Why did the south fire on Fort Sumter?

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jgoodguy

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It's been posted many times and you've ignored it before. Do you promise not to ignore it again?
It would be a lot simpler to either provide the evidence or a link to it. Arguing about it just might get deleted as off topic.
It will become a red letter request if needed.
 

Andersonh1

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Yes, of course Lincoln was aware of it. But for Lincoln it was the lesser of the evils option. For Davis, it was an option that he felt would work to his advantage. As wrong as he may have been, Davis got his wish, and Lincoln didn't.
It's that one sentence that I'd like to see concrete evidence for: that for Lincoln, having the South fire the first shot was "the lesser of two evils". He reaped a greater advantage than Davis by getting the numerically and technically superior North rallied behind him, and his instructions to Winfield Scott before his inauguration advising that the forts be retaken if surrendered by Buchanan indicate that Lincoln was thinking about force months before he took office.

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/lincoln4/1:247?rgn=div1;view=fulltext

To Elihu B. Washburne[1]
Confidential
Hon. E. B. Washburne Springfield, Ills.
My dear Sir: Dec. 21. 1860
Last night I received your letter giving an account of your interview with Gen. Scott, and for which I thank you. Please present my respects to the General, and tell him, confidentially, I shall be obliged to him to be as well prepared as he can to either hold, or retake, the forts, as the case may require, at, and after the inaugeration. Yours as ever A. LINCOLN
 
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cash

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Yeah, I wish someone would post it. I've seen old posts where Cash runs the political calculations here: http://civilwartalk.com/threads/why-did-jefferson-davis-start-the-war.12414/ , but my assertion that Lincoln started it has more substance and weight than his argument. Davis was willing to fire the first shot, as the letter to Bragg indicates, but that's a long way from proving that he fired it to acquire the border states.
Read it again. It's more than just political calculations. It's actual quotations from people urging and advising Davis to start the war in order to unite the confederates.

That's quite a bit more than your fallacy.
 
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brass napoleon

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:thumbsup:

I especially like where Calhoun states: “Come what will, should it cost every drop of blood and every cent of property, we must defend ourselves; and if compelled, we would stand justified by all laws, human and divine.”
But, as he clearly stated, what they were defending themselves against was a change in "the relation which now exists between the two races in the slaveholding states." Do you especially like THAT? Really??
 
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jgoodguy

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:thumbsup:

I especially like where Calhoun states: “Come what will, should it cost every drop of blood and every cent of property, we must defend ourselves; and if compelled, we would stand justified by all laws, human and divine.”
It's that one sentence that I'd like to see concrete evidence for: that for Lincoln, having the South fire the first shot was "the lesser of two evils". He reaped a greater advantage than Davis by getting the numerically and technically superior North rallied behind him, and his letters to Winfield Scott before his inauguration advising that the forts be retaken if surrendered by Buchanan indicate that Lincoln was thinking about force months before he took office.
The topic is "Why did the south fire on Fort Sumter?"

Lets keep it to that.
 

brass napoleon

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It's that one sentence that I'd like to see concrete evidence for: that for Lincoln, having the South fire the first shot was "the lesser of two evils". He reaped a greater advantage than Davis by getting the numerically and technically superior North rallied behind him, and his letters to Winfield Scott before his inauguration advising that the forts be retaken if surrendered by Buchanan indicate that Lincoln was thinking about force months before he took office.
Sorry, but that's not what Jefferson Davis said. Are you calling Davis a liar?
 
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cash

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It's that one sentence that I'd like to see concrete evidence for: that for Lincoln, having the South fire the first shot was "the lesser of two evils". He reaped a greater advantage than Davis by getting the numerically and technically superior North rallied behind him, and his letters to Winfield Scott before his inauguration advising that the forts be retaken if surrendered by Buchanan indicate that Lincoln was thinking about force months before he took office.
Davis got four key states, including Virginia, which brought along with it Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, JEB Stuart, et al.

Anyone looking objectively at it would have to conclude Davis got the better advantage.
 
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Lost Cause

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So you have no evidence whatsoever that Lincoln ever said or was advised that a war would unite "the North."

The above is a textbook case of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. You make the ASSumption that because there was more unity after Fort Sumter was fired on that was Lincoln's objective. It's poor reasoning and poor history.
Essentially, you are saying Lincoln's Call To Arms would have been just as effective for Union volunteers had the war commenced when warships entered the harbor by force, and not by Davis' initial bombardment of Sumter?
 
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cash

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Essentially, you are saying Lincoln's Call To Arms would have been just as effective for Union volunteers had the war commenced when warships entered the harbor by force, and not by Davis' initial bombardment of Sumter?
No. I'm saying there's no evidence Lincoln wanted a war in order to unite "the North."
 

Andersonh1

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The South fired on Fort Sumter because:
1 - their peace commissioners were being ignored by Lincoln
2 - their peace commissioners were being strung along by Stanton
3 - they felt that given 1 and 2 they could not trust the US government to deal with them in good faith
4 - they knew the ships were on the way with provisions and reinforcements for Sumter
5 - it was either fire now while Sumter was lightly manned, or face warships in the harbor and a much larger garrison in the fort.

The attempt to represent us as the _aggressors_ in the conflict which ensued is as unfounded as the complaint made by the wolf against the lamb in the familiar fable. He who makes the assault is not necessarily he that strikes the first blow or fires the first gun. To have awaited further strengthening of their position by land and naval forces, with hostile purpose now declared, for the sake of having them "fire the first gun," would have been as unwise as it would be to hesitate to strike down the arm of the assailant, who levels a deadly weapon at one's breast, until he has actually fired. - Jefferson Davis
 
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