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the city in a condition of siege. The mails, in every direo tion, were stopped, and the telegraph wires cut by the insurgents. The National forces, which were approaching Washington were obstructed; the war and navy departments were filled with spies, and probably, the White House itself. In this condition of things, it was not deemed safe to issne orders through the ordinary channels, because every thing sent in that way, reached the enemy. Special and private mes sengers were sent North, who pursued a circuitous route to the northern cities and governors of loyal States, calling on them to hasten troops to the rescue of the Capital. A company of personal friends was organized, who guarded the White House, the Long Bridge crossing the Potomac, and the Arsenals, and probably saved the lite of the President, and the Government from overthrow.
On the 15th of April, President Lincoln issued his proclamation, calling for 75,000 men.
This proclamation was prepared on Sunday. Before its issue, and while the President was considering the subject, he was visited by Senator Douglas, who expressed his full approval of this call, only regretting that it was not for 200,000 men instead of the number called for.
The following dispatch was written by Senator Douglas, and given to the agent of the Associated Press, and sent to every portion of the North:
“ April 18, 1861, Senator Douglas, called on the President, and had an interesting conversation, on the present condition of the country. The substance of it was, 'on the part of Mr. Douglas, that while he was unalterably opposed to the administration in all its political issues, he was prepared to fully sustain the President, in the exercise of all his Constitutional functions, to preserve the Union, maintain the Government, and defend the Federal Capital. A firm policy and prompt action was necessary. The Capital was in danger, and must be defended at all hazards, and at any expense of men and money.
He spoke of the present and future, without
any reference to the past.” *
• The original of this dispatch in Douglas' hand writing is now in possession of Hon. George Ashmun, of Massachusetta, who kindly furnished . oopy.
Thus Douglas lent the influence of his name, with his party and the country, in aid of this decisive step, towards suppresing the rebellion by force. He soon after returned to Illinois, and at Springfield and Chicago, made speeches sustaining the policy of the President, and declaring, that now, there could be but two parties, “patriots and traitors."
The speech of Douglas, at Chicago, was made in the immense building called the “Wigwam,” built for, and used by the National Convention which nominated Lincoln for the Presidency. Since the day of that nomination, no such crowd had gathered there, as assembled to hear Douglas. He said we had gone to the very extreme of magnanimity. The return for all which had been done, was war, armies marching on the Capital - a movement to blot the United
States from the map of the globe. “ The election of Lincoln," said he, “ is a mere pretext," the secession movement is the result of an enormous conspiracy, formed by the leaders of the Southern Confederacy, before the election of Lincoln. “ There can be no neutrals in this war -- only patriots or trailors.”
There were those in the border States who deprecated this call, and who expressed the belief that this act precipitated war, and that continued forbearance would have brought on a reaction at the South, which would have resulted in a restoration of the Union. They who indulged in such dreams little knew the spirit of the conspirators. Had this call been delayed, even a few hours, or had there been less promptness in responding to it, the President would have been assassinated, or he would have been a fugitive or a prisoner, and the rebel flag would have waved over the Capitol, and Jefferson Davis would have issued his Proclamations from the White House. Mr. Lincoln pursued the policy of conciliation, in the vain hope of peace, to the very verge of National destruction.
The fall of Sumter and the President's call for troops, were the signals for the rally to arms throughout the loyal States. Twenty millions of people, forgetting party divisions, and all past differences, rose with one voice of patriotic enthusiasm, and laid their hearts and hands, their fortunes and
their lives upon the altar of their country. The Proclamation of the President calling for 75,000 men and convening an extra session of Congress to meet on the 4th of July, was followed, in every free State, by the prompt action of the Governors, calling for volunteers. In every city, town, village, and neighborhood, the people rushed to arms, and the strife was, who should have the privilege of marching to the defense of the National Capital. Forty-eight hours had not passed after the issue of the Proclamation at Washington, before four regiments had reported to Governer Andrews, at Boston, ready for service. On the 17th, he commissioned B. F. Butler, of Lowell, as their commander.
Governor Sprague, of Rhode Island, calling the Legislature of that State together, on the 17th, tendered to the Government, a thousand infantry, and a battallion of artillery, and placing himself at the head of his troops, started for Washington.
