Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
April 15, 1861

The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry Etc.
Frank Moore, ed. Vol. 1. New York: G. P. Putnam, 1861


By the President of the United States

Whereas, the laws of the United States have been for some time past and are now opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings or by the powers vested in the Marshals by law.

Now therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in virtue of the power in me vested by the constitution and the laws, have thought fit to call forth, and I do hereby call forth the militia of the several States of the Union to the aggregate number of 75,000, in order to suppress the said combinations and cause the laws to be duly executed.

The details for this object will be immediately communicated to the State authorities through the War Department. I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate and aid this effort to maintain the honor, the integrity and the existence of our National Union and the perpetuity of the popular government and to redress the wrongs already long enough endured. I deem it proper to say that the first service assigned to the force4 hereby called forth, will probably be to repossess the forts, places and property, which have been seized from the Union, and in every event the utmost care will be observed consistent with the objects aforesaid to avoid any devastation, any destruction of or intercourse with property or any disturbance of peaceful citizens in any part of the country; and I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within twenty day from this date.

Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents an extraordinary occasion, I do hereby in virtue of the power in me vested by the constitution, convene both houses of Congress. The Senators and Representatives are therefore summoned to assemble at their respective Chambers as twelve o'clock, noon, on Thursday, the fourth of July next, then and there to consider and determine such measures as in their wisdom the public safety and interest may seem to demand.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this 15th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.

Abraham Lincoln. By the President

Wm. H. Seward, Sec'y of State

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: April 1861

West Virginia Archives and History