Lincoln's Call For Troops

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President Lincoln Raises an Army
Lincoln's Call For the States to Send Troops

Lincoln's Call or Demand For Troops
The Proclamation to Crush the Southern Rebellion
 
Introduction
 
What caused the Civil War that would in four years claim 620,000 American lives? This question is still begin hotly debated, but the answer may be found in the words of the commander-in-chief himself. President Abraham Lincoln raised an army for one goal: to suppress the rebellion, known as secession, in the Southern states. 
 
Lincoln's call or demand to the states was in reality a proclamation.  
 
A massive army numbering 75,000 men was not being raised in 1861 because of the institution of slavery, which would remain intact until the 13th Amendment was ratified in 1865, but Lincoln himself stated that secession (not States' Rights) in the South had compelled him to raise an army and to march it into the rebellious states and force them back into the Union. Whereas seven Southern states had previously seceded, four additional states would secede following Lincoln's proclamation for troops. Affirmed by President Lincoln, the chief executive of the nation and principal character of the entire conflict, Southern secession had indeed caused the American Civil War.

Proclamation

O.R.--SERIES III--VOLUME I [S# 122]
CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, REPORTS, AND RETURNS 
OF THE UNION AUTHORITIES FROM NOVEMBER 1, 1860, TO MARCH 31, 1862.--#3

WAR DEPARTMENT,
Washington, April 15, 1861.

        SIR: Under the act of Congress "for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, repel invasions," &c., approved February 28, 1795, I have the honor to request Your Excellency to cause to be immediately detached from the militia of your State the quota designated in the table below, to serve as infantry or riflemen, for the period of three months, unless sooner discharged.
        Your Excellency will please communicate to me the time at or about which your quota will be expected at its rendezvous, as it will be met as soon as practicable by an officer or officers to muster it into the service and pay of the United States. At the same time the oath of fidelity to the United States will be administered to every officer and man. The mustering officer will be instructed to receive no man under the rank of commissioned officer who is in years apparently over forty-five or under eighteen, or who is not in physical strength and vigor. (1)

Table of quotas (2)
[Composition of the regiments and proportion of general staff officers omitted.]

State

Major
Generals
Brigadier
Generals
Regiments Total of Officers Total of Men Aggregate
Maine --- --- 1 37 743 780
New Hampshire --- --- 1 37 743 780
Vermont --- --- 1 37 743 780
Massachusetts --- --- 2 74 1,486 1,560
Rhode Island --- --- 1 37 743 780
Connecticut --- --- 1 37 743 780
New York 2 4 17 649 12,631 13,280
Pennsylvania(3) 2 4 16 612 11,888 12,500
New Jersey --- 1 4 151 2,972 3,123
Delaware --- --- 1 37 743 780
Maryland --- 1 4 151 2,972 3,123
Virginia --- --- 3 111 2,229 2,340
--- --- 2 74 1,486 1,560
Tennessee --- --- 2 74 1,486 1,560
Arkansas --- --- 1 37 743 780
Kentucky --- 1 4 151 2,972 3,123
Missouri --- 1 4 151 2,972 3,123
Illinois --- 1 6 225 4,458 4,683
Indiana --- 1 6 225 4,458 4,683
Ohio 1 3 13 494 9,659 10,153
Michigan --- --- 1 37 743 780
Wisconsin --- --- 1 37 743 780
Iowa --- --- 1 37 743 780
Minnesota --- --- 1 37 743 780
Total 5 17 94 3,549 69,842 73,391

The rendezvous for your State will be: Maine, Portland; New Hampshire, Portsmouth; Vermont, Burlington; Massachusetts, Boston; Rhode Island, Providence; Connecticut, New Haven; New York, New York, Albany, Elmira; Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Harrisburg; New Jersey, Trenton; Delaware, Wilmington; Maryland, Frederick City, Baltimore; Virginia, Staunton, Wheeling, Gordonsville; North Carolina, Raleigh; Tennessee, Knoxville, Nashville; Arkansas, Little Rock; Kentucky, Lexington; Missouri, Saint Louis; Illinois, Springfield, Chicago; Indiana, Indianapolis; Ohio, Columbus, Cleveland; Michigan, Detroit; Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Iowa, Keokuk; Minnesota, Saint Paul.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SIMON CAMERON, 

Secretary of War.

