it. I do not propose to discharge my force of forty-three men at present, but to employ them at such work as from time to time becomes necessary. All of them will be of great service in case we have to sustain a cannonade, and the majority of them will also be of material aid in resisting a sudden attack. Terre is not a particle of truth in the many reports that have crept into the papers about mutinies, &c. The soldiers are in excellent spirits and full of confidence. Those of my men that I have discharged of late have left with great reluctance. In fine, the morale at present is very high.
The trouble that I had with my men soon after the command came over, which resulted in a rapidly thinning out of the force, has long since ceased. Every man, however, that is discharged is beset as soon as he reaches town for information, and in some instances they have played upon the credulity of their questioners. In other instances, the information given has been magnified and distorted. And in one case, that of Lieutenant Davis, who went to town on the 19th in charge of four soldiers summoned a witnesses in a murder trial, an effort was made to convince him that his men, having been tampered with, had uttered threats against him, and that he should arm himself before trusting himself to come down with them alone in a boat. Lieutenant Davis declined their proffer of arms. It appears that there was no circumstance to warrant this attempt to place Lieutenant Davis in a false position towards his men, and to give cause for reports prejudicial to the fidelity of the soldiers. The report in the papers that the men attempted to jump out of the window to escape, is utterly without foundation. So, also, is the report that a boat from Fort Sumter, in attempting to reconnoiter the battery on Morris Island, had been fired into by the sentry, and one man wounded. No boat has ever left Fort Sumter for such a purpose, and I question whether it was a boat that the sentry fired at. In fact, it is not safe to credit any reports coming from this region, except such as are favorable to the Government of the United States. Even the statements that emanated from high authority and were widely circulated, to the effect that this command was supplied with fresh provisions, &c., are not strictly true, for we have not as yet received any.
One lot as sent down on the 20th by the State authorities, which Major Anderson declined to receive. His proposition to get them from the regular contractor, and to pay for them, was accepted; but up to this time [10 a.m. of the 27th] we have not received anything from the contractor in town.
Lieutenant Meade returned on Wednesday, the 23rd, but on account of the storm was not able to get to the fort before the following day. Both he and Lieutenant Snyder having volunteered for the duty, I have entered them upon the regular roster for guard duty, two of the officers of the command being sick, and one absent. It does not interfere with our regular duties.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
ENGINEER DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 28, 1861.
Captain J. G. FOSTER,
Corps of Engineers, Charleston, S. C.:
SIR: I have the pleasure to inform you that $5,000 was remitted on Saturday last, the 26th instant, to the assistant treasurer at New York,