Re: The Alternative.--Plural.
I'd think that would be a catalyst Joe. Florida's first vote was NOT to leave the Union. That changed in a short period of time. It seems to me there was a lot of preparation for 'something big' going on by those in the Union forces at Ft Barrancas and Ft Pickens, both in Pensacola before the actual firing shot. Slemmer made a fast and as it turned out correct decision to vacate Barrancas and fortify Pickens. That gave them pretty much the position to control the outcome of the battle that left the Confederates who had moved in McRee and Barrancas on a fast track out of the area. Bragg saw the handwriting on the wall after McRee fell. That left control of the pass into the bay open for Union supply ships to just come on in to town.
One little known story about the Battle here in Pensacola is the one of the Nuns. The Daughters of Charity were providing aid with nursing skills during the shelling around Barrancas and the Navy Yard. They stayed and refused to move to a safer area until all of the patients in the hospital were evactuated. They did this even as some shells hit the hospital. Bragg had a piece of metal from a Union cannon made into a medallion to honor their dedication and kindness. It is at their headquarter in, I think, Chicago.