But before I go diving into my library, let me start with a few documents showing the intent of Lincoln and his military in the days before Fort Sumter was fired on.
Here is a letter from the military idea man who planned the Fort Sumter reenforcement, G. V. Fox....
My expedition is ordered to be got ready, but I doubt if we shall get off. Delay, indecision, obstacles.
War will commence at Pensacola. There the Govt is making a stand and if they fire upon reinforcements, already ordered to land, Fort Pickens and the ships will open upon the whole party.
Shall leave here tomorrow afternoon. Love to all.
[Fox commanded the fleet ordered to Charleston]
Confidential Correspondence of Gustavus Vasa Fox, Thompson, Wainwright, 1920.
From the O.R. (note the date, six days before Fort Sumter was fired upon). This is the secret fleet hardly anyone notices because all eyes are on Fort Sumter. The main ship of Fox's assualt fleet, steam sloop-of-war USS Powhatan, is secretly taken from him, and sent to help the assualt planned for Fort Pickens. Sitting off the Charleston Harbor, Fox had no idea what happened to the Powhatan and cannot carry out his plan to reenforce Fort Sumter by force. Beauregard, who knew the original plan of attack, had no idea that Fox was without his main ship, acts quickly when the first ships arrive to get Maj. Anderson to evacuate the fort, or be fired upon. Below is a tid-bit of the Lincoln's goal of war.
U. S. TRANSPORT ATLANTIC,
[New York,] April 6, 1861- 2.30 p. m.
Hon. WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State:
DEAR SIR: By great exertions, within less than six days from the time the subject was broached in the office of the President, a war steamer sails from this port; and the Atlantic, built under contract to be at the service of the United States in case of war, will follow this afternoon with 500 troops, of which one company is sappers and miners, one a mounted battery. The Illinois will follow on Monday with the stores which the Atlantic could not hold.
While the mere throwing of a few men into Fort Pickens may seem a small operation, the opening of a campaign is a great one.
Unless this movement is supported by ample supplies and followed up by the Navy it will be a failure. This is the beginning of the war which every statesman and soldier has foreseen since the passage of the South Carolina ordinance of secession. You will find the Army and the Navy clogged at the head with men, excellent patriotic men, men who were soldiers and sailors forty years ago, but who now merely keep active men out of the places in which they could serve the country.
If you call out volunteers you have no general to command. The general born, not made, is yet to be found who is to govern the great army which is to save the country, if saved it can be. Colonel Keyes has shown intelligence, zeal, activity, and I look for a high future for him.
England took six months to get a soldier to the Crimea. We were from May to September in getting General Taylor before Monterey. Let us be supported; we go to serve our country, and our country should not neglect us or leave us to be strangled in tape, however red.
M. C. MEIGS.
From the Lincoln Library....Again, note the date.
From J. H. Jordan to Abraham Lincoln, April 4, 1861
Cincinnati O. April 4/61.
To President Lincoln:
Thirty days more of " Peace Policy" at Washington -- and not only the Republican Party, but the Government itself will be gone to destruction or placed beyond remedy!
We have been beaten in our city election -- the same in St. Louis -- Cleveland -- Rhode Island -- Brooklyn -- and lost two Members of Congress in Connecticut -- all from the demoralization and discouraging affect produced by the apparent inaction and temperizing policy of the new Administration, and the impression that Fort Pickens was going to be given up also to the rebels!
The only possible salvation of the Administration -- of the Government, and of the Union, depends upon a firm stand against Secession, and by all means and above all, upon the re-enforcement and holding against all opposition of Fort Pickens! That is the Key to this whole Secession business! Hold that -- and you hold everything within your own grasp, and everything " steady," until the disease runs its course, and either kills or cures itself -- as it surely will in less than one year. If it be possible (no matter what the cost of money or life) -- Fort Sumpter should be supplied with provision. It should be done by strategem. It can be done. Afterwards, it could be re-enforced with troops. But it will be better, a thousand times, that the Fort be attacked, captured, and Anderson and his men made prisoners of war, or all killed -- than that it be evacuated! But if it must be abandoned, let it be done; we can bear it -- provided Fort Pickens is held and reenforced for any emergency.
The most fatal infatuation that ever did or can possess a statesman is the idea of a Peace Policy in the present emergency! It only encourages and strengthens the enemy, while it disheartens the friends of the Union in the seceded States, as well as the real friends of the Union every where!
A "Peaceable Separation" -- is an impossibility! Besides -- that is not what is aimed at by the Secessionists and their abettors. All they want is to get the Administration, and the Republican Party committed to a "Peaceable Secession", and that moment the question will be sprung upon us -- " Reconstruction on the basis of the Southern Constitution, or Disunion"! and we will thus be placed on the side of disunion -- and beaten to death! The love of the " Union" in this Country is stronger than hatred to Slavery: and whenever that question -- that issue comes (and it is coming) -- the dissolution of the Union, or the adoption of the Jeff. Davis Constitution by all the States -- the whole South, and the whole Democratic and Belleverett1 Parties at the North, with a large portion of the commercial and Manufacturing interests besides -- will be against us, and will carry us into the Southern Confederacy!
This scheme must be broken up -- and at once!
1 Reenforce Fort Pickens. Let them attack it, if they will. (--Who knows that they will?) If they do -- the balls which they fire against its walls will rebound and strike them -- kill them; that is all! No body, out of the range of the Fort's guns will be hurt! There need be no invasion -- consequently no "civil war." But we better have twenty years of civil war, than let the Government go to pieces -- or than "recognize" the "Southern Confederacy," -- which would be recognizing the Right of Secession -- etc.
2 -- The Administration ought to do all it can -- in the line of its legitimate duty -- to encourage an attack or attacks by the Confederates: It should court and encourage, and bring it about, if possible. This -- in order to induce them to raise, equip and keep up a large military force, thus increasing their expenses, tax levies, &c, in order the sooner to break them down -- force a re-action among the people -- and in this way the thing would soon be crushed out.
3 -- Call Congress together -- modify or abolish the Tariff. Raise an army of 60,000: make southern Kansas, the Indian Territory & West. Arkansas, the base of operation of one division of say 20,000 men. Send 5,000 to 10,000 down the Mississippi, to clear out the obstructions to commerce & navigation along that river. Hold 20 to 30,000 in and near Washington -- Fill Fort Monroe & Gosport Navy Yard as full as they can hold: Then hold things steady -- collect the revenue on shipboard, or blockade the ports -- and while all the war munition manufacturies in the U. States are put to work, day and night, to their utmost -- let the "Model Government" of the Confederate States flourish, for a few months -- giving its leaders as well as all the people of both the seceded States and those that talk of seceding, that after giving them sufficient time for reflection and a return to their loyalty in the Union if they dont do it, you intend to make them do it! 500,000,000 Five hundred thousand of the men who voted for you are ready, willing, and anxious to back you -- in this course -- in maintaining the integrity of the Union -- the old Constitution as it is, and the enforcement of the Laws. But for God's sake! give not an inch -- and dont be afraid of war! Do what you will -- War, (to some extent) is inevitable!
Truly Yours. J. H. Jordan