On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated president, having slipped into Washington
D.C. to thwart assassins, and in his inaugural address, he stated that there would be no conflict unless the
South provoked 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 true).
A split U.S. brought up questions about the sharing of the national debt and the allocation of
A split U.S. also pleased the European countries, since the U.S. was the only major display of
democracy in the Western Hemisphere, and with a split U.S., the Monroe Doctrine could be
undermined as well if the 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 the Confederacy, but
was among the two that didn’t. And since its supplies were running out against a besieging South
Carolinian army, Lincoln had a problem of how to deal with the situation.
Lincoln wisely chose to send supplies to the fort, and he told the South Carolinian governor that
the ship to the fort only held provisions, not reinforcements.
However, to the South, provisions were reinforcements, and on April 12, 1861, cannons were
fired onto the fort; after 34 hours of non-lethal firing, the fort surrendered.
Northerners were inflamed by the South’s actions, and Lincoln now called on 75,000 volunteers; so
many came that they had to be turned 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 was now waging an aggressive war,
and was joined by four more Southern states: Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
The capital of the Confederacy was moved from Montgomery, AL to Richmond, VA.
III. Brother’s Blood and Border Blood
(Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland) were crucial for both sides, as they
would have almost doubled the manufacturing capacity of the South and increased its supply of horses and
mules by half.
They’re called “border states” because…
they are on the North-South border and…
they are slave-states. They have not seceded, but at any moment, they just might.
Thus, to retain them, Lincoln used moral persuasion…and methods of dubious legality:
In Maryland, he declared martial law in order to retain a state that would isolate Washington D.C.
within Confederate territory if it went to the South