Landmark Event - The Onset of a War Between the States, April 12, 1861

The War between the States technically started when South Carolina attacked Fort Sumter, not allowing it to be re-supplied. In reality it was the spark lit by many volatile issues: dealing with rights to slavery, state sovereignty, and an agrarian/ aristocratic way of life, all which were threatened. The war would last four years and take over 600,000 lives.


Lincoln, in his first message to Congress, on the Fourth of July, provided a higher calling for maintaining the government: ‘We the People’,…lifting weights, clearing paths, unfettered starts, and providing equal opportunity for all.

7/4/1861  …Must a government, of necessity, be too strong for the liberties of its own people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?

   This is essentially a People’s contest. On the side of the Union, it is a struggle for maintaining in the world, that form, and substance of government, whose leading object is, to elevate the condition of men—to lift artificial weights from all shoulders—to clear the paths of laudable pursuits for all—to afford all, an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life… FT 99-107