shall I resort to the extreme measure of burning or destroying houses except on the same assurance, and then only such as mask positions where batteries may be erected, or such, as in my opinion, cannot be permitted to remain without endangering my command, which is so small that I cannot afford to spare a man.
The sand hills and the houses surrounding the fort will afford safe shelter for sharpshooters, who may, with ordinary good luck, pick off the major part of my little band, if we stand to our guns, in a few hours.
We are busily at work erecting traverses, defoliating our work, increasing the height of our walls, and securing protection for our men and guns by means of barrels filled with sand.
As Captain Foster tells me that he reports all his operations to the Engineer Department, I presume that the War Department is fully informed on these matters.
As the subject may be referred to by the letter writers and by the
Charleston press, it may be proper that I should state that captain Foster mentioned to me this morning that he had obtained yesterday from the Charleston Arsenal forty muskets for Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckeny, and that they had been brought down without casuign any excitement. He said that they were derived in compliance with an order issued, I think, before my arrival. This evening he sawed me a letter from the military storekeeper, which stated that the fact of his having sent off those muskets had produced great excitement in the city, and that he had felt obliged to pledge his word that they should be returned by to-morrow night. He states that Colonel Huger had directed him not to let any arms be removed from the arsenal.
I told Captain Foster that my instructions were hat I was not to do anything calculated to produce excitement, and that as he had asked my advice I would certainly advise him to return them. He left time stating that he would do so.
I have not heard whether the ordnance stores asked for are to be sent. I can only say that they are absolutely necessary to enable me to make a respectable attempt at a defense.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, First Artillery, Commanding.
FORT MOULTRIE, S. C., December 18,1 860.
Colonel R. E. DE RUSSY,
Commanding Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: I have the honor to inclose two letters received to-day from F. C. Humphreys, esq., military storekeeper at the Charleston arsenal.
The first accompanied an invoice of forty muskets and accouterments, upon a requisition made by me, and in accordance with an order received some time since. The second was made subsequent to intimations of violent demonstrations, made by General Schnierle (and others, perhaps), if he muskets were ot returned. General Schnierle assured Mr. Humphreys that Colonel Huger, Ordnance Corps, U. S. Army, had assured the governor of the State that no arms should be removed from the arsenal, and upon this Mr. Humphreys assured General Schnierle that the muskets should be returned to-morrow.
Now, I have no official knowledge (or positive personal evidence, either) that Colonel Huger assured the governor that no arms should be