Numbers 9.] FORT MOULTRIE, S. C., December 20, 1860.
(Received A. G. O., December 24.)
Colonel S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:
COLONEL: I had the honor to receive and to answer, at half past 1 o'clock this morning, a telegram from the honorable Secretary of War, dated the 19th instant. Captain Foser has, I presume, reported to the Department his compliance with his order.
The ordinance of secession passed the South Carolina Convention to-day.
We are making good progress in our defensive works on the ramparts. Captain Foster finished to-day mounting the guns in the caponiere (or bastionettes), and [will] commence the other caponiere to-morrow. In my letter (Numbers 6.) of December 6, I had the honor of stating my objections to commencing that work, and suggested that I thought it ought to be replaced by some work which could be built in a shorter time. No reply has been made to that suggestion, and Captain Foster says that as the project was approved by the Engineer Department and by the Secretary of War he does not feel authorized to make a change of the plan.
I regret this very much, for if an attack is made whilst that work is going on, our fort can be very easily carried. As I have stated before, I do not feel authorized to interfere with the operations of the Engineer Department.
Captain Foster informs me that Lieutenant Snyder is mounting guns at Fort Sumter as rapidly as possible. I have already given my reasons why I thought that ought not to be done, and have seen no reason for changing that opinion.
Hoping that events may take such a turn as soon to relieve me from the dangerous position my little command is now in,
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, First Artillery, Commanding.
Washington, December 20, 1860.
Honorable JOHN B. FLOYD,
Secretary of War:
SIR: In reply to so much of the resolution of the Committee on Military Affairs of the House of Representatives,* which you have referred to this office, as relates to matters instructed to this Department, I have the honor to present the following report:
In regard to the condition of the defenses at Fort Moultrie, I have to state that, according to the latest report of the Engineer officer having charge of the construction of the defense of the harbor of Charleston, everything practicable has been done to place the work in an efficient condition, and that with a proper garrison it is susceptible of an energetic defense. There were then employed at that work one officer and one hundred and twenty workmen, independent of the regular garrison.
Castle Pinckney was in good condition as regards preparations, and, with a proper garrison, as defensible as it can be made. One officer and thirty workmen were engaged in the repair of the cisterns, replacing decayed banquettes, and attending to other matters of detail.
*See Stanton to Floyd, December 18, 1860, p. 94; and Holt to Stanton, January 3, 1, post.