Second letter of the Commissioners to the President.
Washington, D. C., Jan. 1, 1861.
Sir: We have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 30th December, in reply to a note addressed by us to you, on the 28th of the same month, as Commissioners from South Carolina.
In reference to the declaration with which your reply commences, that your position as President of the United States was already defined in the message to Congress of the 3d instant; that you possess no power to change the relations heretofore existing between South Carolina and the United States, much less to acknowledge the independence of that State, and that consequently you could meet us only as private gentlemen of the highest character, with an entire willingness to communicate to Congress any proposition we might have to make — we deem it only necessary to say that the State of South Carolina having, in the exercise of that great right of self-government which underlies all our polit
Doc. 62.--Lieut. Jones' official report.
Carlisle barracks, Pa., April 20, 1861. The Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Army, Washington, D. C.:
Sir: Immediately after finishing my despatch of the night of the 18th inst., I received positive and reliable information that 2,500 or 3,000 State troops would reach Harper's Ferry in two hours, from Winchester, and that the troops from Halltown, increased to 300, were advancing, and even at that time — a few minutes after 10 o'clock--within 20 minutes march of the Ferry.
Under these circumstances, I decided the time had arrived to carry out my determination, as expressed in the despatch above referred to, and accordingly gave the order to apply the torch.
In three minutes, or less, both of the Arsenal buildings, containing nearly 15,000 stand of arms, together with the carpenters' shop, which was at the upper end of a long and connected series of workshops of the Armory proper, were in a complete blaze.
There is every r