and which is now fast consuming my available funds. I can also, in that case, proceed in the armament of Fort Sumter.
At Fort Moultrie I have continued my heavy operations, and have employed one hundred and twenty men. The accessory defenses that I have created and am now perfecting are very important to the defense, and I trust the Department will approve my action. They comprise, besides the works ordered by the Department, the formation of a wet ditch, fifteen feet wide, all around the fort, the depth of which is very small in consequence of the quicksand which is reached, but which is very yielding to pressure, like a quagmire, and, therefore, a good obstacle; the construction of a picket fence all around the fort bordering the ditch, and protected from fire by a small glaces in front of it; the cutting off the projecting brick cordon, which might serve to aid in scaling the oblique face of the wall; the formation of a bastionette at the northwest anger, so as to obtain a more effective flanking fire than could be obtained by a small cut in the parapet, and the formation of a temporary machicoulis gallery at the southeast angel.
All of these auxiliary defenses, except the picket fence, will be completed in four days, and will vastly improve the chances for the defense. With a sufficient war garrison I would consider this fort as secure against any attack that this State can bring against it; but the garrison is a mere handful of sixty men, and can hardly spare five men to two flanking caponieres-a fact that has influenced me in forming the machicoulis gallery at the southeast angel, as this can be defended and the wall flanked by two or three men, who can also be ready to rally any poi with the rest of the garrison.
In fine, I have spared no pains to give every assistance to the defense. I decline dot make a fraise around the coping, for the reason that its effect would be to diminish the width of the wet ditch, since the same length of ladder that would catch on the points and enable the assailants to mount would not otherwise strike the wall more than half the way up. If time spares I shall widen the ditch one or two feet and plant small pickets within it.
I have saved all my cement barrels to be used in forming merlons, if necessary, and some of them are now being sued by the garrison on the east front, facing the sand hills, to form covers for a few sharpshooters upon the parapet.
I hope funds will soon be sent me for the present month. I should think the United States Treasurer could issue his warrant against the deposit in Charleston for what money I require, for the assistant treasurer, Mr. Presley, informed me that he had ample funds in hand.
I exchanged a draft on New York for gold to-day, in order to pay the men on Fort Sumter. The bank made the exchange at par.
Very respectfully and truly,
J. G. FOSTER,
Washington, December 14, 1860.
First Artillery, Commanding Fort Moultrie, Charleston, S. C.:
SIR: The Secretary of War directs me to give the following answers to certain questions contained in your letters:
If the State authorities demand any of Captain Foster's workmen