Indianapolis Daily Journal, April 11, 1861
A collision with the seceded States seems now to be inevitable. The news up to the time of writing makes no mention of an actual conflict, but it was looked for at any moment, both at Charleston and Washington. The South Carolinians were mustering in force at their defences, and the determination had not merely been expressed, but carried out in one case, not to allow any supplies to be sent to Fort Sumter. The attempt to supply it will doubtless be resisted, even at the hazard of war, and the Administration has no recourse left, without surrendering Major Anderson to the traitors, but to supply him. The case is the same with Fort Pickens. At one point or the other, therefore, a collision can hardly be avoided. Possibly it has occurred by this time. A collision is civil war, and the war is the act of the seceding States. The Administration from the beginning has avowed its purpose to do nothing but hold the Government property, neither acknowledging nor attempting to destroy the assumed independence of the rebel States, till authorized by the Nation so to do. This is the policy avowed in the inaugural of Mr. Lincoln, and it has been acted on steadily. This is the policy of prudence and peace, and the policy of good order, and of the supremacy of law. Mr. Lincoln could neither declare or do less without assuming the right to allow a State to secede at will, and that right clearly belongs only to the people who formed the Union. But the peace policy is to end in war. Why? Not because it assails anybody. Not because it coerces anybody. But because the seceding States are determined to have war; because they believe a war will drive to their support the border slave States, and unite them all in a great Southern Confederacy. A policy of peace is to them a policy of destruction. It encourages the growth of a reactionary feeling. It takes out of the way all the pride and resentment which could keep the people from feeling the weight of taxation, and the distress of their isolated condition. It forces them to reason, and to look at the consequences of their conduct. A war buries all these considerations in the fury and glory of battle, and the parade and pomp of arms. War will come because the Montgomery Government deems it the best way of bringing in the border States, and of keeping down trouble at home. Hence the refusal to allow the National Government to maintain its position till the difficulty can be tried in the court of last resort, the Nation, and adjusted peaceably. The truth is, and it has been evident to all eyes for weeks, that the seceded States in claiming that we should do nothing to change the existing state of affairs, but should leave everything in status quo till a full consideration had been given the whole case, have been guilty of a systematic deception. They have demanded that the National Government should stand still while they have used the opportunity not to remain as they were, but to prepare for war with all their power. While they have insisted that we should do nothing to disturb the status quo, they have borrowed money, levied forces, prepared munitions, drilled troops, built batteries, and in every way possible got ready for war. They have demanded that we should do nothing, because that would be disturbing the existing state of things, while they have gone on and done whatever they pleased. And now that the administration desires to keep up the Government forts and forces to the condition in which they were at the beginning, in other words, to really maintain the status quo, they fly to arms and begin a war. The Philadelphia Press hits the truth exactly in saying that the seceded States have held the Border States between themselves and us to force us to be still, while they have been cutting out the intestines and mutilating the limbs of the Government. The moment we object to such surgery, they raise [sic] in arms and begin a war. This is the whole case. If the war comes let it fall on the heads of those who made it, whose selfish ambition and headlong folly would be content with nothing else.