Fort Sumter

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Mr. GHORUM. The States as now confederated have no doubt a right to refuse to be consolidated, or to be formed into any new system. But he wished the small States which seemed most ready to object, to consider which are to give up most, they or the larger ones. He conceived that a rupture of the Union wd. be an event unhappy for all, but surely the large States would be least unable to take care of themselves, and to make connections with one another. The weak therefore were most interested in establishing some general system for maintaining order. If among individuals, composed partly of weak, and partly of strong, the former most need the protection of law & Government, the case is exactly the same with weak & powerful States. What would be the situation of Delaware (for these things he found must be spoken out, & it might as well be done first as last) what wd. be the situation of Delaware in case of a separation of the States? Would she not lie at the mercy of Pennsylvania? would not her true interest lie in being consolidated with her, and ought she not now to wish for such a union with Pa. under one Govt. as will put it out of the power of Pena. to oppress her? Nothing can be more ideal than the danger apprehended by the States, from their being formed into one nation. Massts. was originally three colonies, viz old Massts. Plymouth-& the province of Mayne. These apprehensions existed then. An incorporation took place; all parties were safe & satisfied; and every distinction is now forgotten. The case was similar with Connecticut & Newhaven. The dread of union was reciprocal; the consequence of it equally salutary and satisfactory. In like manner N. Jersey has been made one society out of two parts. Should a separation of the States take place, the fate of N. Jersey wd. be worst of all. She has no foreign commerce & can have but little. Pa. & N. York will continue to levy taxes on her consumption. If she consults her interest she wd. beg of all things to be annihilated. The apprehensions of the small States ought to be appeased by another reflection. Massts. will be divided. The province of Maine is already considered as approaching the term of its annexation to it; and Pa. will probably not increase, considering the present state of her population, & other events that may happen. On the whole he considered a Union of the States as necessary to their happiness, & a firm Genl. Govt. as necessary to their Union. He shd. consider it as his duty if his colleagues viewed the matter in the same light he did to stay here as long as any other State would remain with them, in order to agree on some plan that could with propriety be recommended to the people. [James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, 29 June 1787]

Col. HAMILTON, assented to the doctrine of Mr. Wilson. He denied the doctrine that the States were thrown into a State of Nature He was not yet prepared to admit the doctrine that the Confederacy, could be dissolved by partial infractions of it. He admitted that the States met now on an equal footing but could see no inference from that against concerting a change of the system in this particular. He took this occasion of observing for the purpose of appeasing the fears of the small States, that two circumstances would render them secure under a National Govt. in which they might lose the equality of rank they now held: one was the local situation of the 3 largest States Virga. Masts. & Pa. They were separated from each other by distance of place, and equally so, by all the peculiarities which distinguish the interests of one State from those of another. No combination therefore could be dreaded. In the second place, as there was a gradation in the States from Va. the largest down to Delaware the smallest, it would always happen that ambitious combinations among a few States might & wd. be counteracted by defensive combinations of greater extent among the rest. No combination has been seen among large Counties merely as such, agst. lesser Counties. The more close the Union of the States, and the more compleat the authority of the whole: the less opportunity will be allowed the stronger States to injure the weaker. [James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, 19 June 1787]

Mr. KING, wished as every thing depended on this proposition, that no objections might be improperly indulged agst. the phraseology of it. He conceived that the import of the terms "States" "Sovereignty" "national" "federal," had been often used & applied in the discussions inaccurately & delusively. The States were not "Sovereigns" in the sense contended for by some. They did not possess the peculiar features of sovereignty, they could not make war, nor peace, nor alliances nor treaties. Considering them as political Beings, they were dumb, for they could not speak to any foreign Sovereign whatever. They were deaf, for they could not hear any propositions from such Sovereign. They had not even the organs or faculties of defence or offence, for they could not of themselves raise troops, or equip vessels, for war. On the other side, if the Union of the States comprizes the idea of a confederation, it comprizes that also of consolidation. A Union of the States is a Union of the men composing them, from whence a national character results to the whole. Congs. can act alone without the States-they can act & their acts will be binding agst. the Instructions of the States. If they declare war: war is de jure declared-captures made in pursuance of it are lawful-No acts of the States can vary the situation, or prevent the judicial consequences. If the States therefore retained some portion of their sovereignty, they had certainly divested themselves of essential portions of it. If they formed a confederacy in some respects-they formed a Nation in others-The Convention could clearly deliberate on & propose any alterations that Congs. could have done under ye. federal articles, and could not Congs. propose by virtue of the last article, a change in any article whatever: and as well that relating to the equality of suffrage, as any other. He made these remarks to obviate some scruples which had been expressed. He doubted much the practicability of annihilating the States; but thought that much of their power ought to be taken from them. Mr. MARTIN, said he considered that the separation from G. B. placed the 13 States in a state of Nature towards each other; that they would have remained in that state till this time, but for the confederation; that they entered into the confederation on the footing of equality; that they met now to to amend it on the same footing; and that he could never accede to a plan that would introduce an inequality and lay 10 States at the mercy of Va. Massts. and Penna.
[James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, 19 June 1787]
 

