Charles K. Marshall, and Russell Sturgis, all seamen, give my plan the preference, it must have merit. At Kinburn, in the Black Sea, eight gunboats passed in the night forts mounting eighty guns-only one boat hit. The next day, in broad daylight, the Cracker (English) came out under their deliberate fire-distance nine hundred yards. The Vladimar (Russian steamer at Sebastopol) was under fire at various distances during the whole war, but her motion prevented her being disabled. How few of Dahlgren's shots hit the target with all the elements of success he is capable of producing! I am sure I could convince the authorities of the preference that is due to his plan, if I could argue the plan instead of write it.
G. V. FOX.
NEW YORK, March 1, 1861.
I just met Russell Sturgis, who has charge of most of the tow-boats in the harbor, and he informs me that the Charleston authorities have opened negotiations here for the purchase of two tugs, and that the two proposed are two of the three I had selected, being the only three really fit for the work in the whole city. I thought it best to give you this information at once, as the probability of re-enforcing Fort Sumter except by landing and capturing their forts will be lessened with such fine boats as I have described in their possession. Captain Sturgis has put these boats in order, notwithstanding my plan has the go-by, for we all feel that a severe discussion most bring it up again.
I met a Navy officer to-day who has just received a letter from Hartstene. He is captain in the S. C. Navy with the same pay as a U. S. captain, and has charge of the coast defenses. He thinks he has prevented an attack upon Sumter so far, but says it will soon be done, and will be a very sanguinary affair. Paul Hamilton, esq., commands the floating battery now launched. They have four tugs, which do not amount to much compared to one of these powerful New York ones.
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I wrote you last Sunday in full. Write me as soon as anything definite is done.
G. V. FOX.
Direct your letters care of A. H. Lowery, 77 Nassau street, and I get them in the morning, otherwise not until p. m. I trust you and the General will give me a hand in this business. He seems most favorably disposed towards me.
FORT SUMTER, S. C., March 15, 1861.
General JOS. G. TOTTEN,
Chief Engineer U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have nothing to report respecting the operations of the South Carolinians around us. Their works seem to be at a standstill, and most of the men, both military and laboring, are withdrawn from them. I noticed last evening that one gun was fired from the iron-clad floating battery in town, thus indicating that its armament has been placed on board. A storm of wind is prevailing.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
Captain of Engineers.