Lincoln started that war by sending warships to force his will on people who wanted to be independent.
No Poindexter, you don’t tell the truth and you get shellacked for being out in left field all the time. Try getting your head around this: The South lost.
So let's look at what these "peaceful" secessionist were doing up until that point.
State of Alabama: On 3 January 1861 Governor A. B. Moore directed the Alabama militia to seize the Mount Vernon Arsenal and Forts Morgan and Gaines, which controlled the entrance to Mobile Bay. The Arsenal was seized on the 4th, and the two forts a day later. Alabama didnt succeed from the Union until 11 January.
State of Arkansas: On 8 February 1861 Arkansas militia volunteer companies seized the Little Rock Arsenal at the direction of the governor. On 6 May the Arkansas Secession Convention passed the states Ordnance of Secession. The Convention elected not to submit the Ordnance to the people of Arkansas in a referendum for their approval.
State of Florida: On 6 January 1861 the Florida militia seized the U.S. arsenal at Apalachicola, the sole Federal arsenal in the state. On 7 January the Florida militia seized Fort Marion at St. Augustine. And, on 8 January Federal troops at Fort Barrancas, guarding the entrance to the harbor at Pensacola, fired on a party of Florida militia who had demanded the surrender of that fort. The next day, Lieutenant Adam J. Slemmer gathered the 50 men in his company from Forts Barrancas and McRee, dumped 20,000 pounds of gunpowder into the bay, and spiked his guns at those two forts. With the help of sailors from the Warrington Navy Yard, he moved all of his remaining supplies across the bay to Fort Pickens, which the Federal Army retained for the balance of the war. On 10 January the Florida Secession Convention passed the states Ordnance of Secession. The Ordnance was not submitted to the people of Florida for their approval in a referendum.
State of Georgia: The Georgia Secession Convention passed its ordnance of secession on 19 January 1861 and the state withdrew from the Union. The Georgia militia seized the Augusta Arsenal on 24 January, and on the 27th Oglethorpe Barracks and Fort James Jackson at Savanah were also seized. In response to a demand from the state government for surrender of the Arsenal, Captain Arnold Elzey, the commander, had asked the War Department for instructions. Acting Secretary of War Holt had responded on 23 January that The governor of Georgia has assumed against your post and the United States an attitude of war. His summons is harsh and preemptory. It is not expected that your defense shall be desperate. If forced to surrender by violence or starvation you will stipulate for honorable terms and a free passage by water with your company to New York. In accordance with his instructions, Elzey made terms with Governor Brown, and his company was permitted to depart the arsenal with its arms and company property and to have unobstructed passage to New York.
State of Louisiana: The U.S. Arsenal at Baton Rouge, was seized by the Louisiana militia on 10 January 1861, as was the U.S. Army pentagon barracks at Baton Rouge. The New Orleans Barracks [Jackson Barracks] was seized on 11 January, as were Forts St. Philip and Jackson. Between them, these two forts controlled the Mississippi River approach to New Orleans. Fort Pike, which controlled the Rigolets Pass approach to Lake Pontchartrain was taken on 14 January. Fort Macomb, which controlled the Chef Menteur Pass approach to Lake Pontchartrain was seized on 28 January. On 31 January Revenue Captain James G. Breshwood surrendered the revenue cutter Robert McClelland to the State of Louisiana; which turned the cutter over to the Confederate States Navy which renamed her CSS Pickens. On 31 January the revenue cutter Washington was seized by Louisiana authorities in New Orleans. On 26 January the Louisiana Secession Convention passed the states Ordnance of Secession. The Ordnance was not submitted in a referendum to the people of Louisiana for their approval.
State of Mississippi: On 9 January 1861 the Mississippi Secession Convention passed the states Ordnance of Secession. The Ordnance was not submitted in a referendum to the people of Mississippi for their approval. On 21 January the Mississippi militia seized Fort Massachusetts, an unfinished brick fort on Ship Island on the Mississippi coast. The fort was abandoned by the end of January because Governor Pettus had no artillery to arm it.
State of North Carolina: On 23 April 1861 the North Carolina militia seized the Federal arsenal at Fayetteville, and the Federal garrison subsequently departed on 27 April. On 20 May the North Carolina Secession Convention passed the states Ordnance of Secession. The Ordnance was not submitted to the people of North Carolina for their approval in a referendum.