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Mr. MADISON was of the opinion that there was 1. less danger of encroachment from the Genl. Govt. than from the State Govts. 2. that the mischief from encroachments would be less fatal if made by the former, than if made by the latter. 1. All the examples of other confederacies prove the greater tendency in such systems to anarchy than to tyranny; to a disobedience of the members than to usurpations of the federal head. Our own experience had fully illustrated this tendency. -But it will be said that the proposed change in the principles & form of the Union will vary the tendency; that the Genl. Govt. will have real & greater powers, and will be derived in one branch at least from the people, not from the Govts. of the States. To give full force to this objection, let it be supposed for a moment that indefinite power should be given to the Genl. Legislature, and the States reduced to corporations dependent on the Genl. Legislature; Why shd. it follow that the Genl. Govt. wd. take from the States any branch of their power as far as its operation was beneficial, and its continuance desireable to the people? In some of the States, particularly in Connecticut, all the Townships are incorporated, and have a certain limited jurisdiction. Have the Representatives of the people of the Townships in the Legislature of the State ever endeavored to despoil the Townships of any part of their local authority? As far as this local authority is convenient to the people they are attached to it; and their representatives chosen by & amenable to them naturally respect their attachment to this, as much as their attachment to any other right or interest. The relation of a General Govt. to State Govts. is parallel. 2. Guards were more necessary agst. encroachments of the State Govts. on the Genl. Govt. than of the latter on the former. The great objection made agst. an abolition of the State Govts. was that the Genl. Govt. could not extend its care to all the minute objects which fall under the cognizance of the local jurisdictions. The objection as stated lay not agst. the probable abuse of the general power, but agst. the imperfect use that could be made of it throughout so great an extent of country, and over so great a variety of objects. As far as as its operation would be practicable it could not in this view be improper; as far as it would be impracticable, the conveniency of the Genl. Govt. itself would concur with that of the people in the maintenance of subordinate Governments. Were it practicable for the Genl. Govt. to extend its care to every requisite object without the cooperation of the State Govts. the people would not be less free as members of one great Republic than as members of thirteen small ones. A Citizen of Delaware was not more free than a Citizen of Virginia: nor would either be more free than a Citizen of America. Supposing therefore a tendency in the Genl. Government to absorb the State Govts. no fatal consequence could result. Taking the reverse of the supposition, that a tendency should be left in the State Govts. towards an independence on the General Govt. and the gloomy consequences need not be pointed out. The imagination of them, must have suggested to the States the experiment we are now making to prevent the calamity, and must have formed the chief motive with those present to undertake the arduous task. On the question for resolving "that the Legislature ought to consist of two Branches" [James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, 21 June 1787]

Mr. MADISON. As the greatest danger is that of disunion of the States, it is necessary to guard agat. it by sufficient powers to the Common Govt. and as the greatest danger to liberty is from large standing armies, it is best to prevent them, by an effectual provision for a good Militia. [James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, 23 August 1787]

The propositions of Mr. RANDOLPH which had been referred to the Committee being taken up. He moved on the suggestion of Mr. G. Morris, that the first of his propositions to wit "Resolved that the articles of Confederation ought to be so corrected & enlarged, as to accomplish the objects proposed by their institution; namely, common defence, security of liberty & general welfare: [FN1] -should be postponed, in order to consider the 3 following:
1. that a Union of the States merely federal will not accomplish the objects proposed by the articles of Confederation, namely common defence, security of liberty, & genl. welfare.
2. that no treaty or treaties among the whole or part of the States, as individual Sovereignties, would be sufficient.
3. that a national Government ought to be established consisting of a supreme Legislative, Executive & Judiciary. The motion for postponing was seconded by Mr. Govr. MORRIS and unanimously agreed to. [James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, 30 May 1787]

