A dispatch received in this city a few days since from Governor Pickens, connected with the declaration on the part of those convened at Montgomery, claiming to act on behalf of South Carolina as well as the other seceded States, that the question of the possession of the forts and other public property therein had been taken from the decision of the individual States and would probably be preceded in its settlement by negotiation with the Government of the United States, has impressed the President with a belief that there will be no immediate attack on Fort Sumter, and the hope is indulged that wise and patriotic counsels may prevail and prevent it altogether.
The labors of the Peace Congress have not yet closed, and the presence of that body here adds another to the powerful motives already existing for the adoption of every measure, except in necessary self-defense, for avoiding a collision with the forces that surround you.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
No. 53.] FORT SUMTER, S. C., February 23, 1861. [Received A. G. O.,
Colonel S. COOPER,
COLONEL: I have the honor to end herewith some slips from the Charleston Mercury of yesterday. That paper publishes everything that is calculated to bring on a collision. I do not consider the rumor worthy of the least attention, but it accounts for the increased vigor exhibited last night, and continued to-day, in pushing forward their works on Cummings Point and at Fort Moultrie. They were working at the former place until midnight last night, and a large force is busy there now on the parapet [in which openings are formed apparently for four embrasures], and in hauling up timbers from a raft. A large shed has been put up, which may be intended for a bomb-proof storehouse or a magazine. At Fort Moultrie the glaces is being rapidly extended, and it is high enough to cover their wall, as if they expected me to attempt breaching it. They are also at work this morning on the gun battery at Fort Johnson.
I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, First Artillery, Commanding.
FEDERAL RE-ENFORCEMENTS AT HAND.
The special dispatches of the Mercury announcing that a stealthy re-enforcement of Fort Sumter had been determined on, and that Federal troops, in boats, night be expected at any moment that circumstances should happen to favor their attempt to reach the fort, were confirmed about 9 o'clock last night by telegrams received by the governor. Shortly afterwards dispatches came up from Fort Moultrie, stating that the lieutenant in charge of the harbor watch had reported that he was informed by a pilot that the steamship Daniel Webster had been seen by him off Cape Romain at noon. Notice as immediately given to the different posts. General Dunovant and Captain Hamilton proceeded immediately to Fort Moultrie; Major Stevens repaired to the Morris Island batteries. Everything was got in readiness for the expected visitors.
Up to the hour at which we go to press [half past 4 o'clock] there has been nothing seen either of the Daniel Webster or her boats. We are very sure that the gallant troops on Morris and Sullivan's Islands will keep a bright lookout for both.