OPINIONS WRITTEN BY MEMBERS OP THE CABINET AT THE VERBAL REQUEST OF THE PRESIDENT, AT A CABINET MEETING HELD TO DETERMINE THE QUESTION OF SENDING AN EXPEDITION TO RELIEVE FORT SUMTER, March 29, 1861.
Mr. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, wrote:
If war is to be the consequence of an attempt to provision Fort Sumter, war will just as certainly result from the attempt to maintain possession of Fort Pickens.
I am clearly in favor of maintaining Fort Pickens, and just as clearly in favor of provisioning Fort Sumter.
If that attempt be resisted by military force, Fort Sumter should, in my judgment, be reinforced.
If war is to be the result, I perceive no reason why it may not be best begun in consequence of military resistance to the efforts of the administration to sustain troops of the Union stationed under the authority of the government, in a fort of the Union, in the ordinary course of service.
Bibliography: Lincoln, Works, eds. Nicolay and Hay, 6: 228.