Reports from South Carolina indicate that impatience may have overtaken General Beauregard, who is said to have given Major Andersen an ultimatum at Fort Sumter. Either evacuate the fort, or face bombardment.
It’s difficult for this editor to see the wisdom in General Beauregard’s threat. If he bombards the fort, he will be seen by many as attacking Federal property and that unnecessarily. President Lincoln has given no indication as to whether he will reinforce or resupply Fort Sumter, so it seems that cooler heads would simply wait and see what happens.
If one accepts the theoretical right to secede, surely the question of attacking Federal property at the risk of American lives can be seen as a separate question. Any moral high ground the south has established, it seems, will be compromised by this apparently inevitable assault.
Surely the next year or two will be enough for the Confederate experiment to reach its limit and to draw them back, humbled, into the Union. The additional responsibility for bloodshed is one South Carolina can and should shirk.
Cicero for Republican Government
April 6, 1861