12 April 1861

12 April 2011

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the attack at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, signaling the beginning of the Civil War.

At USA Today, “Lone mortar shell in Charleston opens 150th anniversary of Civil War.”

From Never Yet Melted:

…Seven states had left the union and formed a new government before Abraham Lincoln was even inaugurated.

As secession fever raged, back in December, William Tecumseh Sherman, A West Point graduate and Ohioan serving as superintendent of the Louisiana State Military Academy, exploded to a Southern guest at hearing of South Carolina’s secession:

You people of the South don’t know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don’t know what you are talking about. War is a terrible thing!You mistake, too, the people of the North. They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too. They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it… Besides where are your men and appliance of war to contend with them? The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or a pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with on of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical and determined people on earth—right at your doors.

You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with. At first you will make headway, but as your limited resources begin to fail, shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be, your cause will begin to wane. If your people would stop and think, they must see that in the end you will surely fail.

Sherman resigned his post in February, came North, and was introduced to Lincoln in late March…

H/T Maggie’s Farm

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