War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0136 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.

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enforce the forts on board, not to enter the harbor of Charleston, and special orders have been given to the commanders of all forts and batteries not to fire at such vessels until a shot fired across their bows would warn them of the prohibition or the State. Under these circumstances, the Star of the West, it is understood this morning attempted to enter this harbor, with troops on board, and having been notified that she could not enter, was fired into. The act is perfectly justified by me. In regard to your threat in regard to vessels in the harbor, it is only necessary to say that you must judge of your own responsibilities. Your position in this harbor has been tolerated by the authorities of the State, and while the act of which you complain is in perfect consistency with the rights and duties of the State, it is not perceived how far the conduct which you propose to adopt can find a parallel in the history of any country, or be reconciled with any other purpose of your Government than that of imposing upon this State the condition of a conquered province.


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

General TOTTEN;

MY DEAR SIR: I have only a moment to write by Lieutenant Meade [?], who comes with dispatches from Major Anderson. I wish to assure you, however, that the officers of your corps are doing everything in their power to make this work impregnable, even with the present small garrison of seventy men. We even mount all the guns, as we can do it much more rapidly than the garrison. We have twenty-nine guns on the first tier and eleven on the barbette tier. Four 8-inch columbiads are ready to mount to-morrow. I shall place the 10-inch on the parade as mortars.

The firing upon the Star of the West this morning by the batteries on Morris Island opened the war, but Major Anderson hopes that the delay of sending to Washington may possibly prevent civil war. The hope, although a small one, may be the thread that prevents the sundering of the Union. We are none the less determined to defend ourselves to the last extremity. I am in want of funds,and would respectfully urge that as soon as possible $15,000 may be placed to my credit in New York. In haste.

Very respectfully,


Captain, Engineers.

P. S. - I beg to refer you to Lieutenant Meade [?] for particulars.

J. G. F.


Received January 12 by Lieutenant Talbot, U. S. Army.

WAR DEPARTMENT, January 10, 1861


First Artillery, Commanding at Fort Sumter, S. C.:

SIR: Your dispatches to Numbers 16, inclusive have been received. Before the receipt of that of 31st December,* announcing that the Government


*Received January 5, 1861, p. 120.