December 1860. The sovereign state of South Carolina leads a secession of states from the Northern Union and forms a Confederacy, greatly akin to the pre-Federalist constitutional "nation" that had fought against Great Britain. All materials, lands, forts, weapons, etc of the United States on sovereign soil of South Carolina were to be confiscated and put back under the control of the sovereign state. A small garrison holds an undefensible fort in Charleston harbor. Abraham Lincoln, the new President, does not want the Union to be dissolved on his watch and needs an excuse, a motive to invade his own country and force submission to Federalism! Amazing. So he must make it appear that the South is in open rebellion, armed conflict, and troops raised to attack it. Simple plan. Send Star of the West and other ships to reinforce and supply the garrison at Sumter. South Carolina will (1) fire on the ships/men and "start the war" or (2) fire on the fort and "start the war". Either way, Lincoln and his federales will look "innocent" and the first shots will be by the South. Justification for fratricide. Of course, since winners write the history, the books will speak of those evil Suthrans who started the war by firing on Sumter. If I were orchestrating a conflict today, I would do the same. George Bush in 1991 and W in 2003 have followed their Republican forbear to the letter. Thoughts?