Extract from the Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge

April 15. President Lincoln called out seventy-five thousand militia to suppress the rebellion, defend the capital, and retake the forts, mints, etc., seized by the insurgents. Two thousand men have been called from Massachusetts. Immense enthusiasm here to defend the flag and the Government. The call was doubled. Jefferson Davis issued a proclamation offering letters of marque to anybody and everybody to attack our merchant vessels and pillage our commerce. If we seize these pirates we cannot hang them because the South would order reprisals on prisoners of war, and that would mean mutual extermination. In answer to this Lincoln declared all the Southern States in a state of blockade.

Published in The Autobiography of T. Jefferson Coolidge, 1831–1920 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1923), 25.
Thomas Jefferson Coolidge
Date Range
April 15, 1861
Autobiography of T. Jefferson Coolidge