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This week in the Civil War

Rebel leader reinaugurated; guerrilla war tests Missouri

Jefferson Davis, who was provisionally elected the president of the Confederacy at a convention in Montgomery, Alabama, and inaugurated in February 1861, is reinaugurated this week 150 years ago.

The re-inauguration on Richmond’s Capitol Square takes place on Feb. 22, 1862, after Davis’ election in November 1861 to a six-year term.

In his address, Davis declares that the people of the Confederacy have come to believe that “the Government of the United States had fallen into the hands of a sectional majority, who would pervert the most sacred of all trusts to the destruction of the rights which it was pledged to project. … Therefore we are in arms to renew such sacrifices as our fathers made to the holy cause of constitutional liberty.”

The Richmond Examiner, in a report on the eve of Davis’ oath-taking, declares the day an “auspicious” one, but it exhorts his administration to take up its cause with energy so as to “escape the miseries of a protracted war.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer is among Northern newspapers that will print the bulk of the speech in later days along with details of the elaborate inaugural ceremonies and the politicians, judges and other prominent officials present.

Elsewhere, The Associated Press reports from Springfield, Missouri, that federal army troops are in “vigorous pursuit of the rebels” in that state. A dispatch states that Union forces have captured four rebel officers and 13 privates but the main body of pro-Confederate forces, led by Sterling Price, eludes them in the countryside.

From 1862 to 1864, Missouri will be the crucible of bloody guerrilla warfare. Only Virginia and Tennessee will see more fighting.

– Associated Press

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