|Members of the 1st Texas Infantry in Winter Quarters in|
Virginia, circa 1861-62. (Library of Congress)
And of course possibly the greatest example of successful secession was the War for American Independence, 1775-1783. Another, less known example, was the West Florida Republic, which was formed in what is now Southeast Louisiana when the people of the Spanish colony of West Florida seceded from the Kingdom of Spain 1810 to form their own independent nation. The West Florida Republic lasted only three months before the United States took it over peacefully, claiming it was rightfully part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The national flag of the West Florida Republic was the Bonnie Blue Flag, a banner that made a deep impression on the people of the South. The Bonnie Blue Flag was one of the banners that represented the Texans battling for their independence, and was incorporated into the Texas state flag and its nickname, "Lone Star State."
So, when the people of the Southern states exercised their God-given right to govern themselves under a government of their own choosing in 1861, they had those successful examples of secession in mind and every reason to believe that their quest for freedom and independence would be successful too. Many leaders of the War for Southern Independence were the sons of veterans of the War for American Independence, including President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee, and General Joseph E. Johnston.
Here are some veterans of the War for Texas Independence who became Confederates (more will be added to this list as they are found), arranged by highest Confederate rank:
Lt. Col. Kindallis "King" Bryan: He was among the first volunteers for the Texas Revolution, joining the Brazos Rifles at age 17 in September, 1835 to help defend Gonzales after the first skirmish of the war. A native of Louisiana, he settled with his family in 1834 in Liberty, Texas. He also served in the Siege of Bexar and volunteered to relieve the Alamo in 1836, but it fell before the relief force could get there. After the war he served in the Army of the Republic of Texas, became a sheriff of Liberty County and a state representative for his district. In the War for Southern Independence he had a distinguished military record with the 5th Texas Infantry of Hood's Texas Brigade, fighting at Eltham's Landing, Gaine's Mill, Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness. He was wounded three times and disabled, but after the war represented his district at the Texas State Constitutional Convention of 1866. He died later that same year.
|Maj. Josephus S. Irvine|