Mr. Govr. MORRIS explained the distinction between a federal and national, supreme, Govt.; the former being a mere compact resting on the good faith of the parties; the latter having a compleat and compulsive operation. He contended that in all Communities there must be one supreme power, and one only. [James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, 30 May 1787]

General PINKNEY wished to have a good National Govt. & at the same time to leave a considerable share of power in the States. An election of either branch by the people scattered as they are in many States, particularly in S. Carolina was totally impracticable. He differed from gentlemen who thought that a choice by the people wd. be a better guard agst. bad measures, than by the Legislatures. A majority of the people in S. Carolina were notoriously for paper money as a legal tender; the Legislature had refused to make it a legal tender. The reason was that the latter had some sense of character and were restrained by that consideration. The State Legislatures also he said would be more jealous, & more ready to thwart the National Govt., if excluded from a participation in it. The Idea of abolishing these Legislatures wd. never go down. [James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, 6 June 1787]

Genl. PINKNEY mentioned a case during the war in which a dissimilarity in the militia of different States had produced the most serious mischiefs. Uniformity was essential. The States would never keep up a proper discipline of their militia. [James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, 18 August 1787]

Genl. PINKNEY, renewed Mr. Mason's original motion. For a part to be under the Genl. and part under the State Govts. wd. be an incurable evil. he saw no room for such distrust of the Genl. Govt.
[James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, 18 August 1787]

Mr. PINKNEY thought the power such an one as could not be abused, and that the States would see the necessity of surrendering it. He had however but a scanty faith in Militia. There must be also a real military force. This alone can effectually answer the purpose. The United States had been making an experiment without it, and we see the consequence in their rapid approaches towards anarchy. [James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, 18 August 1787]

Mr. C- PINKNEY moved to add as an additional power to be vested in the Legislature of the U. S. "To negative all laws passed by the several States interfering in the opinion of the Legislature with the general interests and harmony of the Union; provided that two thirds of the members of each House assent to the same"
This principle he observed had formerly been agreed to. He considered the precaution as essentially necessary: The objection drawn from the predominance of the large States had been removed by the equality established in the Senate. [James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, 23 August 1787]
 

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Mr. READ. Too much attachment is betrayed to the State Governts. We must look beyond their continuance. A national Govt. must soon of necessity swallow all of them up. They will soon be reduced to the mere office of electing the National Senate. He was agst. patching up the old federal System: he hoped the idea wd. be dismissed. It would be like putting new cloth on an old garment. The confederation was founded on temporary principles. It cannot last: it cannot be amended. If we do not establish a good Govt. on new principles, we must either go to ruin, or have the work to do over again. The people at large are wrongly suspected of being averse to a Genl. Govt. The aversion lies among interested men who possess their confidence. [James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, 6 June 1787]

Mr. WILSON, would not have spoken again, but for what had fallen from Mr. Read; namely, that the idea of preserving the State Govts. ought to be abandoned. He saw no incompatibility between the National & State Govts. provided the latter were restrained to certain local purposes; nor any probability of their being devoured by the former. In all confederated Systems antient & modern the reverse had happened; the Generality being destroyed gradually by the usurpations of the parts composing it. [James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, 6 June 1787]


Hanny said:
yes i know, just as i know you posted that before any building was done the constityion requires clear land titlew for federal purpose, since 1827 is when the first fedewral money is spent on SC FT Sumper who had already spent money to survey and begin coinstruction from drawings and payed for it, you pasting in the 36 document in repsose to a congresional committe asking for confirmation of land title is intresting then first time, ignorant of the dates on the secoind time and about what i expect from you.
Again, it's your own ignorance that's exposed, since you don't know about the Lavel controversy.

Hanny said:
asked and answered.

asked and answered.

asked and answered.
asked and answered, by the way in law its not whatb you know its what you prove, come close to proving somethinmg to get a further reply to any asked and answered.
asked and answered.
And you still don't know what you're talking about.

Hanny said:
check your search for ownership of ft sumpter again laval was not even alive in 1805,
So you also don't have the intellectual ability to comprehend what's in front of you.

Hanny said:
asked and amswered, and proven beyone reasonble dount your a liar.
Only one of us is lying, and it's you.

Hanny said:
asked and answered.
asked and answered.
And you still don't know what you're talking about.

