-- And The War Came --

Sunday April 7, 1861

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Commentary: Anderson's Response

The following day, April 8, Anderson drafted a response to Lincoln's letter of April 4, expressing surprise at the information it contained. He explained that Ward H. Lamon's visit had convinced him that Fox's plan would not be carried out, and he warned that an effort to relieve the fort under these circumstances "would produce most disastrous results throughout our country." Anderson added that Fox's plan was impracticable and would result in a loss of life which would far outweigh the benefits of maintaining a position of no military value unless the surrounding Confederate positions were taken.

Anderson concluded that his garrison would, nevertheless, "strive to do our duty, though I frankly say that my heart is not in the war which I see is to be thus commenced. That God will still avert it, and cause us to resort to pacific measures to maintain our rights, is my ardent prayer."

Anderson's letter never made it to Washington. It was seized by South Carolina authorities when the Confederate government issued orders to stop his mail.

Bibliography: OR, p. 294; Nicolay and Hay, Lincoln, 4: 39-41.

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