Motivation for Winfield Scott's "Views" Memo of 29 October 1860

Shawn Woodford's picture

I am looking to contextualize Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott's memorandum of 29 October 1860, where he raised the issue of the vulnerability of the coastal fortifcations in southern states, as well as his political views on the forthcoming election and potential secession crisis. In his memoirs he merely states that he wrote it out of concern about the election. Is anyone aware of sources providing more detail on Scott's context and motivations for writing and circulating it so widely?


Shawn Woodford

The Dupuy Institute

Russell McClintock's dissertation "Shall It Be Peace, Or a Sword?" begins with a discussion of Scott's memo. I forget whether McClintock's book Lincoln and the Decision for War also discusses it.

Will Hickox
History Department, University of Kansas