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Civil War Harper's Weekly, April 27, 1861

The April 27, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly features a biography and picture of President Abraham Lincoln, and an incredible description of Mr. Lincoln's declaration of war on the south.  The issue also contains fabulous illustrations of the Battle of Fort Sumter.  Newspaper thumbnails will take you to a large, readable version of that page.


Civil War Volunteers

Abraham Lincoln's Declaration of War

The Call for Volunteers

Abraham Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln Biography and Picture


General P.G.T. Beauregard

Slave Cartoon

Slavery Cartoon

Inside Fort Sumter During the Bombardment

Inside Fort Sumter During the Bombardment

Map of Charleston Harbor

Map of Charleston Harbor

Attack on Fort Sumter

Attack on Fort Sumter



APRIL 27, 1861.]



"We were two daughters of one race:

She was the fairest in the face,"

hummed Mrs. Ellingwood. " Your plea is irresistible."

She went up stairs, put on the same warm, bright shawl which she had worn the first day my father brought her home; and presently I stoodat the window. as I stood that day, and watched two figures glancing about among the shrubbery.

"Poor fool !" I murmured, bitterly, sending my eyes after Ray Saltonstall, "does he not know it was only last year that she whispered just so sweetly in my father's ear ?—that she would whisper just as sweetly to some new cavalier if he himself were gone ? Never mind, chacun a son gout!"

If I was unhappy I did not confess it to my own heart, so why should I tell you? I meant to be very indifferent, and, to persuade myself that I was so, I sat down and commenced pulling the canvas threads out of a bouquet I had been embroidering on a broadcloth chaircover. It was a steady, mechanical work, and it answered my purpose very well.

By-and-by they came back, and Mrs. Ellingwood went directly past the drawing-room door up stairs. Mr. SaltonstaIl came in, and sat down near my embroidery-frame. He looked steadily at me with those controlling blue eyes of his, and said,

" I have been making a request of Gertrude, which had some relation to you. I fear you have not treated her well, have you ?"

My quick temper blazed.

" Poor Mrs. Ellingwood !" I sneered. " It is melancholy that I should have behaved so badly as to force her to come to you with her complaints.''

" She has made no complaints. It was only from her hesitation at speaking to you on a certain subject that I judged ; or rather, it was not only from that. I have thought all along that you did Gertrude great injustice."

" Surely not," I said, with bitter, scornful calmness. "I do her the utmost justice. I acknowledge her power of fascination. Did she not beguile my father out of his fidelity to a wife whom he idolized?. I am quite prepared to admit her ability to attract."

" Miss Ellingwood, that is not what I meant. You are very wrong. Gertrude Blagden was not won unsought ; and when she turned away from younger—yes, and richer—suitors to marry your father, it was because she loved him as women seldom love, and never more than once in a lifetime."

I was too much enraged to be kind or even prudent. I cried, scornfully,

" I ought to believe you. You offer a strong enough proof of your faith in her, I am sure, when you are ready to give all your life for her second love."

An expression I could not interpret flashed over his face. He came a little nearer to my embroidery-frame.

Did you think that ?" he asked. " Can it be that you supposed I was seeking Gertrude's love ?"

" Surely. What else could I—could any one have thought ?"

" Then you have misjudged both her and me. It must be a bolder man than I who would woo Gertrude Ellingwood, or one who did not know how faithfully she had loved your father. It is you, Madge, whom, with all your faults—in spite of the pride and passion of your nature—I love more than any thing else in the world. It was about this which I wished Gertrude to speak to you ; for hitherto I have been a coward in your presence. Is it all in vain ? Can I never be more to you than now?"

I knew in that moment how dear he was to me ; but I could not answer him just then. I drew my hand from his clasp, and went up stairs to Gertrude. I found her in her chamber—the room where my mother had died. She was sobbing as she knelt before the bed. She did not hear my step; her blind agony shut out sight and sound. How I had misjudged that nature, outwardly so calm ! I went up to her, and, for the second time in my life, I knelt down beside her.

" Gertrude," I whispered, " I have come to ask you to forgive me. I know now how wrong and cruel I have been. Can you ever pardon me ?"

" I have never blamed you, Madge. It was natural that you should feel as you did. I shall be only too thankful for your love now. I have been very lonely since your father died."

" If my love is worth any thing, thank Ray for the change. He has, in very truth, been a ray of sunshine to my heart."

