Lincoln Could He Have Preserved the Union

From the time the South demanded the return of Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens, tension had been building in expectation of Lincoln's reply.The options available to Lincoln were limited, and those that were available were further limited by constraints of time and man-power.
Lincoln's options were also limited by his goals.Lincoln had a set agenda, with preserving the Union at the head of the list.Lincoln also aimed to preserve Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens.Lincoln's most pressing goal was to instigate the war without seeming to be the aggressor.This proved to be the most difficult goal, because to achieve this, he had to know how far to push without seeming to push at all. An additional goal was to perhaps lure the border states onto the northern side.This was an important goal because it fell in line with Lincoln's un-hostile attitude. By being attackedfirst, he could say he was responding to an act of war on the United States.
One of Lincoln's options was to sit by and do nothing.This was not really an option, however, because abandoning his soldiers at this fort would not only lower the morale of his entire army, but could also turn many of his supporters against him. So, needless to say, Lincoln could not really consider this as an option.
Lincoln, for a time, also entertained the idea of compromise.The southern resolve was so concrete that this idea was abandoned rather quickly.
Another idea, proposed by Secretary of State Seward, was to abandon Fort Sumter and concentrate on Fort Pickens.Lincoln did not accept this idea either, mainly because abandoning a fort anywhere in the South would recognize the South as an independent nation.Even so, Seward managed to get a force together, and taking one of the strongest ships in the United States Navy, went to Pickens anyway.One idea with similar traits was the idea to abandon both forts, leaving the South.Though open to consider…

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