Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lincoln nervous, Lee takes Virginia command

White House in 1861
  • In Washington, President Lincoln continues to worry about the security of the District as Maryland teeters near secession. Fearful that Washington may be left in a sea of secessionism, Lincoln readies a steamer on the Potomac River to be used immediately in the event that President and Cabinet must flee the city. With only a few military units having arrived in Washington, Lincoln says to the wounded of the 6th Massachusetts, “I don’t believe there is any North. The Seventh Regiment is a myth [units which have arrived] are the only Northern realities.” Mistakenly fearing the Southern states will invade Washington, he says to US Senator Reverdy Johnson (Maryland), "I have no purpose to invade Virginia . . . I have no objection to declare a thousand times that I have no purpose to invade Virginia or any other State, but I do not mean to let them invade us without striking back."/1861
  • Around Arlington Heights, Virginia, Virginia Major General Robert E. Lee takes command of 5,000 Virginia Militia./1861

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