The call of April 15, 1861, for 75,000 militia for three months.
On the 12th of April, 1861, Fort Sumter was attacked by the rebels, and on the 15th of that month the first decided step was taken toward offensive efforts on the part of the Government against the rebellion. On that day the proclamation calling for 75,000 militia, to aid in suppressing the revolutionary combinations of certain States and to cause the laws to be duly executed, was issued.a
The call was made under the twenty-fourth section of the act approved March 3, 1803, heretofore referred to.b No recruits were raised for this force after the original muster into service of the different organizations composing it. Before these troops could be fully organized and brought properly into service their enlistments began to expire. Their only active experience was in the brief campaign terminating in the first battle of Bull Run. It went to demonstrate most strikingly the inefficiency of militia called into service for short periods.
Call of May 3, 1861, for forty regiments of volunteers for three years, and for eight regiments of regulars and 18,000 seamen.
On the 3rd of May, 1861, the President issued a proclamation calling into service, in addition to the 75,000 militia called for by his proclamation of April 15, 1861, thirty-nine regiments of volunteer infantry and one of cavalry, amounting to 42,034 men, for the period of three years, unless sooner discharged, increasing the Regular Army by eight regiments, amounting to 22,714 officers and men, and directing the enlistment of 18,000 seaman.a No quotas were assigned to States under this call. The patriotism of the loyal people was aroused to the highest pitch, and an intensely warlike spirit of the Government was manifested, and more offers of men were made than could be accepted. The call for volunteers was more than filled, seventy-one regiments of volunteer infantry, one regiment of volunteer heavy accepted and mustered into the service before the 1st of July.c This call was legalized during the extra session of Congress by the third section of the act approved August 6, 1861, and by section 1 of the act approved July 29, 1861.d But few men were obtained for the regular force called for. The regiment of cavalry and regiment of artillery and one regiment of infantry were completed after considerable delay. The remaining regiment of infantry, though partially formed, were not fully organized during the war for want of recruits.
The first battle of Bull Run was fought on the 21st of July, 1861. Great as this calamity seemed to the national cause, Congress was equal to the emergency. Instead of losing heart it gathered new courage and, under the impulse of the disaster, it redoubled its efforts for the suppression of the rebellion. Profiting by the experience of the past as to the inefficiency of troops enlisted for short terms of service, it passed on the 22nd, 25th, and 31st of July a succession of acts c authorizing the President to accept the services of volunteers,
a See Appendix, Doc. 36.
b Fort quotas and number of troops furnished under this call, see Appendix, Doc. 6, Table 3.
c They are embraced in the figures in Tables 2 and 3, Doc. 6, Appendix.
d See Appendix, Doc. 35.