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60 Series I Volume I- Serial 1 - Charleston

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Page 60 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.


HEADQUARTERS PROVISIONAL FORCES,
Charleston, S. C., April 12, 1861.

SIR: We have the honor to submit the following report of our movements and action:

After leaving the brigadier-general commanding last night, at 11 o'clock p. m., in obedience to orders we repaired with the second communication to Major Anderson, at Fort Sumter. This communication was based on the telegram from Honorable L. P. Walker, expressing a desire not to injure the fort unnecessarily, and wishing to make another effort to avoid any useless effusion of blood. We reached fort Sumter at 12.45 a. m., delivered the communication, and received Major Anderson's reply at 3.15 a. m. He expressed his willingness to evacuate the fort on the 15th instant at noon, if porived with the necessary means of transportation, if he should not receive prior to that time contradictory instructions from his Government or additional supplies, and that he would not in the mean time open his fire upon our forces unless compelled to do so by some hostile act against his fort or the flag of his Government by the forces under General Beauregard's command,d or by any portion of them,or by the perpetration of some act showing a shotile intention on our part against this fort or the flag it bears. His reply. which was shown to us, plainly indicated that if instructions should be received contrary to his purpose to evacuate, or if he should received supplies, or if the Confederate troops should fire on hostile troops of the United States, or upon transports covered by his flag, although containing men, munitions, and supplies intended for him, and designing hostile operations against us, he would still feel himself bound to fire upon us, and at liberty not to evacuate Fort Sumter.

These terms being manifestly futile of ar as we were concerned, placing us rather at a great disadvantage, and not within the cope of the instructions verbally given us, we promptly refused them and declined to enter into any such arrangements. Under these circumstances, pursuing our instructions, we notified him at once in writing that our batteries would open fire upon him within an hour from that time, which would be at 4.20. We then proceeded at once to Fort Johnson, which we reached at 4 a. m., and to Captain George S. James, commanding at that post, gave the order to open fire at the time indicated. His first shell was field at 4.30 a. m., the other batteries generally opening at 4.45 a. m. We were delayed at Fort Sumter longer than we expected, and we think longer than was necessary to decide upon the communication we received, and so indicated to Major Anderson; but this delay we could not avoid. Immediately upon leaving Fort Johnson we reported to General Beauregard, at his office, about daylight.

All of which is respectfully submitted for the information of the brigadier-general commanding.

JAS. CHESTNUT, JR.,

Aide-de-Camp.

STEPHEN D. LEE,

Captain, C. S. Army, Aide-de-Camp.

Major D. R. JONES,

Adjutant-General of Provisional Forces, Charleston, S. C.


HEADQUARTERS PROVISIONAL FORCES,
Charleston, S. C., April 13, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to orders from the commanding general, Beauregard,w e left the wharf at 11.15, and proceeded in an open boat to


Page 60 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.

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