Problem 5: April 6, 1861
Lincoln also prepared a notice for Governor Francis W. Pickens of South Carolina, and instructed a State Department clerk, Robert S. Chew, to read the following words to the governor:
I am directed by the President of the United States to notify you to expect an attempt will be made to supply Fort Sumter with provisions only; and that, if such attempt be not resisted, no effort to throw in men, arms, or ammunition will be made without further notice, or in case of an attack upon the fort.If, however, on his arrival at Charleston, Chew found that Fort Sumter had already been evacuated, surrendered, or attacked, he was to return to Washington without meeting with the governor. [Click on Chew to see his instructions.]
Along with Chew, Lincoln sent Captain Theodore Talbot to Charleston. Talbot had carried Anderson's letter of April 1 to Washington. He was now to attempt a return to Sumter, or at least to communicate with Anderson, urging the commander to hold out until the relief expedition arrived. Chew and Talbot left Washington at 6 p.m., at the very time Captain A.H. Foote was telegraphing Navy secretary Welles that the Powhatan was sailing to Fort Pickens instead of Sumter.
Bibliography: Nicolay and Hay, Lincoln, 4: 8-9, 34-35; Current, Lincoln and the First Shot, pp. 108-10; Lincoln, Works, eds. Nicolay and Hay, 6: 239-41; OR, p. 251; Welles, Essays by Gideon Welles: Civil War, ed. Mordel l, pp. 96-97.