I don't think he welcomed it, just that he was willing to fight a war if that's what it took. If he didn't believe a peaceful solution was to "be anticipated", then what other option did he have?
Davis himself laid out the following sequence of events:
- commissioners were sent to Washington to negotiate
- Secretary of state Seward, through Judge Campbell, assured the commissioners that Sumter would be evacuated
- while this was going on, Gustavus Fox made plans to reenforce the fort, and actually visited Charleston on March 21st to see the lay of the land
- As late as April 7, the commissioners were still being led to believe that Sumter would be evacuated. "Faith as to Sumter fully kept. Wait and see"
- Davis says that the intention was for the arrival of the fleet to be a surprise, and only a storm at sea delayed it long enough for Beauregard to get instructions on what to do.
So it seems to me as if when the time came for Davis to make a decision, he felt that not only could the United States not be trusted to deal in good faith, but that there was very little time in which to choose a course of action. Ships were on the way, so there was no more time. And the Confederate commissioners believed Charleston was going to be attacked.
https://books.google.com/books?id=ndTjAAAAQBAJ&pg=PT316&lpg=PT316&dq=The+'Tribune'+of+to-day+declares+the+++++main+object+of+the+expedition+to+be+the+relief+of+Sumter,+and+++++that+a+force+will+be+landed+which+will+overcome+all+opposition.&source=bl&ots=Gec0hN9_G4&sig=koq18cPM6YzUJsLHpafmdltN7b0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi1qIXlsJnOAhVKNj4KHb_0BgIQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=The 'Tribune' of to-day declares the main object of the expedition to be the relief of Sumter, and that a force will be landed which will overcome all opposition.&f=false
"Washington, _April 10, 1861_.
"General G. T. Beauregard: The 'Tribune' of to-day declares the
main object of the expedition to be the relief of Sumter, and
that a force will be landed which will overcome all opposition.
"Roman, Crawford, and Forsyth."
One does not have to believe that Davis wanted war to understand that he believed it was the only option left to him.
The "relief squadron," as with unconscious irony it was termed, was already under way for Charleston, consisting, according to their own statement, of eight vessels, carrying twenty-six guns and about fourteen hundred men, including the troops sent for reënforcement of the
These facts became known to the Confederate Government, and it was obvious that no time was to be lost in preparing for, and if possible anticipating the impending assault.
Interesting, but Davis had the option of letting Lincoln shoot first.