The Staunton Vindicator, March 15, 1861, p. 1, c. 3
Lincoln's War Policy
The Washington correspondent of the Richmond Examiner says:
In Southern circles here little doubt is entertained as to the policy and purpose of the Inaugural address. It is believed Mr. Lincoln will proceed, without delay, to adopt hostile measures against the South. A collision in less than a week is quite possible. This may grow out of an attempt to collect revenue at the South, to reinforce Forts Sumter and Pickens, or to retake other places. The words, "hold, occupy and possess," in reference to the forts and other coast points in the South, coupled with the special reservations made as to interior places where residents cannot be induced to hold offices, are full of meaning. They teach us to be prepared for war at a moment's notice, and those recreant Virginians whose base hearts throb with sympathy for the North may at once prepare their cartridges for a fight with their own neighbors.
In army circles the reinforcement of Fort Sumter is proposed to be effected in a stealthy mode at first, by sending down a ship provided with good seat boats, who are to go in by night from the sea, take advantage of bad weather, fogs and an imperfect vigilance of the South Carolina steamers posted on the look out, and thus get men enough in Fort Sumpter to resist an assault. After this is done, four or five war vessels will then essay to force their way in, and Major Anderson will open fire to sustain them.
It is not unlikely this plan may be hit upon, but I am included to think a prior step will be the repudiation by the Government of agreement made at Pensacola by the late Administration. Orders will be sent to Lieut. Slemmer, commanding Fort Pickens, to take men from the slip to reinforce the garrison, to bring in the war vessels, and to demand a surrender of the Navy Yard by the officers of the Provisional Government.
Such are some of the steps likely to be taken by the Government to bring on the war they covet. They rely upon their ability to whip the South, and count extensively on help from Andrew Johnson and the men like him in your Convention. Lincoln does not know these men. Their treason lies in hatching plots, and will shrink from the open field where they will have to confront the brave and true men of the South.