exterior loophole openings on the first tier of the gorge, also the construction of the large splinter-proof traverse in front of the hospital. To-morrow I shall cut away a small portion of the brick interior slope so as to allow the 10-inch columbiad at the west gorge angle, barbette tier, to be traversed sufficiently to fire on the Cummings Point batteries. The construction of a second splinter proof traverse to cover the front of the magazine and ordnance room, will also be commenced. I am having an inventory take of all Engineer property, in accordance with your directions of the 21st instant, received yesterday. I regret that I am not able to make the return of property for the third and fourth quarters of 1860, in consequence of all papers relating to the subject (except the vouchers) being withheld by the authorities of South Carolina. The reason that I delayed so long to make the property return for the third quarter is this: The commencement and rapid increase of the work upon the fortifications in this harbor during the last month of this quarter and the three months of the following quarter took all my time and attention, and the purchases in town, and settlement of freight bills and accounts, took all the time of my clerk, Mr. Legare. I finally hired another man to assist him to bring up the accounts and to enable him to make the return of property, but before this was done they desired to secede from the office. I insisted that Mr. Legare should finish the property return, which he promised to do; but before he had finished it the State seceded, and he left the office. My overseer also left me suddenly on the 28th of December, and the hurry of preparation for defense prevented me taking an inventory of property at that time.
A considerable amount of material has been used in these preparations. I can assure you, however, that everything used has been well applied and was necessary. Trusting that the above explanation of the circumstances that prevented my making the required returns may be found satisfactory.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
ENGINEER DEPARTMENT, Washington, March 26, 1861.
Captain J. G. FOSTER, Corps of Engineers, Charleston, S. C.:
CAPTAIN: In compliance with your request in letter of the 20th instant, the sum of $1,000 will be placed to your credit with the assistant treasurer at New York on account of Fort Sumter, and to guard against the chance of its not being available in time, through the inability of the Treasurer to provide the money, instructions will be given to Lieutenant Gilmore to see that your checks upon the assistant treasurer to that amount are honored.
It is hoped that in case of the evacuation of Fort Sumter you will be able to bring away the books, drawings, papers, and perhaps light articles of value in your care, but it can hardly be expected that you can secure the heavy articles of property. You should, however, do so if you can.
Should the fort be evacuated, you will, as suggested in your letter of the 14th instant, leave with the command, and report in person, with your assistants, Lieutenants Snyder and Meade, at this Department.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOS. G. TOTTEN,
Brevet Brigadier-General, and Colonel of Engineers.