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Lincoln warned the South in his Inaugural Address In your hands my dissatisfied fellow countrymen and not in mine is the momentous issue of civil war The government will not assail you You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve protect and defend it Lincoln thought secession illegal and was willing to use force to defend Federal law and the Union When Confederate batteries fired on Fort Sumter and forced its surrender he called on the states for 75000 volunteers Four more slave states joined the Confederacy but four remained within the Union The Civil War had begun The son of a Kentucky frontiersman Lincoln had to struggle for a living and for learning Five months before receiving his partys nomination for President he sketched his life I was born Feb 12 1809 in Hardin County Kentucky My parents were both born in Virginia of undistinguished families--second families perhaps I should say My mother who died in my tenth year was of a family of the name of Hanks My father removed from Kentucky to Indiana in my eighth year It was a wild region with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods There I grew up Of course when I came of age I did not know much Still somehow I could read write and cipher but that was all Lincoln made extraordinary efforts to attain knowledge while working on a farm splitting rails for fences and keeping store at New Salem Illinois He was a captain in the Black Hawk War spent eight years in the Illinois legislature and rode the circuit of courts for many years His law partner said of him His ambition was a little engine that knew no rest He married Mary Todd and they had four boys only one of whom lived to maturity In
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