peace will not be disturbed by any act of hostility towards South Carolina," it is impossible for me to give you any such assurances. The President has no authority to enter into such an agreement or understanding. As an executive officer he is simply bound to protect the public property so far as this may be practicable, and it would be aa manifest violation of his duty to place himself under engagements that he would not perform this duty either for an indefinite or a limited period. At the present moment it is not deemed necessary to re-enforce Major Anderson, because he makes no such request, and feels quite secure in his position. Should his safety, however, require re-enforcements, every effort will be made to supply them.
In regard to an assurance from the President "that the public peace will not be disturbed by any act of hostility toward South Carolina," the answer will readily occur to yourselves. To Congress, and to Congress alone, belongs the power to make war, and it would be an act of usurpation for the Executive to give any assurance that Congress would not exercise this power, however strongly he may be convinced that no such intention exists.
I am glad to be assured from the letter of Colonel Hayne that "Major Anderson and his command do now obtain all necessary supplies, including fresh meat and vegetables, and, I believe, fuel and water, from the city of Charleston, and do now enjoy communication by post and special messenger with the President and will continue to do so, certainly until the door to negotiation has been closed." I trust that these facilities may still be afforded to Major Anderson. This is as it should be. Major Anderson is not menacing Charleston, and I am convinced that the happiest result which can be attained is that both he and the authorities of South Carolina shall remain on their present amicable footing, neither party being bound by any obligation whatever, except the high Christian and moral duty to keep the peace and to avoid all causes of mutual irritation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Secretary of War.
Numbers 20.] FORT SUMTER, S. C., January 22, 1861.
(Received A. G. O., January 25.)
Colonel S. COOPER.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that with the exception of continued activity shown yesterday in extending the battery at Cummings Point (Morris Island), everything seemed to be quiet around us. Lieutenant Hall may bring on a copy of the private Navy Signal Book with the signals, and also the designation of the key (or number) agreed upon in concert with the Navy Department. This may be of service. Be pleased to ask Mr. Hall to bring me a supply of best thin ruled note paper, with envelopes. Being cut off from the city I cannot procure this indispensable articles.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, First Artillery, Commanding.
P. S. - No reply as yet to my letter to the Honorable D. F. Jamison.