with a commission to serve as the colony's governor. De la Warr named him captain of the Jamestown fort. In August 1610, De la Warre sent Percy and seventy men to attack the Paspahegh and Chickahominy Indians; the force ravaged the Indians' settlements, burning their buildings, decimating their crops, indiscriminately killing men and children. Percy led the successful defence of the Jamestown fort against an Indian attack and earned the praise of De La Warr; when the Governor returned to England in March 1611, he appointed Percy to lead the colony in his absence. "But the winds not favoring them, they were enforced to shape their course directly for England--my lord having left and appointed me deputy governor in his absence, to execute martial law or any other power and authority as absolute as himself." Percy's term as Governor lasted until April 1612, when he departed for England. After his service as Virginia colony governor, Percy returned to England but remained interested in colonization schemes.
In 1615, he found no supporters. In 1620, he returned to military service. Percy returned to the Netherlands in 1621, he was the commander of a company in the Low Countries in 1627. George Percy married Anne Floyd; the couple had Anne Percy, who married Governor John West. Jeffrey D. Groves, "George Percy," in American National Biography, ed. John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, 17:318-19. John W. Shirley, "George Percy at Jamestown, 1607-1612," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 57: 227-43. Philip L. Barbour, "The Honorable George Percy, Premier Chronicler of the First Virginia Voyage," Early American Literature 6: 7-17. Brenan, Gerald. A History of the House of Percy, from the Earliest Times Down to the Present. London: Freemantle. Pp. 208–9
Virginia the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" due to its status as the first English colonial possession established in mainland North America and "Mother of Presidents" because eight U. S. presidents were born there, more than any other state. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna; the capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million. The area's history begins with several indigenous groups, including the Powhatan. In 1607 the London Company established the Colony of Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony. Slave labor and the land acquired from displaced Native American tribes each played a significant role in the colony's early politics and plantation economy.
Virginia was one of the 13 Colonies in the American Revolution. In the American Civil War, Virginia's Secession Convention resolved to join the Confederacy, Virginia's First Wheeling Convention resolved to remain in the Union. Although the Commonwealth was under one-party rule for nearly a century following Reconstruction, both major national parties are competitive in modern Virginia; the Virginia General Assembly is the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World. The state government was ranked most effective by the Pew Center on the States in both 2005 and 2008, it is unique in how it treats cities and counties manages local roads, prohibits its governors from serving consecutive terms. Virginia's economy has many sectors: agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley. S. Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency. Virginia has a total area of 42,774.2 square miles, including 3,180.13 square miles of water, making it the 35th-largest state by area. Virginia is bordered by Maryland and Washington, D.
C. to the north and east. Virginia's boundary with Maryland and Washington, D. C. extends to the low-water mark of the south shore of the Potomac River. The southern border is defined as the 36° 30′ parallel north, though surveyor error led to deviations of as much as three arcminutes; the border with Tennessee was not settled until 1893, when their dispute was brought to the U. S. Supreme Court; the Chesapeake Bay separates the contiguous portion of the Commonwealth from the two-county peninsula of Virginia's Eastern Shore. The bay was formed from the drowned river valleys of the James River. Many of Virginia's rivers flow into the Chesapeake Bay, including the Potomac, Rappahannock and James, which create three peninsulas in the bay; the Tidewater is a coastal plain between the fall line. It includes major estuaries of Chesapeake Bay; the Piedmont is a series of sedimentary and igneous rock-based foothills east of the mountains which were formed in the Mesozoic era. The region, known for its heavy clay soil, includes the Southwest Mountains around Charlottesville.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the Appalachian Mountains with the highest points in the state, the tallest being Mount Rogers at 5,729 feet. The Ridge and Valley region includes the Great Appalachian Valley; the region includes Massanutten Mountain. The Cumberland Plateau and the Cumberland Mountains are in the southwest corner of Virginia, south of the Allegheny Plateau. In this region, rivers flow northwest, into the Ohio River basin; the Virginia Seismic Zone has not had a history of regular earthquake activity. Earthquakes are above 4.5 in magnitude, because Virginia is located away from the edges of the North American Plate. The largest earthquake, at an estimated 5.9 magnitude, was in 1897 near Blacksburg. A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Virginia on August 2011, near Mineral. The earthquake was felt as far away as Toronto and Florida. 35 million years ago, a bolide impacted. The resulting Chesapeake Bay impact crater may explain what earthquakes and subsidence the region does experience.
