On this day in 1861 former Mississippi Congressman Jefferson Davis took the oath as the first and only president of the Confederate States of America. The oath was administered on the steps of the Alabama capitol building in Montgomery. Montgomery was the Confederate capitol until the Confederate government moved closer to the seat of war, Richmond, Virginia later that year. Alabama seceded from the United States in January 1861 after Abraham Lincoln was elected president. Lincoln ran on the promise to limit slavery from spreading into the western territories. Davis was the president from February 18, 1861 to May 10, 1865. He presided during a four-year bloody civil war. Historians estimate over 720,000 men, women and children died during the conflict. In February 2011 history buffs and Civil War reenactors from across the country converged on Montgomery, Ala., to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Jefferson Davis taking the oath of office. Enjoy a little slideshow of that event below.
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Michael E. Palmer is a writer and photographer based in Alabama.
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