Friday, March 25, 2011

Fox reports to Lincoln re: Sumter

Gustavus V. Fox
  • Following his return to Washington from his assessment trip to Fort Sumter and Charleston, South Carolina, Gustavus V. Fox reports his findings of Fort Sumter's condition to President Lincoln. Standing by his original plan to reinforce and resupply the fort, Fox tells the President that Major Anderson’s supplies are getting low and that it would be impossible in a night amphibious operation to see small landing boats before they reached the fort. He feels that Sumter would need resupplied by a deadline of noon April 15. 
Over the next few days, Fox will meet "frequently" with Lincoln, cabinet members, and military authorities, strong-arming his plan with those who are contrarian, answering the objections of General Winfield Scott and other army officers who view a relief expedition impracticable and even dangerous, both for troops and the nation. Fox presents testimony from high ranking navy officers supporting his plan. Pressing the discussions, Fox warns that the Administration is losing valuable time and that he "ought to be allowed to take the preparatory steps if there was any possibility of sending it out." In the meantime, Fox’s assessment report is leaked to the press./1861

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