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affairs than to see whether a pretext for a war cannot be had by tempting the seceders to strike the first blow. It is struck, and immediately the cry rings throughout the land that the rebels have fired upon the national flag, that Sumter has fallen, and that the rebellion must be crushed out.--Seventy-five thousand volunteers are called into the field, soon to be followed by half a million more, and "On to Richmond !" is the cry. War exists not by the act of Congress, but by the act of Beauregard and Abraham Lincoln. Better, far better for this country, had neither of them ever been born. The war could have been averted. Mr. President, this war was either necessary or it was unnecessary. If necessary, it was only so for the purpose of preserving national existence and the constitutional rights of the people. If indispensable for these purposes, it was justifiable. If not so indispensable, it was a crime. Was it necessary ?--Could not the Union have been preserved and