War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0134 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY

Washington, January 7, 1861

COMMANDING OFFICER, DETACHMENT U. S. ARMY,

On board steamship Star of the West,

Supposed to be near Charleston, S. C.:

SIR: This communication is sent through the commander of the U. S. steam sloop-of-war Brooklyn.

His mission is twofold: First, to afford aid and succor in case your ship be shattered or injured; second, to convey this order of recall for your detachment in case it cannot land at Fort Sumter, to proceed to Fort Monroe, Hampton Roads, and there await further orders.

In case of your return to Hampton Roads, send a telegraphic message here at once from Norfolk.

Yours, very respectfully,

W. SCOTT.

P. S. - On arrival at Fort Monroe, land your troops and discharge the ship.

W. SCOTT.

Numbers 17.] FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 9, 1861.

(Received A. G. O., January 12.)

Colonel S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: I have the honor to send herewith the correspondence which took place to-day between the governor of South Carolina and myself in relation to the firing by his batteries on a vessel bearing our flag. Lieutenant Talbot, whose health is very much impaired, will be the bearer of these dispatches, and he will be enabled to give you full information in reference to this and to all other matters.

I am, colonel, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

[Inclosures.]

FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 9, 1861

To his Excellency the GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA:

SIR: Two of your batteries fired this morning upon an unarmed vessel bearing the flag of my Government. As I have not been notified that war has been declared by South Carolina against the Government of the United States, I cannot but think that this hostile act was committed without your sanction or authority. Under that hope, and that alone, did I refrain from opening fire upon your batteries. I have the honor, therefore, respectfully to ask whether the above mentioned act-one, I believe, without a parallel in the history of our country or of any other civilized government-was committed in obedience to your instructions, and to notify you, if it be not disclaimed, that I must regard it as na act of war, and that I shall not, after a reasonable time for the return of my messenger, permit any vessels to pass within range of the guns of my fort. In order to save, as far as in my power, the shedding of blood, I beg that you will have due notification of this my decision given to all concerned. Hoping, however, that your answer may be such as will justify a further continuance of forbearance upon my part,

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.