Friday, April 15, 2011

Lincoln Calls for Troops to Attack the South

Abraham Lincoln
The attack on Fort Sumter had very sudden political effects. While the South saw the fort as part of their territory occupied by a foreign nation which could rightfully be removed, the North saw it as an attack and insurrection on the government. Therefore, the day after the surrender, President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for the states to call out 75,000 militia to suppress the rebellion. He said,
Whereas the laws of the United States have been for some time past, and now are opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed, in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings...
He said that the first responsibility of the militia summoned would be to repossess the forts from which they were driven, and he assured the people of the South that, “utmost care will be observed ... to avoid any devastation, any destruction of, or interference with, property, or any disturbance of peaceful citizens in any part of the country.”

We have discussed earlier how the Upper Slave states of the south had not yet seceded. While they wished to keep their slaves and desired to remain in the Union, they would not participate in an invasion of the seceded states. Just two days before President Lincoln told a prominent Virginian that no invasion would take place, just as he had said in his inauguration, “beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion - no use of force against or among the people anywhere.” But now he was calling upon the South to raise troops to attack the states who had exercised their right to leave the Union.


troutbirder said...

There is an excellent account of these events in the newly published 1861 The Civil War awakening. I highly recommend it.

Joshua Horn said...

Thanks, I will check that out.

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