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The Confederate States of America (also called the Confederacy, the Confederate States, the CSA, and the South) was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by eleven Southern slave states that had declared their secession from the United States. Secessionists argued that the United States Constitution was a compact among states, an agreement which each state could abandon without consultation. The U.S. government (the Union) rejected secession as illegal. Following a Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter, a federal fort in the Confederate state of South Carolina, the U.S. used military action to defeat the Confederacy. No foreign nation officially recognized the Confederate States of America as an independent country, but several did grant belligerent status. The Confederate Constitution of seven state signatories _ South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas _ formed a "permanent federal government" in Montgomery, Alabama.

Contributions by JimWae, Rangerdude, and WehrWolf.

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