The Founders were wary of a standing army and gave only to Congress the power to raise troops and declare war. Should a sitting president venture to call for troops at his whim, as did Lincoln, the republic of those Founders was at an end.
Lincoln and the governors of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York who supplied him with troops for the purpose of waging war against other States and adhering to their enemies, were all were guilty of treason according to Article III, Section 3 of the United States Constitution.
There was a peaceful alternative which was not pursued by Lincoln and his party, and Southern Unionists pleas for peaceful diplomacy and compromise were ignored in favor of intentional duplicity at Charleston.
Exercising All the War Powers of Congress
“The day after Fort Sumter surrendered President Lincoln called on the several States for seventy-five thousand militia for ninety days service. The troops were to suppress “combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the Marshals by law, a curiously legalistic phraseology probably adopted in an attempt to bring the proclamation under the Acts of 1795 and 1807 governing the calling out of the posse comitatus.
Amid immense enthusiasm, the established militia regiments in the eastern cities moved at once. Pennsylvania troops, a few companies, reached Washington the next day; Massachusetts troops came within four days, in spite of the violent resistance to the transfer of the regiment across Baltimore between the railroad stations; New York’s first regiment was but a day behind Massachusetts.
The Governors of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri sharply declined to honor the President’s requisition for troops to be used against the seven States of the Confederacy. The Governor of Delaware reported that he had no authority for raising troops.
Neither, for that matter, had President Lincoln, under strict construction of the laws. In his first proclamation he called Congress into special session, but not to meet until the Fourth of July, more than two and a half months later.
In the meanwhile, free from interference, he drove ahead to organize his war, making laws or breaking them as he had need to, creating armies, enlarging the Navy, declaring blockades, exercising all the war powers of Congress.
Before the guns spoke at Sumter and the President answered with his call for troops, there was everywhere, in the North, in the Border States unhappily torn between loyalties, and even in those States which had seceded, a strong party for peace. The fire of Sumter swept away all that in the North; the call of Lincoln for troops, in the South.
The New Orleans True Delta, which had opposed secession and sought peace, “spurned the compact with them who would enforce its free conditions with blood” — an attitude that was general among those who were not original secessionists.”
(The Story of the Confederacy, Robert Selph Henry, Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1931, excerpts pp. 34-35)