out any specific instructions. The formal reference of your application to the Adjutant-General is therefore considered unnecessary.
Your letter of the 18th instant, inclosing correspondence with Military Storekeeper Humphreys, in regard to the return of the muskets drawn from the Charleston Arsenal, is also received.
It having been ascertained on inquiry at the War Department that instructions have already been sent you to return the muskets referred to, no further action on your letter seems to be necessary.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. DE RUSSY,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Engineers, Commanding.
Numbers 10.] FORT MOULTRIE, S. C., December 22, 1860.
(Received A. G. O., December 26.)
Colonel S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:
COLONEL: Captain Foster is apprehensive that the remarks in my letter of the 20th instant may be considered as reflecting upon him and I told him that I would cheerfully state distinctly that I do not intend to pass any criticism upon his proceedings.
I stated in my last letter fully all the reasons I intended to give against commending the second caponiere. The captain has put a very large force of masons on it, and they are running up the walls very rapidly. He says, as he has all the material on hand, the men having just completed the first one, will be enabled to construct the second caponiere as soon as they could finish any temporary work in its stead. He says that he will have the "work defensible in five more working days, and have it finished in nine more working days." God knows whether the South Carolinians will defer their attempt to take this work so long as that. I must confess that I think where an officer is placed in as delicate a position as the one I occupy that he should have the entire control over all persons connected in any way with the work intrusted to him. Responsibility and power to control ought to go together.
I have heard from several sources that last night and the night before a steamer was stationed between this island and Fort Sumter. That the authorities of South Carolina are determined to prevent, if possible, any troops from being placed in that fort, and that they will seize upon that most important work as soon as they think there is reasonable ground for a doubt whether it will be turned over to the State, I do not doubt. I think that I could, however, were I to receive instructions so to do, throw my garrison into that work, but I should have to sacrifice the greater of my stores as it is now too late to attempt their removal. Once in that work with my garrison I could keep the entrance of their harbor open until they construct works outside of me, which might, I presume, prevent vessels from coming into the outer harbor.
We have used nearly all the empty barrels which Captain Foster had wisely saved for embrasures, traverses, &c, and Captain Foster is now making use of our gun-pent houses for the same purpose, filling them with sand.
No one call tell what will be done. They may defer action until their commissioners return from Washington; or if apprised by the nature of the debates in Congress that their demands will not probably be acceded, to they may act without waiting for them.
I do not think that we can rely upon any assurances, and wish to God I only had men enough here to man fully my guns. Our men are per-