James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

Page 17

  States, to suppress, in the seven cotton States, combinations beyond “the ordinary course of judicial proceedings,” and he summoned Congress to meet on July 4 in special session. In the particulars communicated by the War department to the several governors, the time of service was fixed at three months, but this represented in no way the President’s opinion as to the probable duration of the war; he was simply following the act of 1795 which provided that the militia could be held to service for only thirty days after the next meeting of Congress.  17   After two days full of indignant outbursts at the insult to the flag, the people of the North read the President’s call for troops. “That first gun at Sumter,” wrote Lowell, “brought all the free States to their feet as one man.” “The heather is on fire,” said George Ticknor. “I never before knew what a popular excitement can be. At the North there never was anything like it.” 1 Governors, legislatures, wherever these were in session, and private citizens acted in generous coöperation. Men forgot that they had been Republicans or Democrats; the partisan was sunk in the patriot. Washington was supposed to be in danger of capture by the Southern troops flushed with their victory at Sumter; armed and equipped soldiers were needed for its defence. The Sixth Massachusetts was the first regiment to respond, leaving Boston on April 17 and arriving in Baltimore two days later. The only approach by rail to Washington was through Baltimore where the strong feeling for secession was vented in threats that Northern troops, bent on the invasion of the South, would not be permitted to pass through its streets. The Colonel of the Sixth, being informed in Philadelphia of the situation, timed his arrival in Baltimore for the morning (April 19). Here a transfer
Note 1. III, 357. [back]