In 1860, on this day Yankee soldiers quit the United States Garrison at Fort Moultrie in South Carolina just two days after the State had seceded from the Union. At the Charleston Convention that had ratified that historic decision, ardent secessionists had predicted that the Union would commit an act of "hostility and coercision". Because it was widely expected that troops would occupy Charleston Harbor, perhaps decamping for the artificial island of rubble upon which the Union had constructed the as yet unfinished Fort Sumter.
Cooler Heads Might PrevailThe hidden hand of the President-elect was behind the wise decision to pull Yankee Troops. And rightly so because the mood in the South had turned bloody ever since John Brown had begun to fuel a slave revolt with weapons seized from Harper's Ferry.
The citizens of South Carolina had welcome the secession decision made at the Charleston convention. "[South Carolina] had acted nobly and history will accord to her the noble part she had plated. We have been grossly cheated by the North and I would rather that every soul of us would be exterminated then we should be allied to her again. When our Southern Confederacy is formed and in full operation, we will be the gainers and the North the losers" said T.H. Spann of Woodlawn.
"Let them Commerce the war and we will wage it with them until the last drop of blood is spent before we will submit". ~ T.H. SpannQuite who would be the winners and who the losers was a decision that hung in the balance during the nightmarish US Government transition period of 1860-1. The election of Abraham Lincoln - with less than forty percent of the popular vote, and an electoral college result recording not a single state in the south - had been the catalist for the secession. And yet Lincoln was dead in the ground with an assassins bullet in his head, and maybe, just maybe, cooler heads might prevail and allow both sides to back off long enough to avoid a costly conflict.