Chapter 2: Maryland's First patriotic movement in 1861.
On April 12, 186, South Carolina
fired on Fort Sumter
, and on April 15th President Lincoln
issued his proclamation, calling on the States for 75,000 militia ‘to maintain the Union
and to redress wrongs already too long endured.’
He did not specify the wrongs nor the period of endurance.
With the proclamation went out from the secretary of war a requisition on the governors of each of the States for the State
's quota of the 75,000 troops.
promptly responded by passing her ordinance of secession on the 7th, not, however, to take effect until it had been ratified by a vote of the people, to be cast on the 24th of May; and the governor of Virginia
, John Letcher
, moved Virginia
troops to Harper's Ferry
and ‘retook, reoccupied and repossessed’ that property of Virginia
which she had ceded to the Union
for the common welfare and mutual benefit of all the States, East and West, North and South.
Now that it was being diverted to the injury of part and the exclusive use of one section, Virginia
resumed the control of her ancient territory.
Had she had the power, she would have had the right ‘to resume possession, control and sovereignty’ of all the six States she had ceded to the Union
, northwest of the Ohio river
But, alas, her own children, born of her blood and bred of her loins, were foremost in striking at the heart and life of their mother.
The Northwest was the most ardent in ‘suppressing the rebellion,’ the forerunner of which had been independence from the British
nation and the right of self-government for the English
, and had breathed into their nostrils the breath of Statehood.