conduct meets with the emphatic approbation of the highest in authority; Major Anderson to be also informed that further re-enforcements will be sent him if necessary.
Lieutenant Colonel LORENZO THOMAS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.
Washington, January 3, 1861
Honorable BENJAMIN STANTON,
Chairman Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives:
SIR: In answer to your letter, asking for information on certain points specified in a resolution adopted by the Committee on Military Affairs of the House of Representatives on the 18th ultimo, I have the honor to state as follows:
According to the latest report of the Engineer officer having charge of the construction of the defenses of the harbor of Charleston, everything practicable had been done of place Fort Moultrie in an efficient condition, and, with a proper garrison, it was deemed susceptible of an energetic defense. There were then employed at that work an officer and one hundred and twenty workmen, independent of regular garrison.*
On the evening of the 26th ultimo Major Robert Anderson, First Artillery in command of the troops in Charleston Harbor, apprehensive of the safety of his command from the insecurity of the fort, and having reason to believe that the South Carolinians contemplated or were preparing to proceed to a hostile act against him, and desiring to prevent a collision and effusion of blood, evacuated Fort Moultrie after having orders for spiking the cannon and disabling some of the carriages, and removed his forces to Fort Sumter, where they now are. Castle Pinckney was at the date of the latest report in good condition as regards preparation 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 baguettes, and attending to other matters of detail.
Since the date of the reports referred to, Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney have been taken possession of by troops of the State of South Carolina, acting under the orders of the governor, and are now held by those troops, with all the armament and other public property therein at the time of their seizure. I inclose a statement (Numbers 1.) of the number and description of ordnance, and arms at the date of the last returns at Fort Moultrie, Castle Pinckney, and Charleston Arsenal, respectively. That arsenal, with all its contents, was also taken possession of on the 30th ultimo by an armed by body of South Carolina troops, acting under orders of the governor of the State, as represented in the following report of Frederick C. Humphreys, military storekeeper of ordnance, in charge, viz:
This arsenal was taken by force of arms by the militia of South Carolina, by order of Governor Pickens. The commanding officer was allowed to salute his flag before lowering it with one gun for each State now in the Union (thirty-two), and to take it with him, and the detachment to occupy the quarters until instruction from Washington can be obtained.
At that time the force under his control consisted of nine enlisted soldiers of ordnance and six hired men.
*See De Russy to Floyd, December 20, 1860, p. 99.
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