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71 Series I Volume I- Serial 1 - Charleston

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Page 71 Chapter I. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

for the defense of the fort. In other respects the police of the post is good.

* * * *

The hospital storehouses are outside the forts. All are old frame buildings, highly inflammable, and not secured by the presence or watchful eye of a sentinel from the acts of evil-disposed persons. An incendiary could in a few minutes destroy all the supplies and workshops of the command.

Lieutenant hall states that he has some difficulty in procuring suitable four and pork in Charleston, sometimes having to return the former, while the latter cannot at times be purchased. He has about two months' supply of provisions for the present command.

* * * *

The ungraded state of the fort invites attack, if such design exists, and much discretion and prudence are required on the part of the commander to restore the proper security without exciting a community prompt to misconstrue actions of authority. I think this can be effected by a proper commander, without checking in the slightest the progress of the engineers in completing the works of defense. Any interference with that labor would probably rouse suspicions and crate excitement. All could have been easily arranged several weeks since, when the danger was foreseen by the present commander. Now much delicacy must be practiced. The garrison is weak, and I recommend that a favorable opportunity be taken to fill up the companies with the best-drilled recruits available.

* * * *

The following events, which transpired the day I arrived at Fort Moultrie, I deem proper to report here, as I have orally heretofore, as they relate to an act of unusual importance, tending to indicate the inflammable and impulsive state of the public mind in Charleston-to a great extend characteristic of the feeling manifested throughout the State-and necessity for prudence and judgment on the part of the commanding officer in all transactions which may bear upon the relations of the Federal Government to the State of South Carolina, and of the Army to our citizens. I regard it especially important to refer to them, as Colonel Gardner informed me he should make no report.

The military storekeeper has at the arsenal in the city a large number of arms and quantity of ammunition, which, fearing it might fall into improper hands, he desired to secure to the United States, and under counsel from Colonel Gardner he packed them up and held in readiness to be shipped to Fort Moultrie whenever Colonel Gardner should send for them. Availing himself of an approved requisition for paints, lacquers, 7c., needed at the post, he sent Captain Saymour to the city for the supply and other articles that the military storekeeper might wish to have stored at the post, and thus secured in case of negro insurrections. The owner of the wharf refused permission to ship them. A crowd collected, and suspecting an attempt on the part of the Government ot smuggle (it being late in the evening, or after dark) arms, ammunition, &c., from the city, to be used against it, or to prevent their use by citizens in case of disturbances, would not permit the property to be carried away.

FORT SUMTER.

Fort Sumter is not completed, and is now occupied by the Engineers, under the direction of Lieutenant Snyder (Captain Foster being absent),


Page 71 Chapter I. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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