Monday, April 12, 2010
Once Upon a Time in America (4.12.10)
On this day in U.S. history in 1861, Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter and started the American Civil War.
A little background for the clueless. Fort Sumter was an army post off the coast of South Carolina. When South Carolina declared its succession from the United States, the Confederate government demanded that the U.S. turn over the Fort.
In President Lincoln’s inaugural address, he stated that he had no intent to invade the Confederate states even though there was an army base right off the coast of one of the states.
Even so, the Confederate government went to the U.S. government and offered to pay for the Fort Sumter, along with some other federal installations but were refused by Lincoln. Lincoln claimed that the Confederacy was not a legitimate government.
However, on April 9, the cabinet of the Confederate government decided to invade the fort, even though President Jefferson Davis did not want the Confederacy to be seen as an aggressor. Apparently at some point he had changed his mind.
So on April 12 around 4:30 in the morning, Confederate forced began firing guns and mortars at the fort. The fort surrendered to Confederate forced the next day around 2pm.
I have my theories on this. Personally, I think with this information in mind, Lincoln could have avoided such a bloody war by just agreeing to negotiate with the Confederates as a legitimate government. I also think the Confederates could have avoided a brutal war by just cutting their losses and letting the Union have the damn fort. Perhaps they might have even still had their own government. Who knows.