Notes

(1.) 

Sent to the Governors of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware,  Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, and they were notified by telegraph, same date, of the requisition being made.
 

(2.)

Under this call the men furnished were as follows:  Maine, 771;  New Hampshire, 779;  Vermont, 782, Massachusetts, 3,736;  Rhode Island, 3,147;  Connecticut, 2,402; New York, 13,906;  New Jersey, 3,123;   Pennsylvania 20,175;  Delaware 775;  Virginia (Western), 900;  Ohio, 12,357;  Indiana, 4,686;  Illinois, 4,820;  Michigan, 781;  Wisconsin, 817;  Minnesota, 930;  Iowa, 968;  Missouri 10,591.  In addition to the above, the District of Columbia furnished 4,720 and the State of Kansas, 650;  making a grand total of 91,816.
 

(3.)

Pennsylvania quota reduced, by telegram of April 16, to fourteen regiments.


O.R.--SERIES III--VOLUME I [S# 122]
CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, REPORTS, AND RETURNS OF THE UNION AUTHORITIES 
FROM NOVEMBER 1, 1860, TO MARCH 31, 1862.--#3

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:
A PROCLAMATION

        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 or by the powers vested in the marshals by law:
        Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution and the laws, have thought fit to call forth, and hereby do call forth, the militia of the several States of the Union, to the aggregate number of 75,000, in order to suppress said combinations and to cause the laws to be duly executed.
        The details of this object will be immediately communicated to the State authorities through the War Department.
        I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate, and aid this effort to maintain the honor, the integrity, and the existence of our National Union, and the perpetuity of popular government, and to redress wrongs already long enough endured. 
        I deem it proper to say that the first service assigned to the forces hereby called forth will probably be to repossess the forts, places, and property which have been seized from the Union, and in every event the utmost care will be observed, consistently with the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastation, any destruction of or interference with property, or any disturbance of peaceful citizens in any part of the country.
        And I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within twenty days from date.
        Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents an extraordinary occasion, I do hereby, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution, convene both houses of Congress.
        Senators and Representatives are therefore summoned to assemble at their respective chambers at twelve o'clock noon on Thursday, the fourth day of July next, then and there to consider and determine such measures as in their wisdom the public safety and interest may seem to demand.
        In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
        Done at the city of Washington this fifteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth. 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State.

Source: Official Record of the Union and Confederate Armies

(Continued below.)

Recommended Reading: The South Was Right! (Hardcover). Description: Kin Hubbard said "'Tain't what a man don't know that hurts him; it's what he does know that just ain't so." Much of what people "know" about the causes, conduct, and consequences of the Civil War "just ain't so." The Kennedy brothers make a strong case that the real reasons and results of the War Between the States have been buried under the myth of Father Abraham and his blue-clad saints marching south to save the Union and free the slaves. Sure, the tone is polemical. But the "enlightened" elements of American opinion have been engaging in a polemic against the South and its people for decades. Continued below...

This book adopts the "following the money approach" to analyzing who profited most from slavery – a convincing argument that reflects that much of the wealth went to the North. It also points out that slavery was not new to Africa, and was practiced by Africans against Africans without foreign intervention. A strong case is made that the North and Lincoln held strong racist views. Lincoln proposed shipping, or transporting, blacks back to Africa  The blacks residing in the Northern states were in a precarious predicament (e.g. draft riots and lynchings in NY City). The authors, however, do not make any argument supporting slavery - their consistent line is the practice is vile. The fact that many blacks served, assisted and provided material support to Union and Confederate Armies is beyond refute. Native Americans also served with distinction on both sides during the Civil War. “A controversial and thought-provoking book that challenges the status-quo of present teachings…”

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Recommended Reading: The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War. Description: It hardly seems possible that there is more to say about someone who has been subjected to such minute scrutiny in thousands of books and articles. Yet, Thomas J. DiLorenzo’s The Real Lincoln manages to raise fresh and morally probing questions, challenging the image of the martyred 16th president that has been fashioned carefully in marble and bronze, sentimentalism and myth. In doing so, DiLorenzo does not follow the lead of M. E. Bradford or other Southern agrarians. He writes primarily not as a defender of the Old South and its institutions, culture, and traditions, but as a libertarian enemy of the Leviathan state. Continued below...

