- "This was another chapter of our history that will always be remembered, though there were very few witnesses left to speak of what it was like."
The Southern vampire wars started around the early 1800s and engulfed most of the southern part of North America, including Texas and Mexico. They began when a vampire named Benito created the first newborn army to conquer other covens that controlled New Mexico and Texas. Jasper Hale became involved in the later half of the 19th century.
The war (started around the 1820s) centered around Puebla, Mexico City, where Benito had amassed his army of newly-turned vampires, who are more physically powerful than older ones within their first several months. Benito first massacred two small covens near Houston, and then moved on to a larger one in Monterrey. His tactic was so successful that most covens in the surrounding areas created their own brand of newborns to defend against him and other covens that were reacting. The local humans were constantly targeted either for sustenance or addition to the covens' numbers; since newborns are volatile and dangerous, they kill each other easily in groups and consequently more had to be made to fill the numbers. Benito also had to keep making more newborns as the covens he decimated took more than half of his force down before they lost.
These battles spread widely and caused such death toll and fear to the human population that the Volturi were sent to stop the rampage, fearing the exposure this would lead to and executed Benito and all other covens that experimented on newborns, effectively ending the war within one year of clearing in the 1830s.
The Volturi eventually returned to Italy and the southern lands were peaceful for a time. Around the 1840s, the survivors in the South quickly laid claim to the land. It did not take long before new covens were formed and the war resumed. However, because the last war caused entire armies and everyone involved to be slaughtered, the new covens fought in more carefully managed conditions to avoid a new intervention by the Volturi. At times, some covens would slip and let the death rate grow out of proportions again, and then the Volturi would return to wipe them out. However, they allowed the more careful covens to continue.
Using Benito's idea, Maria, along with her newfound companions, Lucy and Nettie, started her own army, turning Jasper, Peter, Charlotte and many others into vampires along the way to win back the territories they'd lost. Maria quickly made Jasper her second-in-command when she noticed his useful skills in battle and his gift of pathokinesis that kept her minions in check.
The war is still active to this day, but the covens are careful not to draw too much attention to themselves. Victoria adopted the tactic in her attempt to destroy the Cullens after encountering an army in Texas.
- Other guards
- Many unnamed deceased newborns
- Multiple Southern covens