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Lincoln’s Dilemma

Newly-elected President Lincoln was confronted with some cold realities over the past week, especially in regard to the situation at Fort Sumter and the implications of any actions he takes. Virginia has remained loyal to the union so far, but agitation to secede seems to be spreading in some areas. President Lincoln regards keeping Virginia loyal second only, perhaps, to keeping the Republican party loyal.

But can he have both? Virginia wants Fort Sumter left alone as a show of conciliation. The Republicans want it taken as a show of strength. The nation (both nations, from a Confederate point of view) eagerly awaits the President’s choice.

Complicating matters for the President are reports from his agents that the mood in Charleston has become decidedly anti-reunion. Mr. Lincoln had hoped to welcome South Carolina and the other confederate states back into the union after they grew tired of the rigors of independence. That hope appears to have evaporated.

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