By the second week of May 1861, Union and Confederate forces were moving troops and mobilizing for the looming fight.
On the Union side, regiments and military units from states including Ohio, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania were gathering in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., setting up tent camps.
Likewise, there are troop movements in the South, particularly in Virginia.
A correspondent writing to The Associated Press on May 8 reported that “Fourteen hundred Tennessee troops and a battalion of Alabama troops have reached Lynchburgh,” a Louisiana regiment reached Richmond and 4,000 troops, including two companies from Georgia, have entered Norfolk. “The authorities were fortifying Norfolk in all directions and erecting batteries and impressing persons to labor,” the correspondent reported.
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It was a time of determining where loyalties stood. President Lincoln's War Department ordered troops to Cairo, Ill., to counter the secessionist threat there. And delegates gathered May 12, 1861, for a convention in Wheeling in Virginia's northwestern corner, “all overwhelmingly for the Union,” another dispatch noted. The pro-Union sentiment eventually would lead to western Virginia splitting off and forming the new state of West Virginia, which joined the Union later in the war.