Headquarters, Prov. Forces,
Charleston, S. C, U. S. A., April 6, 1861.
The following general instructions are issued for the government of commanders of batteries, and will be furnished by them to captains of batteries under their command.
I. Should Fort Sumter at any time fire upon the works on Morris, James, or Sullivan's islands, or on any vessel or steamer in the service of or friendly to the Confederate States, this act of aggression will be the signal for the commencement of hostilities; the mortar, enfilade and other batteries of the harbor bearing on Fort Sumter will immediately open their fire upon it, with a view, first, to dismount as many of the guns as possible, and then to effect a breach, if practicable. Great care should be taken not to fire rapidly, but accurately.
The order to fire slowly but surely should be strictly enforced. There must be no waste of powder, shot or shells, the object being to worry out the garrison, if practicable.
II. The mortar batteries will continue their firing day and night at the rate, collectively, in the daytime, of one shell every two minutes, and at night of one every ten minutes. There being sixteen mortars in position (four at Fort Johnson, two near the Moultrie House, two near Sullivan's Island point, two at Mount Pleasant, and six at Cummings Point), each mortar will be fired every thirty-two minutes in the first case, and once every two hours and forty minutes in the second.
III. The batteries opposite to each other will endeavor to fire in succession in relative proportion to their armaments, and so as to cause their shells to explode sometimes immediately over and within Fort Sumter, and at other times on its parade or interior ground. The firing, having been commenced by the Moultrie House mortar battery (Captain Butler), will be continued in the following order: first by the Fort Johnson (Captain James), in the proportion of two shells from the latter to one from the former; then by Cummings Point mortar batteries (Major Stevens and Captain King), followed by Sullivan's Island point mortar battery (Captain Hallonquist), and then last by the Mount Pleasant mortar battery (Captain Martin), in the proportion of three shells from the Cummings Point mortar battery to one from each of the two batteries.
IV. Commanders of batteries to make application for additional ammunition.
V. Lights carefully placed, and batteries to open on Sumter at the signal.
SOURCE: Samuel Wylie Crawford, The Genesis of the Civil War: The Story of Sumter, 1860-1861, p. 464-5.