Glorious News from Florida!

Saturday, December 1, 1860

The New York Times noted, almost in passing, that “secession flags are flying in many portions of the State, and that the secession feeling largely predominates there.”1

This was fitting, as on this day, the Florida legislature convened and resolved to hold a state convention to consider the idea of seceding from the Union. The convention was to take place in Tallahassee on January 3.

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William Tecumseh Sherman, West Point graduate of 1840 and veteran of the Second Seminole War in Florida, became the first superintendent of the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy (later LSU) in Alexandria, Louisiana in 1859. On this day, long before even thoughts of becoming a great character in the drama hardly thought by anyone to be unfolding, Sherman wrote his younger brother, James Sherman (a future senator from their home state of Ohio), to share his prediction of what may happen.

“If Texas should draw off, no great harm would follow – Even if S. Carolina, Georgia, Alabama & Florida would cut away, it might be the rest could get along, but I think the secession of Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas will bring war – for though they now say that Free Trade is their Policy yet it wont be long before steamboats will be taxed and molested all the way down.”



  1. New York Times, December 1, 1860. []
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2 thoughts on “Glorious News from Florida!

  1. I respect Sherman even more now than previously. His ability to see how some of the States could be allowed to quietly slip away while other would surely provoke a conflict reinforces my view that he was a strategist looking more than a few steps ahead. He had depth of vision and iron will. Where others criticize him for his scorched earth policies I respect that he caused massive shifts in the enemy’s forces and thinking beyond his immediate tactical impact.

    1. Sherman is a character who is mostly followed in the mid to late war, but I’ve found a few references to him pre-war and early-war. Much of it comes from his own Memoirs, which are definitely worth checking out.

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