|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Wed Dec 19th, 2007 07:31 pm||
You maintain that the folks in South Carolina committed an act of war by firing on US flagged ships entering Charleston harbor. Of course, they had a completely different view of it.
It is a question of sovereignty. When South Carolina seceded, the people there believed that South Carolina, including Charleston harbor, had ceased to be part of the United States. It belonged to the state of South Carolina until it joined the Confederacy in February of 1861. From that point, it was Confederate territory.
The problem was that there were now: "foreign" troops and installations on its territory. You know as well as I do that the folks in Charleston could not even control their own harbor as long as the U.S. Government could maintain its control from Ft. Sumter. This was an intolerable situation.
The two basic choices were to attack Ft. Sumter, or to starve it out. Initially, they chose the latter strategy. They warned the U.S. Government that if it attempted to reinforce and resupply Ft. Sumter, that U.S. ships coming into Charleston harbor would be fired on.
The U.S. Government would not accept the concept that South Carolina was no longer part of the United States. They chose to ignore the warning and to force the issue. I would maintain that Mr. Lincoln had it in mind all along to provoke not only the firing on the ships, but also the firing on the fort.
When the ships with reinforcements and provisions appeared, the folks in South Carolina would have said that they constituted a foreign invasion, and that it was the U.S. Government that was committing an act of war. So, the ships were fired on and driven off.
The strategy to starve out Major Anderson would have been successful if cooler heads had been able to prevail until 15 April. But Mr. Lincoln got what he had hoped for before then.
I still believe that there would have been war no matter what was done about Ft. Sumter. Therefore, an argument over which side committed an act of war is an exercise in futility.