said he could not issue them without authority from Washington, not eve for the short time that I want, and I declined at the time to request him to write for this authority; but after consulting with Major Anderson to-day we are both agreed that it is best to write for the requisite authority at once, and I therefore make the above request.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
Captain of Engineers.
Handed to Adjutant-General, and by him laid before the Secretary of War on the 6th of December.
Returned by the Adjutant-General on the 7th. Action deferred for the present. (See Captain Foster's letter of December 4.)
Numbers 5.] FORT MOULTRIE, S. C., December 3, 1860.
Colonel S. COOPER, Adjutant-General, U. S. A.:
COLONEL: Captains Doubleday and Seymour said to-day that when they gave me their opinions a few days ago on the feasibility of securing reliable men here to perform police and fatigue duty they did not think of some discharged soldiers, who they now say could be hired for that purpose. My opinion, as expressed, that I doubted whether any reliable men could be hired here, was based upon their opinions and upon my knowledge of the deep interest and excitement of the populace here.
I shell be placed, the, to receive authority and instructions ot employ eight or ten men for the purposes suggested. This will give one relief for my guard, garrison, and battery, or interior.
Captain Foster has just reported that he left Lieutenant Davis and twenty of the detachment of laborers, designed to make repairs in Castle Pinckney, in that work, with one month's supply of provision.
Fourteen men will be added to that party to-morrow. The captain spoke of his having placed Lieutenant Davis and the party in the Castle whilst in the city, and he said that there was not the least appearance of excitement about it.
Lieutenant Davis has been cautioned to act with the greatest discretion and caution.
Hoping that everything may go on smoothly here for some time longer at least, and assuring you that I shall do everything in my power to add to the strength of my defenses,
I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major of U. S. Army.
CHARLESTON, S. C., December 4, 1860.
Colonel R. E. DE RUSSY,
Commanding corps of Engineers:
COLONEL: I have been obliged to vary the plan which I indicated in my last letters as the one I intended to follow in order to carry out the wishes of the Department concerning the security of the works under my charge. In consequence of recent developments of the state of feeling