Mississippi in the American Civil War

Mississippi In The American Civil War

Mississippi in the American Civil War

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Mississippi was the second state to declare secession from the Union, on January 9, 1861. In February, it joined with six other Cotton States to form the Confederate States of America. Mississippi's location along the lengthy Mississippi River made it strategically important to both the North and South; dozens of battles were fought in the state as armies repeatedly clashed near key towns and cities.

Mississippi troops fought in every major theater of the war, although most were concentrated in the west. The only president of the confederacy, Jefferson Davis, though born in Kentucky, spent most of his formative years in Mississippi and operated a major plantation in the state when he was elected president. Prominent Mississippi generals included William Barksdale, Carnot Posey, Wirt Adams, Earl Van Dorn, and Benjamin G. Humphreys.

Mississippi politics

For years prior to the Civil War, Mississippi had heavily voted Democratic, especially as the Whigs declined in their influence. During the 1860 presidential election, the state supported Southern Democrat candidate John C. Breckinridge, giving him 40,768 votes (59.0% of the total of 69,095 ballots cast). John Bell, the candidate of the Constitutional Union Party, came in a distant second with 25,045 votes (36.25% of the total), with Stephen A. Douglas of the Northern Democrats receiving 3,282 votes (4.75%). Abraham Lincoln, who won the national election, was not on the ballot in...
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