The Civil War, Day by Day

The Blue and The Gray


Jefferson Davis Approves State of War Between United States and Confederate States

Though Montgomery, Alabama was then the Confederate capital, Davis was pondering an invitation to move his seat of government to Richmond, Virginia. Cautious by nature, Davis feared that Richmond was situated too far north to be spared Union attacks. However, many Southern politicians supported the move - for Richmond symbolized the true culture of the South - the breeding place of aristocrats. Davis eventually agreed and Richmond became the new Capital of the Confederacy.

The spring of 1861 was a hopeful time in the South. Boyish, fresh-scrubbed young soldiers were eager to enlist and take to the battlefield in neat, colorful formations. Accomplished businessmen rubbed shoulders with the less educated masses, united in a common goal and in their romantic notions of war. Southerners everywhere spread rhetoric about building a new nation on the promise of personal freedom - yet, paradoxically, championed the cause of slavery.

Davis was glad to see such enthusiasm for the Southern cause, but he warned that the war might be long and bloody. His fears would be proven correct, as his soldiers’ dreams of heroism were replaced by the horrendous realities of the wrenching, gruesome conflict which would split families, and an entire nation of people, for four endless years.





May's Archived Features:

Sunday May 1, 2022
Monday May 2, 2022
Tuesday May 3, 2022
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Thursday May 5, 2022
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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.