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85 Series I Volume I- Serial 1 - Charleston

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Page 85 Chapter I. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

among my men, I do not now judge it proper to give them any military instruction, or to place arms in their hands; at least this is the case with reference to the men at Fort Sumter. I do not thank that any of them will go so far in the defense of public property as to fight an armed body of the citizens of this State. I ascertain this for the first time, to-day, of the men in Fort Sumter, where I had been confident that I could rely in any emergency, at least upon the Baltimore mechanics, about fifty in number.

But the overseer ascertained last night that they were disinclined to use force to resists an attempt to seize the fort ont he part of the citizen soldiers of the State, although willing to resist a mob. The men in Castle Pinckney, placed there as I intended, on the 3rd instant, being picked men, may prove more reliable. But the feeling here in regard to secession is become so strong that almost all are entirely influenced by it. I therefore judge it best to suspend all idea of arming them at present. I may mention that I exercise as much care as possible in placing this working party in Castle Pinckney, so as not to give casu exercised, and the best men place there, under charge of a prudent and reliable officer, Lieutenant Davis. Every precaution is also taken at Fort Sumter, where Lieutenant Snyder has taken up his quarters. having done thus much, which is all I can do in this respect, I feel that I have done my duty, and that if any overt act takes place, no blame can properly attach to me. I regret, however, that sufficient soldiers are not in this harbor to garrison these two works. The Government will soon have to decide the question whether to maintain them or to give them up to South Carolina. If it be decided to maintain them, troops must instantly be sent, and in large numbers. If it be decided to give them up, the present arrangement will answer very well, only I should be informed, in order that I may know how to act.

At present I have given orders to Lieutenants Snyder and Davis to resist to the utmost any attempt or any demand on the forts in which they are stationed.

The plan of the leaders in this State appears to be, from all that I can see and hear, first, to demand the forts o the General Government, after secession, and then, if refused,to take them by force of arms. A quite large party is in favor of not waiting to ask the General Government, but to summon the immediate commanders, and, if refused, to attack at once. All of this is not, of course, strictly in the line of my profession; still, I judge it proper to write you fully and plainly, so that you may know exactly how we are placed. Here in Fort Moultrie the two companies of the garrison having dwindled to half their proper size, are so weak that Major Anderson demand sall the auxiliary defense that I can give him. I am now digging a wet ditch around the work, which, although necessarily shallow from the quicksand, will more than double the difficulty of scaling the walls. The major also requires a fraise to be placed around the coping, but I cannot commence it until I finish the work in hand.

I shall to-morrow complete the "cut" at the northwest angle, which I have enlarged somewhat in the form of a bastionette, by building straight up from the foundation a wall at the anger, extending ten feet from the angle on each face, and then uniting by oblique returns with the very sloping face of the scarp wall. This gives a very excellent position for our or more muskets, to flank the west face of the work. The marginal sketch gives an imperfect idea of it. It is singular that a small cut, as indicated on the map in the Engineer Office,


Page 85 Chapter I. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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