On this day the Confederate Army began firing 4000 shells, on an undermanned, poorly supplied and outgunned fort that would have peacefully surrendered in a few days anyway. Reason #1 firing on Ft Sumter was a poor decision.
Instead of waiting for the north to be the belligerent (which might have taken years), the south mobilized and motivated a foe with greater manpower and resources. Reason #2 firing on Ft Sumter was a poor decision.
This gave Lincoln a reason to call for troops, and a reason for northerners to respond with patriotic fever. Reason #3 firing on Ft Sumter was a poor decision.
War, gave Lincoln "war powers" which he used like a sledge hammer. No war= no war powers. Reason #4 firing on Ft Sumter was a poor decision.
Can anyone argue that firing on Ft Sumter was a good idea? Not just that war was inevitable, some other event would have lead to war, but that Ft Sumter was the right place and this was the right time?
Last edited on Fri Apr 12th, 2013 05:59 pm by MildMan
It's been argueed that Anderson's moving the garrison to Sumter in the first place was to be seen as belligerent and the sending of the Star of the West to reinforce and resupply the troops at Sumter was further belligerence. It should be noted that while Sumter is considered the opening shots of the war shots had already been fired prior to April 12, 1861. The Star of the West had been fired on January 9th by the cadets from the Citadel who were stationed at Morris Island. That same month militia forces from Alabama and Florida moved on Fort Pickens, which we discussed in the Waht if the South had Ignored Ft. Sumter thread.
And if they Star of the West did not fire, how can that be considered belligerent.
I repeat my question. "Can anyone argue that firing on Ft Sumter was a good idea? Not just that war was inevitable, some other event would have lead to war, but that Ft Sumter was the right place and this was the right time?"
And if the US and South Korea don't fire shots on North Korea during war games how can North Korea declare them belligerents for conducting war game? Sometimes it doesn't matter if shots are fired. it's actions that can make one belligerent.
Mark, Ah yes, it did rally southerners and it did lead to Virginia getting off the fence and seceding. So it initially benefited the new confederate government.
Hellcat, I read the previous thread, Thanks for reminding me. With the exception of " it would have happened to somewhere else anyway", I didn't find any real answers to the question of the thread, "What would have happened of the south ignored Ft Sumter"
As for your point about belligerent. I suppose anything the north had done other than let the south go would have been considered belligerent. Maybe if I lived in the south at that time I would understand.
Since I am thankful slavery was ended, it was ended by the war, and the war was started at Sumter, I suppose the firing on Ft Sumter was a good idea.