The guns looking toward the channel are covered by high and solid merlons so that they cannot be taken in flank, and are kept in good working order, as is evidenced by their frequent practice. Last evening the South Carolinians practiced from the batteries on Cummings Point, from Fort Moultrie, and from the channel battery above the Moultrie House, on Sullivan's Island. I cannot obtain with the glass satisfactory observations of what is being done with the floating breach battery or "raft." I am inclined to think, however, from information, that there is a distrust of its success in the minds of many military men in the city. I think it can be destroyed by our fire before it has time to do much damage.
I received yesterday direction from Major Anderson which I gladly proceeded to execute, to the effect to increase the armament of the barbette tier in the way recommended by all the Engineer officers. I have pour Lieutenant Snyder and the whole gang of workmen at this work. We will adapt one casemate carriage to serve for barbette and mount one 42-pounder to-day.
In obedience to requirement all the officers handed in to Major Anderson "confidential" estimates of the force necessary to insure a re-enforcement of this fort, or to relieve it, yesterday morning. These were sent to Washington.* My estimate was as follows: To land and carry the batteries on Cummings Point and Morris Island, 3,000 regulars, or 10,000 volunteers; to land and carry the batteries on Sullivan's Island [at the same time], 3,000 regulars, or 10,000 volunteers more; to hold the above positions after taking them, 10,000 regulars, or 30,000 volunteers. The forces to be overcome in the attack are supposed to be those the adjoining States at short notice.
If time be given for concentration of the troops of this section the above estimate will be inadequate.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
Captain of Engineers.
FORT SUMTER, S. C., March 2, 1861.
GENERAL: There is very little activity to be observed in the surrounding batteries this morning, although the weather is remarkably fine. The little that is being done is in the field work on Cummings Point, which is being enlarged to the eastward, evidently with a view of covering the whole of this point with the work, having the parapet as near high-water line as practicable, as it now is in that portion of the work towards us. The batteries will then all be included in a continuous line, extending from the point towards the entrance to "Light-house Creek," around to the seaward. The breaching battery No. 3 is completed, as is also the work on the middle of the curtain of 1 and 2, which is a mortar battery with a magazine.
The cheering news from Washington of the action of the Peace Conference and of the House of Representatives gave us great satisfaction.
One 42-pounder gun was put in position and the carriage put in good order, so that the gun can be used with more effect than the others on the barbette tier. Three 32-pounders are being removed to the gorge,
*See inclosure D, following Lincoln to Cameron, March 15,p.202.