Abraham Lincoln
Proclamation to Call for Militia
April 15, 1861

   Whereas the laws of the United States have been for some time past and now are 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 hereby do call forth, the militia of the several States of
the Union, to the aggregate number of 75,000, in order to suppress said combinations and to cause the laws to be
duly executed.
   The details of 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 popular government, and to redress wrongs already long
enough endured.
   I deem it proper to say that the first service assigned to the forces 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, consistently with the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastation, any destruction of or
interference 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 days from 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.
   Senators and Representatives are therefore summoned to assemble at their respective chambers at twelve
o'clock noon on Thursday, the fourth day 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 fifteenth 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.


By the President:
Secretary of State.

Note: This document with Abraham
Lincoln's Proclamation closing Southern Ports on April 19, 1861 are the legal
start dates of the War of the Rebellion.

See this used by President Johnson in his
proclamation of the end of the War of the Rebellion
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