or, possibly, by the bearing of the lights of Fort Sumter. With proper precautions in screening the lights and fires of the boats, &c., I think the risk would not be so great, considering only the batteries, as to deter from this attempt, provided the object were of very great importance. I should expect one or two, perhaps all, of these vessels to reach Fort Sumter, and the shoal upon which they must be grounded-provided no other impediments awaited them.
But, in the first place, it is a necessary condition that the boats arrive off the harbor before night. If they can see to take these bearings, they can be seen from the shore. In the next place, it seems impossible to fit out any expedition, however small and unobtrusive, without arousing inquiry, and causing the intelligence to be transmitted by telegraph. We may be certain, therefore, that these tugs will be waited for by steamers lying in the channelway, full of men.
This mode of relieving Fort Sumter, or another by men in rowboats passing up the same channel, is so obvious that it is unreasonable to suppose it has not been duly considered and provided for, where so much intelligence and resource in military means have been displayed in the scheme of defense, and so much earnestness and energy in execution. We know that guard rowboats and steamers are active during the night; and that they have all the means of intercepting with certainty this little expedition, and overpowering it, by boarding- a commencement of war.
This attempt, like any other, will inevitably involve a collision.
This raises a question that I am not called on to discuss, but as to which I may say that if the General Government adopts a course that must be attended with this result, its first measure should not be one so likely to meet disaster and defeat; nor one, I may add, which, even if successful, would give but momentary relief, while it would open all the powers of attack upon the fort, certainly reducing it before the means of recovering Charleston Harbor, with all its forts and batteries and environs, can possibly be concentrated there.
J. G. T.
General Scott's memoranda for the Secretary of War.
It seems from the opinions of the Army officers who have expressed themselves on the subject-all within Fort Sumter, together with Generals Scott and Totten-that it is perhaps now impossible to succor that fort substantially, if at all, without capturing, by means of a large expedition of ships of war and troops, all the opposing batteries of South Carolina. In the mean time-six or ten months-Major Anderson would almost certainly have been obliged to surrender under assault or the approach of starvation; for even if an expedition like that proposed by G. V. Fox should succeed once in throwing in the succor of a few men and a few weeks' provisions, the necessity of repeating the latter supply would return again and again, including the yellow fever season. An abandonment of the fort in a few weeks, sooner or later, would appear,therefore, to be a sure necessity, and if so, the sooner the more graceful on the part of the Government.
It is doubtful, however, according to recent information from the South, whether the voluntary evacuation of Fort Sumter alone would have a decisive effect upon the States now wavering between adherence to the Union and secession. It is known, indeed, that it would be