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THE GREAT UPRISING.
Sabbath And Sumter—Pulpits—Excitement—How Could It Be?—Reasons For SurRender—Watchwords Of Loyalty—The Flag—The Churches—The Press—OraTory—The Children—Woman—Voice Of Providence—President's ProclamaTion—Blockading Proclamation—Springfield—Governor Yates's ProclamaTion—Six Regiments—Senator Douglas's Springfield Speech—Interview With Governor Yates—Wigwam Speech—Its Influence—His Death—Speech QuotEd—Baltimore Riot—A Minister's Expression—Popular Demand To Take Troops Through Baltimore—Object Of Mob Defeated—Men And Money Tendered—PeoPle Demand Short, Earnest War—Influence Of The "great Uprising" On The Secessionists.
"Throughout the land there goes a cry;
"The shot whereby the old flag fell
[bayard Taylor, April 30, 1861.
THE morning of Sabbath, April 14th, brought to the principal cities of the Union the announcement that the flag had been struck, and that, overborne by superior strength, Major Anderson had capitulated. That was all, but that was enough! Pulpits rang that Sabbath with extemporized sermons, yet none more eloquent ,V7ere ever preached. Strong men bowed their heads and wept as children. Along the streets trod hosts of excited men; martial music was heard on every side, and active measures were taken to organize military companies.
The next day brought more definite intelligence, and the whole land rocked with excitement. At first there was surprise bordering on incredulity. How could it be so? How could the strong walls of Sumter give way? They forgot, in the hurry of the moment, that the most elaborate and extensive preparations had been made, and that Major Anderson had been compelled to see them completed before his eyes, while he knew that, if permitted to do so, he could easily prevent the finishing of a single battery. They forgot, for the moment, that a handful of men was no match for eager thousands, and that sheer exhaustion would soon cause them to succumb. They did not think, for the moment, of the "hell of fire" to which they were subjected.
But they soon remembered it all, and did full justice to the heroic commandant and his garrison. And then came the terrible consciousness that war was upon them. The Union was assailed; the right of the constitutional majority to rule was denied; and war had begun! Perhaps no single thought proved more intensely exciting than the dishonor of the flag. It was the representative of Government; it was the symbol of national majesty; it was the emblem of authority and protection. It had been honored on all seas, had afforded sanctuary in all lands, and now it was insulted and hauled down before home conspirators! "For the Flag!" "Defend the Flag!" "Rally to the Flag!" "Avenge the Stars and Stripes!" were mottoes seen in all places! The Flag was displayed everywhere, from stores, shops, and printing offices. It floated from church spires, and draped alike orthodox and heteorodox pulpits. It flaunted from private residences and school-rooms, and miniature ones were placed upon the cradles of little ones soon to be left fatherless by "the fortunes of war." It was mounted on almost every locomotive. Copies of the "Star Spangled Banner" and "The Red, White and Blue," were called for until the supply was exhausted, and new editions were demanded. In a day old party lines went down, and for a season we were again one people, united in the determined purpose of National Salvation. Nineteen millions of THE PULPIT AND PRESS. 75
people were intensely excited; moving like vast waves surging before a great wind.
In the churches, pulpits thundered stern denunciations of Rebellion. The ministers declared that God had set this land midway between the oceans as a great political and religious missionary land. They showed that He marked it as the home of a united people, and that when He aforetime determined the bounds of our habitation, He gave us this land to be made, in its entirety, the land of free speech, free presses, free schools, free pulpits, free men and women. They said He has so built its mountains as to bind together, not divide, the North and the South; and what God hath joined together, let no man or body of men put asunder! Ho has traced the great rivers of the continent so they cannot be dividing lines between the States of the Cotton, the Rice and the Sugar, and those of the Wheat, the Corn and the Barley, with the beds of coal and the spindles of industry. They said He hath made it one, and never can it be cut in twain. More than one, at the very outset, saw that the contest was between Freedom and Slavery, and putting on the prophet's mantle, said: "Slavery hath taken the sword: it shall perish by the sword." Not in the Crusades was the religious spirit more marked, causative, and controlling than in The Great Uprising of 1861.
The Press was active. Political, Secular and Religious alike made appeal after appeal. Secular papers teemed with prophecy, sermon and exhortation. Religious papers were crowded with proclamations, general orders and war songs.
Oratory played its part, and from rostrum, from out-door stands, from court-house steps and hotel balconies, speakers addressed masses of people animated with one great purpose.
The children caught the fever, and each school had its play-ground transformed into a parade-ground, while small drums, miniature cannon and harmless small arms, were the playthings of the nursery.
Elsewhere," "Woman's works" remain to be noted, and it is enough to say that, knowing that war meant bereavement of husbands, sons, brothers and plighted lovers, the women said the nation's honor must be preserved, no matter at what cost!
Everywhere, the American people heard the voice of Providence, saying:
"Draw forth your million blades as one;
** Slow to resolve, be swift to do!
All eyes were turned toward the National Capital, and the eager question went from lip to lip: "What will the President do?" The question was soon answered. Before nightfall on Monday, the 15th, was transmitted, by telegraph, the following Proclamation:
By the President of the United States.
"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 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 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 re-possess the forts, places and property which have been seized from the Union; and in every event the ut