"And you love him ? Is it not so, Madge ?"

" I must tell him that. He has a right to hear first."

I went down stairs, and found him where I had left him; I went up to him and put my hand in his. I answered his question.

" I could not give myself to you while the heart you sought held aught unworthy of you. I think betrothal is like a sacrament—one should come to it with clean hands and a right heart. I have made my peace with Gertrude, and now you shall be all to me that you will."

"My Madge ! my pride ! my darling !"

" And so you love him very dearly ?" Gertrude asked this that nigtht, as we stood together in the twilight, waiting for him to come. I turned my face away from her kind eyes. My great happiness was so new, I felt shy in its presence. I did not like to answer that question to any but him ; so I whispered, " Ray knows."

For ten years I have been out into the world with Ray, my conquering hero, my knight ; better —my husband. Gertrude has passed them all in the great house on the Long Island shore, where she was brought a bride—where she will live a widow till the summons comes for her to pass through the opened gate which leads to the home country, where there is interest for all the dear departed--the fair, far, silent land.



THE Secretary of War has addressed the following circular to the Governors of States:

"WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, April -, 1861. "SIR,—Under the Act of Congress ' for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections; repel invasions,' etc., approved February 28, 1795, I have the honor to request your Excellency to cause to be immediately detached from the militia of your State the quota designated in the table below, to serve as infantry or riflemen for the period of three months, unless sooner discharged.

" Your Excellency will please communicate to me the time at or about which your quota will be expected at its rendezvous, as it will be met as soon as practicable by an officer or officers to muster it into the service and pay of the United States. At the same time the oath of fidelity to the United States will be administered to every officer and man.

" The mustering officer will be instructed to receive no man under the rank of commissioned officer who is in years apparently over forty-five or under eighteen, or who is not in physical strength and vigor."


On 16th the Legislature passed a bill authorizing the Governor to call out thirty thousand State troops, to be placed at the disposal of the President, and appropriating three million dollars therefore. The bill, slightly amended from the form in which it passed the Assembly, was passed by the Senate, and returned to the former body, which concurred in the amendments almost unanimously, there being but one negative vote. Great feeling and enthusiasm were manifested in both Houses on the subject. Part of the troops have already gone forward to Washington.


Without waiting the official requisition for troops, but acting upon the report sent to the press of the country, Governor Andrews telegraphed to the President as follows :

" The quota of troops required of Massachusetts is ready. How will you have them proceed ?"

The Secretary of War responded:

" Send them by rail."

Part have gone forward by rail, the rest by steamer.


Governor Buckingham, of Connecticut, telegraphs to the Secretary of War, "Your requisition will have immediate attention."


Governor Fairbanks, of Vermont, responds that one regiment of Green Mountain boys will be immediately raised.


Governor Dennison says to the Secretary of War, " Your dispatch calling on Ohio for thirteen regiments is just received, and will be promptly responded to.

Adjutant-General Carrington has just issued orders carrying into effect the military laws just enacted by the General Assembly of Ohio, and providing for 6000 regular militia, besides the militia of reserve of not less than 35,000 men, to be subject to immediate transfer into the regular force. The regular militia has been organized into twenty-five regiments, which, when upon a war basis, would make 25,000 men. On Saturday his office was thronged by persons eagerly inquiring for the news, and offering their services, irrespective of party, to support the General Government.

Governor Dennison telegraphs that Ohio will furnish her quota of twelve thousand men, and more if needed.


Governor Randall, of Wisconsin, telegraphs, " The call for one regiment will be promptly responded to, and further calls when made."


Governor Sprague tendered, by telegraph, 1000 men, with himself as leader. The tender is accepted, but that State is not required to send more than one regiment.


Governor Washburne, of Maine, telegraphs the Secretary of War as follows : " Your dispatch is received, and your call will be promptly responded to. The people of Maine, of all parties, will rally with alacrity to the maintenance of the Government and the Union."


Governor Yates has issued a proclamation to convene the Legislature of this State at Springfield on the 23d April, for the purpose of enacting such laws and adopting such measures as may be deemed necessary upon the following subject, to wit : The more perfect organization and equipment of the militia of the State, and placing the same upon the best footing to render efficient assistance to the General Government in preserving the Union, enforcing the laws, protecting the property and rights of the people, and also the raising of such money and other means as may be required to carry out the foregoing objects.

The troops are mustering, and ready to go forward.


