While the fort is uninjured many men need not remain within its walls to secure it from surprise or escalate. Of course the detached troops must be kept within reach of quick recall. Such measures may delay somewhat, though neither these nor any others now within our reach will, in my opinion, prevent the loss of Fort Pickens.
I present these thoughts to the consideration of the Secretary of War, and, if be thinks them of sufficient interest, to the perusal of the President, because they force themselves from me by the vehemence of the convictions.
Treating it purely as a professional question, I do not presume to advise as to the policy of the Government in this connection, merely presenting what seem to me to be incontrovertible facts and inevitable consequences of a military nature, that may, perhaps, be allowed to bear upon the political question.
Having no personal ambition or party feeling to lead or mislead me to conclusions, I have maturely studied the subject as a soldier bound to give all his faculties to his country, which may God preserve in peace!
JOS. G. TOTTEN,
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, D. C., April 4, 1861.
Major ROBERT ANDERSON, U. S. Army:
SIR: Your letter of the 1st instant occasions some anxiety to the President.
On the information of Captain Fox he had supposed you could hold out till the 15th instant without any great inconvenience; and had prepared an expedition to relieve you before that period.
Hoping still that you will be able to sustain yourself till the 11th or 12th instant, the expedition will go forward; and, finding your flag flying, will attempt to provision you, and, in case the effort is resisted, will endeavor also to re-enforce you.
You will therefore hold out, if possible, till the arrival of the expedition.
It is not, however, the intention of the President to subject your command to any danger or hardship beyond what, in your judgment, would be usual in military life; and he has entire confidence that you will act as becomes a patriot and soldier, under all circumstances.
Whenever, if at all, in your judgment, to save yourself and command, a capitulation becomes a necessity, you are authorized to make it.
Secretary of War.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 4, 1861.
Captain G. V. FOX, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: It having been decided to succor Fort Sumter you have been selected for this important duty. Accordingly you will take charge of the transports in New York having the troops and supplies on board to the entrance of Charleston Harbor, and endeavor, in the first instance, to deliver the subsistence. If you are opposed in this you are directed