Hanny said:
your post, again your liar.
Wrong as usual. You claim that I said secession was legal. I never said such a thing. You're the one who's lying.

I said, "Even if we assume secession were legal ... "

That's not claiming secession was legal. It's postulating a hypothetical where we start with a counterfactual assumption.

Maybe you should have gotten a 4th grader to explain it to you so you could understand it.


Hanny said:
yep thast the case that allows the president to call up tyhe militai all right along with the opoiste advisory from 1814, and taken togethyer the US AG gave the government to call up the militia nfor the purpose of coercion was not what the Act was for, also its the same case cite D Werbster threatened jackson with impeachment with wr=ebster being the friend and protergy of Story who made the rulling in Mott.
Again, your semi-literate, incoherent babbling makes no sense. Suffice to say you've been proven wrong.

Hanny said:
ditto, only difference i can show what the fact mean.
Only in your delusions.

Regards,
Cash
 
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trice said:
No this is incorrect. Fort Johnston belonged to South Carolina. Castle Pickney, Fort Moultrie, and Fort Sumter all belonged to the Federal government and were part of Anderson's command.




No, you are wrong. Anderson's instructions from Buell allowed him to move on his own responsibility when he felt his force was threatened. Buell wrote this in his memorandum to Andersonbefore he left Charleston -- and in the copy which he gave to Secretary of War when he returned. Floyd initialed this and sent it to the files. Floyd was much embarassed when he tried to take the line you are taking in a Cabinet meeting after Anderson moved to Sumter, because another member sent for the copy. Floyd had to retract and appologize when it was shown that he had initialed the instructions and knew that Anderson was authorized to move. You should retract as well, since your statement cannot stand.

Tim
And to save folks the trouble, here are Anderson's orders from Buell:

[begin quote]
FORT MOULTRIE, S. C., December 11, 1860.

Memorandum of verbal instructions to Major Anderson, First Artillery, commanding at Fort Moultrie, S. C.

You are aware of the great anxiety of the Secretary of War that a collision of the troops with the people of this State shall be avoided, and of his studied determination to pursue a course with reference to the military force and forts in this harbor which shall guard against such a collision. He has therefore carefully abstained from increasing the force at this point, or taking any measures which might add to the present excited state of the public mind, or which would throw any doubt on the confidence he feels that South Carolina will not attempt, by violence, to obtain possession of the public works or interfere with their occupancy. But as the counsel and acts of rash and impulsive persons may possibly disappoint those expectations of the Government, he deems it proper that you should be prepared with instructions to meet so unhappy a contingency. He has therefore directed me verbally to give you such instructions.*

You are carefully to avoid every act which would needlessly tend to provoke aggression; and for that treason you are not, without evident and imminent necessity, to take up any position which could be construed into the assumption of a hostile attitude. But you are to hold possession of the forts in this harbor, and if attacked you are to defend yourself to the last extremity. The smallness of your force will not permit you, perhaps, to occupy more than one of the three forts, but an attack on or attempt to take possession of any one of them will be regarded as an act of hostility, and you may then put your command into either of them which you may deem most proper to increase its power of resistance. You are also authorized to take similar steps whenever you have tangible evidence of a design to proceed to a hostile act.

D. C. BUELL,

Assistant Adjutant-General.
[end quote] [OR, Series I, Vol. I, pp. 89-90]

Floyd to Anderson:

[begin quote]
WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, December 21, 1860.

Major ANDERSON,

First Artillery, Commanding Fort Moultrie, S. C.:

SIR: In the verbal instructions communicated to you by Major Buell, you are directed to hold possession of the forts in the harbor of Charleston, and, if, attacked, to defend yourself to the last extremity. Under these instructions, you might infer that you are required to make a vain and useless sacrifice of your own life and the lives of the men under your command upon a mere point of honor. This is far from the President's intentions. You are to exercise a sound military discretion on this subject.

It is neither expected nor desired that you should expose your own life or that of your men in a hopeless conflict in defense of these forts. If they are invested or attacked by a force so superior that resistance would, in your judgment be a useless waste of life, it will be your duty to yield to necessity and make the best terms in your power.

This will be the conduct of an honorable, brave, and humane officer, and you will be fully justified in such action. These orders are strictly confidential, and not to be communicated even to the officers under your command, without close necessity.

