War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0292 OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, S. C. Chapter I.

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Headquarters, April 9, 1861.


MY DEAR SIR: I send by the bearer important dispatches to the Secretary of War, and beg to call your immediate attention to them. The bearer is Colonel Hayne, an aide of mine, and will return immediately to me. If you have anything particular to General Beauregard or myself, you can trust it to him, and he will bring it back immediately. Since I inclosed the dispatch to the Secretary of War Major Anderson has written a polite note to General Beauregard, requesting that the letters taken from the mail might be returned, as he had been notified that his mails would be stopped entirely. The general returned for answer that the private letters had been sent to their destination, but the official letters were sent to the Confederate Government, because rumors, well established, indicated that Mr. Fox had violated his faith to me in visiting the fort, under the guarantee of Captain Hartstene, who went with him. The pledge was that he visited Major Anderson by authority, for pacific purposes entirely. You see that the present scheme for supplying the fort is Mr. Fox's. It is thought that the attempt will be made to-night, and we have doubled our steamboats on the harbor and bar.

Since I wrote to the War Department we have increased the forces on Morris Island to two thousand one hundred men, and ten companies of fine men arrive to-night, in the next train, of eight hundred men, and two more regiments arrive to-morrow. We hope to have about six thousand men there on the harbor batteries and posts. I trust we are ready, and if they come we will give them a cordial reception, such as will ring through this country, I think. I hope we are not mistaken; but, at any rate, we will try and do our duty.

With great esteem, yours, very truly,



Headquarters, April 9, 1861.

Honorable Mr. WALKER, Secretary of War:

SIR: At the request of General Beauregard I inclose the within. I took possession of the mails this morning from Sumter, and retained the packages marked "official." These are all sent you. The private letters are all sent, as directed, to their owners. I did this because I consider a state of war is now inaugurated by the authorities at Washington, and all information of a public nature was necessary to us. The mails and all intercourse of any kind with Sumter are now forbidden, and I immediately refused Captain Talbot any interview with Major Anderson, and also his request to be restored to his command in the fort. I called in General Beauregard, and made Captain Talbot and Mr. Chew repeat in his presence what they had said and what the former desired as to Sumter, and General Beauregard entirely and immediately concurred.

You will see by these letters of Major Anderson how it is intended to supply the fort; but by God's providence we will, I trust, be prepared for them; and if they approach with war vessels also, I think you will hear of as bloody a fight as ever occurred. We now have three thousand seven hundred men at the different posts and batteries, and will have by to-morrow three thousand more, which I have called down. From my calculation, I think they will have about two thousand six