After losing Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina to the Confederacy, Lincoln turned his attention to four border slave states— Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri—that had not yet announced their support for North or South. Lincoln was certain that Delaware would remain loyal to the Union, but he knew that Confederate sympathies were strong in the other three states.
Determined to prevent any other states from joining the Confederacy, Lincoln took drastic measures in both Maryland and Missouri. Keeping Maryland in Union hands was particularly important because it was situated north of Washington, D.C. This meant that if the state joined the Confederacy, then the U.S. capital would be cut off from the rest of the Union and would almost certainly fall to the Confederate Army. With these considerations in mind, Lincoln acted swiftly.
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