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Mr. Lincoln and the force bill.

Hon. A. R. Boteler.
A few days before the close of the Thirty-sixth Congress, which will be remembered as the eventful Congress that immediately preceded the war, I received a number of letters from conservative sources similar in their import to the following from a well-known Union man, who was at that time a member of the Virginia Legislature:

Richmond, Va., February 25th, 1861.
My Dear Sir: Let me say to you, in all earnestness, that the passage, at this time, of Mr. Stanton's Force bill will do us, in Virginia, infinite harm. The disunionists, one and all, will clap their hands in very ecstacy, if the measure prevails. Already, some of the conservative friends in the convention have given way. Many, I fear, will follow. The States' rights sensibilities of our people are already wounded. If the bill passes, I verily believe that an ordinance of Secession will be passed in two days thereafter. For God's sake, for the country's sake, do not let it pass! Yours, truly,

Jos. Segar. Hon. A. R. Boteler, House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.

The bill referred to in the foregoing letter had been reported to the House, on the 18th of February, from the Committee on Military Affairs, by its chairman, the Hon. Benjamin Stanton, of Ohio. It extended the provisions of the Act of 1795, “for calling forth the militia,” and those of the Act of 1807, “for the employment of the land and naval forces of the United States,” so as not only to place the latter — the regular army and navy-at the disposal of the incoming President, but also to confer on him the plenary power to call out and control the militia, and to authorize him, beside, to accept the services of an unlimited number of volunteers,

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