South was countermanded on the same day. On investigation it was satisfactorily ascertained that the fortifications in question were not at all in a condition to receive their armament, nor will they probably be for several years to come. This will more fully appear from the letter of General Totten, in charge of the Engineer Department, which accompanies this communication.* The heavy guns referred to, amounting to 124 in number, were not manufactured for the forts to which they had been ordered to be forwarded, nor had they been purchased by any special appropriation for the erecting or arming of these forts. As they would have been entirely useless at the pints for which, under the order of shipment, they were destined, and as their transportation through the country could not have failed to increase the feverish agitation and apprehension already so unhappily prevalent, I did not hesitate, when the matter was borough to my notice, to direct their return to the arsenal.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Secretary of War ad interim.
WASHINGTON, January 11, 1861.
Honorable J. HOLT, Secretary of War:
SIR: Will you have the goodness to furnish me, for the information of the Committee on Military Affairs, with a statement of the distribution of arms from the armories of the United States to the u. S. arsenals, and other places of deposit for safe-keeping, from the 1st day of January, A. D. 1860, to the 1st of January, A. D. 1861, showing the number sent form each armory to each arsenal, or other place of deposit, and the time when each parcel was sent; also whether any portion of the arms so distributed have been taken from the custody and control of the officers or persons charged with heir custody or safe- keeping, and, if so, when and by whom they have been so taken. An early reply will very much oblige,
Chairman Committee on Military Affairs.
BOSTON, January 12, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to address you for the purpose fo communicating in my official capacity with yourself, as the commander fo the Army fo the United States, with a view to obtaining whatever advice or information may be deemed proper to be imparted to me bearing upon the preparation of Massachusetts to meet any demand for patriotic citizen soldiers ot assist you in maintaining the laws and the integrity of the country.
it is thought not unlikely that such contribution of men may be wanted, and should that be the case, Massachusetts, id duly admonished of it in advance, will respond with an alacrity and force which will meet your entire satisfaction. May I ask then, sir, to receive from you, or your entire satisfaction. May I ask then, sir, to receive from you, or your department, your views of what it is desirable to be done by us at this moment, and the probability there may be of our being wanted.
Our Legislative is now in session, and the committees formed to- day. I had an interview with the joint committee on the militia, nad can
*See Totten to Holt, next, ante.