Coal mining takes place in the three mountainous regions at 45 distinct coal beds near Mesozoic basins. Over 64 million tons of other non-fuel resources, such as slate, sand, or gravel, were mined in Virginia in 2018; the state's carbonate rock is filled with more than 4,000 caves, ten of which are open for tourism, including the popular Luray Caverns and Skyline Caverns. The climate of Virginia is humid subtropical and becomes warmer and more humid farther south and east. Seasonal extremes vary from average lows of 26 °F in January to average highs of 86 °F in July; the Atlantic Ocean has a strong effect on southeastern coastal areas of the state. Influenced by the Gulf Stream, coastal weather is subject to hurricanes, most pronouncedly near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. In spite of its position adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean the coastal areas have a significant continental influence with quite large temperature differences between summ
33rd Virginia Infantry
The 33rd Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment raised in the Commonwealth of Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. It was a part of the famed "Stonewall Brigade," named for General Stonewall Jackson; the regiment was organized and mustered into service soon after the secession of Virginia on 17 April 1861. It was formed of ten companies, which included men from Hampshire, Frederick, Hardy and Rockingham counties. Two of these counties and Hardy, seceded in 1863 from the state of Virginia, forming part of the northeastern Panhandle of West Virginia; the ten companies were: A - Potomac Guards B - Toms Brook Guard C - Tenth Legion Minute Men/Shenandoah Riflemen D - Mountain Rangers E - Emerald Guard F - Independent Greys/Hardy Greys G - Mount Jackson Rifles H - Page Grays I - Rockingham Confederates K - Shenandoah Sharpshooters Originally, the regiment was commanded by Col. Arthur C. Cummings, though it would change hands many times through the war.
The 33rd, along with the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 27th Virginia Regiments, formed the famous'Stonewall Brigade' under the command of the legendary Stonewall Jackson. The average height of a soldier in the regiment was 5'8", the average age was 25 years; the 33rd Virginia remained in the Stonewall Brigade in Thomas J. Jackson's Second Corps until the restructuring of the Army of Northern Virginia after his death in the spring of 1863, it was put under Richard Ewell's command until the spring of 1864, when it dissolved at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. When the Union and Confederate armies engaged near Manassas Junction, Virginia on 21 July 1861, General Jackson and his brigade earned the nickname "Stonewall" when, as they retreated to reform along Henry House Hill, Gen. Barnard Bee cried out to his ailing troops: "There stands Jackson like a stone wall. Rally behind the Virginians!" Eight of the ten companies in the 33rd were present. At the height of the battle, it was Jackson's first brigade, more the undersized regiment of Colonel Cummings that turned the tide of battle with a well-timed charge against an exposed artillery battery.
The successful capture of the guns is thought to be because, due to the lack of formality in early war uniforms, Jackson's men were dressed in blue, just like their Federal counterparts. Though the 33rd Virginia succeeded in capturing the guns, the number of men that made the charge were unable to maintain possession and were forced to retreat; the charge had halted the steady advance of the Union Army up to that point, precipitated further charges by Jackson's other regiments. By day's end, the actions of the 33rd led to the complete rout of the Union Army, played a major role in immortalizing the brigade; the cost of immortality for Cummings' regiment was high. Of the 450 men who were present at the battle, the 33rd would suffer 140 wounded. Three days General Jackson took leave of his old brigade and returned to the Shenandoah Valley to take command of Virginia's Valley District. Finding the size of his command inadequate for the task, he petitioned Richmond for the return of the Stonewall Brigade to the Valley.
On 9 November, only five days after Jackson left his command, the brigade received orders for them to pack up camp and march to Manassas Junction, where they were expected to board the train and return to the Valley. Arriving in the evening, it was determined that there were only enough cars to take the 2nd, 5th and 27th Virginia Regiments back; the 4th and 33rd were ordered to encamp at the junction and wait for the trains to return in the morning. Around 10 o'clock, without shelter to protect them, a steady, cold rain began to fall continuing throughout the long night. Having somehow come into the possession of a barrel of whiskey, the Emerald Guard would make it longer yet and twice as miserable for the others present. "The whole of the Irish company gets drunk save a few," wrote a member of Company H, 33rd Virginia, "they get to fighting, in which swords and knives are used. Several of both parties get badly wounded…" News of the incident resounded all the way up to General Jackson's headquarters.
