One hundred and fifty years ago, events were set into motion that would split the Country in half. With the crisis going on in Charleston, S.C. Harbor, President Lincoln maneuvered America politically into a position that would result in the proverbial “point of no return” when he signed an order on April 6, 1861 putting the United States Navy on a Southerly course- destination Ft. Sumter.
Two days following the dispatch of the U.S. Navy to Ft. Sumter, South Carolina Governor Pickens was notified of the impending crisis facing Charleston Harbor. The terms were quite simple: the sovereign state of South Carolina wanted the U.S. Troops evacuated from the Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. The U.S. Government had no intentions of evacuating their own fort, as outlined in Lincoln’s inaugural address, thus a crisis began escalating to a flash point.
Abraham Lincoln was a brilliant man when it came to pitting popular opinion against his political enemies. His plan was simple: he put the Confederates into the position of having to choose either to “back down on their threats” or else they would be forced into a corner of firing the first shot of the Civil War.
Regarding the intelligence received on April 8 outlining Lincoln’s intentions of resupplying a fort in enemy territory, President of the Confederate States of America Jeff Davis wrote to his commanding officer, General P.G.T. Beauregard, in Charleston, “…you will at once demand its evacuation, and, if this is refused, proceed in such manner as you may determine to reduce it.”
The stage is now set for the genesis of the bloodiest war the United States has ever seen its its history- ever. An ultimatum is met with an ultimatum and the proverbial powder keg has been lit.