War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0119 Chapter I. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

Washington, December 31, 1860.

Colonel DIMICK, or commanding officer, Fort Monroe:

SIR: Prepare and put on board of the sloop-of-war Brooklyn, as soon as the latter can receive them, four companies, making at least two hundred men, desired to re-enforce Fort Sumter. Embark with said companies twenty-five spare stands of arms, complete, and subsistence for the entire detachment for ninety days, or as near that amount as your supplies may furnish. Communicate at once with the commander of the war steamer, learn the earliest moment at which he can receive the troops on board, and do not fail to have them there by that time.

W. SCOTT.

Manage everything as secretly and confidentially as possible. Look to this.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

Washington, December 31, 1860.

To the PRESIDENT:

Lieutenant-General Scott again begs leave to trespass for a moment on the indulgence of the President of the United States particularly as he learns by rumor that there is no head to the War Department.*

Such are the necessities of the service that it is hoped the vacancy in question may be speedily filled, and, incidentally, that the new Secretary, if ad interim, may not be a junior officer of the Army, as it would wound the pride of any senior to serve under such Secretary.

Lieutenant-General Scott deems it to be his duty to lay, the accompanying letter before the President.+ The writer is a distinguished graduate of the Military Academy, and an eminent lawyer of the New York bar. Major-General Sandford, mentioned by him, is an officer and citizen of great merit and discretion, commanding the City Division of Volunteers.

General Scott does not recommend the acceptance of Mr. Hamilton's proposition,+ as we have disposable regulars enough for that single purpose; by that we already require many and large detachments for the protection of our coast defenses farther south is becoming daily more and more evident.

In reference to General Scott's note of yesterday to the President, he respectfully adds; Of course, the War Department and General Scott cannot communicate anything to Major Anderson, or receive by mail or telegraphic wires anything from him (who must be regarded as in a state of siege), except by permission of the authorities in Charleston; and it is just possible in his state of isolation a system of forged telegrams from this place may be played off so successfully as to betray him into some false movement.

Most respectfully submitted to the President of the United States.

WINFIELD SCOTT.

P. S.- As a sequence to the foregoing, it is respectfully suggested that there seems to be no other way of freely communicating with Major Anderson than by water, say by a revenue cutter running regularly between Wilmington, N. C., and Fort Sumter.

W. S.

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*No record of Mr. Floyd's letter of resignation can be found in the War Department.

+Not of record.

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