Charleston, April 12

The ball has opened.  War is inaugurated.

The batteries of Sullivan’s Island, Morris Island, and other points, were opened on Fort Sumter at four o’clock this morning.  Fort Sumter has returned the fire, and a brisk cannonading has been kept up all day.

The firing has continued all day without intermission.

Two of Fort Sumter’s guns have been silenced, and it is reported that a breach has been made in the south-east wall.

The answer to Gen. Beauregard’s demand by Major Anderson, was that he would surrender when his supplies were exhausted, that is if he was not reinforced.

Not a casualty has yet happened to any of the forces.

The Floating Battery and Stephen’s Battery are operating freely, and Fort Sumter is returning the fire.

It is reported that three war vessels are outside the bar.

The firing has ceased for the night, but will be renewed at daylight in the morning, unless an attempt is made to reinforce, which ample arrangements have been made to repel.

The Pawnee, Harriet Lane, and a third steamer (Powhatan) are reported off the bar.

The bombardment is still going on every twenty minutes from mortars.  It is supposed that Major Anderson is resting his men for the night.

The vessels-of-war outside cannot get in.  The sea is rough.

As reported by The Constitution, April 17, 1861 (v. 24, no. 1216)