April 7 - 12, 1861
Lincoln had set his plan in motion, but its outcome was no longer subject to his control. Already, and still unknown to him, the flagship of the Sumter fleet, the Powhatan, was headed for the wrong fort, Pickens. Furthermore, nature was proving uncooperative. A storm struck the Atlantic just as the Sumter expedition left port, blowing gale winds, rain, and high seas. The ships had to make their way through this "unpropitious" weather to reach Charleston. Most significantly, the action of Confederate officials would also determine the consequences of Lincoln's decision.
Bibliography: Current, Lincoln and the First Shot, pp. 120-23, 154; Stampp, And the War Came, p. 287; ORN, pp. 249, 251.