-- Hesitation and Decision --

Thursday March 21, 1861

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The Mission of Hurlbut and Lamon

In addition to Fox, Lincoln dispatched two personal, Illinois friends to assess the situation in Charleston, Stephen A. Hurlbut and Ward H. Lamon.

Hurlbut had family and prominent friends in Charleston. He traveled as a private citizen and stayed with his sister for two days before returning to Washington. Lamon formally came as a government agent to examine some post office matters. With his official status, imposing physical dimensions, and gregariousness, he drew more attention than Hurlbut. During his two day stay, Lamon was granted a formal audience with Governor Pickens and was permitted to visit Major Anderson at Fort Sumter. Lamon conveyed to both Governor Pickens and Anderson the impression that Sumter would be evacuated shortly.


Bibliography: Nicolay and Hay, Lincoln, 3:390-92, 4: 23-24; Current, Lincoln and the First Shot, pp. 72-73; Rhodes, History, 3: 333-34; Potter, Lincoln and His Party, p. 340.

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