Milt, Lincoln had the option of simply letting the southern states go, thereby avoiding a disastrous and deadly war. Fort Sumter was fired on and cleared of union troops because it was a threat to the independence of the newly-seceded state, and Lincoln and sent a ship to re-supply it, thereby forcing the issue. Since you are into alternate histories, let me point out that in all probability there would have been no WWII and no Cold War without Woodrow Wilson's intervention in WWI. Anyhow, I don't have to be a proctologist to recognize an a-hole when I encounter one. Shall we drop the useless insults at one apiece?