to what food was left, and the officers in command of the batteries were directed not to unnecessarily expose their men. Outside the fort, steamers, large and small, were plying in every direction.
The buoy which marked the turn in the harbor from the main channel, and, which alone had been suffered to remain, was taken up at about five o'clock in the afternoon.
Its place was supplied by three hulks loaded with combustible material, the evident object of which was to light the channel should the fleet, whose arrival was now hourly anticipated, attempt to enter by night.
They were anchored directly under the guns of Fort Moultrie
In this state of preparation the night of the 11th of April closed upon the harbor.
Toward midnight the officers of the garrison were aroused by the report of the officer of the day, that a boat under a white flag had arrived, and that two messengers from the Confederate
authorities had again come to the work.
It was now one and a half o'clock in the morning, when the aides of the military commandant of the Confederate forces, accompanied by Colonel Chisholm
and Mr. Roger A. Pryor
, of Virginia
, entered the work.
They bore a letter from Brigadier General Beaureguard
, commanding Provisional Army Confederate States of America
, to Major Anderson
, to the effect, that in consequence of the verbal observation made to his aides in relation to the condition of his supplies, and that he would soon be starved out, he had communicated the same to his government.
The proposition was then made to him, that if he would state the time at which he would evacuate the fort, and that meanwhile he would agree not to use his guns against the Confederate forces unless theirs should be employed against Fort Sumter
, General Beaureguard
would abstain from opening fire upon him, and that his aides were authorized to enter into such an arrangement.
Again the officers of the garrison were assembled in consultation, and a long deliberation followed.
The question which engaged the most serious consideration was in regard to the provisions in the fort, and how far the men, who were now without sufficient or proper food, could be relied upon for resistance.
The bread supplies of the garrison were exhausted; nothing remained but short rations of pork and coffee.
Still it was earnestly desired that the utmost expectations of the government should be realized, and it was determined to hold out to the period desired by them, the 15th instant.
It was agreed that the terms proposed, which would tie the hands of the garrison and neutralize its fire, could not be acceded to, and a reply to the following effect was made by Major Anderson
: “That if provided with proper means he would evacuate the fort at noon on the ”