Very respectfully,

JOHN B. FLOYD
[end quote] [Ibid., p. 103]

Holt to Anderson:

[begin quote]
WAR DEPARTMENT, February 23, 1861.

Major ROBERT ANDERSON,

First Artillery, Commanding Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, S. C.:

SIR: It is proper I should state distinctly that you hold Fort Sumter as you held For Moultrie, under the verbal orders communicated by Major Buell, subsequently modified by instructions addressed to you from this Department, under date of the 21st of December, 1860.

In your letter to Adjutant-General Cooper, of the 16th instant, you say:

I should like to be instructed on a question which may present itself in reference to the floating battery, viz: What course would it be proper for me to take if, without a declaration of war or a notification of hostilities, I should see them approaching my fort with that battery? They may attempt placing it within good distance before a declaration of hostile intention.

It is not easy to answer satisfactorily this important question at this distance from the scene of action. In my letter to you of the 10th of January I said:

You will continue, as heretofore, to act strictly on the defensive, and to avoid, by all means compatible with the safety of your command, a collision with the hostile forces by which you are surrounded.

The policy thus indicated must still govern your conduct.

The President is not disposed at the present moment to change the instructions under which you have been heretofore acting, or to occupy any other than a defensive position. If, however, you are convinced by sufficient evidence that the raft of which you speak is advancing for the purpose of making an assault upon the fort, then you would be justified on the principle of self-defense in not awaiting its actual arrival there, but in repelling fore by force on its approach. If, on the other hand, you have reason to believe that it is approaching merely to take up a position at a good distance should the pending question be not amicably settled, then, unless your safety is so clearly endangered as to render resistance an act of necessary self-defense and protection, you will act with that forbearance which has distinguished you heretofore in permitting the South Carolinians to strengthen Fort Moultrie and erect new batteries for the defense of the harbor. This will be but a redemption of the implied pledge contained in my letter on behalf of the President to colonel Hayne, in which, when speaking of Fort Sumter, it is said:

The attitude of that garrison, as has been often declared, is neither menacing, nor defiant, nor unfriendly. It is acting under orders to stand strictly on the defensive, and the government and people of South Carolina must know that they can never receive aught but shelter from its guns, unless, in the absence of all provocation, they should assault it and seek its destruction. A dispatch received in this city a few days since from Governor Pickens, connected with the declaration on the part of those convened at Montgomery, claiming to act on behalf of South Carolina as well as the other seceded States, that the question of the possession of the forts and other public property therein had been taken from the decision of the individual States and would probably be preceded in its settlement by negotiation with the Government of the United States, has impressed the President with a belief that there will be no immediate attack on Fort Sumter, and the hope is indulged that wise and patriotic counsels may prevail and prevent it altogether.

The labors of the Peace Congress have not yet closed, and the presence of that body here adds another to the powerful motives already existing for the adoption of every measure, except in necessary self-defense, for avoiding a collision with the forces that surround you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. HOLT.
[end quote] [Ibid., pp. 182-183]

Regards,
Cash
 

DHPatrick

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All,

I'd sincerely like to have an un-emotional discussion about the events leading to the Civil War - namely Fort Sumter.

Do I have any takers? May we discuss the issues without any emotional out bursts? I say that as I have looked at the threads concerning same and am shocked and appauled at the posts which have ocurred up to this point.

Pardon my words concerning these posts, just want to make sure we might have a constructive conversation about same. I'd like to look at the facts. All of them without any emotion or hidden agendas.

If I speak too hard tell me so.
 
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matthew mckeon

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DH Patrick, I hear your plea for rationality and second it.

Of course, I don't have emotional outbursts. People who post things I disagree with do, obviously, but me, never.
 

DHPatrick

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DH Patrick, I hear your plea for rationality and second it.

Of course, I don't have emotional outbursts. People who post things I disagree with do, obviously, but me, never.
I only ask for civility - no more. If I'm wrong in expecting that tell me so. I expect a respectfully exchange of ideas. I'm looking for information not emotion. Sorry for my tone.
 

Battalion

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I only ask for civility - no more. If I'm wrong in expecting that tell me so. I expect a respectfully exchange of ideas. I'm looking for information not emotion. Sorry for my tone.
Good luck...

:laugh1:
 
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DHPatrick

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Good luck...

:laugh1:
Battalion,

Thanks, you may be right. ...but I truly have to say I have a greater expectation in the members of this site. I think they will all do it proud. If I can have a second and third, I will begin my thoughts in the matter.

