Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard arrived in Charleston in early March 1861 to inspect the fortifications that South Carolinians had built surrounding the harbor. He sent a report to Confederate Secretary of War Gen. L.P. Walker on March 6 saying there were plenty of cannons, but they weren’t all mounted correctly or aimed in the right manner.
Beauregard asked that engineers be sent to Charleston to remedy those flaws, preferably in a hurry to prevent the Union from resupplying Fort Sumter.
“I am of the opinion that, if Sumter was properly garrisoned and armed, it would be a perfect Gibraltar to anything but constant shelling, night and day, from the four points of the compass. As it is, the weakness of (Fort Sumter) constitutes our greatest advantage, and we must, for the present, turn our attention to preventing it from being re-enforced.”