[FEBRUARY 7, 1861.]
Governor PICKENS, Charleston, S. C.:
Can my voice reach you? If so, do not attack Fort Sumter. You know my sincerity. The Virginia delegation here earnestly unite.
[WASHINGTON], Saturday, February 9, 1861.
Gov. F. W. PICKENS, Charleston, S. C.:
The President says the letter to Colonel Hayne was designed to be both respectful and kind; that he read it, so considered it, and if it seemed otherwise he deeply regrets it.
The President desired me to say this to you. He complained much of Colonel Hayne's last letter, as Mr. Holt in his letter had no unkind intention, but the contrary. He manifested great solicitude on this point.
Will you give me an assurance that no attack will be made on Fort Sumter by South Carolina, provided the President will give a like assurance and pledge that no re-enforcement shall be furnished or attempted by the Government here?
FEBRUARY 12, 1861.
Numbers 5. - A RESOLUTION in relation to the occupation of the forts and arsenals, & c.
Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America. That this Government takes under its charge the questions and difficulties now existing between the several States of this Confederacy and the Government of the United States of America, relating to the occupation of forts, arsenals, navy-yards, and other public establishments; and that the President of the Congress be directed to communicate this resolution to the several States of this Confederacy, through the respective governors thereof.
Adopted February 12, 1861.
HEADQUARTERS, CHARLESTON, S. C.,
February 13, 1861.
Honorable HOWELL COBB,
President of the Provisional Congress:
SIR: I had the honor last night to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram, in which you informed me that the Provisional Congress had taken charge of the "questions and difficulties" now existing between the several States of the Confederacy and the Government of the United States.* In the reply made to you by telegraph I stated that I would communicate with you by letter, and added to it the expression of the urgent conviction of the authorities of the State as to the period in which the reduction of Fort Sumter should be complete. And, in the first place, let me offer you my warm congratulations upon the success which has attended you in the organization of the Provisional Government. May it be equal to the emergency of every occasion which can arise, and be to each State in this new confederation the efficient guardian of those rights, which, ignored or usurped under the former confederation, has united these States in the bonds of a new political compact.
In taking charge of the "questions and difficulties" which relate to Fort Sumter, it will be necessary for the Congress to apprehend rightly their present position. The force of circumstances devolved upon this
* See resolution, adopted February 12, p. 254.