I intend to remind those who post, of this commitment. Maybe that will help.
 

matthew mckeon

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I can guarentee my own civility, but not that I might disagree with something you write.
 
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DHPatrick

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I can guarentee my own civility, but not that I might disagree with something you write.
Unionblue and matthew mckeon

I'll take that as two votes of acceptance.

I will appear to be pro-South, so please give me some leeway in the matter.

As I take it, the Governor warned the North about sending re-inforcements to his State. Am I correct or am I wrong? Further, if his State was suceeding from the Union did his proclamation have some merit - or no merit? Did the North recognize this merit? Please consider the subsequent events.
 

Parrott Gun

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Unionblue and matthew mckeon

I'll take that as two votes of acceptance.

I will appear to be pro-South, so please give me some leeway in the matter.

As I take it, the Governor warned the North about sending re-inforcements to his State. Am I correct or am I wrong? Further, if his State was suceeding from the Union did his proclamation have some merit - or no merit? Did the North recognize this merit? Please consider the subsequent events.
Lincoln specifically told Governor Pickens that he was only sending provisions. No attempt would be made to supply the fort with munitions or reinforcements if the attempt to supply it with provisions was not resisted. Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter soon after this message from Lincoln was received, before the fleet arrived to resupply Fort Sumter.

IMO, sending food to hungry men is not an act of aggression.
 

M E Wolf

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Dear DHPatrick;

The problem concerning Fort Sumter was; that it was a US Government fort that was occupied.

It was on state soil however; the problem is/was; the legal rights to access the fort when it became an island per se. In property law; if you bought a house that existed before you bought it; say on a farm and the farm was broken up into patches; suddenly--you have no road or way to get there; without trespassing on someone else's property. So, that was the problem. You have a right to access your house but, the legal problem--how to do so without violating other's rights?

Then on top of that; having given the US Government permission to have a fort by agreement in the past and past administration; then suddenly when secession rears its head; the state that Ft. Sumter sat upon said; in affect -- "We declare Ft Sumter ours because its on our soil." Problem is/was -- it was 'gifted'/'given'/appropriated for the national defense--by that state to the US Government a patch of land for the fort and it would be 'fairly reasonably' self contained. So, as I see it - the state gave the land to the US Government to build Ft. Sumter and then a generation or so later-they want it back -- ok; so would you give a gift given by others in an earlier and more friendly time? Or, give it back without compensation? Well, the state didn't want to compensate the US Government--they wanted to seize it. And, seized it they did--which would be, to me--no different from snatching a gift of times past; now my property due to being a gift; is being stolen. Or, no different if I gave you a gift and months later (to be fast here); demand it back and if you don't give it back--I take it back; no matter how much you protest and or ignore your request for equal value to replace the snatched item.

Where it should have gone; was to court. The ownership rights to Ft. Sumter should have gone there first; to establish ownership, compensation and whatever loose ends there were.

Personally, I don't think it was a Southern/Northern political issue but, entirely legal. Rights of the US Government to operate the fort, to which was there and a state who wants it back.

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 
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DHPatrick

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Lincoln specifically told Governor Pickens that he was only sending provisions. No attempt would be made to supply the fort with munitions or reinforcements if the attempt to supply it with provisions was not resisted. Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter soon after this message from Lincoln was received, before the fleet arrived to resupply Fort Sumter.

IMO, sending food to hungry men is not an act of aggression.
Parrott Gun,

Certainly, to be fair I have to consider what you have to say. Why would the South believe their secession gave them any special rights in their own State territory? If they succeed from the Union - could the Union continue to expect to own territory in that State or not? Why did the North vacant several other forts and consolidate at Fort Sumter - did they know what to expect?

Did the governor limit his talk in terms of resupply or not? Why did the Union send this particular kind of ship? Why did they attempt to stop that ship after they received Major Anderson's message?

I believe these questions all weigh in on the facts - or do they not?
 

matthew mckeon

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
13,798
Guys,
I'm repeating myself a little. But let's go back to the 1860s.

1. The firing on Ft. Sumter is not due to a technicality about who owned the land, or the deed etc. Who is 1861 seriously thought that was the issue?

2. Fort Sumter did not pose a military threat to South Carolina. Fully provisioned, and with ten times the garrison, it wouldn't pose a significant threat.

