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 Posted: Thu Dec 20th, 2007 04:04 pm
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ole
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The problem could not be resolved, because the U.S. Government was unwilling to simply abandon the fort, as they thought that it would be an acknowledgement of the legitimacy of secession. The Confederates felt that they could not allow the U.S. Government to maintain its position there, since the fort could fire on ships entering or leaving the harbor.

Agreed that POTUS could not abandon the fort for political reasons. But Jeff Davis had the same reasons for wanting it. It wasn't so much fear of stopping Charleston's trickle of shipping, or even a real danger of firing on Charleston -- remember that Anderson made it known that he'd have to leave by the 15th -- it was symbolic. The CSA couldn't be considered a viable nation so long as that fort remained occupied by a Federal garrison. And JD was put on notice that Virginia wouldn't secede unless there was some action -- and he must have Virginia or the Confederacy could't succeed.

Davis could have stopped the resupply easily enough, and he might have gotten away with it, as in the case of The Star of the West, but that might not have been enough to get Virginia to secede.

ole

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