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150 Years Ago: Monday, April 29, 1861

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In New York City, 3,000 women and several men gather at the Cooper Institute. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to officially earn a medical degree in the United States, had organized the effort. Jean Henri Dunant, a Swiss business and social activist, would also help lead the effort. An organization is formed today and named the “Women’s Central Association of Relief.” Their purpose would be to make clothes, bandages and to furnish nurses for the Union army. The first key focus would be to provide nursing training. 
 April 29, 1861
Meeting of the Women’s Central Association of Relief
Source: National Archives
Maryland House of Delegates vote 53 to 13 against seceding from the Union; they would not join the Confederacy. However, this does not tie their loyalty to the Union cause, either. There is discussion of Maryland issuing their own currency, and the Delegates approve the spending of $2 million to defend the city of Baltimore against Union troops.
In Springfield, Ulysses S. Grant begins to serve as a military aide for Illinois Governor Richard Yates. His plan was to head back to Galena two days ago, but the Governor had asked him to stay. Grant’s first task is to inventory small arms stored at the state arsenal.
It is reported that John Wilkes Booth, who had been performing at Gayety Theater to wonderful reviews and large crowds in Albany, New York as Duke Pescara in “The Apostate,” left town immediately after the firing on Fort Sumter on April 12. Ironically, back on February 18 when then President-Elect Lincoln spent the evening in Albany on his way to Washington City, Booth had seen him walk past his hotel. It was Booth’s first glimpse of the Lincoln, and there would be several more to come. Booth was quietly cautioned by some in the crowd who overheard him saying negative things about Lincoln as he passed. 
President Jefferson Davis addresses Congress in the Confederate capital of Montgomery, Alabama. His gives a long speech that would be remembered as the “All we ask is to be alone” speech. He announces that the Confederate Constitution has been ratified by all states currently in the Confederacy. Given his language, he leaves it open for others to join their Southern union.
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Daily Civil War Calendar

April 2011

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