If anyone else can provide evidence that Lincoln ever showed any interest in understanding and finding a peaceful way out of the impasse with the secessionists, please let me know. ...
In his inaugural address he stated "In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it."
In his proclamation of April 15 he stated " I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes, within twenty days from this date."
So he showed an interested in a peaceful outcome by offering the law breakers a chance to step back from the edge.