[MARCH 20, 1861.]
General BEAUREGARD, Commanding:
Has Sumter been evacuated? Any action by Anderson indicating it?
WASHINGTON, March 20, 1861.
John. R. TOOMBS, Montgomery, Ala.:
You have not heard from us because there is no change. If there is faith in man we may rely on the assurances we have as to the status. Time is essential to a peaceful issue of this mission. In the present posture of affairs precipitation is war. We are all agreed.
WAR DEPARTMENT, A. G. O.,
Montgomery, March 20, 1861.
Brigadier General PETER G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Commanding Forces Charleston Army, Charleston, S. C.:
SIR: The governor of South Carolina has, in a written communication, strongly urged the propriety and necessity of enlarging your command, and extending it so as to embrace the coast of South Carolina, say from Beaufort to Georgetown. After a careful consideration of the subject the Secretary of War has concluded to conform to the earnest recommendation of his excellency, with the full understanding, however, that in thus extending the limits of your command no risk is to be incurred by your temporary absence from the harbor of Charleston at any critical moment, and that your first duty will be to give your personal attention to the defense of that harbor. The Secretary desires, therefore, that you will confer with his excellency and be governed by these instructions.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
Engineer Bureau, Charleston, S. C., March 20, 1861.
General D. F. JAMISON, Secretary of War:
GENERAL: The mortar battery at Fort Johnson, on the beach, has been completed. The battery on the elevated ground has all been completed, with the exception of the bomb-proof magazines in connection therewith.
On Morris Island Captain Lee reports that there have been mounted on the channel two Dahlgrens, three columbiads, two sea-coast howitzers, and two 24-pounders. This is the only report I have received from him in the last four days, and furnished but a very imperfect idea of what has been done, or the condition of the new batteries on Morris Island. Before these batteries had been commenced there were mounted on the channel seven 24-pounders, two howitzers, and two Dahlgren guns.