On 2 December, Jackson, in his official report, provided the following account of the rowdy Irishmen. "... While the Thirty-third Regiment Virginia Volunteers was en route from Manassas to this place one of its companies arrived in camp near here without any officer, in consequence of its first lieutenant having absented himself without leave. In consequence of Colonel Cummings having reported to me that he could not undertake another march with the company, as it was composed of unmanageable Irishmen..." As spring came, so did the Federals in force. Jackson, being forced to evacuated Winchester, headed southwards up the Valley until news from Jackson's cavalry scouts suggested that the Federals, were reducing their force so as to reinforce Union operations further east. Doubling back, Jackson launched an attack against the Federals situated at Kernstown a few miles south of Winchester on 23 March 1862; the 33rd played a large role in holding a stone wall against overwhelming numbers, until being ordered to retire as their ammunition became expended.
The regiment suffered 12 wounded and 18 captured of the 275 engaged at First Kernstown. Following Kernstown, Jackson's Army retreated down the Valley towards Rude's Hill, where, in accordance with various orders issued by the Governor o
Alma mater is an allegorical Latin phrase for a university, school, or college that one attended. In US usage it can mean the school from which one graduated; the phrase is variously translated as "nourishing mother", "nursing mother", or "fostering mother", suggesting that a school provides intellectual nourishment to its students. Fine arts will depict educational institutions using a robed woman as a visual metaphor. Before its current usage, alma mater was an honorific title for various Latin mother goddesses Ceres or Cybele, in Catholicism for the Virgin Mary, it entered academic usage when the University of Bologna adopted the motto Alma Mater Studiorum, which describes its heritage as the oldest operating university in the Western world. It is related to alumnus, a term used for a university graduate that means a "nursling" or "one, nourished". Although alma was a common epithet for Ceres, Cybele and other mother goddesses, it was not used in conjunction with mater in classical Latin. In the Oxford Latin Dictionary, the phrase is attributed to Lucretius' De rerum natura, where it is used as an epithet to describe an earth goddess: After the fall of Rome, the term came into Christian liturgical usage in association with the Virgin Mary.
"Alma Redemptoris Mater" is a well-known 11th century antiphon devoted to Mary. The earliest documented use of the term to refer to a university in an English-speaking country is in 1600, when the University of Cambridge printer, John Legate, began using an emblem for the university's press; the device's first-known appearance is on the title-page of William Perkins' A Golden Chain, where the Latin phrase Alma Mater Cantabrigia is inscribed on a pedestal bearing a nude, lactating woman wearing a mural crown. In English etymological reference works, the first university-related usage is cited in 1710, when an academic mother figure is mentioned in a remembrance of Henry More by Richard Ward. Many historic European universities have adopted Alma Mater as part of the Latin translation of their official name; the University of Bologna Latin name, Alma Mater Studiorum, refers to its status as the oldest continuously operating university in the world. Other European universities, such as the Alma Mater Lipsiensis in Leipzig, Germany, or Alma Mater Jagiellonica, have used the expression in conjunction with geographical or foundational characteristics.
At least one, the Alma Mater Europaea in Salzburg, Austria, an international university founded by the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2010, uses the term as its official name. In the United States, the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, has been called the "Alma Mater of the Nation" because of its ties to the country's founding. At Queen's University in Kingston and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, the main student government is known as the Alma Mater Society; the ancient Roman world had many statues of the Alma Mater, some still extant. Modern sculptures are found in prominent locations on several American university campuses. For example, in the United States: there is a well-known bronze statue of Alma Mater by Daniel Chester French situated on the steps of Columbia University's Low Library. An altarpiece mural in Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library, painted in 1932 by Eugene Savage, depicts the Alma Mater as a bearer of light and truth, standing in the midst of the personified arts and sciences.
