previous next
[459] This declaration was, very naturally, at once flashed over tho whole country; and it was well known that a portion of the Confederate forces were dispatched northward from Charleston directly after the fall of Sumter.1 Yet, in the face of these notorious facts, Gov. Letcher responded to the President's call on Virginia for Militia to defend the capital in the following terms:
I have only to say that the militia of Virginia will not be furnished to the powers at Washington for any such use or purpose as they have in view. Your object is to subjugate the Southern States; and a requisition made upon me for such an object — an object, in my judgment, not within the purview of the Constitution or the Act of 1795--will not be complied with. You have chosen to inaugurate civil war; and, having done so, we will meet you in a spirit as determined as the Administration has exhibited toward the South.

To the same effect, Gov. Ellis, of North Carolina--who had long been thoroughly in the interest and counsels of the plotters of Disunion — responded to the call as follows:

Raleigh, April 15, 1861.
Honorable Simon Cameron, Secretary of War:
Your dispatch is received, and, if genuine — which its extraordinary character leads me to doubt — I have to say in reply, that I regard the levy of troops made by the Administration for the purpose of subjugating the States of the South, as in violation of the Constitution, and a usurpation of power. I can be no party to this wicked violation of the laws of the country, and to this war upon the liberties of a free people. You can get no troops from North Carolina. I will reply more in detail when your call is received by mail. John W. Ellis,

Governor of North Carolina.

Gov. Isham G. Harris, of Tennessee--likewise a thorough sympathizer with South Carolina--responded as follows:

Tennessee will not furnish a single man for coercion, but fifty thousand, if necessary, for the defense of our rights and those of our brethren.

1 The Mobile Advertiser about this time, had the following:

We are prepared to fight, and the enemy is not. Now is the time for action, while lie is yet unprepared. Let the life sound “Gray Jackets over the Border,” and let a hundred thousand men, with such arms as they can snatch, get over the border as quickly as they) can. Let a division enter every Northern border State, destroy railroad connection to prevent concentration of the enemy, and the desperate strait of these States, the body of Lincoln's country, will compel him to a peace — or compel his successor, should Virginia not suffer him to escape from his doomed capital. Kentucky and Tennessee are offering to send legions south to our aid. Their route is north. They place themselves at the orders of our Government — and we have not yet heard that our Government has ordered them south.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John W. Ellis (2)
Abraham Lincoln (1)
John Letcher (1)
Isham G. Harris (1)
Simon Cameron (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 15th, 1861 AD (1)
1795 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: