Fort Sumter, which is entirely surrounded by water, is prepared for the guns of the first and third tiers, many of which are mounted, and the rest may be on short notice. The working force is now engaged in putting in the embrasures of the second tier, which have been left out till recently on account of an apprehended settlement of the work. One officer and one hundred and fifteen workmen were employed at this work at the date of the last report. Of all the fortifications in the harbor of Charleston, Fort Sumter must be looked upon as by far the most important, and it is now in condition, as regards its state of preparation, to resist any attack that will be made upon it, provided it be furnished with a proper garrison.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. DE RUSSY,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Engineers, Commanding.
FORT MOULTRIE, SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, S. C.,
December 20, 1860.
Colonel R. E. DE RUSSY,
Commanding Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: I have the honor to inform you that, after closing my letter to you last night, I received (at 2 a. m.) a telegraphic dispatch from the Secretary of War, of which the following is a copy:
I have just received a telegraphic dispatch informing me that you have removed forty muskets from Charleston Arsenal to Fort Moultrie. If you have removed any arms, return them instantly.
Answer by telegraph.
JOHN B. FLOYD,
Secretary of War.
Captain JOHN G. FOSTER.
To this I immediately replied as follows:
I received forty muskets from the arsenal on the 17th. I shall return them in obedience to your order.
J. G. FOSTER,
Honorable J. B. FLOYD,
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.
It may be well here to explain more fully than I have heretofore done the circumstances connected with this issue of muskets to me. The Ordnance Department on the 1st of November directed that forty muskets should be issued to me. I did not receive them at that time, because Colonel Gardner, commanding at Fort Moultire, objected to the issue on the ground that it appeared like arming my employs. On the 17th instant I went to the arsenal to obtain two guns which were required at Fort Sumter, and which Colonel Huger had directed to be delivered to me. While there I recollected that the ordnance sergeants at Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckney had applied to me for the arms to which they were entitled, and I asked the military storekeeper in charge of he arsenal for two muskets and accouterments for the those two sergeants. He replied that he had no authority for the issue of two muskets for this purpose, but that the old order for forty musket was on file, and the muskets and accouterments ready packed for delivery to me. So I received them, and after issuing the two muskets to the two ordnance sergeants at Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckeny place the remainder in the magazines of those two forts. They were nothing of Colonel Huger's assurances