Secession was anything but unanimous

01/24/2011

A century and a half ago, secession was in full swing throughout the South. South Carolina had left the Union in December 1860 and Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana all followed suit in January. Texas did likewise on Feb. 1, 1861.

But, according to the above map – which breaks down counties based on whether they were for secession, against it or divided - breaking away was anything but unanimous, even in the Deep South.

Not surprisingly, South Carolina was all in for leaving the Union, but North Carolina and Arkansas were also undivided in terms of counties favoring disunion.

Of course, Virginia’s qualms about breaking away are well known, as the wealthier eastern half of the state was far more likely to align itself with Confederate interests than the western half  which in 1863 became the state of West Virginia.

But what’s really interesting is that states such as Alabama and Georgia apparently had some real division regarding secession, at least in terms of county delegations.

Nearly all of upper Alabama was either against secession or divided on the issue, while a considerable portion of Georgia was likewise split. Even Mississippi had several counties that are against disunion.

(Hat tip: SC6)

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4 Responses to “Secession was anything but unanimous”


  1. Us southern states don’t need to secede, we already did. Since there has never been surrender papers signed then the south is actually still under occupation of the USA, been that way since 1865. I could go on and on having studied the war between the states for over 55 years.

  2. ginger Says:

    The states are not constitutionally allowed to secede from a “perpetual union.” The internal rebellion was put down. It is, therefore, unnecessary to surrender- just stop fighting.

    • charles bushong Says:

      Ginger, At the time in 1860 there was no law against secession, that came after the war. They held Jeff Davis for 2 years, not even the guards could talk to him. All he had was a bible. They could find no law hat he had broken and they let him go.


      • Chuck, you are, of course, correct. I took Ginger’s comment as that of someone looking to provoke an argument.

        Had the Founding Fathers in 1787 added a clause to our Constitution that stated that once a state had joined the Union it would never be allowed to leave, I don’t think very many, if any, states would have ratified the document.

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