Monday, October 24, 2016

Captain John G. Foster to Brevet Brigadier-General Joseph G. Totten, April 8, 1861

Fort Sumter, S. C. April 8, 1861.
General Joseph G. Totten,
Chief Engineer U. S. Army, Washington, D. C:

General: The increased activity and vigilance of the investing force, as reported yesterday, still continues. Three large traverses are nearly completed on the front, from battery Nos. 3 to 5, on Morris Island, and traverses are also being erected in the interior of battery No. 5. Additions of sand-bags are being made to the covering of the magazine, between Nos. 2 and 3, and to the left flank of No. 1, where I think they are constructing a service magazine.

I am busily at work constructing splinter-proof shelters on the terreplein. I obtain timber by taking the gun-carriages to pieces, and form the covering of the 2-inch iron pieces for embrasures, as seen below. The plates are spiked on, so as to be securely retained in their places, even if struck by a shell, which I am confident it will turn.

Our supplies are entirely cut off from the city, and those on hand are very limited.

The besieging forces worked all day yesterday, whenever the intervals between the showers of rain would allow.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. G. Foster, Captain Engineers.

P. S. — I received yesterday a letter from the Secretary of War to Major Anderson, which, by mistake, had been enveloped to me. I handed it to Major Anderson without reading.

Respectfully, &c.,
J. G. Foster, Captain Engineers.

SOURCES: Samuel Wylie Crawford, The Genesis of the Civil War: The Story of Sumter, 1860-1861, p. 385-6

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