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[213] command of Colonel Harvey Brown, supplying him with men and material, and cooperating with him as he may desire.

Abraham Lincoln. A true copy. M. C. Meigs, Captain of Engineers, Chief Engineer of said Expedition.


Washington City, April 2, 1861.
sir: Circumstances render it necessary to place in command of your ship (and for a special purpose) an officer who is fully informed and instructed in relation to the wishes of the Government, and you will therefore consider yourself detached. But in taking this step, the Government does not in the least reflect upon your efficiency or patriotism; on the contrary, have the fullest confidence in your ability to perform any duty required of you. Hoping soon to be able to give you a better command than the one you now enjoy, and trusting that you will have full confidence in the disposition of the Government toward you,

I remain, etc.,

Abraham Lincoln. Captain S. Mercer, United States Navy. A true copy. M. C. Meigs, Captain of Engineers, Chief Engineer of Expedition of Colonel Brown.

War Department, Adjutant-General's office, Wednesday, April 4, 1861.
sir: By direction of the War Department, you will charter such vessels as Captain G. V. Fox, the bearer of this, may designate, for such times and with such supplies as he may indicate.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. Thomas, Adjutant-General. Colonel D. D. Tompkins, Assistant Quartermaster-General, New-York, N. Y.


Headquarters of the army, Washington, April 4, 1861.
sir: This letter will be handed to you by Captain G. V. Fox, ex-officer of the navy, and a gentleman of high standing, as well as possessed of extraordinary nautical ability. He is charged by high authority here with the command of an expedition (under cover of certain ships of war) whose object is to reinforce Fort Sumter. To embark with Captain Fox, you will cause a detachment of recruits, say about two hundred, to be immediately organized at Fort Columbus, with a competent number of officers, army ammunition, and subsistence; a large surplus of the latter, indeed, as great as the vessels of the expedition will take, with other necessaries, will be needed for the augmented garrison of Fort Sumter. The subsistence and other supplies should be assorted like those which were provided by you and Captain Ward, of the navy, for a former expedition.

Consult Captain Fox and Major Eaton on the subject, and give all necessary orders, in my name, to fit out the expedition, except that the hiring the vessels will be left to others.

Some fuel must be shipped. Oil, artillery implements, fuses, cordage, slow match, mechanical levers, and guns, etc., etc., should also be put on board.

Consult also, if necessary, (confidentially,) Colonel Tompkins and Major Thornton.

Respectfully yours,

War Department, Washington, April 4, 1861.
sir: It having been decided to succor Fort Sumter, you have been selected for this important duty. Accordingly, you will take charge of the transports in New-York having the troops and supplies on board to the entrance of Charleston harbor, and endeavor, in the first instance, to deliver the subsistence. If you are opposed in this, you are directed to report the fact to the senior naval officer off the harbor, who will be instructed by the Secretary of the Navy to use his entire force to open a passage, when you will, if possible, effect an entrance and place both the troops and supplies in Fort Sumter.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Navy Department, April 5, 1861.
Captain Samuel Mercer, Commanding United States Steamer Powhatan, New-York:
the United States steamers Powhatan, Pawnee, Pocahontas, and Harriet Lane will compose a naval force under your command, to be sent to the vicinity of Charleston, S. C., for the purpose of aiding in carrying out the objects of an expedition of which the War Department has charge.

The primary object of the expedition is to provision Fort Sumter, for which purpose the War Department will furnish the necessary transports. Should the authorities of Charleston permit the Fort to be supplied, no further particular service will be required of the force under your command; and after being satisfied that supplies have been received at the Fort, the Powhatan, Pocahontas, and Harriet Lane will return to New-York, and the Pawnee to Washington.

Should the authorities at Charleston, however, refuse to permit, or attempt to prevent the vessel or vessels having supplies on board from entering the harbor, or from peaceably proceeding to Fort Sumter, you will protect the transports or boats of the expedition in the object of their mission, disposing of your force in such manner as to open the way for their ingress, and afford, so far as practicable, security to the men and boats, and repelling by force, if necessary, all obstructions toward provisioning the Fort and reenforcing it; for in case of a resistance to the peaceable primary object of the expedition, a reinforcement of the garrison will also be attempted. These purposes will be under the supervision of the War Department, which has charge of the expedition. The expedition has been intrusted to Captain G. V. Fox, with whom you will put yourself in communication and cooperate with him to accomplish and carry into effect its object.

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