Battles & Leaders of the Civil War
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THE AWKWARD SQUAD.
WAR PREPARATIONS IN THE NORTH.
BY JACOB D. COX, MAJOR-GENERAL, U. S. V., EX-GOVERNOR OF OHIO, EX-SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
THE wonderful outburst of national feeling in the North in the spring of 1861 has always been a thrilling and almost
supernatural thing to those who participated in it. The classic myth that the resistless terror which sometimes unaccountably
seized upon an army was the work of the god Pan might seem to have its counterpart in the work of a national divinity rousing a
whole people, not to terror, but to a sublime enthusiasm of self-devotion. To picture it as a whole is impossible. A new
generation can only approximate a knowledge of the feelings of that time by studying in detail some separate scenes of the
drama that had a continent for its stage. The writer can only tell what happened under his eye. The like was happening
everywhere from Maine to Kansas. What is told is simply a type of the rest.**
On Friday, the twelfth day of April, 1861, the Senate of Ohio was in session, trying to go on in the ordinary routine of
business, but with a sense of anxiety and strain which was caused by the troubled condition of national
**In those opening days of the war, the National Government seemed for the moment to be subordinated to the governments of
the States. A revolution in the seceding South had half destroyed the national legislature, and the national executive was left
without a treasury, without an army, and without laws adequate to create these at once. At no time since the thirteen colonies
declared their independence have the State governors and the State legislators found so important a field of duty as then. A
little hesitation, a little lukewarmness, would have ended all. Then it was that the intense zeal and high spirit of Governor
Andrew of Massachusetts led all New England, and was ready to lead the nation, as the men of Concord and Lexington had led in
1775. Then it was that Governor Morton of Indiana came to the front with a masculine energy and burly weight of character and
of will which was typical of the force which the Great West could throw into the struggle.
Ohio was so situated with regard to West Virginia and Kentucky that the keystone of the Union might be said to be now west
of the mountains. Governor Dennison mediated, like the statesman he was, between East and West; and Tod and Brough, following
him by the will of the people in votes that ran up to majorities of near a hundred thousand, gave that vigorous support to Mr.
Lincoln which showed the earnest nationality of the "war Democrats" of that day.--J. D. C.