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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 1, Ch. IV–Confederate Correspondence.

THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION:
A COMPILATION OF THE
OFFICIAL RECORDS
OF THE
UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.

CHAPTER IV.
OPERATIONS IN FLORIDA.
January 6-August 31, 1861.
(Secession)
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CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE.

{p.442}

WASHINGTON, January 5, 1861.

JOSEPH FINEGAN, Esq., or Col. GEO. W. CALL [Tallahassee, Fla.]:

My DEAR SIR: The immediately important thing to be done is the occupation of the forts and arsenal in Florida. The naval station and forts at Pensacola are first in consequence. For this a force is necessary. I have conversed with Mr. Toombs upon the subject. He will start this week for Georgia, and says if the convention of sov’y [sovereignty] will ask Governor Brown, of Georgia, for a force he will immediately send on sufficient force and take the navy-yard and forts. The occupation of the navy-yard will give us a good supply of ordnance and make the capture of the forts easier. Major Chase built the forts and will know all about them. Lose no time, for, my opinion is, troops will be very soon dispatched to re-enforce and strengthen the forts in Florida. The arsenal at Chattahoochee should be looked to, and that at once, to prevent removal of arms.

I think that by 4th March all the Southern States will be out, except perhaps Kentucky and Missouri, and they will soon have to follow.

What is advisable is -the earliest possible organization of a Southern Confederacy and of a Southern Army.- The North is rapidly consolidating against us upon the plan of force. A strong Government, as eight States will make, promptly organized, and a -strong- Army, with Jeff. Davis for General-in-Chief, will bring them to a reasonable sense of the gravity of the crisis.

{p.443}

Have a Southern Government as soon as possible, adopting the present Federal Constitution for the time, and a Southern Army. I repeat this because it is the important policy.

Virginia, Maryland, and Tennessee are rapidly coming up to the work.

God speed you.

I shall give, the enemy a shot next week before retiring. I say enemy! Yes, I am theirs, and they are mine. I am willing to be their masters, but not their brothers.

Yours, in haste,

D. L. YULEE.

Lose no time about the navy-yard and forts at Pensacola.

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WASHINGTON, January 7, 1861.

JOSE, PH FINEGAN, Esq. [Tallahassee, Fla.]:

My DEAR SIR: On the other side [following] is a copy of resolutions adopted at a consultation of the Senators from the seceding States, in which Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, and Florida were present.

The idea of the meeting was that the States should go out at once, and provide for an early organization of a Confederate Government, not later than 15th February. This time is allowed to enable Louisiana and Texas to participate. It seemed to be the opinion that if we left here, force, loan, and volunteer bills might be passed, which would put Mr. Lincoln in immediate condition for hostilities; whereas by remaining in our places until the 4th March, it is thought we can keep the hands of Mr. Buchanan tied and disable the Republicans from effecting any legislation which will strengthen the hands of the incoming administration

The resolutions will be sent by the delegation to the president of the Convention. I have not been able to find Mr. Mallory this morning. Hawkins is in Connecticut. I have, therefore, thought it best to send you this copy of the resolution.

In haste, yours, truly,

D. L. YULEE.

(Resolutions accompanying Senator Yulee’s letter.*)

Resolved, 1. That in our opinion each of the Southern States should, as soon as may be, secede from the Union.

Resolved, 2. That provision should be made for a convention to organize, a Confederacy of the seceding States, the convention to meet not later than the 15th of February, at the city of Montgomery, in the State of Alabama.

Resolved, That in view of the hostile legislation that is threatened against the seceding States, and which may be, consummated before the {p.444} 4th of March, we ask instructions whether the delegations are to remain in Congress until that date for the purpose of defeating such legislation.

Resolved, That a committee be and are hereby appointed, consisting of Messrs. Davis, Slidell, and Mallory, to carry out the objects of this meeting.

* The copy of these resolutions forwarded by Senator Mallory January 6, 1861, to the president of the. Florida Convention, shows that they were adopted on the 5th of that month, and that they were signed by Messrs. Davis and Brown, of Mississippi; Hemphill and Wigfall, of Texas; Slidell and Benjamin, of Louisiana; Iverson and Toombs of Georgia; Johnson, of Arkansas; Clay, of Alabama; and Yulee and Mallory, of Florida.

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[STATE OF ALABAMA,] EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, January 8, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM M. BROOKS, President of the Convention of the State of Alabama:

In reply to a verbal communication from the body over which you preside, made by one of its members, I make the following statement:

My information in regard to Pensacola is that Governor Perry, of Florida, has informed me by dispatch that he has ordered the forts to be occupied by the troops of Florida and asks aid from Alabama.