DiLorenzo holds Lincoln and his war responsible for the triumph of "big government" and the birth of the ubiquitous, suffocating modern U.S. state. He seeks to replace the nation’s memory of Lincoln as the “Great Emancipator” with the record of Lincoln as the “Great Centralizer.”

 
Recommended Reading: For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War. Description: Professor James McPherson posits that the common rank-and-file soldiers did indeed hold political and ideological beliefs that prodded them to enlist and to fight. His research is based on letters and diaries from 1,076 Union and Confederate soldiers that reveal many motivations, but always lead back to duty, honor, and a cause worth dying for. For Cause and Comrades is a fascinating exploration of the 19th-century mind--a mind, it seems, that differs profoundly from our own.
 

Recommended Reading: Secession Debated: Georgia's Showdown in 1860. Review: The critical northern antebellum debate matched the rhetorical skills of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in an historic argument over the future of slavery in a westward-expanding America. Two years later, an equally historic oratorical showdown between secessionists and Unionists in Georgia generated as much popular interest south of the Mason-Dixon line, and perhaps had an even more profound immediate effect on the future of the United States. Continued below...

With Abraham Lincoln's "Black Republican" triumph in the presidential election of 1860, the United States witnessed ardent secessionist sentiment in the South. But Unionists were equally zealous and while South Carolina--a bastion of Disunionism since 1832--seemed certain to secede; the other fourteen slave states were far from decided. In the deep South, the road to disunion depended much on the actions of Georgia, a veritable microcosm of the divided South and geographically in the middle of the Cotton South. If Georgia went for the Union, secessionist South Carolina could be isolated. So in November of 1860, all the eyes of Dixie turned to tiny Milledgeville, pre-war capital of Georgia, for a legislative confrontation that would help chart the course toward civil war. In Secession Debated, William W. Freehling and Craig M. Simpson have for the first time collected the seven surviving speeches and public letters of this greatest of southern debates over disunion, providing today's reader with a unique window into a moment of American crisis. Introducing the debate and debaters in compelling fashion, the editors help bring to life a sleepy Southern town suddenly alive with importance as a divided legislature met to decide the fate of Georgia, and by extension, that of the nation. We hear myriad voices, among them the energetic and self-righteous Governor Joseph E. Brown who, while a slaveholder and secessionist, was somewhat suspect as a native North Georgian; Alexander H. Stephens, the eloquent Unionist whose "calm dispassionate approach" ultimately backfired; and fiery secessionist Robert Toombs who, impatient with Brown's indecisiveness and the caution of the Unionists, shouted to legislators: "Give me the sword! but if you do not place it in my hands, before God! I will take it." The secessionists' Henry Benning and Thomas R. R. Cobb as well as the Unionists Benjamin Hill and Herschel Johnson also speak to us across the years, most with eloquence, all with the patriotic, passionate conviction that defined an era. In the end, the legislature adopted a convention bill which decreed a popular vote on the issue in early January 1861. The election results were close, mirroring the intense debate of two months before: 51% of Georgians favored immediate secession, a slim margin which the propaganda-conscious Brown later inflated to 58%. On January 19th the Georgia Convention sanctioned secession in a 166-130 vote, and the imminent Confederacy had its Southern hinge. Secession Debated is a colorful and gripping tale told in the words of the actual participants, one which sheds new light on one of the great and hitherto neglected verbal showdowns in American history. It is essential to a full understanding of the origins of the War Between the States.
 

