For use the week of Sunday, April 17:
This Week in The Civil War: Lincoln's proclamation
On April 15, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln issues a proclamation seeking to muster 75,000 volunteer troops and calling a special session of Congress to open July 4th.
Lincoln's war secretary sends dispatches to the governors of several states designating troop quotas for each under the proclamation, but several slaveholding states refuse to comply. Virginia is considered crucial, and a state convention being held when the hostilities at Fort Sumter erupt goes into secret session after the president's call for troops. On April 17, Virginia secedes from the Union and will be followed within weeks by more states in what will emerge as an 11-state Confederacy.
On April 19, 1861, Lincoln issues a proclamation of a blockade against Southern ports, seeking to cripple the South's ability to supply itself in wartime.