And the drama did mount in 1861,
As the pro-freedom party had the top office won.
Ah, but before Abe could say "boo", the South made its move
To pack her bags and secede and her right of way prove.

Since in
Dixie they held that it was perfectly right
To choose mates for oneself -- and thus disband or unite.
But as Lincoln once warned as he toured through the land:
"A House divided against itself cannot stand."

And so tearful and pained, this land became torn
As her brethren chose sides and left friendships forlorn.
And with
Jeff Davis to lead, the Stars and Bars for its flag,
The South formed a new pact,
The Confederacy its tag.

Which brought howls and jeers as folks could not believe
That states had the power to just sign off and leave.
Indeed, a nation as such, if so easily spurned,
Will see the shadow of chaos at each peevish turn!

But while Abe did hold that secession was treason,
He wouldn't brook violence -- without dire reason.
And, as prudent as ever, he tried hard to appease
The states on the border who might sway with the breeze.

Yes, those on the fault-line at the time of this quake
Had loyalty which Abe was quite loathe to forsake.
So he promised up front to keep slaves in their place,
Provided those rebels do a full about-face!

But, alas, the reb-states were dead set in their course,
Taking grip of their region by claim and by force.
As most in the South were gung-ho and certain
That should conflict be staged they'd bring down the curtain!

And thus riding the wind was that tune of the devil:
The grim drumbeat of war, of a kind we call civil.
And when at
Fort Sumter Johnny Reb did attack,
The droplets of gunfire brought on war's thunderous crack...

Worksheet # 69
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