James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

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  Lincoln came to a wise decision. Reënforcement from a military point of view was impracticable; to reach the fort the North might have to fire the first shot. But, as a political measure, he decided to “send bread to Anderson,” 1 so that Sumter would not have to be evacuated from lack of food. In accordance with his previous promise, 2 he sent word to the Governor of South Carolina of his intention. Beauregard, commander of the Confederate troops at Charleston, who in company with the Governor heard the formal notification, telegraphed it to the Confederate Secretary of War at Montgomery, receiving two days later [April 10] the order to demand the evacuation of Fort Sumter and, if this was refused, to proceed to reduce it.  9   The demand was made; and when Anderson had written his refusal to comply with it he observed to the Confederate aides, the bearers of Beauregard’s note, “If you do not batter the fort to pieces about us, we shall be starved out in a few days.” 3 Beauregard, acting with caution, transmitted this remark to Montgomery where equal caution not to precipitate hostilities was shown in the reply: “Do not desire needlessly to bombard Fort Sumter. If Major Anderson will state the time at which … he will evacuate Sumter … you are authorized thus to avoid the effusion of blood.” Evacuation was redemanded by Beauregard’s aides at three quarters of an hour after midnight of April 11. This was again refused, but Anderson wrote, “I will … evacuate Fort Sumter by noon on the 15th instant … should I not receive prior to that time controlling instructions from my government or additional
Note 1. N. & H., IV, 44. [back]
Note 2. I bid., 33. [back]
Note 3. III, 348. [back]