State of South Carolina: On 20 December 1860 the South Carolina Secession Convention passed the states Ordnance of Secession. The Ordnance was not submitted in a referendum to the people of South Carolina for their approval. On 27 December Captain Napoleon Coste turned the revenue cutter William Aiken over to South Carolina secessionists. On the same date, the South Carolina militia seized Castle Pickney, a small masonry fort in Charleston harbor. A Federal officer and a sergeant and his family were captured, provoking a discussion by the South Carolinians over whether to treat them as prisoners of war. The officer was allowed to go to Fort Sumter, while the sergeant was given a safe conduct and permitted to remain in his quarters at the fort. Also on the 27th the militia seized Fort Moultrie, another of the forts guarding Charleston harbor, which had been evacuated by its commander, Major Robert Anderson, on the 26th. On 28 December the South Carolina militia occupied the site of Fort Johnson on Windmill Point on James Island. Although long unoccupied by the U.S. Army, it had been one of the four forts controlling Charleston harbor. On 30 December the Charleston Arsenal was seized.
State of Tennessee: On 6 May 1861 the Tennessee Secession Convention passed the states Ordnance of Secession. Although the state did not formally succeed from the Union until a declaration of independence referendum on 8 June, Governor Isham G. Harris persuaded the legislature to create the Provisional Army of Tennessee on 6 May. The enabling legislation authorized an army of 55,000 volunteers and authorized the governor to issue $5 million in state bonds for defense and military supplies. By the end of May convicts at the state penitentiary in Nashville were manufacturing small arms cartridges and other military supplies. The 8 June referendum affirmed the Ordnance of Secession 104, 913 to 47,238. East Tennessee voted solidly Unionist, and there were reports of interference with the vote in middle and western Tennessee, however.
State of Texas: On 1 February 1861 the Texas Secession Convention passed the states Ordnance of Secession. The Ordnance was submitted to the people of Texas for their approval on 23 February, with the referendum passing 46,153 to 14,747. Although Texas had not yet seceded, Major General Twiggs surrendered his forces and facilities, including the San Antonio Arsenal, at the demand of Texas authorities on 16 February. His officers and enlisted personnel were permitted to depart the state with their small arms, and the two artillery batteries under his command with four guns each.
Commonwealth of Virginia: On 17 April 1861 the Virginia Secession Convention passed the Commonwealths Ordnance of Secession, but there was an effort to initially suppress the announcement that the Ordnance had passed. While the Convention was meeting in secret session on the 17th, William C. Scott, the delegate from Powhatan County, said I was told by the Adjutant General this morning that if we passed an ordinance of secession, we ought not to let it be known for a few days, because he sent for arms to the North, and he is apprehensive that they may be intercepted if it was known that the ordinance passed. Would it not be well, if we are determined to secede, to wait a little while in order that we may receive those arms from the North? We could then secede, and we would be in a much better condition to meet the enemy than we are now. This seems to be the proper course, and I trust the Convention will pursue it. Later in the debates that day, Scott again mentioned his conversation with the Adjutant General and said The Governor tells us this morning that if the action of this Convention is permitted to be known outside of this body, these arms will not be allowed to come here. If you send a communication of this sort to the President of the Confederate States, there will be great danger that the whole secret will leak out. On 30 April the Convention authorized the Governor to issue $2,000,000 in treasury notes for the defense of the Commonwealth. The Ordnance of Succession was not ratified by the people of Virginia until a referendum on 23 May, wherein it passed 132,201 to 37,451. Although secession had not yet been approved by the people, the Commonwealth militia prepared to seize the Harpers Ferry Armory. First Lieutenant Roger Jones, USA, had been ordered to Harpers Ferry on 3 January with a company of eight non-commissioned officers and 60 enlisted men. By 18 April Rogers was in command of the post. Recognizing his utter inability to defend the armory, Jones set fire to the buildings and retreated with his troops across the Potomac River.
The above is probably incomplete; does not included the seizure of non-military facilities such as those of the Treasury Department, Post Office, etc.; and ends with the firing on Fort Sumter. The only aggression I see here is on the part of the Confederates, although I suppose that a bitter ender would assert that LT Slemmers defense of his post at Fort Barrancas in the face of an armed attack was aggression, or that the burning of the Harpers Ferry Armory by 1LT Jones was aggression.
Under the law of nations in 1861 and the Confederacy wished to be recognized by the world powers as an independent nation - honorable men issued declarations of war before they began hostile military actions. In this respect, the leaders of the Confederacy were as honorable men as the Japanese on 7 December 1941 at Pearl Harbor.