View single post by cklarson
 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2009 06:04 am
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Joined: Sun Sep 23rd, 2007
Posts: 111

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This is a topic I cover extensively in my secession chapter of my Anna Ella Carroll biography, Great Necessities: The Life, Times, and Writings of Anna Ella Carroll, 1815-1894 which no one seems to want to pay attention to, since I could not engage a "real" publisher (published through

The person who saved DC was Robert E. Lee. When he was amassing troops in VA during the last weeks of April 1861, he took a strictly defensive stand as his forces were untrained and unequipped and arriving by the day. Radicals, however, wanted to attack the capital. The plot to assassinate Lincoln on the way through B'more was all part of a coup plot. Winfield Scott had stationed militia in rooms off the main room where Breckinridge read the electoral vote count in Feb., in case an attempt was made to abort it. A standing army had been recruited inside Washington DC, formed from former Dem clubs that had turned into Southern militia units. Southern roughs had been pouring into town since the inaugration to be part of the revolutionary mobs (perhaps members of the Knights of the Golden Circle as L. Q. Washington was involved). There were also 3,000 MD militia ready to march on DC if MD seceded.  All RR and telegraph lines to the North were cut and the 7th NY and 8th MA came by ship, landed at Annapolis and marched across MD, with the 7th NY arriving ca. noon on 4/25. Once the train lines were fixed more federal troops poured into DC. On 4/26 Lincoln approved suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. By 5/1 it was over, as a Confederate agent wrote. Later Butler occupied Baltimore. But had Lee gone on the offensive between 4/15 and 4/25, they could have taken the capital.

I'm also under the impression that Washington remained an objective, as I think, the call at Bull Run was: "on to Washington."

C. Kay Larson, author Great Necessities

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