Girding for War
I. The Menace of Secession
On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated president, havingslipped into
Washington D.C. to thwart assassins, and in his inauguraladdress, he stated that there
would be no conflict unless the Southprovoked it.
He marked restoration of the union as his top goal, and offered doubts about it splitting.
He stated that geographically, the United States could not be split (which was
A split U.S. brought up questions about the sharing of the national debt and
the allocation of federal territories.
A split U.S. also pleased the European countries, since the U.S.was the only
major display of democracy in the Western Hemisphere, andwith a split U.S., the
Monroe Doctrine could be undermined as well ifthe new C.S.A. allowed Europe to gain a
foothold with it.
II. South Carolina Assails Fort Sumter
Most of the forts in the South had relinquished their power to theConfederacy, but Fort
Sumter was among the two that didn’t. Andsince its supplies were running out against a
besieging SouthCarolinian army, Lincoln had a problem of how to deal with thesituation.
Lincoln wisely chose to send supplies to the fort, and he told theSouth
Carolinian governor that the ship to the fort only heldprovisions, not reinforcements.
However, to the South, provisions were reinforcements, and on April12, 1861,
cannons were fired onto the fort; after 34 hours ofnon-lethal firing, the fort surrendered.
Northerners were inflamed by the South’s actions, and Lincolnnow called on 75,000
volunteers; so many came that they had to beturned away.
On April 19 and 27, Lincoln also called a naval blockade on the South that was leaky at
first but soon clamped down tight.
The Deep South (which had already seceded), felt that Lincoln wasnow waging an
aggressive war, and was joined by four more Southernstates: Virginia, Arkansas,
Tennessee, and North Carolina.
The capital of the Confederacy was moved from Montgomery, AL to
III. Brother’s Blood and Border Blood