Governor Curtin has directed his Adjutant to forthwith establish two camps, one in eastern and the other in western Pennsylvania, for the mustering of the thirteen ,thousand men required from that State; and he has also authorized his Adjutant to issue orders to the different division officers to act promptly.

Pennsylvania has promised 100,000 men if necessary.


Governor Ramsey, of Minnesota, offered the President one thousand volunteers from his State, yesterday, and leaves for home today to raise the single regiment of seven ' hundred asked for.


Maryland responds promptly, it is said, to the requisition upon her for three thousand troops.

Governor Hicks was waited upon on the 16th at his hotel by Company F, the Governor's Guard, who informed him that they had come to sing the "Star Spangled Banner" with him. The Governor expressed pleasure at the visit, and said he was too hoarse to join with them, but he would tell them he was still under the Stars and Stripes. The " Star Spangled Banner" was then sung by over fifty voices, with fine effect. The Governor thanked the visitors for the courtesy, and said he hoped the song would be sung on all fitting occasions forever. The Union must be preserved.

A Voice. " Governor, you have done your duty so far." GOVERNOR. "Yes, and I intend to keep doing so." Voice. " We'll stand by you."

Much enthusiasm was manifested.

A telegram dated Baltimore, April 14, says: The Union feeling in this city has been unmistakably displayed since Friday. Men with cockades and secession emblems have been chased by crowds, and protected by the police.

The bark Fanny Fenshaw hoisted the secession flag today, and a crowd compelled a boy on the vessel to take it down. The captain afterward rehoisted it, and required a detachment of thirty police to protect it from the people. The indignation is intense. All the other vessels in port hoisted the American flag. The captain is a Union man, but hoisted the flag under instructions from the owners of the vessel, the Messrs. Curry, of Richmond, Virginia.

Another of same date says: The Union feeling here is strong this morning The Minute-Men organization, of 2500 strong, who have been drilling ever since the Presidential election as a military organization, threw out the Stars and Stripes this morning from their headquarters, with the motto, " The Union and the Constitution."


General Hatfield has issued the following call: "HEADQUARTERS, HUDSON BRIGADE, N. J. S. M., "HOBOKEN, April 16, 1861.

"To THE OFFICERS OF THE BRIGADE, In view of the proclamation of the President of the United States, calling forth the militia of the several States to aid in the protection


 and execution of the laws, and the expected immediate call for the required quota of troops from this State by the Governor, Commander-in-Chief, I deem it most expedient to call together the immediate representatives of the several companies, to consult and determine what duty and honor require of us under these circumstances.

" I have no authority, by my office, or your enlistment in the organized militia of the State, to offer your services, uninstructed by you, to the General Government.

"I therefore request that the commissioned officers will assemble on Friday evening next, the 19th inst., at eight o'clock, at the Hudson House, Jersey City.

"James T. HATFIELD, Brig.-Gen."


"FRANKFORT, April 16, 1861. " HON. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War;

" Your dispatch is received. In answer, I say emphatically that Kentucky will furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern States.

"B. MAGOFFIN, Governor of Kentucky."

A dispatch dated Louisville, April 16, says: "A large and enthusiastic meeting of citizens opposed to President Lincoln's war policy was held tonight. About 3000 people were present.

"Resolutions were unanimously adopted that Kentucky will not permit the marching of troops to the Confederate States, but share the latter's destiny, if war must come; sympathizing with the patriotic men in the free States, and indorsing Governor Magoffin's response to Secretary Cameron."

Another dated Paducah, April 16, says: "A meeting, irrespective of party, J. B. Husbands presiding, last night adopted resolutions recommending the government to immediately convene the Legislature, that we are with the South in interest and action; that the Governor be requested to issue a proclamation for a Convention at Frankfort at as early a day as practicable, to consider the position and future destiny of Kentucky; calling on the people of Kentucky to ignore party feelings and oppose to the last extremity the coercive and fratricidal policy of the Executive."


The State Journal publishes the following reply from Governor Jackson to Secretary Cameron :


"JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI, April 17, 1861. 'SIR,—Your dispatch of the 15th instant, making a call on Missouri for four regiments of men for immediate service, has been received. There can be, I apprehend, no doubt but these men are intended to form a part of the President's army to make war upon the people of the seceded States. Your requisition, in my judgment, is illegal, unconstitutional, and revolutionary in its objects, inhuman and diabolical, and can not be complied with. Not one man will, of the State of Missouri, furnish or carry on such an unholy crusade.