It's all your point of view:
If you're a Confederate, trying to jump start a new nation, Ft. Sumter flying the American flag in the heart of secession is an intolerable situation. If the Confederacy is a real, sovereign nation, then it has the right to ask foreign troops to remove themselves.

If you're Abraham Lincoln, trying to preserve the Union, Ft. Sumter, flying the American flag in the heart of secession is an essential promise that the Union will be perserved, secession is not legitimate, and the Confederacy is not a real, sovereign nation.

The infant Confederacy couldn't tolerate a Union Ft. Sumter, the Adminstration couldn't tolerate any further retreat on secession.
 

DHPatrick

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 10, 2008
Messages
751
Location
Bryan, Texas
Guys,
I'm repeating myself a little. But let's go back to the 1860s.

1. The firing on Ft. Sumter is not due to a technicality about who owned the land, or the deed etc. Who is 1861 seriously thought that was the issue?

2. Fort Sumter did not pose a military threat to South Carolina. Fully provisioned, and with ten times the garrison, it wouldn't pose a significant threat.

It's all your point of view:
If you're a Confederate, trying to jump start a new nation, Ft. Sumter flying the American flag in the heart of secession is an intolerable situation. If the Confederacy is a real, sovereign nation, then it has the right to ask foreign troops to remove themselves.

If you're Abraham Lincoln, trying to preserve the Union, Ft. Sumter, flying the American flag in the heart of secession is an essential promise that the Union will be perserved, secession is not legitimate, and the Confederacy is not a real, sovereign nation.

The infant Confederacy couldn't tolerate a Union Ft. Sumter, the Adminstration couldn't tolerate any further retreat on secession.
matthew mckeon,

I have to agree with you. It is truly a matter of perspective. The North wanted to preserve the Union, the South wanted independance. I don't think either was necesarily wrong, but also agree there may be some element where neither were necessarily right either - that is if you consider the position of both sides in these matters.

If there is additional discussion to this point, I'm willing wait, else I'm prepared to move on to the next point. I certainly do not want to be guilty of pushing the discussion, but also do not want to tarry. I'll wait another day or two for any follow on discussion reguarding these matters.
 
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Parrott Gun

Private
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May 26, 2008
Messages
109
Location
Pennsylvania
Parrott Gun,
Did the governor limit his talk in terms of resupply or not? Why did the Union send this particular kind of ship? Why did they attempt to stop that ship after they received Major Anderson's message?

I believe these questions all weigh in on the facts - or do they not?
Honestly, I don't think those questions are all that relevant. I'm certainly not the first to make this comparison, but I think the whole situation is closely paralleled by the situation at Guantanamo Bay.

We signed a lease with Cuba at a time when they were our friend. They've been trying to get us to leave since the 1950's but there is nothing they can do about it short of attacking the base and starting a war with the United States. Do you think they would be justified in doing this?

It's exactly the same case with Fort Sumter. South Carolina ceded the title to Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie in the 1840's at a time when they were a friend of the Federal Government. If secession was constitutional—which IMO it was not—then South Carolina was a sovereign state when they ceded the title to the Federal Government. They had no legal right to take it back just because the relationship between them and the Federal government changed, just as Cuba has no legal right to take back Guantanamo Bay just because the relationship between them and the United States has changed.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Feb 20, 2005
Messages
30,142
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
matthew mckeon,

I have to agree with you. It is truly a matter of perspective. The North wanted to preserve the Union, the South wanted independance. I don't think either was necesarily wrong, but also agree there may be some element where neither were necessarily right either - that is if you consider the position of both sides in these matters.

DHPatrick, in my own view, you are trying too hard to say "I don't think either was necesarily wrong, but also agree there may be some element where neither were necessarily right either." So we are left with the end result that the South was not wrong with the untried, untested, wholly without precedent, unilateral secession ploy. And the idea that unilateral secession was only employed to protect the intstitution of slavery. And that all of the illegal acts up and until the firing on Ft. Sumter was "not necessarily wrong or not necessarily right." That equates to a free pass for the South, no matter what it did to bring on the crisis.

If there is additional discussion to this point, I'm willing wait, else I'm prepared to move on to the next point. I certainly do not want to be guilty of pushing the discussion, but also do not want to tarry. I'll wait another day or two for any follow on discussion reguarding these matters.
A revolution does not start with both sides not being wrong or right. Someone brings it on or someone has issues that bring it on. It does not start in a complete political and social vacuum.

IMO.

Unionblue
 
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