be permitted to leave the fort until the command was withdrawn, in consequence of a dispatch from Commissioner Crawford, at Washington, to the effect that "I am authorized to say that this Government will not undertake to supply Fort Sumter without notice to you [Governor Pickens]. My opinion is that the President has not the courage to execute the order agreed on in Cabinet for the evacuation of the fort, but that he intends to shift the responsibility upon Major Anderson by suffering him to be starved out"; and that no more supplies for the fort could come from the city. Third, that more stringent orders would be given to regulate the firing from the batteries and to restrict random firing, not, however, changing in the least the order to fire on any vessel attempting to force her way in after being warned off. Fourth, disclaiming any knowledge of the revenue cutter so near the walls, and expressing a determination to investigate the subject.
In returning from the city Lieutenant Snyder called for the mail at Fort Johnson, where he also took on board a small supply of beef and cabbages, which had come from the city the day before, too late for our boat. Soon after the return of the boat from town, the cutter moved her anchorage to a position about four hundred yards from the left shoulder angle. My force is now at work putting up splinter-proof traverses on the terre-plein.
My supplies of provisions that I laid in before the commencement of the investment were yesterday reduced to one half-barrel of cornmeal, one-seventh barrel of grits, and eleven codfish. Everything else that is necessary for the support of the Engineer force is drawn from the scanty stores of the command.
There appears to be no unusual activity in the surrounding batteries, owing, perhaps, to a high wind which has prevailed for three days.
I inclose a sketch of the batteries and number of guns, based upon the observations of Lieutenant Snyder. Captain Talbot can give you any detailed information that may be required.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
[Inclosure on next page.]