CONGRESS, February 22, 1861.
Mr. Bartow, from the Committee on Military Affairs, reported the following resolution, which was adopted, viz:
Resolved, That the President of the Confederate States be requested to communicate, in such manner as he may deem expedient, to the governors of South Carolina and Florida the resolution of Congress concerning Forts Sumter and Pickens.
[Copy of the resolution above referred to.]
RESOLUTION in relation to the occupation of Forts Sumter and Pickens.
Resolved by the Confederate States of America in Congress assembled. That it is the sense of this Congress that immediate steps should be taken to obtain possession of Forts Sumter and Pickens, by the authority of this Government, either by negotiations or force, as early as practicable, and that the President is hereby authorized to make all necessary military preparations for carrying this resolution into effect.*
Passed February 15, 1861.
MONTGOMERY, ALA., February 23, 1861.
Major W. H. C. WHITING:
MY DEAR SIR: You will proceed to Charleston and deliver the note addressed to Governor Pickens, which you will find herewith inclosed. After conferring with him as to the time and mode of visiting the different posts in Charleston Bay, you will enter upon a reconnaissance of the harbor of Charleston and its approaches. You will inspect the various works in our possession and gain such knowledge as circumstances will permit of Fort Sumter. In inspecting the works of the Confederate States you will bear in mind the double relation they may have as works of offense and of defense. You will make an inventory of the armament and of the munitions at the forts and in store, noting particularly the different qualities of cannon powder, as indicated by grain. Generally, I desire you to perform all the duties which devolve upon an engineer charged with the examination of works, and the preparation for active operations under circumstances such as those of Charleston, in this emergency.
Very respectfully, truly, yours,
STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
Charleston, S. C., February 27, 1861.
The PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES, & C.,
DEAR SIR: I received your dated the 22nd instant by Colonel Lucas, inclosing the resolution of Congress expressly taking charge of the military operations in the harbor of Charleston.+ I have the fullest confidence that you and Congress will do everything that may be due to the honor and the rights of South Carolina.
Of course we feel that our honor and safety require that Fort Sumter should be in our possession at the very earliest moment possible. We have had great difficulties to contend with. By the extraordinary move
* Communicated to governor of South Carolina under date of February 22, but letter of transmittal not found. See Governor Pickens' letter of February 27, 1861, p. 258.
+ Resolutions approved February 15 and 22. See under last date.