...Once or twice I was seriously invited to stay a few days longer, in order to witness the struggle and victory of South Carolina. However, it was clear that the enthusiasm and confidence of the people were no longer what they had been. Several dull and costly weeks had passed since the passage of the secession ordinance. Stump - speeches, torchlight-processions, fireworks, and other jubilations, were among bygone things. The flags were falling to pieces, and the palmettos withering, unnoticed except by strangers. Men had begun to realize that a hurrah is not sufficient to carry out a great revolution successfully; that the work which they had undertaken was weightier, and the reward of it more distant, if not more doubtful, than they had supposed. The political prophets had been forced, like the Millerites, to ask an extension for their predictions. The anticipated fleet of cotton-freighters had not arrived from Europe, and the expected twelve millions of foreign gold had not refilled the collapsed banks. The daily expenses were estimated at twenty thousand dollars; the treasury was in rapid progress of depletion; and as yet no results. It is not wonderful, that, under these circumstances, the most enthusiastic secessionists were not gay, and that the general physiognomy of the city was sober, not to say troubled. It must not be understood, however, that there was any visible discontent or even discouragement. We are suffering in our affairs, said a businessman to me; but you will hear no grumbling. We expect to be poor, very poor, for two or three years, observed a lady; but we are willing to bear it, for the sake of the noble and prosperous end. Our people do not want concessions, and will never be tempted back into the Union, was the voice of every private person, as well as of the Legislature...[within Fort Moultrie] It would be a great mistake to suppose that the volunteers are drawn, to any extent whatever, from the poor white trash. The secession movement, like all the political action of the State at all times, is independent of the crackers, asks no aid nor advice of them, and, in short, ignores them utterly."
According to this Northern visitor to Charleston who witness the feelings of the people Lincoln's choice for the use of force was apparently not called for. There were other options.