Fort Sumter isn't fired upon

BlueandGrayl

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#1
We all know the familiar tale of Fort Sumter it was a Federal military installation in South Carolina in the city of Charleston that was attacked by Confederate forces thus the first shots of the Civil War and the conflict began.

However it may have been different if the Confederates opted not to fire upon Sumter you see whereas Jefferson Davis was in favor of direct military action against the Federals Senator Robert Toombs of Georgia on the other hand didn't. Toombs believed that it would be bad for the Confederacy to fire the first shots and lose political sympathy in the North as well as the border states.

If the Confederates don't attack Fort Sumter what happens next, will there still be Upper South (and possibly Missouri and Kentucky) secession, will the Union fire the first shots instead?
 

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#2
We all know the familiar tale of Fort Sumter it was a Federal military installation in South Carolina in the city of Charleston that was attacked by Confederate forces thus the first shots of the Civil War and the conflict began.

However it may have been different if the Confederates opted not to fire upon Sumter you see whereas Jefferson Davis was in favor of direct military action against the Federals Senator Robert Toombs of Georgia on the other hand didn't. Toombs believed that it would be bad for the Confederacy to fire the first shots and lose political sympathy in the North as well as the border states.

If the Confederates don't attack Fort Sumter what happens next, will there still be Upper South (and possibly Missouri and Kentucky) secession, will the Union fire the first shots instead?
It might depend on the circumstances. Presumably Lincoln still seeks to resupply/reinforce the installation. Can the south blockade it in any way to prevent this? What if they seek to fire on union ships approaching the port having warned them this would happen - suspect the union would approach and the war would start similar to OTL.

If they find some other way to neutralise the port does Lincoln still call for volunteers to suppress the rebellion? If so I would suspect that the 4 states that joined the south over this issue are still likely to do so and without the firing on the fort feeling would be stronger against Lincoln. This might include Missouri or Kentucky moving more into the southern camp although their still likely to be deeply divided over the issue.

If the south doesn't fire on Sumter and Lincoln doesn't call for volunteers how long can the situation continue with union military bases deep in the south but isolated. [Think there was also a navy base in the Florida keys and possibly some others?]

I think its definitely better for the south if it followed Toomb's advice but how much better I don't know.

Also IIRC the seceding states withdrew their represtentation from Congress, giving Lincoln a lot more power there. What if initially, or in response to Lincoln rejecting their secession those Congressmen or many of them had stayed/returned to Washington to argue the case for peaceful secession being accepted?

Initial thoughts, although somewhat hindered by my fairly limited knowledge of the circumstances.
 

jgoodguy

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#3
IMHO:

The South needs a hot war to bring the upper South in, to have the legal means to squash internal dissent, unify the South and get foreign recognization.

The North is not ready for war and the Northern States will not allow a war initiated by Lincoln.

Beyond this, we get into a massive what if with lots of moving parts and outcomes.
 

BlueandGrayl

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#4
IMHO:

The South needs a hot war to bring the upper South in, to have the legal means to squash internal dissent, unify the South and get foreign recognization.

The North is not ready for war and the Northern States will not allow a war initiated by Lincoln.

Beyond this, we get into a massive what if with lots of moving parts and outcomes.
Yeah, it means both sides are stuck: the CSA still doesn't have the Upper South (Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri) to give it a boost in resources and the USA doesn't have a justification for going to war since they are not attacked. Like you said, there is a lot of what ifs involved in this scenario.
 
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#6
Great story by Tombs on where the CS Army got the powder and shot to fire on Ft Sumter.
View attachment 210454 View attachment 210455 View attachment 210456 View attachment 210457
Interesting that the decision to attack Sumter seems to have been driven in part by representatives from the 'wavering states' as their referred to who predicted that if the south acts that will bring their states in and the north won't go to a general war. Big mistake!!

Also that Toombs according to the report seems to be more concerned with the problem of getting the necessary powder from Georgia than the fact this view was fatally wrong.

It possibly highlights the differences in viewpoint when he said that buying the boots and other equipment would be impractical because "our troops made up of Southern gentlemen who preferred to furnish their own equipment and would never wear government supplies". Suggests he had no idea of where the southern troops would actually be coming from or how a modern war would be waged. One wonders whether he thought why the Georgian government actually bought those boots and blankets. It seems that while Brown's stance showed the disunity of the south it also showed he seems to have had a much clearer view of what lay ahead.

May thanks for that insight unvrelics
 
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#8
Georgia was fourth to secede I wonder where the money it received went and how it accounted for the exchange to the government? also something interesting when I was looking for information on this:

Georgia: On April 1, 2009, the Georgia State Senate passed a resolution, 43–1, that asserted the right of states to nullify federal laws under some circumstances. The resolution also asserted that if Congress, the president, or the federal judiciary took certain steps, such as establishing martial law without state consent, requiring some types of involuntary servitude, taking any action regarding religion or restricting freedom of political speech, or establishing further prohibitions of types or quantities of firearms or ammunition, the constitution establishing the United States government would be considered nullified and the union would be dissolved.
 
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#9
Lincoln made it clear. He wasn't going to let the rebellion stop him from his oath to the people. He was going to deliver mail, defend the people, and do his duty. I think next would be him building his armies, and working towards that goal. Which wouldn't earn sympathy from middle states if he took the first move. Maybe he first enforces his law in those middle states to prevent their secession or at least attempt to.
 

jgoodguy

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#10
Lincoln made it clear. He wasn't going to let the rebellion stop him from his oath to the people. He was going to deliver mail, defend the people, and do his duty. I think next would be him building his armies, and working towards that goal. Which wouldn't earn sympathy from middle states if he took the first move. Maybe he first enforces his law in those middle states to prevent their secession or at least attempt to.
IMHO First order of business is to build a political coalition. You have to have a united United States before anything else.
 



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