Outside the United States, there is an Alma Mater sculpture on the steps of the monumental entrance to the Universidad de La Habana, in Havana, Cuba. The statue was cast in 1919 by Mario Korbel, with Feliciana Villalón Wilson as the inspiration for Alma Mater, it was installed in its current location in 1927, at the direction of architect Raul Otero. Media related to Alma mater at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of alma mater at Wiktionary Alma Mater Europaea website
Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, colonel is the most senior field grade military officer rank above the rank of lieutenant colonel and below the rank of brigadier general. It is equivalent to the naval rank of captain in the other uniformed services; the pay grade for colonel is O-6. The insignia of the rank of colonel, as seen on the right, is worn on the officer's left side. By law, a colonel must have 22 years of service and a minimum of three years of service as a lieutenant colonel before being promoted; the insignia for a colonel is a silver eagle, a stylized representation of the eagle dominating the Great Seal of the United States. As on the Great Seal, the eagle has a U. S. shield superimposed on its chest and is holding an olive branch and bundle of arrows in its talons. However, in simplification of the Great Seal image, the insignia lacks the scroll in the eagle's mouth and the rosette above its head. On the Great Seal, the olive branch is always clutched in the eagle's right-side talons, while the bundle of arrows is always clutched in the left-side talons.
The head of the eagle faces towards the olive branch, rather than the arrows, advocating peace rather than war. As a result, the head of the eagle always faces towards the viewer's left. However, when worn as a single insignia with no matching pair, such as on the patrol cap, garrison cap/flight cap, or the front of the Army ACU, there is a split between the services on which mirror image of the eagle should be worn. In the United States Army and United States Air Force, the eagle is always worn with "the head of the eagle to the wearer's right," with the olive branch clutched in the eagle's right hand talons. In the United States Marine Corps, United States Navy, United States Coast Guard and NOAA, the eagle is worn with "the head facing forward" on the wearer's right side of the garrison cover. Since respective service's officer insignia is worn on the left side and the rank insignia is worn on the right hand side of the Marine, Coast Guard and NOAA garrison caps, the eagle is facing to the eagle's left with the olive branch clutched in the eagle's left hand talons, a mirror opposite to the wear of the single eagle for Army and Air Force officers.
The United States rank of colonel is a direct successor to the same rank in the British Army. The first colonels in the U. S. were appointed from Colonial militias maintained as reserves to the British Army in the North American colonies. Upon the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, colonial legislatures would grant commissions to men to raise a regiment and serve as its colonel. Thus, the first U. S. colonels were respected men with ties in local communities and active in politics. With the post-war reduction of the U. S. Army, the rank of colonel disappeared, was not re-introduced until 1802; the first insignia for the rank of colonel consisted of gold epaulettes worn on the blue uniform of the Continental Army. The first recorded use of the eagle insignia was in 1805 as this insignia was made official in uniform regulations by 1810; the rank of colonel was rare in the early 19th century because the U. S. Army was small, the rank was obtained only after long years of service. During the War of 1812 the Army grew and many colonels were appointed, but most of these colonels were discharged when their regiments were disbanded at the war's conclusion.
A number of other colonels were appointed by brevet - an honorary promotion for distinguished service in combat. The American Civil War saw a large influx of colonels as the rank was held in both the Confederate army and Union Army by those who commanded a regiment. Since most regiments were state formations and were raised, the colonels in command of the regiments were known by the title "Colonel of Volunteers," in contrast to Regular Army colonels who held permanent commissions. During the Civil War, the Confederate Army maintained a unique insignia for colonel, three stars worn on the collar of a uniform. Robert E. Lee wore this insignia due to his former rank in the United States Army and refused to wear the insignia of a Confederate general, stating that he would only accept permanent promotion when the South had achieved independence. After the Civil War, the rank of colonel again became rare as the forces of the United States Army became small. However, many colonels were appointed in the volunteers during the Spanish–American War, prominent among them Theodore Roosevelt and David Grant Colson.
World War I and World War II saw the largest numbers of colonels appointed in the U. S. military. This was due to the temporary ranks of the National Army and the Army of the United States, where those who would hold the rank of Captain in the peacetime Regular Army were thrust into the rank of colonel during these two wars; the Military Promotion System was revised and standardized for all the services in 1980 as a result of passage of the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act. Modern U. S. colonels command Army infantry, armor, aviation or other types of brigades, USMC regiments, Marine Expeditionary Units or Marine Aircraft Groups, USAF groups or wings. An Army colonel commands brigade-sized units, with another colonel or a lieutenant colonel as deputy commander, a major
Edward Maria Wingfield
Edward Maria Wingfield, sometimes hyphenated as Edward-Maria Wingfield was a soldier, Member of Parliament, English colonist in America. He was the son of Thomas Maria Wingfield, the grandson of Richard Wingfield. Captain John Smith wrote that from 1602 to 1603 Wingfield was one of the early and prime movers and organisers in "showing great charge and industry" in getting the Virginia Venture moving: he was one of the four incorporators for the London Virginia Company in the Virginia Charter of 1606 and one of its biggest financial backers, he recruited about forty of the 104 would-be colonists, was the only shareholder to sail. In the first election in the New World, he was elected by his peers as the President of the governing council for one year beginning 13 May 1607, of what became the first successful, English-speaking colony in the New World at Jamestown, Virginia. After four months, on 10 September, because "he held the men to working and warding", because of lack of food, death from disease and attack by the "naturals", Wingfield was made a scapegoat and was deposed on petty charges.
