slope and covered with 2 inch embrasure irons, securely spiked down. Shot and shells have been distributed to the guns, and about 700 cartridges reported ready. The work of making cartridge bags is slow, owing to there being only six needles in the fort.
The enemy's steamers are very active carrying supplies and hospital stores to the batteries on Cummings Point.
At 4 p.m. three aides of General Beauregard (Colonel Chesnut, Colonel Chisolm, and Captain Lee) came as bearers of a demand for the surrender of the fort. The unanimous decision of the officers in council was in the negative, and a written answer, in accordance, was returned by Major Anderson.
April 12.-At 1 a.m. four aides of General Beauregard (Colonel Chesnut, Colonel Chisolm, Captain Lee, and Mr. Pryor, of Virginia) came with a second letter, stating that as Major Anderson had been understood to make the remark to the bearers of the first letter, in taking leave, that he would "await the first shot, and if not battered to pieces, would be starved out in a few days," it was desired to know what importance might be attached to it. The reply of Major Anderson did not satisfy the aides, who were authorized in that case to give notice that the fire would open. Accordingly, leaving at 3 1/2 a.m., they gave notice that their batteries would open in one hour.
At 4 1/2 a.m. a signal shell was thrown from the mortar battery on James Island; after which the fire soon became general from all the hostile batteries. These batteries were, as nearly as could be ascertained, armed as follows, viz:
On Morris Island: Breaching battery Numbers 1, two 42-pounders; one 12-pounder Blakely rifled gun. Mortar battery (next to Numbers 7), four 10-inch mortars. Breaching battery Numbers 2 (iron-clad battery), three 8-inch columbiads. Mortar battery (next to Numbers 2), three 10-inch mortars.
On James Island: Battery at Fort Johnson, three 24-pounders (only one of them bearing on Fort Sumter). Mortar battery south of Fort Johnson, four 10-inch mortars.
On Sullivan's Island: Iron-clad (floating) battery, four 42-pounders. Columbiad battery Numbers 1, one 9-inch Dahlgren gun. Columbiad battery Numbers 2, 8-inch columbiads. Mortar battery west of fort Moultrie, three 10-inch mortars. Mortar battery on parade, in rear of Fort Moultrie, two 10-inch mortars. Fort Moultrie, three 8-inch columbiads; two 8-inch columbiads; two 8-inch sea-coast howitzers; five 32-pounders; four 24-pounders. At Mount Pleasant, one 10-inch mortar.
Total, firing on Fort Sumter, 30 gun, 17 mortars.
At 7 a.m. the guns of Fort Sumter replied, the first shot being fired from the battery at the right gorge angle, in charge of Captain Doubleday. All the officers and soldiers of Major Anderson's command were divided into three reliefs, of two hours each, for the service of the guns, Lieutenants Snyder and Meade, of the Engineers, taking their turns with the other officers in the large of batteries.
Of the forty-three workmen constituting the Engineer force in the fort nearly all volunteered to serve as cannoneers, or to carry shot and cartridge to the guns.
The armament of the fort was as follows, viz:
Barbette tier: Right flank, one 10-inch columbiad, four 8-inch columbiads, four 42-pounders. Right face, none. Left face, three 8-inch sea-coast howitzers, one 32-pounder. Left flank, one 10-inch columbiad, two 8-inch columbiads, two 42-pounders. Gorge, one 8-inch sea-coast howitzer, two 32-pounders, six 24-pounders. Total in barbette, 27 guns.