Saturday, June 15, 2013

June 15, 1863: Pennsylvania braces for Lee's invasion


On this day 150 years ago, Governor Andrew G. Curtin of Pennsylvania issued the following proclamation:
PENNSYLVANIA, ss:

In the name and by the authority of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Andrew G. Curtin, Governor of the said Commonwealth.

A PROCLAMATION.

The State of Pennsylvania is again threatened with invasion, and an army of rebels is approaching our border. The President of the United States has issued his proclamation, calling upon the State for 50, 000 men. I now appeal to all the citizens of Pennsylvania who love liberty and are mindful of the history and traditions of their revolutionary fathers, and who feel that it is a sacred duty to guard and maintain the free institutions of our country, who hate treason and its abettors, and who are willing to defend their homes and their firesides, and do invoke them to rise in their might, and rush to the rescue in this hour imminent peril. The issue is one of preservation or destruction. It invokes considerations paramount to all matters of mere expediency; and all questions of local interest, all ties, social and political, all impulses of a personal and partisan character, sink by comparison into insignificance. It is now to be determined by deeds, and not by words alone, who are for us and who are against us. That it is the purpose of the enemy to invade our borders with all the strength he can command is now apparent. Our only dependence rests upon the determined action of the citizens of our free Commonwealth. I now, therefore, call upon the people of Pennsylvania capable of bearing arms to enroll themselves in military organizations, and to encourage all others to give aid and assistance to the efforts which will be put forth for the protection of the State and the salvation of our common country. Given under my hand and the great seal of the State, at Harrisburg, the fifteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Commonwealth the eighty-seventh.

A. G. CURTIN.

By the Governor:

[SEAL.] ELI SLIFER,

Secretary of the Commonwealth.

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