-- Initial Problems at Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens --

Friday March 15, 1861

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Lincoln Asks His Cabinet

Fox's plan, though highly controversial, offered at least a possibility of a successful military operation to relieve Fort Sumter. But Lincoln knew there was another, perhaps more important, question to consider. Even if feasible, would it be wise to undertake such an expedition? What would the political consequences be?

On March 15, Lincoln sought his cabinet's advice on this problem. He asked them to write a response to the following question: "Assuming it to be possible to now provision Fort Sumter, under all the circumstances is it wise to attempt it?"

Bibliography: Nicolay and Hay, Lincoln, 3:384-85; Current, Lincoln and the First Shot, pp. 64-65.

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