Recommended Reading: One Nation, Indivisible? A Study of Secession and the Constitution. Description: Is secession legal under the United States Constitution? "One Nation, Indivisible?" takes a fresh look at this old question by evaluating the key arguments of such anti-secession men as Daniel Webster and Abraham Lincoln, in light of reason, historical fact, the language of the Constitution, and the words of America's Founding Fathers. Modern anti-secession arguments are also examined, as are the questions of why Americans are becoming interested in secession once again, whether secession can be avoided, and how an American state might peacefully secede from the Union. Continued below…

"The federal government's growth of power at the expense of individuals and natural human communities has been the trend so long now that it has seemed inevitable. But thoughtful people of late have been rediscovering the true decentralist origins of the United States. Robert Hawes states the case beautifully for the forgotten decentralist tradition - which may be our only hope for the preservation of freedom."
 

Recommended Reading: When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession. Review: As a historian, I have learned that the heart of any great work in history lies in the ample and accurate use of primary sources, and primary sources are the great strength of this work. While countless tomes have debated the perceived moral sides of the Civil War and the motivations of the various actors, this work investigates the motives of the primary players in the era and in their own words and writings. This gives the work an excellent realism and accuracy. The author, Charles Adams, has earned a reputation as one of the leading economic historians in the field, particularly in the area of taxes. He utilizes this background to investigate the American Civil War, and comes to some very striking conclusions, many that defy the politically-correct history of today. His thesis postulates that the Civil War had its primary cause not in slavery or state's rights, but rather in cold, hard economic concerns. Continued below...

He shows that the North used its supremacy in Congress to push through massive tariffs to fund the government, and that these tariffs fell much harder on the export-dependent South than upon the insular north. In fact, the total revenue from the "Compromise" Tariffs on the 1830s and 40s amounted to $107.5 million, of which $90 million came from the South. The majority of the revenue, moreover, was spent on projects “far from the South.” According to Adams, this disparity finally pushed the South to seek its own independence. Supporting this conclusion is the fact that the South enacted extremely low tariffs throughout the war, whereas the north enacted the Morrill Tariff of 1861, which enacted tariffs as high as 50 percent on some goods. Adams also chronicles the oft-overlooked excesses of the Lincoln Administration, and compares them to the actions of Julius Caesar. Using the letters and reports of the times, he tells how Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, trod roughshod over the Constitution, jailed thousands of U.S. citizens who dared disagree with him and even wrote a warrant for the arrest of the Chief Justice of the United States. Adams also ably uses the viewpoints of British and other Europeans to describe different contemporary views on the struggle. These provide excellent outside insight. On the whole, readers will find the book a superb and scholarly analysis, providing fresh insights into the motivations and causes of the defining war in American history. AWARDED 5 STARS by americancivilwarhistory.org

 

Recommended Reading: A Constitutional History of Secession (Hardcover). Review: The Constitutional History of Secession is the history of the legal practice of secession in the Anglo-American world. The learned jurist John Remington Graham is possessed of a profound expertise on American, British and Canadian constitutional law. He has written a compelling defense of the right of secession. Secession, the right of self-determination, and the principle of "rule by consent of the governed" were among the foremost principles animating the American War for Independence of Seventeen-Seventy-Six. Yet the consolidationist sophists malign and deny these tried and true principles of free government. Graham, however, traces British and American constitutional history and developments with great clarity and buoys the case for secession. He offers an amazing exposition of seventeenth century British constitutional developments, which culminated in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 in which the Crown peacefully passed from James II to William and Mary without armed conflict. Continued below…

The accession of William of Orange to the throne was met with popular support, as the usurpations of William II were not amenable to the populace. This so called revolution set a standard for peaceful political separation, and it was exactly what the American Continental Congress sought from Great Britain. Likewise, peaceful separation was what the southern states that formed the Southern Confederacy wanted when those eleven states formally separated from the United States. Secession does not have to mean war and violence, but war was thrust upon American colonials and southern confederates when their previous government refused to acknowledge their right of self-determination. As the Declaration of Independence proclaims, "...whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." As Confederate President Jefferson Davis proclaimed, "All we ask is to be left alone." The Glorious Revolution forms the foundation of Graham's treatise as he advances his thesis and makes the case for secession. As Donald Livingston proclaims in the preface, "The central focus of this work will be revolution, not as an armed overthrow of an established government, but as a rational and orderly process, specifically allowed by fundamental law."

