What was Lincoln's plan for Fort Sumter if it had been allowed to be resupplied with food ?

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W. Richardson

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I was reading over Lincoln's message to Congress in Special Session and ran across this..........

"They knew that this Government desired to keep the garrison in the Fort, not to assail them, but merely to maintain visible possession, and thus to preserve the Union from actual, and immediate dissolution—trusting, as herein-before stated, to time, discussion, and the ballot-box, for final adjustment;"

Lincoln, Abraham (2012-12-21). Abraham Lincoln: Speeches & Writings 1859-1865: Library of America #46 (The Library of America) (p. 249). Library of America. Kindle Edition.



Was there talk of a National referendum as to holding or evacuating Fort Sumter? Was it going to be put before Congress to vote on? or was it just to by time?

If so was these actions relayed to Governor Pickens or any Confederate States figure?


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Respectfully,
William

 

NedBaldwin

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I was reading over Lincoln's message to Congress in Special Session and ran across this..........

"They knew that this Government desired to keep the garrison in the Fort, not to assail them, but merely to maintain visible possession, and thus to preserve the Union from actual, and immediate dissolution—trusting, as herein-before stated, to time, discussion, and the ballot-box, for final adjustment;"

Lincoln, Abraham (2012-12-21). Abraham Lincoln: Speeches & Writings 1859-1865: Library of America #46 (The Library of America) (p. 249). Library of America. Kindle Edition.



Was there talk of a National referendum as to holding or evacuating Fort Sumter? Was it going to be put before Congress to vote on? or was it just to by time?

If so was these actions relayed to Governor Pickens or any Confederate States figure?


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Respectfully,
William
I think its meant as a more abstract statement that Congress had the power to resolve the issue of Fort Sumter and if the people wanted a different policy they could vote for different representatives. There was no such thing as a National referendum on issues.
 

W. Richardson

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I think its meant as a more abstract statement that Congress had the power to resolve the issue of Fort Sumter and if the people wanted a different policy they could vote for different representatives. There was no such thing as a National referendum on issues.

Thanks Ned................

I didn't think I had read of any such "plan" or National referendum.



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Respectfully,
William
 
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R. Alex Raines

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I think its meant as a more abstract statement that Congress had the power to resolve the issue of Fort Sumter and if the people wanted a different policy they could vote for different representatives. There was no such thing as a National referendum on issues.
I think its more that Lincoln earnestly believed that, given a little bit of time, Southern Unionist sentiment would return the lost sheep to the flock. Frankly, I think that was one of Lincoln's major errors of analysis. Given time, the Confederacy would have become stronger in terms of local belief in the South that it was legitimate. Meanwhile, guns and cannons and the like could have been acquired, etc.

Instead, Jefferson Davis did Lincoln a huge favor and painted himself into a corner.
 

W. Richardson

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I think its more that Lincoln earnestly believed that, given a little bit of time, Southern Unionist sentiment would return the lost sheep to the flock. Frankly, I think that was one of Lincoln's major errors of analysis. Given time, the Confederacy would have become stronger in terms of local belief in the South that it was legitimate. Meanwhile, guns and cannons and the like could have been acquired, etc.

Instead, Jefferson Davis did Lincoln a huge favor and painted himself into a corner.

I agree with you on this except for the very last part, and it was truly one of Lincoln's major errors. I also feel the Confederacy would have gotten stronger in time also, and ended up getting stronger anyways which leads me to the part I do not agree with you on.......................

I am not convinced yet through my research as to who painted whom into a corner. Lincoln needed the CSA to be the aggressor, Davis and the CSA needed the upper south. The CSA fired first, as Lincoln needed which gains him points, but Lincoln can be seen as the provoker of a war that cost 700,000+ deaths..............Davis and the CSA lost any possible recognition from foreign nations by being the aggressor, but gained the four important upper south states (NC, TN, AK, and VA.), states I feel were needed by the CSA to survive.

Of course all of this depends on which view one prefers to see it from, the CSA's view that it was a separate nation or the USA's view that the South had not seceded................

Very good post by you..................


