Well, the editor of the Covington Journal of March 16, 1861, apparently believed that would prove to be the case.
It's not quite "Dewey Defeats Truman" but it does show some signs of over-confidence, and perhaps it underrates the "stiffening" of the Republicans and Lincoln.
Fort Sumter -- The First Triumph of the Confederate States
All the late accounts from Washington city concur in the statement that the Lincoln administration has determined to withdraw the troops from Fort Sumter.
Nothing of recent occurrence connected with our national troubles has given us more satisfaction than this determination of the Washington government.
We have never been able to appreciate the object of keeping U.S. troops in Fort Sumter, unless it was to annoy and harrass (sic) the people of Charleston, and thereby promote the chances of a collision at that point.
It is of some importance that the motives which have caused the withdrawal of the troops be properly estimated. The reader who attributes the movement to a desire on the part of the Washington government to conciliate the Southern people is mistaken in his reckoning. If late accounts from the Fort are to be relied upon, Maj. Anderson's stock of provisions has been exhausted. The U.S. government has not at its command the force necessary to throw in supplies and reinforcements of men and hence there was no alternative but to withdraw the troops. A virtue has been made of necessity.
The first effect of the movement, as we view it, will be to take the stiffening out of the Republican party, and encourage the friends of Southern rights in their demand for Justice and Equality. It is an acknowledgment, reluctant and indirect though it may be, of strength in the Confederate States and of weakness in the Washington government. It constitutes the first important triumph of the Jeff. Davis Administration over the Abe Lincoln Administration.
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