War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0074 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.

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CHARLESTON ARSENAL, November 20, 1860.

Colonel H. K. CRAIG,

Ordnance Department:

SIR: In obedience to the instructions of the War Department I came to this place and have assumed command of the arsenal. The excitement concerning this arsenal which existed here a short time since is very much allayed, and this result is in a great measure due to the prudence and discretion of the military storekeeper, Mr. Humphreys, whose conduct on the occasion meets my commendation.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brevet-Colonel, U. S. Army.


ORDNANCE OFFICE, November 24, 1860.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War for his information.


Captain of Ordnance.

Numbers 1.] FORT MOULTRIE, S. C., November 23, 1860.

Colonel S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General, U. S. Army:

COLONEL: In compliance with verbal instructions from the honorable Secretary of War, I have the honor to report that I have inspected the forts of this harbor. As Major Porter has recently made a report in relation to them, I shall confine my remarks mainly to other matters, of great importance, if the Government intends holding them. At Fort Moultrie the Engineer, Captain Foster, is working very energetically on the outer defenses, which will, should nothing unforeseen occur to prevent, be finished and the guns mounted in two weeks. There are several sand hillocks within four hundred yards of our eastern wall, which offer admirable cover to approaching parties, and would be formidable points for sharpshooters. Two of them command our work. These I shall be compelled to level, at least sufficiently to render our position less insecure than it now is. When the outworks are completed, this fort, with its appropriate was garrison, will be capable of making a very handsome defense. It is so small that we shall have little space for storing our provisions, wood, &c. The garrison now in it is so weak as to invite an attack, which is openly and publicly threatened. We are about sixty, and have a line of rampart of 1,500 feet in length to defend. If beleaguered, as every man of the command must be either engaged or held on the alders, they will be exhausted and worn down in a few days and nights of such service as they would then have to undergo.

At Fort Sumter the guns of the lower tier of casemates will be mounted, the Engineer estimates, in about seventeen days. That fort is now ready for the comfortable accommodation of one company, and, indeed, for the temporary reception of its proper garrison.

Captain Foster states that the magazines (4) are done, and in excellent condition; that they now contain 40,000 pounds of cannon powder and a fully supply of ammunition for one tier of guns. This work is the key to the entrance of this harbor; its guns command this work, and could soon drive out its occupants. It should be garrisoned at once. Castle Pinckney, a small caseated work, perfectly commanding the city of Charleston, is in excellent condition, with the exception of a few