Was this legal??? What instance is he talking about-- assaults???? This was an immediate action after Ft. Sumter.
War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0089-90 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
Whereas an insurrection against the Government of the United States has broken out in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and the laws of the United States for the collection of the revue cannot be effectually executed there conformably to that provision of the Constitution which requires duties to be uniform throughout the United States:
And whereas a combination of present, engaged in such insurrection, have threatened to grant pretended letters of marque to authorize the
90) bearers thereof to commit assaults on the lives, vessels, and property of good citizens of the country lawfully engaged in commerce on the high seas ad in waters of the United States;
And whereas an Executive proclamation has been already issued requiring the persons engaged in these disorderly proceedings to desist therefrom, calling out a militia force for the purpose of repressing the same, and convening Congress in extraordinary session to deliberate and determine thereon:
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, with a view to the same purposes before mentioned, ad to the protection of the public peace ad the lives ad property of quiet ad orderly citizens pursuing their lawful occupations, u until Congress shall have assembled ad deliberated on the said unlawful proceedings, or until the same shall have ceased, have further deemed it advisable to set on foot a blockade of the ports within the States aforesaid, i pursutates and of the law of nations in such case provided. For this purpose a competent force will be posted so as to prevent entrance ad exit of vessels from the ports aforesaid. If, therefore, with a view to violate such blockade, a vessel shall approach, or shall attempt to leave either of the said ports, she will be duty warned by the commander of one of the blockading vessels, who will indorse on her register the fact and date of such warning, and if the same vessel shall again attempt to enter or leave the blockaded port she will be captured and sent to the nearest convenient port for such proceedings against her and her cargo as prize as may be deemed advisable.
And I hereby proclaim and declare that if any person under the pretended authority of the said States, or under any order pretense, shall molest a vessel of the United States, or the persons or cargo on board of her, such persons will be held amenable to the laws of the United States for the prevention and punishment of piracy.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington this nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.
By the President: