The Cause of the Great Calamity
The following are excerpts from a letter sent to Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Seward by Associate Chief Justice John A. Campbell on April 13, 1861. Seward repeatedly led Campbell and the Confederate commissioners to believe his government would peacefully resolve the issue at Fort Sumter. One concludes from the letter that Lincoln deceived his own Secretary as to his intentions at Fort Sumter and setting the war in motion – as well as sending Ward Lamon to Charleston to ascertain South Carolina’s defenses. Many Southern Unionists pleaded with Lincoln’s to disarm the crisis by simply removing federal troops from Sumter, and letting time heal the breach.
Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com
The Cause of the Great Calamity
“On the 15th of March  I left with Judge Crawford, one of the [peace] commissioners of the Confederate States, a note in writing to the effect:
“I feel entire confidence that Fort Sumter will be evacuated in the next five days. This measure is felt as imposing great responsibility on the Administration. The substance of this statement I communicated to you the same evening by letter. Five days elapsed, and I called with a telegram from General [Pierre] Beauregard to the effect that Sumter was not evacuated, but that Major [Robert] Anderson was at work making repairs.
The 30th of March  arrived, and at that time a telegram came from Governor [Francis] Pickens, inquiring concerning Colonel Lamon, whose visit to Charleston he supposed had a connection with the proposed evacuation of Fort Sumter . . .
On the first of April, I received from you the statement in writing: “I am satisfied the government will not undertake to supply For Sumter without giving notice to Governor Pickens.”
On April 7, I addressed to you a letter on the subject of alarm that the preparations by the government had created, and asked you if the assurances I had given were well-founded. In respect to Sumter your reply was: “Faith as to Sumter fully kept – wait and see.”
In this morning’s paper I read “an authorized messenger from President Lincoln informed Governor Pickens and General Beauregard that provisions will be sent to Fort Sumter peaceably, or otherwise by force.”
This was on [April 8th], at Charleston, the day following your last assurance, and this is the last evidence of the full faith I was to “wait for and see!” . . .
The commissioners who received those communications conclude they have been abused . . . I think no candid man who will read over what I have written, and consider for a moment what is going on at Fort Sumter, but will agree that the equivocating conduct of the administration . . . is the proximate cause of the great calamity.
On April 4, 1861, President [Jefferson] Davis authorized General Beauregard to take any action he deemed necessary about Fort Sumter. Beauregard opened negotiations for the surrender of the Fort, and Major Anderson promised to evacuate within a few days.
Under the pretense of relieving a starving garrison, [Lincoln] sent an expedition . . . “of eleven vessels, with two-hundred and eighty-five guns, and twenty-five hundred men. They were scheduled to arrive at Charleston on the ninth of April, but did not arrive until several days later. The reason Lincoln’s [war initiation] scheme did not work was a tempest, which delayed his fleet.”
Jefferson Davis did everything in his power to prevent civil strife, and the South cannot be blamed for the most terrible Civil War the world has ever witnessed. It is true they did fire the first shot, but the question is, which party first indicated the purpose of hostility? Which made the fatal menace; or which drew, rather than which delivered, the fire at Fort Sumter?
If Jefferson Davis signed the order for the reduction of the Fort, Abraham Lincoln had, before, signed the order to reinforce it.”
(Jefferson Davis, Patriot, a Biography, 1808-1865, Eric Langhein, Vantage Press, 1962, excerpts pp. 54-57)