-- Hesitation and Decision --


Monday March 25, 1861

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Fox's Report

Having returned to Washington, Fox reported his assessment of Sumter's condition to Lincoln. He affirmed the feasibility of his plan, noting that at night it would be impossible to see small landing boats before they reached the fort. He confirmed that Anderson's troops were getting short of provisions, and set April 15 noon as the deadline for resupplying them.

Over the next few days, Fox met "frequently" with Lincoln, cabinet members, and military authorities. He answered the objections of army officers like Scott, who considered a relief expedition impracticable, and presented testimony from high ranking navy officers that supported his case. During one of these discussions, Fox cautioned that valuable time was being lost and that he "ought to be allowed to take the preparatory steps if there was any possibility of sending it out."

Meanwhile news of Fox's report became public. Click here to view the Albany Evening Journal's account.

Bibliography: ORN, p. 247; Current, Lincoln and the First Shot, p. 72; Nicolay and Hay, Lincoln, 3: 389-90; Hoogenboom, "Gustavus Fox and Sumter," p. 387.

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