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U.S. Civil War 1861-1865

1861 - North Carolina Joins the Confederacy

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.

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1863 - Gettysburg

July 1, 1863 - The Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania marks the turning point of the Civil War. The Confederates, led by General Robert E. Lee, try to invade the North. They are thwarted by the Union army in the three-day battle that will leave more than 40,000 men on both sides dead, wounded, captured or missing in action. Lee retreats into Virginia.

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1865 - Davis' Telegram

April 18, 1865 - In the closing days of the Civil War, Confederate President Jefferson Davis stops in Charlotte. He spends two weeks in the Queen City. Davis holds several meetings with his advisors, or cabinet. As Davis is giving a speech from the porch of businessman Lewis Bates' home, the Confederate president is interrupted by a messenger. The telegram says that Abraham Lincoln has been assassinated.Jefferson Davis in CharlottePlaque on S. Tryon St.

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1865 - Slavery Ends in North Carolina

December 4, 1865 - North Carolina's legislature agrees to abolish slavery. The state approves, or ratifies, the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This is one requirement the state must meet if it wants to be re-admitted into the United States. North Carolina had left the U.S., or seceded, more than four years earlier.

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1862 - Charlotte's War Effort

Fifteen hundred Mecklenburg men and boys go to work at Charlotte's Confederate Navy Yard, where shells, gunpowder and ammunition, called ordnance, are made. The navy yard has been moved from Norfolk, Virginia to Mecklenburg County to be near the iron works, and farther from enemy troops. Women do their part, too. They spin, weave and sew to make uniforms. 

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