...Just 2 days after the Confederate forces in Charleston fired on Ft. Sumter, and just a day after the besieged Union garrison of the fort surrendered, President Abraham Lincoln issued his call for volunteers to "put down the rebellion."
The President's call to arms, as publiched in the Ohio Repository on April 17, 1861:
“Whereas, the laws of the United States are now and have been opposed in several States by combinations too powerful to be suppressed in the ordinary way, I therefore call forth the militia of the several states of the Union, to the aggregate number of 75,000, to suppress said combinations and execute the laws. I appeal to all loyal citizens to participate and aid this effort to maintain the laws and integrity of the National Union, and perpetuity of popular governments, and redress wrongs long enough endured.
“The first service assigned the forces will probably be to repossess the forts, places and property which have been seized from the Union. The utmost care will be taken, consistent with the object, to avoid devastation, destruction and interference with the property of peaceful citizens in ay part of the country.
“I hereby command all persons composing the aforesaid combinations to disperse within 20 days from date.
“I hereby convene both Houses of Congress for the fourth of July next, to determine upon such measures as the public safety and interests demands.”
The war had begun. No one at the time knew or could even imagine the brutality of the next four years. Most folks thought it would be over in a few weeks, would entail a lot of posturing by both sides, but would result in little if any bloodshed. Unfortunately for the combatants, these poeple would soon be proven dreadfully wrong.