Secession Events Held in Baton Rouge
Come Wednesday it will be exactly 150 years since Louisiana seceded from the United States in the days leading up to the Civil War, but don't look for any official state events to commemorate the historic decision.
Re-enactments, staged by the Sons of Confederate Veterans a little over a week before the anniversary, were among the few to recognize the event.
In Baton Rouge this week, a group of re-enactors descended on the federal garrison to seek and receive its surrender. Later that afternoon, another group convened in the House Chamber of the Old State Capitol for the signing of the Louisiana Ordinance of Secession — the papers that made the state the sixth to leave the Union.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans say remembering the war — the bloodiest in American history and one that still causes tension in many areas — is important. The group's website lauds the citizen-soldiers who fought for the Confederacy, and says the South was motivated by the desire to preserve liberty.
But secession itself was not popular with a large portion of Louisiana's citizens. Apparently, the anniversary isn't either.
The state planned no official commemoration.
"I think quite frankly people are a little embarrassed about it," said Lawrence Powell, a specialist in Civil War and Reconstruction at Tulane University. "It was not a real feel good story for anyone involved."