War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0264 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.

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at Pensacola? By this you will have the advantage of knowing the movements from this point before the Government officers at Pensacola.

We shall endeavor to get hold of movements as soon as possible, and to advise you. Of course we labor under great difficulties in procuring early intelligence.

There is a general concurrence in the opinion that if any attack is made on Sumter it should be by order of the Government of the Confederate States and not by South Carolina alone.

Very truly yours,


Will you please show this letter to the Honorable Mr. Perkins, Secretary of the Navy?

I fear the present Virginia Convention will not pass an ordinance of secession unless a collision or war ensues; then public feeling will force them to it. There is a majority of old Federal submissionists, who got in by pretending to be resistance men.


Charleston, S. C., March 6, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel R. S. RIPLEY,

Commanding Fort Moultrie, S. C.:

COLONEL: The general commanding desires that you send immediately to the five-gun battery, commanding Maffitt's Channel, two 32-pounders, with the necessary ammunition, as ordered yesterday, and have them mounted. Be on the lookout to-night for the Crusader, a four-gun brig, reported to be on her way with one hundred and twenty men for the re-enforcement of Fort Sumter.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, and Aide-de-Camp.


March 6, 1861.

Captain S. W. FERGUSON, Aide-de-Camp, Charleston S. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication (private and confidential) of this date. In reply, I have to state that I have no means at my disposal to send the 32-pounders from this post to the five-gun battery this evening, nor have I a gin to dismount or mount them. Moreover, I have not a single artificer to send to that battery, to build the traverses or pintle centers, some 290 indifferent artillerymen (74 of the 290 held in readiness for special service), 53 volunteers at the five-gun battery, and 318 helpless infantry recruits, almost without arms, without clothing, and totally and entirely unfit to meet the enemy, constituting all of my command. I will send the guns as soon as I can have the pintle centers and traverse circles in position; but, I imagine, the engineer in charge of the works is without the means to do the work required. Should the Crusadere, however, come in this direction to-night, I beg to suggest, if the guard-boats do their duty, that I can attend to her case with the force at my disposal, although inefficient at this post.