War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0288 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.

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Honorable A. G. MAGRATH, Charleston, S. C.:

Final order still reserved. No decision reached in council yesterday, though six for withdrawal and one against.

Is it true your people will oppose voluntary withdrawal and demand capitulation? If so, friends of peace here are powerless.



Montgomery, April 6, 1861.

Brigadier General G. T. BEAUREGARD,

Commanding Charleston Harbor, Charleston, S. C.:

SIR: Your letter of the 4th instant has been received. In reply to your inquiry as to Major Anderson's mails, I have to say that the policy of the Government is most decided that there shall be such a surveillance of Charleston Harbor and of Fort Sumter as shall assure this Government that the latter is, for all military purposes, entirely isolated. The courtesies which have been accorded to the commander of that fortress have been, in the opinion of this Department, taken advantage of in some cases by persons whose object in visiting Fort Sumter was chiefly to obtain information of the state of our defenses, to be communicated to the Government at Washington. Acting, then, on the leading ideas that the military isolation of Fort Sumter and the prevention of all possible espionage by the Washington Government are absolutely required, you are directed, while allowing Major Anderson to receive his mails, to exercise such instructive discretion as will secure the ends in view.

Minute instructions, covering every possible case, cannot, of course, be given you, but you are directed to exclude possibility of the admission of any one who may be sent by or be favorable to the Government at Washington, always excepting such messenger or bearer of dispatches from that Government as you may be fully

assured shall be conveying orders for the surrender or evacuation of the fortress.

You are specifically instructed to permit no one of the persons now in Fort Sumter to depart therefrom; and to secure absolute compliance with this requirement you will use the utmost vigilance and apply all the means at your command. And in this connection the Department would ask your attention to a telegraphic statement generally published under date of "April 4th," to the effect that Lieutenant Talbot, an officer of the garrison of Fort Sumter, had been allowed to depart therefrom. As this is in apparent conflict with thee instructions communicated to you by telegraph, the Department presumes that there were special reasons, affecting the public interest, which, in your judgment, made the case properly exceptional, and I shall therefore be pleased to be made acquainted with the circumstances.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


[APRIL 8, 1861.]

AN ORDNANCE to transfer to the Government of the Confederate States of America the use and occupancy of the forts, arsenals, navy-yards, custom-houses, and other public sites within the limits of this State.

We, the people of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do ordain and declare, and it is hereby ordained and declared by the authority of the same, that the Government of the Confederate States of America is