Fort Pickens Gets Some Needed Attention

Sunday, March 31, 1861 – Easter Sunday Before church services on this Easter Sunday in Washington, General Winfield Scott was having breakfast with his military secretary, Lt. Col. Erasmus Keyes. Scott, still not wanting to reinforce Fort Pickens, asked Keyes about his ideas on the subject. Keyes spoke for half and hour without an interruption.Read More

Everything Quiet, Must Be Some Action Soon

Saturday, March 30, 1861 The stress was beginning to get to Lincoln. He spent much of the day with a headache so bad that he eventually “keeled over” from the pain. Still, he would be able to manage well enough. Secretary of State Seward, on the other hand, was not having much luck. South CarolinaRead More

Lincoln Polls Cabinet; Orders to Ready the Ships

Friday, March 29, 1861 – Good Friday Lincoln got little to no sleep the previous night. At noon, the cabinet gathered again, minus Secretary of War Simon Cameron. It came down to two choices. Should they follow General Scott’s plan and surrender Fort Sumter and, if the General got his way, Fort Pickens? Or shouldRead More

First Fort Sumter, and Now Fort Pickens to be Surrendered?

Thursday, March 28, 1861 For some time in Washington, the views on what to do about the situations at Fort Sumter in Charleston and Fort Pickens in Pensacola, Florida were simple. Sumter would probably have to be abandoned, but Pickens could probably be reinforced without any military issue whatsoever. On this date, that all changed.Read More

Reports of the Missions to Fort Sumter

Wednesday, March 27, 1861 When Ward Hill Lamon arrived with Stephen Hurlbut after their controversial trip to Fort Sumter and Charleston, it was expected that they would report their findings to Lincoln. In Lamon’s very creative memoir, he claims to have brought back a palmetto branch to Lincoln, but no promise of an olive branch.Read More

Beauregard and Anderson Prepare for Surrender

Tuesday, March 26, 1861 While Ward Hill Lamon was on his return trip from Charleston to Washington, the process of making things ready for the surrender of Sumter had already begun. General Beauregard, commanding rebel forces in Charleston, and Major Anderson, commanding Federal forces at Fort Sumter, exchanged letters to clear up some of theRead More

Ward Hill Lamon Really Messes Things Up

Monday, March 25, 1861 Lincoln’s friend and former law associate, Ward Hill Lamon, was in Charleston to attend to some matters concerning the postal service. At least, that was his public mission. His actual mission (so it seems) was to ascertain the provisions remaining at Fort Sumter.1 There’s some previously discussed speculation as to whyRead More