The American Civil War, day by day - Page 12 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14993818
Doug64 wrote:March 14, Thursday

The Federal Cabinet meets once more on the crisis at Fort Sumter and also considers appointments.

Louisiana receives the thanks of the Confederate Congress for turning over $536,000 taken from the former U.S. mint in New Orleans.

I see they're divvying up the spoils already. Lol.
#14993823
Potemkin wrote:I see they're divvying up the spoils already. Lol.

They’ve been divvying up the spoils since the election. In fact, that’s pretty much all Lincoln has been doing since he won. That meeting with General Scott a few days ago might have been the first time he seriously talked over the situation with an actual government official—no pre-inauguration briefings back then!
#14993825
Doug64 wrote:They’ve been divvying up the spoils since the election. In fact, that’s pretty much all Lincoln has been doing since he won. That meeting with General Scott a few days ago might have been the first time he seriously talked over the situation with an actual government official—no pre-inauguration briefings back then!

I was referring more to the Confederates than to Lincoln, but your point is well taken. My own point was that the Confederacy has been looting Federal property for weeks now. Did they expect the US government to just accept this?
#14993829
Potemkin wrote:I was referring more to the Confederates than to Lincoln, but your point is well taken. My own point was that the Confederacy has been looting Federal property for weeks now. Did they expect the US government to just accept this?

Ah, well, in this case it’s more like consolidating the spoils, turning what was federal property into confederate property rather than each state keeping it for themselves. And yes, they certainly hoped and many may well have believed that the US government would just accept it.
#14993831
Doug64 wrote:Ah, well, in this case it’s more like consolidating the spoils, turning what was federal property into confederate property rather than each state keeping it for themselves. And yes, they certainly hoped and many may well have believed that the US government would just accept it.

If so, then that was incredibly naive of them. Any government which allows itself to be looted in this way and does nothing about it is not going to be taken seriously by anybody ever again. They had to do something about it.
#14993835
Potemkin wrote:If so, then that was incredibly naive of them. Any government which allows itself to be looted in this way and does nothing about it is not going to be taken seriously by anybody ever again. They had to do something about it.

To be fair, a good number of people in the North hoped and believed the same, including a number of abolitionists. What it came down to was whether they believed (or at least asserted) the US was a nation, or an alliance.
#14993839
Doug64 wrote:To be fair, a good number of people in the North hoped and believed the same, including a number of abolitionists. What it came down to was whether they believed (or at least asserted) the US was a nation, or an alliance.

Good point. An alliance can be dissolved, whereas a nation... cannot. I've heard one historian say that, before the Civil War, people would say, "The United States are...", whereas after the Civil War they would say, "The United States is...." In other words, fighting the Civil War forged an alliance into a nation. And Lincoln was the midwife of that birth....
#14993879
Potemkin wrote:Good point. An alliance can be dissolved, whereas a nation... cannot. I've heard one historian say that, before the Civil War, people would say, "The United States are...", whereas after the Civil War they would say, "The United States is...." In other words, fighting the Civil War forged an alliance into a nation. And Lincoln was the midwife of that birth....

That is true, but it doesn’t automatically mean they thought any state could unilaterally leave. I prefer to use the plural myself, just to acknowledge the semi-sovereign status of the states.

But while it is true that the Founders intended for the union to be permanent (during the ratification debates one of the warnings from the anti-federalists was that once the states were in they were in, that they couldn’t back out later if they got buyer’s remorse, and the federalists never contradicted them on it), that had been widely forgotten in the generations since and many if not most in the South thought they actually had a constitutional right to secede.
#14994048
March 15, Friday

In an important Cabinet meeting, President Lincoln requests the written opinions of members on whether to provision Fort Sumter. He asks, “Assuming it to be possible to now provision Fort-Sumpter [sic], under all the circumstances, is it wise to attempt it?” Seward is opposed unless it can be done peaceably, for “I would not provoke war in any way now.” Chase approves, unless it will bring about war. Cameron thinks it unwise because of the opinion of military men that it is “perhaps, now impossible to succor that fort, substantially, if at all.” Welles is opposed both on military and political grounds. Smith adds his opposition to relief as does Bates, while Blair is opposed to evacuation, and favors Gustavus Vasa Fox’s plan for provisioning. The President postpones his decision.

Meanwhile, in Texas Federals withdraw from still another post, Camp Wood.

In Montgomery the Confederate Congress is busy completing its work of setting up a functioning national government and laying plans for possible conflict.
#14994262
March 16, Saturday

The Confederate Provisional Congress adjourns at Montgomery, its work for the most part well done. President Davis, following the wishes of Congress, names William Lowndes Yancey, Pierre A. Rost, and A. Dudley Mann as commissioners to Britain to attempt to negotiate for recognition.

Georgia ratifies the Confederate Constitution.

Far to the west pro-Confederates declare Arizona out of the Union.

In Washington Lincoln receives the written opinions of his Cabinet members as to Fort Sumter, which he had requested in the Cabinet meeting of March 15.

From Fort Sumter itself Major Anderson is reporting almost daily, giving details of his own defensive plans and those of the Confederates virtually surrounding him.
#14994440
March 17, Sunday

Federal troops at Camp Hudson, Texas, give up their post to state authorities.
#14994649
March 18, Monday

Aging hero Sam Houston, governor of Texas, refuses to take an oath of allegiance to the new Confederacy because he does not believe that secession necessarily means adherence to the new nation. Now deposed, he quietly leaves his office.

President Davis writes Governor Pickens of South Carolina about their mutual concern for the defense of the coasts around Charleston. Beauregard’s command will be enlarged to include the Beaufort area. Davis doubts if “the enemy would retire peaceably from your harbor.” Of course, the Confederate President prefers that Major Anderson and the Federals leave peaceably with Fort Sumter undamaged.

At Washington President Lincoln continues to be intensely perturbed over Fort Sumter. Conferences and discussion are prolonged, and the President drafts a memorandum listing the points in favor of withdrawing the troops and the objections. At the time the President appoints Charles Francis Adams, scion of the famous Massachusetts Adams family, as Minister to Britain on Seward’s suggestion, and names William L. Dayton Minister to France, among other appointments. Adams, not yet an admirer of Lincoln, will prove one of the most capable and skillful diplomats ever to serve the United States.

Down at Pensacola, Florida, General Bragg forbids passage of further supplies to Fort Pickens and the Federal squadron offshore as a result of Fort Pickens’ being reinforced.

The Arkansas State Convention at Little Rock has defeated a move toward secession 39 to 35 and now unanimously adopts a resolution to provide for an election in August when voters will choose between secession or Federal cooperation.
#14994838
March 19, Tuesday

Three more forts in Texas are surrendered by Federal troops: Forts Clark, Inge, and Lancaster.
#14994983
March 20, Wednesday

The list of relinquished Federal property in Texas increases; today it is Fort Brown and Fort Duncan.

A harassed President Lincoln now finds that his sons Willie and Tad have the measles.

At Mobile, USS Isabella, loaded with supplies for the fleet at Pensacola, is seized.

Some of the correspondence between Secretary of State Seward and the Confederate commissioners in Washington is released to the public.
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