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The Provisional Confederate States Congress, for a time the legislative branch of the Confederate States of America, was the body which drafted the Confederate States Constitution, elected Jefferson Davis as Provisional Confederate States President, and designed the first Confederate flag. Unlike the later bicameral Confederate States Congress, the Provisional Congress consisted of only one house and its members were referred to as deputies and delegates.

The Congress was first organized as the Montgomery Convention, which marked the formal beginning of the Confederate States of America. Convened in Montgomery, Alabama, the Convention organized a provisional government for the Confederacy and created the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. It opened in the chambers of the Alabama Senate on February 4, 1861. On February 8, the Convention adopted the Provisional Confederate States Constitution, and so became the first session of the Provisional Confederate Congress.[1] John Tyler, the tenth President of the United States (1841–1845), served as a delegate from Virginia in the Provisional Confederate States Congress until his death in 1862.

Sessions[]

  • First Session 4 February 1861 – 16 March 1861 in Montgomery, Alabama
  • Second Session 29 April 1861 – 21 May 1861 in Montgomery, Alabama
  • Third Session 20 July 1861 – 31 August 1861 in Richmond, Virginia
  • Fourth Session 3 September 1861 (called) in Richmond, Virginia
  • Fifth Session 18 November 1861 – 17 February 1862 in Richmond, Virginia

Leadership[]

President of the Provisional Congress

President pro tempore

  • Robert Woodward Barnwell of South Carolina – February 4, 1861
  • Thomas Stanley Bocock of Virginia – December 10–21, 1861 and January 7–8, 1862
  • Josiah Abigail Patterson Campbell of Mississippi – December 23–24, 1861 and January 6, 1862

Members[]

Deputies[]

Deputies from the first seven states to secede formed the first two sessions of the Congress.

Alabama

  • William Parish Chilton, Sr.
  • Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry
  • Thomas Fearn (resigned 16 March 1861 after first Session)
    • Nicholas Davis, Jr. (took his seat on 29 April 1861 – Elected to fill vacancy)
  • Stephen F. Hale
  • David Peter Lewis (resigned 16 March 1861 after first Session)
    • Henry Cox Jones (took his seat on 29 April 1861 – Elected to fill vacancy)
  • Colin John McRae
  • John Gill Shorter (resigned November 1861)
    • Cornelius Robinson (took his seat on 29 April 1861 – Elected to fill vacancy; resigned 24 January 1862)
  • Robert Hardy Smith
  • Richard Wilde Walker

Florida

  • James Patton Anderson (resigned 8 April 1861)
    • George Taliaferro Ward (took his seat on 2 May 1861 – Elected to fill vacancy; resigned 5 February 1862)
    • John Pease Sanderson (took his seat on 5 February 1862 – Appointed to fill vacancy)
  • Jackson Morton
  • James Byeram Owens

Georgia

Louisiana

  • Charles Magill Conrad
  • Alexandre Etienne DeClouet
  • Duncan Farrar Kenner
  • Henry Marshall
  • John Perkins, Jr.
  • Edward Sparrow

Mississippi

  • William Taylor Sullivan Barry
  • Walker Brooke
  • Josiah Abigail Patterson Campbell
  • Alexander Mosby Clayton (resigned 11 May 1861)
    • Alexander Blackburn Bradford (took his seat on 5 December 1861 – Elected to fill vacancy)
  • Wiley Pope Harris
  • James Thomas Harrison
  • William Sydney Wilson (resigned 16 March 1861 after first session)
    • Jehu Amaziah Orr (took his seat on 29 April 1861 – Elected to fill vacancy)

South Carolina

  • Robert Woodward Barnwell
  • William Waters Boyce
  • James Chesnut, Jr.
  • Laurence Massillon Keitt
  • Christopher Gustavus Memminger
  • William Porcher Miles
  • Robert Barnwell Rhett, Sr.
  • Thomas Jefferson Withers (resigned 21 May 1861 after second session)
    • James Lawrence Orr (took his seat on 17 February 1862 – Appointed to fill vacancy)

Texas

Delegates[]

Representatives from states to secede after the Battle of Fort Sumter were referred to as delegates, in contrast to the deputies from the original seven states.

Arkansas

  • Augustus Hill Garland
  • Robert Ward Johnson
  • Albert Rust
  • Hugh French Thomason
  • William Wirt Watkins

Kentucky

Missouri

North Carolina

  • William Waightstill Avery
  • Francis Burton Craige
  • Allen Turner Davidson
  • George Davis
  • Thomas David Smith McDowell
  • John Motley Morehead
  • Richard Clauselle Puryear
  • Thomas Ruffin
  • William Nathan Harrell Smith
  • Abraham Watkins Venable

Tennessee

  • John DeWitt Clinton Atkins
  • Robert Looney Caruthers
  • David Maney Currin
  • William Henry DeWitt
  • John Ford House
  • Thomas McKissick Jones
  • James Houston Thomas

Virginia

Arizona Territory

See also[]

Notes[]

  1. Caplan, p. 57.

Sources[]

  • Caplan, Russell L. Constitutional Brinksmanship: Amending the Constitution by National Convention. Oxford University Press, 1988.

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