War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0007 Chapter I. OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C.

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CHARLESTON ARSENAL, S. C.,

December 31, 1860.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the correspondence relative to the surrender of this post yesterday to the authorities of this State. Trusting that my course may meet the approval of the Department.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

F. C. HUMPHREYS,

Military Storekeeper Ordnance, U. S. A.

Captain WM. MAYNADIER,

In charge of Ordnance Bureau, Washington, D. C.

[Inclosures.]

CHARLESTON, December 30, 1860-10 1/2 o'clock a.m.

SIR: I herewith demand an immediate surrender of the U. S. Arsenal at this place and under your charge, and a delivery to me of the keys and contents of the arsenals, magazines, &c.,

I am already proceeding to occupy it with a strong armed detachment of troops.

I make the demand in the name of the State of South Carolina, and by virtue of an order from its governor, a copy of which is inclosed.

Very respectfully,

JOHN CUNNINGHAM,

Colonel Seventeenth Reg. Inf., S. C. M.

Captain F. C. HUMPHREYS,

Military Storekeeper Ordnance.

HEADQUARTERS, CHARLESTON, S. C.,

December 29, 1860.

SIR: In the morning, after reporting yourself to Major-General Schneirle, and informing him of this order, you are directed to get from him a detachment of select men, and in the most discrete and forbearing manner you will proceed to the U. S. Arsenal in Charleston, and there demand in my name, its entire possession, and state distinctly that you do this with a view to prevent any destruction of public property that may occur in the present excited state of the public mind, and also as due to the public safety. You will then proceed to take, in the most systematic manner, a correct inventory of everything in said arsenal, and the exact state of all arms, &c.

You will read this order to Captain Humphreys, who is the United States officer at the arsenal.

I do not apprehend any difficulty in giving up the same, but if refused, then you are to take it, using no more force than may be absolutely necessary, and with the greatest discretion and liberality to Captain Humphreys, who is at perfect liberty to remain in his present quarters as long as it may be agreeable for himself, and he is requested to do so. Report as soon as possible to me.

F. W. PICKENS.

Colonel JOHN CUNNINGHAM.

CHARLESTON ARSENAL, S. C.,

December 30, 1860.

SIR: I am constrained to comply with your demand for the surrender of this arsenal, from the fact that I have no force for its defense. I do so, however, solemnly protesting against the illegality of this measure in the name of my Government.