Call to Arms
President Lincoln struggled vigorously to avoid war. Realizing that whoever fired the first shot would lose moral ground, he was determined not to initiate the seemingly inevitable conflict. The Civil War began with the Southern bombardment of Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina, on April 12 and 13, 1861. Following the surrender of the fort, the northern states rallied behind Lincoln’s call for troops to preserve the Union.
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