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Abraham Lincoln's Speech On July 4, 1861

Christopher German

On July 4, 1861, just three months after the first action of the Civil War at Fort Sumter in South Carolina, President Abraham Lincoln addressed Congress. He walked through his version of what had happened in the past few months.

“So viewing the issue,” he said, “no choice was left but to call out the war power of the Government and so to resist force employed for its destruction by force for its preservation.” Afterward, all who heard him voted to increase funding and troops for the war by 25 percent

Adam Goodheart is the author of 1861: The Civil War Awakening, and the director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College. He spoke in July 2011 with Sheilah about Lincoln's July 4, 1861, address, and what it meant for the Union in the Civil War.

You can access Lincoln's entire message here.

This segment originally aired on July 4, 2011.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.