Our Country's Fiery Ordeal

A blog about the American Civil War, written and maintained by historian Daniel J. Vermilya, author of The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain (History Press, 2014) and James Garfield and the Civil War (History Press, 2015)

Dedicated to my great-great-great grandfather, Private Ellwood Rodebaugh, Company D, 106th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, killed at the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862.

"And may an Overuling Providence continue to cause good to come out of evil, justice to be done to all men where injustice has long prevailed, and finally, peace, quiet, and harmony to come out of this terrible confrontation and our country's fiery ordeal." -- Albert Champlin, 105th Ohio, Diary entry of June 19, 1864 (Western Reserve Historical Society)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 16, 1862

First off, I would like to make mention of the fact that I began this blog on April 15, 2011, meaning that this little adventure is now one year old. Thanks to everyone who has ever taken the time to check out my site. I really appreciate your time, and some of the kind words and comments which you have shared over the past year. I look forward to many more posts and topics to come on here, so stay tuned!

Now, since I missed posting this yesterday, here is a Civil War 150 update for everyone:

Yesterday marked 150 years since two very important events of the American Civil War. First, April 16, 1862, saw the beginning of the first broad scale military draft in American history. Beset with problems in manpower and industrial might, on that date the Confederate Congress in Richmond authorized conscription for Confederate soldiers. This draft would be the first of several conscription acts passed by the Confederate Congress. While the Union government was still relying on state's to meet their quota of enlisted troops, sometimes through state conscription acts, the Lincoln administration would turn to a nationwide draft in 1863.

Additionally, on April 16, 1862, slavery was abolished in the District of Columbia. This was a goal for which Lincoln had been fighting for a large portion of his political career. Lincoln's advocacy for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia and his desire to halt slavery's western expansion were the pillars of his political ideology throughout his life. He believed these were the best measures to combat slavery that were allowed by the constitution and the pre-war political situation in the county. The bill which Lincoln signed on April 16 provided for compensated emancipation, and it did not get rid of fugitive slave laws, but nevertheless, many African American leaders in the North rejoiced upon its signing. As one publication declared, "we rejoice less as black men than as part and parcel of the American people... We can point to our Capital and say to all nations, 'It is Free!' Americans abroad can now hold up their heads when interrogated as to what the Federal Government is fighting for, and answer, 'There, look at our Capital and see what we have fought for!'"

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