a palliating circumstances that this company to which this officer is attached had just reported to take the place of Captain Mathewes' artillery, and had not become familiarized with the duties and orders of the post.
I would also state that, however erroneous may have been the officer's judgment in the case, yet I believe his action was prompted by the best motives, and although under a wrong impression, he thought that he was performing his duty.
The sentinel who made the false report was punished and the officer would have been arrested, but an order was received on the morning of the 4th instant rendering it necessary to send a portion of his company to take charge of Battery Cheves, as Captain Billopp had been ordered away. There being but 2 officers with Company A, Lieutenant Halsey was obliged to be kept on duty.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. G. FLEMING,
Captain, Commanding Artillery.
James Island, January 7, 1864.
Major HENRY BRYAN,
MAJOR: I respectfully beg leave to report that I was in charge of the battery at Fort Johnson on the night of the 3rd instant which opened upon Sumter. My reasons for opening were that I firmly believed the fort was attacked by the enemy. I was aware that our boats were at the fort, and trailed my guns to the right to avoid striking them.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
M. P. HALSEY,
Second Lieutenant Company A, Second Artillery.
ROYALL'S HOUSE, January 8, 1864.
GENERAL: Captain Behre, post commissary, reports that the meat rations at his depot have totally failed, and that the commissary (Major Molloy) in Charleston informs him that he cannot be supplied to-morrow, and does not know when he will be able to do so.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF S. CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., January 8, 1864.
Major H. C. GUERIN,
Chief of Subsistence, Charleston, S. C.:
MAJOR: The commanding general has read your indorsement of the 7th instant on the statements of subsistence on hand in the First Military District, and I am instructed to say is unable to give his assent to your statement that there has been a virtual suspension of