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150 Years Ago: Wednesday, April 17, 1861

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CSA President Jefferson Davis issues a proclamation, inviting all who desire to assist the Confederate government by applying for service in “private armed vessels to the high seas.”

In Richmond, Virginia, the majority of delegates vote in favor of the Ordinance of Secession. They repealed its 1788 ratification of the Constitution of the United States. Official secession would occur in May, but at this point it was clear that the Union had lost Virginia. This was a huge loss, as many West Point graduates called Virginia home and would likely maintain their allegiance to their state. 

Missouri Governor Clayborne Jackson tells President Lincoln “Your requisition, in my judgment, is illegal, unconstitutional, and revolutionary in its objects, inhuman and diabolical, and cannot be complied with.”

A group of Illinois officials send correspondence to President Lincoln advising him that if Federal troops can be spared, they should be sent to Cairo, Illinois immediately. Because of it’s position on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, it was considered the most important and commanding point in the West.

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