Submitted by Sammy Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
One-hundred-and-fifty years ago on December 8th 1860, the Southern Senatorial caucus met in Washington, DC. A New York Times story published the next day noted:
The only result of the Southern Senatorial caucus yesterday, was the assurance that eight States are certain to secede. Most of the Southern Senators, including Vice-President BRECKINRIDGE, were present, and the prospects of the country were freely discussed. A large majority considered it too late to save the present Confederacy, but expressed the belief that a new Union would be speedily formed. Senator HEMPHILL was absent from sickness, but Senator WIGFALL declared that Texas would be an Independent Power within sixty days. The caucus adjourned with the hope that if disunion was to come, it might be peaceable, as a civil war would end in a military despotism.
The New York Times has gathered together stories from its archives of the events that followed and presented them in a time line, with clickable links to the stories and photographs they published as the events unfolded. Click here to go to their Civil War timeline (you may have to register; registration is free).
To read a quick summary of the American Civil War by Craig Symonds, click here.