Lieutenant General Scott: Executive Mansion, March 9, 1861.
My dear Sir: On the 5th inst. I received from the Hon. Joseph Holt, the then faithful and vigilant Secretary of War, a letter of that date, inclosing a letter and accompanying documents received by him on the 4th inst. from Major Robert Anderson commanding at Fort Sumpter [Sumter] South Carolina; and copies of all which I now transmit. Immediately on the receipt of them by me, I transmitted the whole to you for your consideration; and the same day you returned the package to me with your opinion endorsed upon it, a copy of which opinion I now also transmit to you. Learning from you verbally that since then you have given the subject a more full and thorough consideration, you will much oblige me by giving answers, in writing, to the following interrogatories:
1st To what point of time can Major Anderson maintain his position at Fort Sumpter [Sumter], without fresh supplies or reinforcement?
2d. Can you, with all the means now in your control, supply or re-inforce Fort Sumpter [Sumter] within that time?
3d If not, what amount of means and of what description, in addition to that already at your control, would enable you to supply and reinforce that fortress within the time?
Please answer these, adding such statements, information, and counsel as your great skill and experience may suggest. Your obedient Servant A. LINCOLN.