Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lincoln's act of war at Fort Pickens

View inside Fort Pickens, Pensacola, Florida
  • Francis P. Blair, father of Lincoln's postmaster general, Montgomery Blair, is so disturbed by reports that Scott and others were urging that Sumter be surrendered, that he meets with the President himself. Blair hotly argues that the surrender of Sumter is "virtually a surrender of the Union," and, unless done under absolute military necessity, constituted treason. Those fortifications presently in the government's possession are necessary to protect all states against foreign invasion, and so long as they are not used to attack a Southern state, the border slave states would accept continued federal occupation./1861
  • Following Lincoln’s orders, General Winfield Scott dispatches orders to Captain Israel Vogdes, commanding US Army troops aboard the USS Brooklyn lying off Fort Pickens, to "re-enforce Fort Pickens" and to hold the fort. The message is sent aboard the steamer Crusader, leaving New York for the Gulf of Mexico on March 15. In taking this action, Lincoln was, in effect, terminating the truce that the Buchanan administration had arranged with Florida and committing another act of war./1861

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