Abraham Lincoln commission three weeks after Sumter

Abraham Lincoln signed document, May 9, 1861, Washington , along with Simon Cameron, Sec. of War. In the days immediately following the firing on Fort Sumter and commencement of the Civil War Lincoln hurriedly raises troops for the defense of Washington . This document appoints Benjamin Berkley as a First Lieutenant in the Militia of the District of Columbia . The commission is dated May 9, 1861 but the appointment, as stated in the commission, was effective April 23, 1861.

This is one of the first appointments of the Civil War and a reflection of the chaotic events in Washington from mid-April to mid-May 1865. On April 12 the Confederates began the assault on Sumter , which was surrendered two days later. Lincoln , on April 15 th called on loyal states for volunteers, in effect deciding that states would stay in the union even if only by force. The war now joined, Lincoln Â's call for troops immediately provoked riots and armed conflict in the neighboring states, including Maryland , and isolated Lincoln and the District of Columbia .

It is obvious from this document that a mad rush to organize defenses in the following weeks led to quick field promotions, leaving the paperwork to catch up later. The call for troops had not yet produced any reinforcements for Washington Â's defenses from loyal states. Lincoln was
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