HEADQUARTERS, April 30, 1861.
Colonel J. DIMICK, U. S. A.,
Commanding Fort Monroe, Old Point Comfort, Va.:
COLONEL; Your letter of the 28th instant* was received this morning, and Colonel Keyes' notes of the 22nd* are also before the General, who directs me to give you a statement of the measures known to have been taken to strengthen your command. Ex-Governor Boutwell, of Massachusetts, states that the steamer Cambridge will sail this day from Boston with about 350 volunteers, to complete one of the regiments now at Fort Monroe. The same vessel will take one month's rations for 4,000 men, and camp equipage for the massachusetts troops. It is known that you have already a large amount of army subsistence stores now on hand; the General therefore desires that you continue the charter of the Cambridge, or make a new one, so as to send her here with such of the Massachusetts supplies and camp equipage as are not necessary at Fort Monroe, that the Massachusetts troops here may have the advantage of them.
Your several requisitions have been acted on as soon as received, and the supplies have been ordered, and in some cases increased. Fourteen 10-inch columbiad barbette carriages have been ordered to be sent forth with from Waterntown Arsenal; and, if possible, twelve 8-inch columbiad barbette and twenty-eight 42-pounder barbette carriages will be sent from Washington Arsenal to-day. Captain Dyer reports that he will soon have ready several 8-inch iron gun-carriages, which of course are at your disposal. If powder and cartridges have not already been ordered from New York, they will be furnished as soon as possible. There is no ordnance officer who can be ordered to report to you.
The Secretary of War has been urged to procure from the navy Department an armed steamer, to insure your supply of water and to guard the approaches from Hampton.
The Quartermaster-General ordered camp equipage, bed-sacks, spades, axes, &c., the 19th April, from Philadelphia.
The Engineer Department ordered from New York, by steamer, the 24th instant, all the supplies required by Colonel De Russy, with additions, including a large number of sand bags. There should now be three Engineer officers, at Fort Monroe, who can certainly secure the magazine and other works against any such batteries as you apprehend may be erected.
The General-in-Chief directs me to say, in conclusion, that he believes all the supplies you have required are either now at Fort Monroe or will very soon be landed there; and he is satisfied that with the force-soon to be increased from Boston-and means at your command, Fort Monroe is by far the most secure post now in possession of the United States against any attack that can possibly be made upon it, independent of the war vessels, the Cumberland and the Niagara, at hand and approaching you.
I am, &c.,
E. D. TOWNSEND, A. A. G.
P. S.-The General says, beg the commander of the naval forces to do his best to prevent the erection of batteries within reach of Fort Monroe.
E. D. T.