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Doc. 18.--correspondence between Maj. Anderson and Gov. Pickens.

To His Excellency the Governor of South Carolina:
Sir: Two of your batteries fired this morning on an unarmed vessel bearing the flag of my Government. As I have not been notified that war has been declared by South Carolina against the United States, I cannot but think this a hostile act, committed without your sanction or authority. Under that hope I refrain from opening a fire on your batteries. I have the honor, therefore, respectfully to ask whether the above-mentioned act--one which I believe without parallel in the history of our country or any other civilized Government — was committed in obedience to your instructions, and notify you, if it is not disclaimed, that I regard it as an act of war, and I shall not, after reasonable time for the return of my messenger, permit any vessel to pass within the range of the guns of my fort. In order to save, as far as it is in my power, the shedding of blood, I beg you will take due notification of my decision for the good of all concerned,--hoping, however, your answer may justify a further continuance of forbearance on my part.

I remain, respectfully,

Gov. Pickens' reply.

Gov. Pickens, after stating the position of South Carolina towards the United States, says that any attempt to send United States troops into Charleston harbor, to reinforce the forts, would be regarded as an act of hostility; and in conclusion adds, that any attempt to reinforce the troops at Fort Sumter, or to retake and resume possession of the forts within the waters of South Carolina, which Major Anderson abandoned, after spiking the cannon and doing other damage, cannot but be regarded by the authorities of the State as indicative of any other purpose than the coercion of the State by the armed force of the Government; special agents, therefore, have been off the bar to warn approaching vessels, armed and unarmed, having troops to reinforce Fort Sumter aboard, not to enter the harbor. Special orders have been given the commanders at the forts not to fire on such vessels until a shot across their bows should warn them of the prohibition of the State. Under these circumstances the Star of the West, it is understood, this morning attempted to enter the harbor with troops, after having been notified she could not enter, and consequently she was fired into. This act is perfectly justified by me.

In regard to your threat about vessels in the harbor, it is only necessary for me to say, you must be the judge of your responsibility. Your position in the harbor has been tolerated by the authorities of the State, and while the act of which you complain is in perfect consistency with the rights and duties of the State, it is not perceived how far the conduct you propose to adopt can find a parallel in the his. tory of any country, or be reconciled with any other purpose than that of your Government imposing on the State the condition of a conquered province.

Second communication from Major Anderson.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication, and say, that under the circumstances I have deemed it proper to refer the whole matter to my Government, and intend deferring the course I indicated in my note this morning until the arrival from Washington of such instructions as I may receive.

I have the honor also to express the hope that no obstructions will be placed in the way, and that you will do me the favor of giving every facility for the departure and return of the bearer, Lieut. T. Talbot, who is directed to make the journey.

Attack on the Star of the West.

“About half-past 6 o'clock yesterday (Wednesday) morning, the steamer General Clinch discovered the steamship Star of the West and signalled the fact of her approach to the occupants of the battery on Morris Island. As soon as the signals were seen by those on guard there, Morris Island was astir with men at their posts before the orders could be given them to prepare for action. They remained in anxious suspense, but ready for what they believed was sure to come, a volley from Fort Sumter. The Star of the West rounded the point, took the ship channel inside the bar, and proceeded straight forward until opposite Morris Island, about three-quarters of a mile from the battery. A ball was then fired athwart the bows of the steamer. The Star of the West displayed the stars and stripes. As soon as the flag was unfurled the fortification fired a succession of shots. The vessel coutinued on her course with increased speed; but two shots taking effect upon her, she concluded to retire. Fort Moultrie fired a few shots at her, but she was out of their range. The damage done to the Star of the West is trifling, as only two out of seventeen shots took effect upon her. Fort Sumter made no demonstration, except at the port-holes, where the guns were run out bearing on Morris Island.” --Charleston Courier, Jan. 10.

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