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States was held at Montgomery, Alabama, on February 4, 1861. It was composed of delegates legally appointed. Their first work was to prepare a provisional Constitution for the new Confederacy, to be formed of the States which had withdrawn from the Union, for which the style Confederate States of America was adopted. The powers conferred upon them were adequate for the performance of this duty, the immediate necessity for which was obvious and urgent. This Constitution was adopted on February 8th, to continue in force for one year, unless superseded at an earlier date by a permanent organization. It was modelled on the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution was copied from the one the Confederates had just relinquished, to those who neither respected nor held its provisions sacred. Guided by experience, some stronger and more explicit clauses were interpolated. Instead of We, the People of the United States, etc., We, the People of the Confederate States, each
Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir by his Wife, Volume 2, Chapter 17: Roanoke Island.-Mr. Davis's inauguration. (search)
Roanoke Island, on the low coast-line of North Carolina, for it was an important outpost of the Confederates. Its possession by the enemy would give them access to the country from which Norfolk drew its supplies. On January 22, 1862, General Henry A. Wise was placed in command. The defence of this island consisted of six land batteries, and after manning the guns there were not one thousand effective men for duty. Seven gunboats were in the Sound to aid in its defence. On February 8th, General Burnside attacked the defences of the island, and with overwhelming numbers outflanked them, and captured almost the entire force. In this action Captain O. Jennings Wise, of the Richmond Blues, was killed. When he fell on the field, with a mortal wound, one of his men inquired if he was much hurt. His answer was, Never mind me; fight on, men, fight on, and keep cool. As he was being borne from the field a random shot struck and killed him. Nothing could have been more pat