The great State of New York, whose population was nearly four millions, through her Legislature, and the action of Governor Morgan, placed her immense resources in the hands of the National Executive. So did Pennsylvania, with its three millions of people, under the lead of Governor Curtin. And Pennsylvania has the honor of having furnished the troops, that first arrived for the defense of the Capital, reaching there on the 18th, just in time to prevent the seizure of the nearly defenceless city.
By the 20th of April, although the quota of Ohio, under the President's call, was only thirteen regiments, 71,000 men had offered their services through Governor Dennison, the Executive of that State. It was the same everywhere. Half a million of men, citizen volunteers, at this call, sprang to arms, and begged permission to fight for their country. The enthusiasm pervaded all ranks and classes. Prayers for the Union and the integrity of the Nation, were heard in every Church throughout the free States. State Legislatures, Mu nicipalities, Banks, Corporations, and Capitalists everywhere offered their money to the Government, and subscribed im. mense sums for the support of the volunteers and their families. Independent military organizations poured in their offers of service. Written pledges were widely circulated and signed, offering to the Government the lives and property of the signers, to maintain the Union. Great crowds marel'ed through the principal cities, cheering the patriotic, singing National airs, and requiring all to show, from their residences and places of business, the stars and stripes, or “the red, white and blue.” The people, through the press, by public meetings, and by resolutions, placed their property and lives at the disposal of the Government.
At this gloomy period, through the dark clouds of gathering war, uprose the mighty voice of the people to cheer the heart of the President. Onward it came, like the rush of many waters, shouting the words that became so familiar during the war
We are coming, Father Abraham,
The Government was embarrassed by the number of men volunteering, for its service. Hundreds of thousands more, were offered, than could be armed or received. Senators, members of Congress, and other prominent men, went to Washington to influence the Government to accept the services of the eager regiments, everywhere imploring permission to serve.
The volunteer soldier was the popular idol. He was everywhere welcome. Fair hands wove the banners which he carried, and knit the socks and shirts which protected him from the cold; and everywhere they lavished upon him every luxury, and comfort, which could cheer and encourage him. Every one scorned to take pay from the soldier. Colonel Stetson, proprietor of the “ Astor House Hotel, in New York, replied to General Butler's offer to pay—“The Astor House makes no charge for Massachusetts soldiers.” And while the best Hotels were proud to entertain the soldier, whether private or officer, the latch-string of the cabin and farm-house was never drawn in upon him who wore the National blue. Such was the universal enthusiasm of the people for their country's defenders.
The feeling of fierce indignation towards those seeking to destroy the Government, was greatly increased by the attack of a mob in the streets of Baltimore, upon the Sixth regiment of Massachusetts volunteers, while passing from one depot to the other, on their way to the Capital. This attack on the 19th of April, in which several soldiers were shot down, roused the people to the highest pitch of excitement. The secessionists were so strong in that State as to induce the Mayor of Baltimore, and Governor Hicks, a Union man, to protest against troops marching over the soil of Maryland, to the defense of the National Capital. They burned the bridges on the railroads leading to Washington, and for a time, interrupted the passage of troops through Baltimore. The Governor so far humiliated himself, and forgot the dignity of his State and Nation, as to suggest that the differences between the Government and its rebellious citizens, should be referred to Lord Lyons, the British Minister. The Secretary of State fittingly rebuked this unworthy suggestion; alluding to an incident, in the late war with Great Britain, he reminded the Governor of Maryland,“ that there had been a time when a General of the American Union, with forces designed for the defense of its Capital, was not unwelcome anywhere in Maryland;" and he added, “that if all the other noble sentiments of Maryland had been obliterated, one, at least, it was hoped would remain, and that was, that no domestic contention should be referred to any foreign arbitrament, least of all, to that of a European Monarchy."
While such was the universal feeling of loyal enthusiasm throughout the free States, in the border slave States, there was division and fierce conflict. Governor Magoffin, of Kentucky, in reply to the President's call, answered, “ I say, emphatically, Kentucky will furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern States." Governor Harris, of Tennessee, said: “Tennessee will not furnish a man for coercion, but 50,000 for the defense of our Southern brothers." Governor Jackson, of Missouri, refused, saying,
not one man will Missouri furnish to carry on such an unholy crusade;" and Virginia, not only refused through her