placed him in charge of Castle Pinckney the next day, and relieved Lieutenant J. C. Davis from his temporary duty at that post. The work at the Casteless progressing satisfactorily at present, although I have up to this time been delayed on account of one firm in town refusing to shell me, as the agent of the United States, some lumber, which I was expecting, and very much needed. I have made arrangements to obtain the requisite quantity of lumber elsewhere, and have transferred the bricks and cement from Fort Sumter. The work on the cistern is already commenced, and that on the wooden banquettes will commence to-morrow. In the mean time, while waiting for materials, the force has been employed in perfecting the messing arrangements, putting the fort in thorough police order, and oiling and working the gun carriages, so that they now move with perfect facility.
The men for this working party wee picked, and the majority of them are reliable against the disorderly attack of any mob to possess itself of the work. My confidence in them has increased within a few days.
A strict night watch is maintained, and during the daytime a man stands at the gate to prevent interested persons entering and inspecting the fort and its arrangements for defense. This latter precaution I have found to be necessary on account of numbers of men connected with the military, who came for the purpose of obtaining knowledge to use against the defenders of the for tin case of a collision with the Government. I have given the same instructions to Lieutenant Snyder, at Fort Sumter, with reference to which the above precaution became necessary first.
At Fort Sumter everything is going on smoothly, although I have purposely delayed the mounting of the guns, for the reason that I did nor consider it safe to proceed with that work until some definite idea was obtained as to whether the work was to be maintained or not. Consequently, only the guns of the left face, which do not bear towards Fort Moultrie directly, are mounted in the first tier, although every preparation is made to mount all the guns in the shortest possible time when it is necessary and safe so to do.
I think the temper and disposition of the men at Fort Sumter, are very good-better than a few days ago. They will defend the fort, as far as possible, without arms, against a mob, but not against the organized forces of South Carolina.
I have endeavor to strength toe conservative feeling among the men through eh overseer, and have succeeded to a certain extent, and I now consider this fort and Castle Pinckney safe until it comes to the solution of the question whether the Government is to surrender them to the State or to refuse her demands. At that time only United States troops, and in good numbers, will be sufficient to overawe an attempt to take them by force.
I hope the Department will not think me too explicit in my terms, for I wish to avoid any unnecessary alarm, but I feel it my duty to state my convictions, in order that it may have full information for its action. I would respectfully, but strongly, urge that more definite instructions be given me for my guidance. If Fort Sumter is to be risked against the chances of an attack, it will be important to vary my programme, and to change the deposit of a large portion of its stores, and to provide for the exigency of its loss. If not, I will cheerfully prepare to defend it to extremity until troops arrive for its garrison. If the garrison in Fort moultrie is to be transferred, I should know it, in order to stop the heavy expense at Fort Moultrie, which in that case will become unnecessary,