Numbers 7.] FORT MOULTRIE, S. C., December 9, 1860.
(Received A. G. O., December 12.)
Colonel S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:
[SIR: ] I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 6th instant, and to state that I have directed the A. A. Q. M. to hire men to perform police and fatigue duty at this post, and to send on a special estimate for funds to pay them.
I hear that the attention of the South Carolinians appears to be turned more toward Fort Sumter than it was, and it is deemed probable that their first act will be to take possession of that work.
The idea of attempting to take this place by a coup de main appears not to be so favorably regarded as it was, and they will perhaps determine to besiege us. To enable them to do this they must procured heavy guns, which they can get (if not from Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckney) from Pulaski or some other southern fort. Anything that can be done which will cause delay in their attack will give time for deliberation and renegotiation, and may, by God's blessing, save the shedding of blood. I would therefore respectfully suggest whether it might not be advisable and prudent to cause the ammunition, except what may be needed for the defense of this fort and the armament of Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckney, to be destroyed or rendered unserviceable before they are permitted to fall into their hands. The same may be advisable at those forts from whence supplies might be brought to Charleston. Fort Sumer is a tempting prize, the value of which is well known to the Charlestonians, and once in their possession, with its ammunition and armament and walls uninjured and garrisoned properly, it would set our Navy at defiance, compel me to abandon this work, and give them the perfect command of this harbor.
Captain Foster having received the pintle stones of his bastionette guns, will now finish the one he has been at work on. Our supply of provisions has not arrived. I hope that it will soon be in. If we do not hear of it in a few days, I shall have to direct the A. A. commissary to make some purchases in Charleston.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, First Artillery, Commanding.
FORT MOULTRIE, S. C., December 11, 1860.
Memorandum of verbal instructions to Major Anderson, First Artillery, commanding at Fort Moultrie, S. C.
You are aware of the great anxiety of the Secretary of War that a collision of the troops with the people of this State shall be avoided, and of his studied determination to pursue a course with reference to the military force and forts in this harbor which shall guard against such a collision. He has therefore carefully abstained from increasing the force at this point, or taking any measures which might add to the present excited state of the public mind, or which would throw any doubt on the confidence he feels that South Carolina will not attempt, by violence, to obtain possession of the public works or interfere with their occupancy. But as the counsel and acts of rash and impulsive persons may possibly disappoint those expectations of the Government, he deems it proper that you should be prepared with instructions to