Studies in American History and Culture, 1820-1920
Chapter 3 Lincoln and the Civil War
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Lincoln and the Civil War
In March, 1861, Robert E. Lee was promoted by Abraham Lincoln to colonel to take command of the First Regiment of the U. S. Cavalry. A few days later, he received a message from L. P. Walker, the Confederate Secretary of War, which contained the offer to command the Confederate army. Lee did not even reply.
On April 6, 1861, in a draft signed by the Secretary of War, Lincoln gave R. S. Chew, his messenger, instructions concerning the reaction to the situation in Fort Sumter, one of the two forts in the South that was still controlled by the federal government:
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