Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Naval blockade, Baltimore massacre

  • In Washington, President Lincoln in another of his infamous warmongering actions and without a Constitutionally required Congressional declaration of war, surprises many and proclaims a bold naval blockade of all Southern ports. The Blockade will become a major part of Winfield Scott’s Anaconda Plan. The primary reason the President gives for the blockade is that “the laws of the United States for the collection of the revenue cannot be effectually executed therein.” In response to Jefferson Davis’ April 17 offer to authorize Southern privateers, Lincoln’s proclamation also declares that all privateering would be considered piracy. The Department of the Navy finds itself under immediate orders to place ships at all critical ports of the Confederacy. The blockade is initially spotty since the navy has 42 usable ships, 555 guns, and 7,600 sailors scattered around the world to block 3,500 miles of Atlantic and Gulf coastline.   However, it will be increased to 264 ships, 2,557 guns, and 22, 000 sailors by the end of 1861 and increase steadily thereafter until at the end of the war it will have 626 ships and 51,500 sailors. The US Supreme Court will later hold that Lincoln’s Blockade is the legal beginning of the War, giving further evidence that Lincoln, not the seceded states, fomented this war. /1861 
  • From Baltimore, Maryland, an important city for supply and defense of Washington, D.C., Mayor George W. Brown informs President Lincoln "that it is not possible for more soldiers to pass through Baltimore unless they fight their way at every step. In Baltimore, Southern sympathizers cut telegraph lines and bridges to Washington, D. C. Carrying Confederate flags, they attack the 6th Massachusetts Regiment as they pass through the city toward Washington. The 6th Massachusetts responds by opening fire on the crowd. When the dust settles, four soldiers and between nine and eleven civilians are dead and many wounded, 17 from the 6th Massachusetts. They are among the first casualties of the War Between the States, and earning the incident the sobriquet of the Baltimore Massacre. The 6th Massachusetts then proceeds to the District and is quartered for the night in the U.S. Senate Chamber. The US Navy will now be employed to ferry troops from Philadelphia and Annapolis to Washington, bypassing Baltimore./1861
  • Virginia State Militia assumes command of the destroyed Federal Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia./1861
  • ·         The Northern States, misunderstanding that the South seceded because they wanted to be left alone, are shocked by fearful rumors. False reports circulate concerning a Southern troop movement toward Washington. Troops from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and the New England states begin to assemble. Even Quebec sends 600 men. Federal marshals seize the records of telegraphs sent from major Northern cities, leading to the arrest of Southern sympathizers. President Lincoln assigns Maj. Gen. Robert Patterson, Pennsylvania militia, to military command of the States of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and District of Columbia. The city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, appropriates $1,000,000 to equip volunteers and support their families to subdue the South./1861

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