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trouble at the north than at the south. What course would this powerful opposition take now, was a question fraught with life and death to the administration. But there was no time given for 'arguments and appeals and attempts to conciliaté. Political animosities vanished-party lines disappeared and all opposition went down like barriers of mist before the rising patriotism of the people. Though the democrats believed the spirit of the compact originally made between the north and south, had been broken by the formation and success of the Republican party, and that its very existence was contrary to the spirit of the Constitution, and a violation of good faith-though they felt it meditated a great wrong on the weaker portion of the Republic, they suddenly forgot it all. The flag, our boast and pride, the emblem of our nationality and record of our glory, had been assailed by traitorous hands, and trailed in the dust at their bidding. All minor ạifferences disappeared before this gigantic wrong; and from the Atlantic to the broad prairies of the west, there went up one loud cry for ven. geance. The President, who with his administration had seemed to be laboring under a strange incredulity, see ing state after state throw off its allegiance, and forts and arsenals one after another seized by the rebels, with a calm composure, as though all those high-handed acts were mere parts of a stage play, and meant nothing more than the talk about secession and a bloody revolt, that had characterized the portical campaign of the Autumn previous—was at last. aroused by the thunder of cannon at fort Sumter. The President at length saw that this was not merely an “artificial excitement;" and the "sixty days” which the Secretary of State prophesied were to bring a more "cheerful state of things," had instead brought"" bloody war.
The very next day after fort Şumter had surrendered, the President' issued a proclamation, calling for seventy-five
thousaud volunteers, for three months, to protect the Capital, and secure the property of the government seized by the rebels; and commanding all those in arms to return to their homes in twenty days. It also summoned Congress to meet on the 4th of July. It was calm in its tone, and reserved in the claims put forth. It contained no appeal to the patriot- . ism of the people, being almost exclusively confined to a statement of the rights of the general government over its own property, which it would be the duty of the army to take from the rebels after the safety of the Capital' was secured. It was fortunate that the aroused people of the north needed no stimulus, and their instincts no instructions respecting the true issue that had been forced upon them. This proclamation, which could not have been more carefully worded, or have said less, was received throughout the south as a declaration of war. At the north, although it was a confession that civil war had commenced, it was received with one loud shout of approval, that showed that the Union was not to be destroyed without a struggle that should drench the land in blood Enthusiastic meetings were held in every part of the north--the calls of the respective gov. ernors for troops were responded to with an ardor that showed that five times seventy-five thousand men could be had. . At Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and almost every large place, money was raised for the volunteers and their families. Legislatures made large appropriations, and abundast means scemed at ko vienose! of the general government to put a speedy end to the rebellion.
The call on the slave states, still in the Union, for their proportion of the army of seventy-five thousand men, was received in a very different spirit. Governor Magoffin of Kentucky replied, “Kentucky will furnisk no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister southern states."
RESPONSE TO THE PROCLAMATION.
Governor Letcher of Virginia—"the militia will not be fur. bished to the powers of Washington for any such use or purpose as they have in view.” Governor Ellis of North Carolina, in a more guarded tone, telegraphed to the President that he could not respond to the call, as he had doubts of his authority under the Constitution to make it. Similar responses came from Tennessee, Arkansas, and other states. Maryland and Delaware were the only exceptions to a peremptory refusal. Governor Hicks of the former state, would raise troops only for the defence of Washington, and not for any other
purpose. Little Delaware took her place without hesitation beside the loyal states. Throughout the north the love of the old flag suddenly became a passion, and the stars and stripes draped every street, and waved from every church spire. Patriotic songs were in every mouth, and the regiments gathering to their places of rendezvous, or streaming through the cities towards Washington, were greeted by shouting crowds; and the general feeling was like that which accompanies a triumphal march. Civil war was an evil we had never contemplated—besides, we had been taught so long to regard it as a political bugbear, a mere party menace, that we looked upon it with little or no alarm. More than this, the north had been told so long by unscrupulous politicians, that the south dare not fight, that at the first call to arms the slaves would rush into insurrection,~that it realiy believed at the first show of determination, the south would decline the contest. The people at the south had been beguiled in the same manner by their leaders—they had been assured over and over again, that the money loving north would never go to war with the source of their wealth—a race of shop keepers would never fight for a sentiment, and if they attempted it, would be crushed at the first onset by the chivalrous, warlike south Thus the two sections were hurried, through ignorance wind
66 SOUTHERN PRIVATEERS. VIRGINIA SECEDE S. blind presumption, towards all the untold horrors of civi) war. It was plain to every one who had studied the history of nations carefully, that this blina confidence on both sides was doomed to a terrible disappointment,
The proclamation of the President was met on the part of Davis of the Southern Confederacy by one calling on the southern states for volunteers, and also for persons to take out letters of marque as privateers, to prey on the commerce of the north. The call for volunteers was responded to with the same alacrity as that of President Lincoln had been, and the same enthusiasm was exhibited. Like the north, they thought there might be some conquering, but there would be but little fighting. With many, however, especially the more religious class, a different feeling prevailed. They had been told, and they believed, that the seventy-five thousand men summoned to the field by Mr. Lincoln, were not designed for the defence of Washington, but to com. mence the work of emancipation by direct invasion of thei: soil, and hence rushed to arms under the full belief that they were called upon to defend their homes, and firesides, and all they held dear.
Immediately on the issue of the President's proclamation, Virginia, which had long been wavering, through her convention elected to determine the matter, declared herself out of the Union. It is more than probable that this was done by direct fiaud-at least intimidation was used. Her best men, and among them John Minor Botts, fought against it to the last. ted the leaders in this state to such a suicidal course. The western part was known to be loyal, and certainly a large minority of the eastern. Besides, in the issue of war, which ever side should succeed, she was certainly to constituté the chief battle ground, and must be ruined in the contest. It is probable, that proud from her: traditions, and
EMBARRASSMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT.
overestimating her importance in the Union, she really believed, that by casting her lot in with the southern cons federacy, she secured the co-operation of every southern state, and thus made the contest so even, that the north would not attempt coercion; while the magnitude of the rebellion would secure at once the recognition of foreign powers. Thus civil war would be prevented altogether.
The government; at this crisis, was surrounded with difficulties calculated to bewilder the strongest minds. Treason was on every side, and it knew not where to strike, nor had it the means to plant the blows it knew should be given. Every thing had been thrown into chaos, and in the whirlpool of conflicting elements, neither the President nor his Cabinet seemed to know what to do. It was a state of things never anticipated, and hence wholly unprovided for. Mr. Lincoln felt himself wholly at sea, while unfortunately whe two Cabinet officers on whom the nation must chiefly rely had not been selected for their fitness to meet such a crisis. Mr. Cameron, the Secretary of War, soon proved this to the satisfaction of the country and the President. The Secro tary of the Navy, though a man of probity and true patrioism, could not be expected from his limited experience in naval matters to give, at once, this arm of the government its full efficiency. At all events, he was much blamed for a , heavy disaster following the fall of fort Sumter. The navy yard at Norfolk, was the largest, and the most important one in the country. To the rebels it was of vital importance. for notwithstanding the thefts of Floyd, while Secretary of We, the south was deficient in heavy cannon, and here were gathered a vast number, some of them of the largest caliber. Virginia had seceded, and her Governor had summoned the people to arms, and it was plain to the simplest mind, that the navy yard located on her soil would be the first object she would attempt to grasp, and yet sufficient precaution was