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May 20, 1861 Six weeks ago, the battle of Fort Sumter marked the beginning of the Civil War. Today, North Carolina secedes from the U.S. and joins the Confederacy, becoming the 10th of 11 states to do so. This date is special for another reason. It marks the 76th anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed Mecklenburg's independence at the time of the Revolutionary War.