On the return of the Supply Boat on 10 April 1608, Wingfield was sent back to London to answer the charge of being an atheist, one suspected of having Spanish sympathies. Smith's prime biographer, Philip L. Barbour, wrote of the "superlative pettiness of the charges... none of the accusations amounting to anything." Wingfield cleared his reputation, was named in the Second Virginia Charter, 1609, was active in the Virginia Company until 1620, when he was 70 years old. He died in England in 1631, ten weeks before fellow Jamestown settler John Smith, was buried on 13 April at St Andrew's Parish Church, Kimbolton. Wingfield was born in 1550 at Stonely Priory, near Kimbolton, the eldest son of Thomas Maria Wingfield, the Elder, Margaret, and was raised as a Protestant His middle name, "Maria", derived from Mary Tudor, Queen of France, sister of King Henry VIII, not Henry VIII's same named devoutly Catholic daughter, Mary Tudor. Edward's father, Thomas Maria Wingfield, MP, died. Before he was twelve years of age, his mother remarried, to James Cruwys of Fotheringhay, who became his guardian.
Jacques Wingfield was from 1559 to 1560 until his death in 1587, Master of the Ordnance in Ireland, Constable of Dublin Castle and an Irish privy councillor. When Edward Maria was 19 years old he accompanied his uncle, one of the key settlers involved in building a plantation in Munster, with Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir John Popham, among others, his uncle held Wickham Skeith, a manor in Suffolk, next to the future living of the great geographer, Richard Hakluyt, the Younger at Wetheringsett – both some ten miles from Letheringham Old Hall, the ancestral home of the Wingfield family, from Otley Hall, ancestral home of the Wingfields' cousins, the Gosnold family. In 1575–76, Wingfield returned to England, where in 1576 he was admitted to Lincoln's Inn, the law school, having first passed through its "feeder", Furnivall's Inn. Before completing his legal training, the lure of the drum called him to the Low Countries. Alongside his brother, Captain Thomas Maria Wingfield, for at least four years, Edward fought as a foot company commander in the Low Countries for the Dutch Republic against Spanish invaders, including in 1586 at the Battle of Zutphen, thereby gaining experience in the defence of forts and in skirmishing.
He, his brother and Sir William Drury, were noted in the Army Roll of 1589 as "captains of success". In the first half of 1588 he was taken prisoner together with the virginiaphile Sir Ferdinando Gorges, at or near Bergen-op-Zoom, was held in Spanish captivity with him, first at Ghent and at Lille until on 5 September 1588 when ransoms were demanded. Nine weeks his brother captured two Spanish officers at Bergen, but was not permitted by the Allied Commander-in-Chief, Peregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby, to exchange them, he and Gorges were, however, no earlier than June 1589, released as part of a prisoner exchange. In the 1590s, Captain Wingfield was garrisoned at Drogheda, Ireland – where commanders reported for pay and munitions to the Clerk of the Cheque & Muster-Master, Colonel Sir Ralph Lane, the former Deputy Governor of Sir Walter Ralegh's ill-fated 1584–86 Roanoke Colony. Lane was Wingfield's father's old neighbour near Kimbolton. In 1593, Wingfield was a member of parliament for Chippenham, one of five Wingfield family MPs – a seat obtained for him by his neighbour, Anthony Mildmay of Apethorpe encouraged by Wingfield's cousin, Sir Robert Cecil.
