War between the
Proclamation Calling Militia and Convening Congress
April 15, 1861
BYTHE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Whereas the laws of the United States have been for some time
past, and now are opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed, in the States of South
Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, by combinations too
powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers
vested in the Marshals by law,
Now therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
States, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution, and the laws, have
thought fitto call forth, and hereby do call forth, the militia of the several
States of the Union, to the aggregate number of seventy-five thousand, in order to
suppress said combinations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed. The details, for
this object, will be immediately communicated to the State authorities through the War
I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate and aid
this effort to maintain the honor, the integrity, and the existence of our National Union,
and the perpetuity of popular government; and to redress wrongs already long enough
I deem it proper to say that thefirst service
assigned to the forces hereby called forth will probably be to re-possess the forts,
places, and property which have been seized from the Union; and in every event, the utmost
care will be observed, consistently with the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastation,
any destruction of, or interference with, property, or any disturbance of peaceful
citizens in any part of the country.
And I hereby command the persons composing the combinations
aforesaid to disperse, and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within twenty days
from this date.
Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents
an extraordinary occasion, I do hereby, in virtue of the power in me vested by the
Constitution, convene both Houses of Congress. Senators and Representatives are therefore
summoned to assemble at their respective chambers, at 12 o'clock, noon, on Thursday, the
fourth day of July, next, then and there to consider and determine, such measures, as, in
their wisdom, the public safety, and interest may seem to demand.
In Witness 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 fifteenth day of April in
the year of our Lord One thousand, Eight hundred and Sixtyone, and of the Independence the
United States the Eightyfifth.
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