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Lincoln and the Decision for WarThe Northern Response to Secession$
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Russell McClintock

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831885

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807886328_mcclintock

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Any Decision Would Be Preferable to This Uncertainty: March–April

Any Decision Would Be Preferable to This Uncertainty: March–April

(p.226) Chapter 9 Any Decision Would Be Preferable to This Uncertainty: March–April
Lincoln and the Decision for War

Gary W. Gallagher

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes how the noose drew tighter around Lincoln's administration with each passing day after his inauguration. The decision facing the new president was grave, graver than any faced by his predecessors. From a military standpoint there was no question what should be done with Major Anderson's small garrison at Fort Sumter. Its position was untenable and the fort had almost no strategic value. Sumter, however, had tremendous symbolic importance due to its location in the principal city of the most radical secessionist state, and had assumed even greater significance with Anderson's dramatic move from Fort Moultrie, the seizure of almost every other federal possession in the Deep South, and the firing on the Star of the West.

Keywords:   Lincoln's administration, military standpoint, Major Anderson, Fort Sumter, strategic value, symbolic importance

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