" C. F. JACKSON, Governor of Missouri."


The following dispatch has been published :

" RALEIGH, April 15, 1861. "HON. 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."

A dispatch, dated Wilmington, North Carolina, April 15, says : The Proclamation is received with perfect contempt and indignation. The Union men openly denounce the Administration. The greatest possible unanimity prevails. There were great rejoicings here on Saturday on the reception of the news of the reduction of Fort Sumter.


A dispatch dated Nashville, April 13, says: An enthusiastic public meeting was held here tonight. Resolutions were unanimously adopted, condemning the Administration for the present state of affairs, and sympathizing with the South. The Hon. Mr. Zollicoffer and others spoke.

Another, dated Memphis, April 14, says : Great excitement prevails in this city over the news from Charleston, and great crowds are in the streets. The event is being celebrated by cannon firing, rockets, bonfires, music, and dancing.

Another, dated Memphis, April 16, says: There is intense excitement here. A tremendous meeting tonight resolved Memphis out of the Union. There are no Union men now here.

A dispatch from Montgomery says: General Pillow guarantees to raise 10,000 men in Tennessee in twenty days, if President Davis will accept of them, and there is no doubt expressed but what he will accept of the offer.


The 17th April was the day fixed for the reception of subscriptions to the five million loan of the revolutionists. Of this sum $2,008,000 were subscribed in Charleston, and $3,000,000 in New Orleans.


The following proclamation has been published:


" Whereas, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, has, by proclamation, announced intention of invading the confederacy with an armed force, for the purpose of capturing its fortresses, and thereby subverting its independence and subjecting the free people thereof to the dominion of a foreign power ; and whereas, it has thus become the duty of this government to repel the threatened invasion, and defend the rights and liberties of the people by all the means which the laws of nations and usages of civilized warfare place at its disposal.

"Now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do issue this, my proclamation, inviting all those who may desire, by service in private armed vessels on the high seas, to aid this government in resisting so wanton and wicked an aggression, to make application for commissions or letters of marque and reprisal, to be issued under the seal of these Confederate States; and I do further notify all persons applying for letters of marque, to make a statement in writing, giving the name and suitable description of the character, tonnage, and force, of the vessel, name of the place of residence of each owner concerned therein, and the intended number of crew, and to sign each statement, and deliver the same to the Secretary of State or collector of the port of entry of these Confederate States, to be by him transmitted to the Secretary of State, and I do further notify all applicants aforesaid, before any commission or letter of marque is issued to any vessel, or the owner or the owners thereof, and the commander for the time being, they will be required to give bond to the Confederate States, with at least two responsible sureties not interested in such vessel, in the penal sum of five thousand dollars, or if such vessel be provided with more than one hundred and fifty men, then in the penal sum of ten thousand dollars, with the condition that the owners, officers, and crew who shall be employed on board such commissioned vessel shall observe the laws of these Confederate States, and the instruclions given them for the regulation of their conduct, that shall satisfy all damages done contrary to the tenor there-of by such vessel during her commission, and deliver up the same when revoked by the President of the Confederate States.

" And I do further specially enjoin on all persons holding offices, civil and military, under the authority of the Confederate States, that they be vigilant and zealous in the discharge of the duties incident thereto; and I do, moreover, exhort the good people of these Confederate States, as they love their country—as they prize the blessings of free government—as they feel the wrongs of the past, and those now threatened in an aggravated form by those whose enmity is more implacable, because unprovoked—they exert themselves in preserving order, in promoting concord, in maintaining the authority and efficacy of the laws, and in supporting, invigorating all the measures

 which may be adopted for a common defense, and by which, under the blessings of Divine Providence, we may hope for a speedy, just, and honorable peace.

"In witness whereof, I have set my hand and have caused the seal of the Confederate States of America to be attached this Seventeenth day of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one.


"ROBERT TOOMBS, Secretary of State."


He has also called out 32,000 men. Of these troops, 5000 are from each State except Florida, the number from that State being 2000.


A Washington correspondent states that Mr. Seward has received information from Richmond to the effect that the secession ordinance had been defeated in the Virginia Convention in secret session by seven majority. Other reports corroborate this news.

