A.P. U.S. History Notes
Chapter 21: “Girding for War: The North and South”
~ 1861 – 1865 ~
President of the Disunited States of America
On March 4, 1861,
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 stated that geographically, the United States could not be split (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
broken as well.
South Carolina Assails Fort Sumter
Most of the forts in the South had relinquished their power to the Confederacy, but
was among the few 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 intelligently 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
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 blockade that was leaky at first but soon clamped
The South, feeling that Lincoln was now waging an aggressive war, was joined by four of the
The capital of the Confederacy was moved from Montgomery to Richmond.
Brother’s Blood and Border Blood
The remaining Border States 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.
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 Confederacy territory if it went to the South and also sent
troops to western Virginia and Missouri.