On this date 150 years ago, in the Federal capital a special session of the 27th Congress met. Called by the President, the session was to handle war measures partially sketched out by Lincoln in a message directed to the assembled body. According to the President, the North had done everything in its power to maintain peace and had attempted to solve problems precipitated by the South without resorting to war. Blaming Southerners for the Fort Sumter affair, the chief executive emphasized that the questions facing the nation had to do with the United States maintaining its "territorial integrity, against its own domestic foes". Lincoln reiterated his position concerning the indivisibility of the Federal Union, once again making clear his stance on declaring war against the Confederacy. He made a request for an additional 400,000 men to aid the Union.
Harper's Ferry was the site of a brief engagement between Confederates and Northern troops as the latter streamed into the Shenandoah Valley.