A telegram dated Richmond, April 14, says : The demonstration in honor of the fall of Sumter continued till midnight. Illuminations, bonfires, and fire-works were the order of the evening. A party ascended the roof of the Capitol and hoisted the Southern flag on the flagstaff. I was subsequently removed by the guard.


The correspondence between Mr. Seward and the Southern Commissioners has been published. The point of Mr. Seward's letter is in the following paragraph :

"The Secretary of State frankly confesses that he understands the events which have recently occurred, and the condition of political affairs which actually exists in the part of the Union to which his attention has thus been directed, very differently from the aspect in which they are presented by Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford. He sees in them, not a rightful and accomplished revolution and an independent nation, with an established government, but rather a perversion of a temporary and partisan excitement to the inconsiderate purposes of an unjustifiable and unconstitutional aggression upon the rights and the authority vested in the federal Government, and hitherto benignly exercised, as from their very nature they always must be so exercised, for the maintenance of the Union, the preservation of liberty, and the security, peace, welfare, happiness, and aggrandizement of the American people.

"The Secretary of State, therefore, avows to Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford that he looks patiently but confidently for the cure of evils which have resulted from proceedings so unnecessary, so unwise, so unusual, and so unnatural, not to irregular negotiations, having in view new and untried relations with agencies unknown to and acting in derogation of the Constitution and laws, but to regular and considerate action of the people of those States, in co-operation with their brethren in the other states, through the Congress of the United State, , such extraordinary conventions, if there shall be need thereof, as the Federal Constitution contemplates and authorizes to be assembled."


The President has called an extra session of Congress, to meet on the 4th of July next. Leaving out the seceded States, only fifty representatives remain to be elected. Of these, thirteen will be chosen in Virginia on the 23d of May, the regular day for the State election. California, with two members, Kentucky ten, Maryland six, North Carolina eight, Tennessee ten, and Kansas one, will have to call special elections.


A private letter received by a gentleman in this city from a friend in Charleston, gives some new and interesting particulars respecting the bombardment of Fort Sumter. The writer states that such was the effectiveness of Major Anderson's fire that thirty of the secessionists in Fort Moultrie were killed, besides many wounded, and that the Stevens Battery was silenced, and the Floating Battery half shot away. He extols the courage and skill of the garrison, and intimates that the casualties of the enemy were more numerous than they wish to acknowledge.


Ex-President Buchanan exhibits intense interest in the news from the South, and participates in the expression of a determination to sustain the government.

Major Anderson arrived at New York with his command on 16th at two o'clock.



MR. TRAIN, of Massachusetts, has been fined one shilling by a London magistrate, on the charge that his street railway was an obstruction; but the magistrate explained that the question would really have to be settled by the Supreme Court. Mr. Train gave notice of an appeal to that court.


At latest dates there was some probability of a compromise in the Building Trade strike. The London men were showing some disposition to accept a proposition of working by the hour under an increased sale of wages.



The French navy has, by command of the Emperor, been organized into five divisions, each division to be under the orders of an admiral, and to have three steel plated frigates attached to it. One division was about to proceed to Syria, where England is reinforcing her naval force.

Some sensation was created by the announcement that the Emperor was about to review the garrison of Paris. A review at this unusual time was construed by some into a forerunner of a campaign.



The official Opinione, of Turin, publishes an article showing the necessity of withdrawing the troops from Rome. It says that they are there to protect the Pope; but as soon as Italy grants the amplest guarantees for the safety of the Pope and the freedom of the Church, the mission of the French will be fulfilled with dignity by the national army.

Debate on the affairs of Naples continued in the Chamber of Deputies. The Minister of the Interior said the difficulties had been exaggerated, but he promised a remedy of several inconveniences of the Governmment. It is intended to increase the military of the southern provinces as measures of public safety.


The Pope fainted away during service on 2d, but his indisposition was not serious.

Garibaldi continued at Turin. He was received with the greatest enthusiasm by the people.


The London Post asserts that the military operations in which Garibaldi will take part are on the point of commencing. and that the Hungarians and Italians have come to a perfect understanding to make a combined government. It is expected that the Hungarian Diet will pass a formal vote calling on the Hungarian troops from other parts of the Austrian empire to be concentrated in the kingdom of Hungary alone. Such a measure will necessarily strip the Venetian provinces of the flower of the Austrian forces. If opposed by the Austrian Government the Hungarians will refuse to pay the taxes, and the moment for breaking out into insurrection will have arrived.



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