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Respectfully,
William
 
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Elennsar

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If the CSA had seceded, then Fort Sumter was lawfully part of the territory controlled by a foreign government.

If the southern states were still in the Union, the territory remained part of the land lawfully controlled by the federal government as distinct from South Carolina.

Maintaining the fort, in both cases, is just part of a nation protecting territory it lawfully owns.

The responsibility for aggression remains on the Confederacy.
 
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W. Richardson

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If the CSA had seceded, then Fort Sumter was lawfully part of the territory controlled by a foreign government.

If the southern states were still in the Union, the territory remained part of the land lawfully controlled by the federal government as distinct from South Carolina.

Maintaining the fort, in both cases, is just part of a nation protecting territory it lawfully owns.

The responsibility for aggression remains on the Confederacy.


That is indeed one way to view it.

IIRC the Confederacy attempted to settle the issue but was denied a meeting for discussion............

I do not disagree with you that the Confederacy was the aggressor, aggression can be provoked. As I stated before it depends on which view one chooses to view it from, so you are not wrong, I just disagree on some points.



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William
 

Elennsar

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That is indeed one way to view it.

IIRC the Confederacy attempted to settle the issue but was denied a meeting for discussion............

I do not disagree with you that the Confederacy was the aggressor, aggression can be provoked. As I stated before it depends on which view one chooses to view it from, so you are not wrong, I just disagree on some points.



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Respectfully,
William
And thus this becomes no more than the latest attempt to find some way, any way, that Lincoln can be blamed for Jefferson Davis's aggression.

My point of view is that those efforts do very little to help us understand what actually happened, and even less to allow us to understand why.
 

W. Richardson

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And thus this becomes no more than the latest attempt to find some way, any way, that Lincoln can be blamed for Jefferson Davis's aggression.

My point of view is that those efforts do very little to help us understand what actually happened, and even less to allow us to understand why.

Davis and the CSA was the aggressor no doubt, as I had stated earlier.

And that is exactly what it is..........................Your point of view.

It has many views Elennsar..................My point of view as to what actually happened is Lincoln provoked the CSA and Davis. Davis and the CSA became the aggressors. As the aggressors Davis and the CSA lost any and all possibility of foreign recognition............Round 1 to Lincoln................By provoking the CSA and Davis into aggression, Davis and the CSA gained what they need the most.........NC, VA, AK, TN..................Round 2 to Davis.

Attempting to make Lincoln and the Union, pure as a fine driving snow, holier than thou.............Isn't true history, it's fantasy..............The Treasury of Virtue don't wash any longer.............

The why is easy.................Slavery


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Respectfully,
William
 
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Elennsar

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"Lincoln is innocent of responsibility for the ACW happening." is not "Lincoln was Sir Galahad. Only better."

If the only way you can argue with the former is to claim people are arguing the latter, then this Clio-revering student is just going to go for Unionblue's "YAWN." in the future.

(edited)

Why is it that whenever this sort of thing is discussed, the idea of "innocent of responsibility here" is mutated into "innocent and pure all the time in all situations"?

Talking about the treasury of virtue being ridiculous would hold more weight if anyone claimed it wasn't.
 
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jgoodguy

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I think its more that Lincoln earnestly believed that, given a little bit of time, Southern Unionist sentiment would return the lost sheep to the flock. Frankly, I think that was one of Lincoln's major errors of analysis. Given time, the Confederacy would have become stronger in terms of local belief in the South that it was legitimate. Meanwhile, guns and cannons and the like could have been acquired, etc.

Instead, Jefferson Davis did Lincoln a huge favor and painted himself into a corner.
Davis' decision was sound, but a gamble. The big unknowns were Northern reaction and Lincoln's leadership. It was a good gamble at the time as we see it as a bad one only because we know the results.
 
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jgoodguy

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Davis and the CSA was the aggressor no doubt, as I had stated earlier.

And that is exactly what it is..........................Your point of view.