The force at his command in West Florida is small and not sufficient to take and maintain the forts. Troops from Alabama could reach that point before the troops of East and Middle Florida. This fact, with the importance of the position to Alabama as well as to Florida, induces him to make the request, as I am informed. It is believed at Washington, in South Carolina, and Georgia, as I am advised from high sources, that it is not only the policy of the Federal Government to coerce the seceding States, but as soon as possible to put herself in position by re-enforcing all the forts in the States where secession is expected. I need not suggest the danger to Florida and Alabama that must result from permitting a strong force to get possession of these forts.

With sentiments of high consideration and respect,

A. B. MOORE.

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Private.]

[STATE OF FLORIDA,] EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, January 10, 1861.

ROD. JNO. C. McGEHEE, President of the Convention:

SIR: The inclosed dispatch has this morning reached me, and I hasten to transmit it through you to the Convention.

Very respectfully,

M. S. PERRY.

[Inclosure.]

(By telegraph from Washington, dated January 9, 1861.)

For Governor PERRY:

Federal troops are said to be moving, or to move, on the Pensacola forts. Every hour is important. Georgia and Alabama if called will aid in the work, we think. The two seaboard forts are vacant. Chase, at Pensacola, built and knows the works.

S. R. MALLORY. GEORGE S. HAWKINS. D. L. YULEE.

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WASHINGTON, January 10, 1861.

Maj. W. H. CHASE, Pensacola, Fla.:

All here look to you for Pickens and McRee.

S. R. M. [MALLORY.]

{p.446}

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WASHINGTON, January 18, 1861.

His Excellency Governor PERRY, Tallahassee, Fla.:

We think no assault should be made. The possession of the fort is not worth one drop of blood to us. Measures pending unite us in this opinion. Bloodshed now may be fatal to our cause.

JNO. SLIDELL. J. P. BENJAMIN. A. IVERSON. JNO. HEMPHILL. LOUIS T. WIGFALL. C. C. CLAY, JR. BEN. FITZPATRICK. JEFF. DAVIS. S. R. MALLORY.

We sent this to Chase to-day.

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WASHINGTON, January 19, 1861.

Gov. A. B. MOORE, Montgomery, Ala.:

Telegraph not to attack Fort Pickens. Florida Senators and friends think it unwise.

C. C. CLAY, JR. BEN. FITZPATRICK.

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WASHINGTON, January 20, 1861.

Gov. M. S. PERRY, Tallahassee, Fla.:

The Southern Senators all agree that no assault on Fort Pickens should be made; that the fort is not worth one drop of blood at this time, and desire us to invoke you to prevent bloodshed. First get the Southern Government in operation. The same advice has been given as to Charleston, and will no doubt be adopted there.

S. R. MALLORY. D. L. YULEE.

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EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Montgomery, Ala., January 28, 1861.

Hon. WM. M. BROOKS, President State Convention:

SIR: The following resolution has been handed me by the secretary of the Convention:

Resolved, That his excellency the governor be requested to communicate to this Convention forthwith any information he may have in reference to the propriety of withdrawing or continuing in service the troops now at Pensacola,

In answer to the foregoing resolution, I submit the following facts: On the 19th January the following dispatch was received by Colonel Chase at Pensacola, to wit:

WASHINGTON, January 18, 1861.

Col. W. H. CHASE:

Yours received. We think no assault should be made. The possession of the fort is not worth one drop of blood to us. Measures pending unite us in this opinion. Bloodshed may be fatal to our cause.

Signed by Senators Mallory, Yulee, Slidell, Benjamin, Iverson, Hemphill, Wigfall, Clay, Fitzpatrick, and Davis.

{p.446}

Since the receipt of this dispatch, I have had a conference with Senator Mallory, of Florida, and Senator Fitzpatrick, of Alabama, in reference to the reasons upon which it was predicated, in which they informed me that they and Senator Slidell had a personal interview with the President and Secretary of the Navy, and were assured by them that no attack would be made upon Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens, or any excuse given for the shedding of blood, during the present administration, and that they deemed it of great importance that no attack should be made by South Carolina upon Fort Sumter, or by the troops of the seceding States upon Fort Pickens, in the present aspect of affairs. I was also informed by them that it was the policy of the Republican party to force a conflict between the Federal Government and the seceding States before the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln, so that the responsibility of commencing a war should not be cast upon him. It was further stated by Mr. Mallory that a special messenger had been sent by the Secretary of the Navy to the officer in command at Fort Pickens, directing that officer to prevent the ships which had been ordered to Pensacola from entering the bay. The officer sent was Captain Barron, of Virginia, in company with Air. Mallory.

