Page images
PDF
EPUB

And whereas, An Executive Proclamation has been already issued, requiring the persons engaged in these disorderly proceedings to desist therefrom, calling out a militia force for the purpose of repressing the same, and convening Congress in ex. traordinary session to deliberate and determine thereon.

“Now, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of th3 United States, with a view to the same purpose before men. tioned, and to the protection of the public peace, and the lives and property of quiet and orderly citizens pursuing their lawful occupations, until Congress shall have assembled and deliberated on the said unlawful proceedings, or until the same shall have ceased, have further deemed it advisable to set on foot a blockade of the ports within the States aforesaid, in pursuance of the laws of the United States and of the laws of nations in such cases provided. For this purpose a competent force will be posted so as to prevent entrance and exit of vessels from the ports aforesaid. If, therefore, with a view to violate such blockade, a vessel shall approach, or shall attempt to leave any of the said ports, she will be duly warned by the commander of one of the blockading vessels, who will indorse on her register the fact and date of such warning; and if the same vessel shall again attempt to enter or leave the blockaded port, she will be cap tured and sent to the nearest convenient port, for such proceed ings against her and her cargo as prize as may be deemed ad visable.

“And I hereby proclaim and declare, that if any person, under the pretended authority of said States, or under any other pretence, shall molest a vessel of the United States, or the persons or cargo on board of her, such person will be held amenable to the laws of the United States for the prevention and punishment of piracy. By the President:

“ABRAHAM LINCOLN. “ WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

"Washington, April 19th, 1861."

THE PRESIDENT'S COMMUNICATION WITH

THE MARYLAND AUTHORITIES. On the twentieth of April, the President sent the following letter to the Governor of Maryland and also to the Mayor of Baltimore :

" WASHINGTON, April 20th, 1861. “ GOVERNOR HICKS AND MAYOR BROWN:

“GENTLEMEN :-Your letter by Messrs. Bond, Dobbin, and Brune, is received. I tender you both my sincere thanks for yonr efforts to keep the peace in the trying situation in which you are placed. For the future, troops must be brought here, but I make no point of bringing them through Baltimore.

“Without any military knowledge myself, of course I must leave details to General Scott. He hastily said this morning, in presence of those gentlemen, ‘March them around Baltimore, and not through it.'

“I sincerely hope the general, on fuller reflection, will consider this practical and proper, and that you will not object to it. By this a collision of the people of Baltimore with the troops will be avoided, unless they go out of the way to scek it. I hope you will exert your influence to prevent this. Now and ever, I shall do all in my power for peace, consistently with the maintenance of government “ Your obedient servant,

"A. LINCOLN.”

And on the twenty-first, he sent a despatch to Mayor Brown, requesting him to proceed immediately to Washington, a request that was obeyed, and upon arriving at the White House the invited guest was admitted to an interview with the Cabinet and General Scott. The Presi. dent informed the Mayor, and three of the citizens of Baltimore who had accompanied him, that he recognized the good faith of the City and State authorities, but should insist upon a recognition of his own.

He admitted the excited state of feeling in Baltimore, and his desire and duty to avoid the fatal consequences of a collision with the people. He urged, on the other hand, the absolute, irresistible necessity of having a transit through the State for such troops as might be necessary for the protection of the Federal capital. The protection of Washington, he asseverated with great earnestness, was the sole object of concentrating troops there; and he protested that none of the troops brought through Maryland were intended for any purposes hostile to the State, or aggressive as against the Southern States. Being now unable to bring them up the Potomac in security, the Government must either bring them through Maryland or abandon the capital.

He called on General Scott for his opinion, which the General gave at length, to the effect that troops might be brought through Maryland, without going through Baltimore, by either carrying them from Perryville to Annapolis, and thence by rail to Washington, or by bringing them to the Relay House on the Northern Central railroad, and marching them to the Relay House on the Washington railroad, and thence by rail to the capital. If the people would permit them to go by either of these routes uninterruptedly, the necessity of their passing through Baltimore would be avoided. If the people would not permit them a transit thus remote from the city, they must select their own best route, and, if need be, fight their way through Baltimore, a result which the General earnestly deprecated.