It has many views Elennsar..................My point view as to what actually happened is Lincoln provoked the CSA and Davis. Davis and the CSA became the aggressors. As the aggressors Davis and the CSA lost any and all possibility of foreign recognition............Round 1 to Lincoln................By provoking the CSA and Davis into aggression, Davis and the CSA gained what they need the most.........NC, VA, AK, TN..................Round 2 to Davis.

Attempting to make Lincoln and the Union, pure as a fine driving snow, holier than thou.............Isn't true history, it's fantasy..............The Treasury of Virtue don't wash any longer.............

The why is easy.................Slavery


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Respectfully,
William
This opinion paints Jeff Davis and company as incompetent idiots bungling a situation.
 

wilber6150

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If Davis had waited and Sumter yielded because of a lack of food, Lincoln's options would have been limited.
It seems to be from what Ive read that as long as Ft. Pickens could be held they were willing to give up Sumter and would be able place the blame on the previous adminastration for putting them in a untenable position, but with Pickens in doubt they had to send the Fox expedition. Lincoln and his admin would have gone thru a firestorm if Pickens fell and they let Sumter surrander due to food without doing anything trying to help. They couldn't afford to lose both and still hope to survive as a political entity..
 
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jgoodguy

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It seems to be from what Ive read that as long as Ft. Pickens could be held they were willing to give up Sumter and would be able place the blame on the previous adminastration for putting them in a untenable position, but with Pickens in doubt they had to send the Fox expedition. Lincoln and his admin would have gone thru a firestorm if Pickens fell and they let Sumter surrander due to food without doing anything trying to help. They couldn't afford to lose both and still hope to survive as a political entity..
I agree. However my issue is Lincoln's options without a attack on Sumter. However I doubt Davis' options were much better and maybe worst without an attack on Sumter. However the OP assumes Sumter was resupplied, therefore that places Davis at the disadvantage.
 

jgoodguy

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I was reading over Lincoln's message to Congress in Special Session and ran across this..........

"They knew that this Government desired to keep the garrison in the Fort, not to assail them, but merely to maintain visible possession, and thus to preserve the Union from actual, and immediate dissolution—trusting, as herein-before stated, to time, discussion, and the ballot-box, for final adjustment;"

Lincoln, Abraham (2012-12-21). Abraham Lincoln: Speeches & Writings 1859-1865: Library of America #46 (The Library of America) (p. 249). Library of America. Kindle Edition.



Was there talk of a National referendum as to holding or evacuating Fort Sumter? Was it going to be put before Congress to vote on? or was it just to by time?

If so was these actions relayed to Governor Pickens or any Confederate States figure?


View attachment 82806
Respectfully,
William
IMHO, all Lincoln had to do is pick off States or parts of States that seceded from the South and his successors would have allowed the rest in at a later time. Without a war, I see no unifying theme to make the CSA a nation and not a collecting of bickering entities.
 

thomas aagaard

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I have always thought that both Davis and Lincoln needed the Sumter situation to end in a fight.

Without an attack Lincoln would have found it much harder to get the northern states to support a war against the south.
But he could not back down and allow the south the leave... That was up to congress and would result in him violating his oath of office.

And Davis needed to show the border states that the CSA was serious and was willing to use force... Without a war, Iam not sure that Virginia would have joined the CSA.
 
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Carronade

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Why did Davis and the CSA need the upper South states?

One might say to fight the war, but that's a circular argument - you "have to" start a war in order to get the resources to fight a war...... Indeed a band of eight sympathetic slave states within the Union might be the best deterrent to any effective action Lincoln might try to take against the secessionists.

The only other "need" would be if the seven seceded states could not form an economically viable nation, but surely the apostles of "King Cotton" weren't thinking that!
 

jgoodguy

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I have always thought that both Davis and Lincoln needed the Sumter situation to end in a fight.

Without an attack Lincoln would have found it much harder to get the northern states to support a war against the south.
But he could not back down and allow the south the leave... That was up to congress and would result in him violating his oath of office.

And Davis needed to show the border states that the CSA was serious and was willing to use force... Without a war, Iam not sure that Virginia would have joined the CSA.
I doubt Lincoln needed the Sumter fight. Time was on the Union side not on the CSA side.
 
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