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[424] in the harbor of Charleston, the President directs me to say that everything will be done that may be due to the honor and rights of South Carolina.

The President shares the feeling expressed by you, that Fort Sumter should be in our possession at the earliest moment possible. But this feeling, natural and just as it is admitted to be, must yield to the necessity of the case. Thorough preparation must be made before an attack is attempted, for the first blow must be successful, both for its moral and physical consequences, or otherwise the result might be disastrous to your State in the loss of many of those whom we can least afford to spare. A failure would demoralize our people, and injuriously affect us in the opinion of the world, as reckless and precipitate . . . Under the fourth section of an Act of Congress to raise Provisional Forces for the Confederate States of America, and for other purposes, a copy of which I have the honor to enclose in another communication of this date, the President has appointed Peter G. T. Beauregard brigadier-General, to command the Provisional Forces of this government in the harbor of Charleston. General Beauregard will be accompanied by an Adjutant, whose duty it will be to receive into the Provisional army, with their officers, under the provisions of the act aforesaid, the forces of your State now in Charleston.

General Beauregard has the entire confidence of the President and of this department, and I beg to commend him as possessing every soldierly quality.

I have the honor to be, with high regard, your obedient servant,

L. P. Walker, Sec. of War.

War Department, C. S. A., Montgomery, March 1st, 1861.
Brig.Genl. P. G. T. Beauregard:
Sir,—You will proceed without delay to Charleston, and report to Governor Pickens for military duty in that State.

You are authorized, by your appointment as Brigadier-General, under the provisions of the third section of an Act of the Congress to raise Provisional Forces for the Confederate States, to receive into the service of this government such forces as may be tendered or may volunteer, not to exceed five thousand men, as you may require, or for whom you can make suitable provision. A copy of the Act referred to has been this day transmitted to Governor Pickens.

You will report to this department your arrival at Charleston, and give such information, with respect to the defences of that harbor, as you may consider important. You will also secure, if possible, the services of a competent Adjutant, and report your action, in that behalf, to this department.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. P. Walker, Sec. of War.


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