July 1860 to January 1861
Callie Anthony says: We all hoped it wouldn't happen, but Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States on November 6, 1860. Here in Virginia, it was our closest presidential election ever, and Constitutional Union candidate John Bell won our state's electoral votes. After Abe Lincoln won, South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20. Throughout this winter of 1860–1861, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas have all seceded, too. Congress and a national peace conference led by former president John Tyler (a Virginian!) tried to work out a compromise proposal to preserve the Union, but they couldn't. In January 1861, our General Assembly called for an election of delegates to a state convention to decide whether Virginia should stay in the Union or secede. I think we should go with the South. Those Northerners just don't understand or respect our institutions.