War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0102 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.

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[Inclosures Numbers 2.]

FORT MOULTRIE, S. C., December 20, 1860.

Captain F. C. HUMPHREYS,

Military Storekeeper, U,. S. Ordnance Corps:

DEAR SIR: I have received your letter of this date. I regret that I cannot accede to your request to write to the governor-elect of South Carolina and assure him that twenty enlisted men had not, as he had heard, been sent from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter. As the governor of a State that has by an ordinance to-day decided to secede from the Union, I cannot, I conceive, properly communicate with him in matters of this kind, except through the Government at Washington.

I regret exceedingly that an unfounded rumor of this kind should have obtained the serious attention of the governor of South Carolina. I, as the officer in charge of Fort Sumter, can assure you that no enlisted men have been transferred from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter.

With respect to the issue of the muskets, I consider that you only performed your duty in obedience to existing orders. I certainly think that I did mine. As to my after action in referring the matter to Washington, I am of course, the only one responsible. You cannot, therefore, be censured without cause.

Truly yours, in haste,


Captain, Engineers


ENGINEER DEPARTMENT, December 24, 1860.

Respectfully submitted to the honorable Secretary of War for his information, and with the earnest request that the instructions solicited by Captain Foster may be promptly given.


Captain of Engineers, in charge.


Washington, December 20, 1860.

Honorable JOHN B. FLOYD,

Secretary of War:

SIR: The inclosed telegram, purporting to be from Captain J. G. Foster, the Engineer officer in charge of Fort Sumter reached me last night, and gives the first information to this office that the forty old muskets had been issued to the captain. On the contrary, the previous correspondence on the subject indicates that the issue of these muskets has not been and will not be made. On the 31st October last Colonel Craig informed you that the Engineer in charge of Fort Sumter had suggested the placing of a few small-arms in the hands of his workmen for the protection of the Government property there, and recommended that it should be done, provided that it met the concurrence of the commanding officer of the troops in Charleston Harbor. The recommendation was approved, and Colonel J. L. Gardner, then commanding at Charleston Harbor, was duly notified thereof and authorized to direct the issue if it met his approval, and to report the fact to this office. He answered under date of 5th November, 1860, and did not concur in the expediency of the issue. His letter was submitted to you on the 8th November,