The President expressed his hearty concurrence in the desire to avoid a collision, and said that no more troops should be ordered through Baltimore if they were permitted to go uninterrupted by either of the other routes suggested. In this disposition the Secretary of War expressed his participation.

About this same date a deputation of sympathizers visited the President, and demanded a cessation of hostilities until the convening of Congress, accompanying the demand with the assertion that seventy-five thousand Marylanders would contest the passage of troops over their soil. Mr. Lincoln, in refusing to accede to the truce, quietly replied that he presumed there was room enough on her soil to bury seventy-five thousand men.

BLOCKADING OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH

CAROLINA.

On the twenty-seventh of April, the following additional proclamation, extending the blockade, was issued :

Whereas, For the reasons assigned in my proclamation of the 19th instant, a blockade of the ports of the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, was ordered to be established; And whereas, Since that date public property of the United States has been seized, the collection of the revenue obstructed, and duly commissioned officers of the United States, while engaged in executing the orders of their superiors, have been arrested and held in custody as prisoners, or have been impeded in the discharge of their official duties, without due legal process, by persons claiming to act under authority of the States of Virginia and North Caro. lina, an efficient blockade of the ports of these States will therefore also be established.

“ In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and cause: the seal of the United States to be affixed. "Done at the City of Washington, this 27th 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 eightyfifth. By the President:

ABRAHAM LINCOLN. “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

Although the first call for troops had been responded to in the most gratifying manner by the outraged citizens of the free States, it was early ascertained that the number asked was totally insufficient for the existing exigencies, and on the third of May the following proclamation was issued :

A CALL FOR ADDITIONAL TROOPS.

WASHINGTON, FRIDAY, May 3d, 1861. Whereas, Existing exigencies demand immediate and adequate measures for the protection of the national Constitution and the preservation of the national Union by the suppression of the insurrectionary combinations wow existing in several States for opposing the laws of the Union and obstructing the execution thereof, to which end a military force, in addition to that called forth by my Proclamation of the fifteenth day of April, in the present year, appears to be indispensably necessary, now, therefore, İ, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, and of the militia of the several States, when called into actual service, do hereby call into the service of the United States forty-two thousand and thirty-four volunteers, to serve for a period of three years, unless sooner discharged, and to be mustered into service as infantry and cavalry. The proportions of each arm and the details of enrolment and organization will be made known through the Department of War; and I also direct that the regular army of the United States be increased by the addition of eight regiments of infantry, one regiment of

cavalry, and one regiment of artillery, making altogether a maximum aggregate increase of 22,714 officers and enlisted men, the details of which increase will also be made known through the Department of War; and I further direct the enlistment, for not less than one nor more than three years, of 18,000 seamen, in addition to the present force, for the naval service of the United States. The details of the enlistment and organization will be made known through the Department of the Navy. The call for volunteers, hereby made, and the direction of the increase of the regular army, and for the enlistment of seamen hereby given, together with the plan of organization adopted for the volunteers and for the regular forces hereby authorized, will be submitted to Congress as soon as assembled.

"In the meantime, I earnestly invoke the co-operation of all good citizens in the measures hereby adopted for the effectual suppression of unlawful violence, for the impartial enforcement of constitutional laws, and for the speediest possible restoration of peace and order, and with those of happiness and prosperity throughout our country.

“ In testimony 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 third day of May, in the

year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States the eightyfifth. * By the President:

'ABRAHAM LINCOLN. “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE MARYLAND

LEGISLATURE,

On the following day, the President had an interview with a Committee of the Maryland Legislature, who admitted the right of the Government to transport troops through Baltimore or Maryland, but expressed their belief that no immediate efforts would be made by the State authorities at secession or resistance, and asked that the State might be spared military occupation, or a mere revengeful chastisement for former transgressions. The President, in reply, promised to give their suggestions a respectful consideration, and stated that whatever measures might be adopted, would be actuated entirely by the public interests and not by any spirit of revenge.

« PreviousContinue »