In making the case for secession, Graham substantiates the compact nature of the Union as well, which correspondingly legitimizes interposition, nullification, and secession. Two early constitutional commentaries including St. George Tucker's View of the Constitution of the United States (1801) and Pennsylvania Federalist William Rawle's A View of the Constitution (1829) both affirm a right of secession.

John Remington Graham further traces American constitutional developments, and in doing so he substantiates the compact nature of the Union, and makes a profound case for the Constitution as a compact, which in effect legitimizes the right of secession. He further explains all of these episodes in constitutional history with amazing detail and clarity:

**The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions which were in continuity with the colonial-revolutionary tradition of State remonstrance, protest, interposition and nullification of unconstitutional acts of central government authorities.

**The Hartford Convention and the anti-war, anti-embargo northern secessionist movement which emerged after the unwelcomed War of 1812 with the British.

**The Webster-Hayne Debates on the nature of the Union is explained in detail. Likewise, Daniel Webster's case of foot-in-mouth disease is made manifest as Hayne hearkens back to his deeds at the Hartford Convention.

**The Missouri Compromise and constitutional question of slavery and the sectional strife over the spread of slavery into the territories is explained.

**The secession of the eleven southern states from the Union and the circumstances leading to their separation are explained in detail. Likewise, the birth of the Southern Confederacy and the north's violent refusal to accept their separation is painstakingly documented.

**The unlawful and violent conquest of the South, the unconstitutional political repression in north and south, the illegal suspension of the writ of habeas corpus throughout the whole nation and the oppressive Reconstruction Acts are explained with amazing clarity and detail.

**Graham fast forwards to the twentieth-century. In our time, Quebec has asserted the legal right of secession as a viable political alternative if its relationship with the central government of the Canadian Confederation does not prove to be more mutually-beneficial and less detrimental to the interests of Quebec's citizenry in coming years. With a distinctive francophone culture and nearly half of the populace voting for secession in the last popular referendum, we may well witness the peaceful separation of Quebec from Canada in our lifetime.

All things considered, John Remington Graham has done a remarkable job at making the case for secession and has made a lasting contribution to constitutional scholarship. His book is well-documented and awash in powerful quotations from British and American statesmen. There is a preponderance of evidence in the Anglo-American constitutional heritage which makes secession a lawful exercise. Likewise, he is very logical in tracing the deducible nature of State sovereignty. Graham in final application points out that self-determination as expressed in an act of secession emanates from the right of people themselves to self-government. Essentially by presenting the secession of the American colonies and the Southern Confederacy in its proper historical and legal context, Graham has made a valuable contribution to understanding the Anglo-American political tradition. John Graham who presently served as an expert advisor on British constitutional law to the amicus curiae (i.e. friend of the court) for Quebec in the secession state decided in 1998. As Jefferson astutely opined, "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes..." Thus, secession is never to be approached lightly, and the act of secession negates the value, benefits and security of the Union.

* * * * * * * * * * *
"Whenever government becomes destructive of these ends (i.e. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness), it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government." -Declaration of Independence of the American Colonies, July 4, 1776

"Sovereignty is the highest degree of political power, and the establishment of a form of government, the highest proof which can be given of its existence. The states could have not reserved any rights by articles of their union, if they had not been sovereign, because they could have no rights, unless they flowed from that source. In the creation of the federal government, the states exercised the highest act of sovereignty, and they may, if they please, repeat the proof of their sovereignty, by its annihilation. But the union possesses no innate sovereignty, like the states; it was not self-constituted; it is conventional, and of course subordinate to the sovereignties by which it was formed." -John Taylor of Caroline, New Views of the Constitution, Nov. 19, 1823

"I saw in State Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy. The institutions of your Republic have not exercised on the old world the salutary and liberating influence which ought to have belonged to them, by reason of those defects and abuses of principle which the Confederate Constitution was expressly and wisely calculated to remedy. I believed that the example of that great Reform would have blessed all the races of mankind by establishing true freedom purged of the native dangers and disorders of Republics. Therefore I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo." -Lord Acton in a letter to Robert E. Lee, Nov. 4, 1866.

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