He may have sat on a committee considering cloth in March, but this he decided was not for him, he returned shortly afterward to the soldier's life at the Dundalk Garrison in Ireland. Wingfield was a Feoffee, or Governor, of Kimbolton School in 1600 – which riled his old fellow-colonist from 1569 in Ireland, Sir John Popham, a keen promoter of Virginia. Popham had just banished Sir Edward to County
Confederate States Congress
The Confederate States Congress was both the provisional and permanent legislative assembly of the Confederate States of America that existed from 1861 to 1865. Its actions were for the most part concerned with measures to establish a new national government for the Southern "revolution", to prosecute a war that had to be sustained throughout the existence of the Confederacy. At first, it met as a provisional congress both in Montgomery and Richmond, Virginia; the precursor to the permanent legislature was the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States, which helped establish the Confederacy as a state. Following elections held in states, refugee colonies and army camps in November 1861, the 1st Confederate Congress met in four sessions; the 1863 elections led to many former Democrats losing to former Whigs. The 2nd Confederate Congress met in two sessions following an intercession during military campaign season beginning November 7, 1864 and ending on March 18, 1865, shortly before the downfall of the Confederacy.
All legislative considerations of the Confederate Congress were secondary to winning the war for independence from the United States. These included debates whether to pass Jefferson Davis war measures and deliberations on alternatives to administration proposals, both of which were denounced as discordant, regardless of the outcome. Congress was held in low regard regardless what it did. Amidst early battlefield victories, few sacrifices were asked of the Southern people, Congress and President Davis were in essential agreement. During the second half of the war, the Davis administration’s program became more demanding, Congress responded by becoming more assertive in the law-making process before the 1863 midterm elections, it began to modify administration proposals, substitute its own measures and sometimes it refused to act at all. While it initiated few major policies, it concerned itself with details of executive administration. Despite its devotion to Confederate independence, it was criticized by supporters of Davis for occasional independence, censored in the dissenting press for not asserting itself more often.
The Confederate Congress first met provisionally on February 4, 1861 in Montgomery, Alabama to form a unified national government among states whose secessionist conventions had resolved to leave their union with the United States. Most Deep South residents and many in the border states believed the new nation about to be born in a revolution to perpetuate slavery was the logical result of defeats in sectional contests; the 1859 John Brown Raid to free slaves in Virginia was hailed in the North by Abolitionists proclaimed noble martyrdom of the provocateur seeking servile insurrection. The North seemed unwilling to accept the Supreme Court ruling in the Dred Scott case guaranteeing slavery in the territories, the Democratic Party had split Northern and Southern over the issue. Sectional antagonism was magnified with the decline of the national Whig Party and the upsurge of the new Republican Party, insistent on ending the extension of slavery in the territories, was seen as a threat to the existence of a Southern civilization.
The economic rivalry between Northern industry and mechanized farming versus Southern slave cash crop agriculture seemed to be a losing battle that would permanently subject the South as diminished colonists dependent on an aggressive business world. Secession was to the state delegates meeting in Montgomery a clear cut solution to over a decade of humiliation and defeats. A new nation of secessionist states would assure uncompromised slavery and deliver an independent economic security based on King Cotton; the November 1860 election of Lincoln brought the selection of the one candidate most to bring about disruption of the Union by state secession. It proved to be the deciding catalyst for the Deep South. Southern Members of Congress addressed their constituents saying that all hope of sectional relief and redress was ton and that “the sole and primary aim of each slaveholding State ought to be its speedy and absolute separation from an unnatural and hostile Union."A chain reaction was set off, as the “secessionists”, “straight outs”, “States’ Rights men” demanded separate state action to withdraw from the United States and immediate regrouping as a Southern union for self defense.
Cooperation towards such a new government was being achieved before the Montgomery Convention, as the Southern states had been exchanging a series of commissioners to determine their joint action since the fall of 1860. On December 31, 1860 the South Carolina Convention issued an invitation to Southern States to form a Southern Confederacy, after their next commissioners returned, on January 11, 1861 South Carolina invited all slave states in the Union to meet in Montgomery on February 4. Another six states called secession conventions of their own, held statewide elections to select delegates and passed secession ordinances between January 9 and February 1, 1861. South Carolina set the pattern for electing delegates to the Provisional Congress. Six state conventions elected two delegates at large, one from each congressional district. Florida allowed its secessionist Governor to appoint the state delegation. There was no popular election to the Provisional Congress, vacancies were filled by the secessionist conventions, state legislature or temporarily by a convention president.
The historian of the Confederate Congress, Wilfred Buck Yearns, held that the most significant feature of the Montgomery gathering was its moderation. The secessionist conventions had not only intended to establish a slaveholding republic of the Lower South, they hoped to attract the border slaveholding states, they sought to reconcile their own in-state cooperat