This is all the information now in my possession in reference to the attitude of the Federal Government and the seceding States.

In reference to the forces at Pensacola, I am informed by Colonel Chase that some companies from Mississippi, now at Pensacola, are desirous of returning home, being planters, business men, &c. He has asked me what must be done in regard to this matter. I have answered him by telegraph that the troops are under the orders of the governor of Florida, and that the governor of Alabama cannot specially interfere with the Mississippi troops.

I have also received a dispatch from his excellency J. J. Pettus, governor of Mississippi, inquiring how long the Mississippi troops were desired to remain at Pensacola. I have telegraphed him that the governors of Florida and Mississippi have alone the right to control the troops of Mississippi.

Notwithstanding it now appears from the authority above given that no attack is to be made upon the forts at Pensacola now in the possession of our forces at that point, I deem it inexpedient that all the troops should be withdrawn. It is important that we should be provided for any emergency that may occur, and that a sufficient number of troops should be drilled and ready to meet it. If the troops should all be withdrawn from Pensacola, it may have a demoralizing effect upon them and upon volunteers generally, unless kept under orders at some other point. It would be more expensive to the State to transport them to some other position and keep them under arms than to permit them to remain at Pensacola.

The withdrawal of the troops from Pensacola might induce the belief among the Black Republicans that resistance was not intended if coercion were attempted on their part, and thus give encouragement to them.

I have now briefly given the information in my possession, and also my opinion with regard to the withdrawal of the troops from Pensacola.

Very respectfully,

A. B. MOORE.

{p.447}

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HUNTSVILLE, ALA., February 3, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Montgomery:

My DEAR SIR: There is at Pensacola an immense quantity of powder, shot, and shells, which ought to be removed to the interior at the earliest possible moment. Where they now are they are constantly exposed to the danger of recapture, and if they are permitted to remain, one of Lincoln’s first movements will be to concentrate a sufficient force at that point to retake them.

In my judgment there is no hope of a peaceful settlement of our difficulties with the Government of the United States, and all our calculations should be made with reference to the breaking out of a war of vast magnitude and almost unparalleled ferocity. We had the subject of these munitions before the military committee of our Convention, but as they were on the soil of Florida, and beyond our jurisdiction, we could do nothing. Your convention will have more extensive powers.

There is still much discontent here at the passage of the ordinance of secession, but it is growing weaker daily, and unless something is done to stir it up anew will soon die away.

Last week Yancey was burned in effigy in Limestone, but I suppose it was rather a frolic of the “b’hoys” than a manifestation of serious feeling on the part of the older citizens.

I shall be glad to hear from you from time to time during the session of the Convention.

Very truly and respectfully, your friend and obedient servant,

JERE. CLEMENS.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Montgomery, Ala., February 22, 1861.

His Excellency Governor PERRY:

SIR: The subjoined resolution was passed by Congress, in secret session, and the injunction of secrecy, you will perceive, has been removed only so far as to authorize me to communicate in the manner deemed expedient, and I must, therefore, ask that you consider it as confidentially done.* The resolution suggests two methods by which possession of the forts may be had. It was not intended, however, that the progress of the one should retard or affect the preparations for the other; while, therefore, steps are being taken for negotiation, earnest efforts have been made to procure men of military science and experience, and to seek for munitions and machinery suitable to remedy the supposed or known deficiencies in the existing supplies. Congress, probably, did not design to interfere with the progress of constructions which had been commenced by State authority, the instruction of troops, or other preparation, which will be useful in further operations, and I hope you will continue thus to prepare for whatever exigency may arise. As soon as a skillful engineer is available he will be sent to make an examination of the fort within your State and to aid in the works needful to the execution of the resolution of Congress, should force be the means to which we must resort.

Very respectfully and truly, yours,

JEFF’N DAVIS.

* See resolution approved February 22, 1861, in Fort Sumter correspondence, p. 258.

{p.448}

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Montgomery, March 7, 1861.

Brig. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Provisional Army, C. S. A., Comdg. Troops near Pensacola, Fla.:

SIR: By the inclosed order you will perceive that you have been assigned to the command of the troops at and near Pensacola, Fla. It is of the greatest importance that the Government here should be accurately informed of the state of affairs in that quarter. The Secretary of War, therefore, desires that you will as soon as possible forward to this office a comprehensive report of whatever may come under your observation, especially in regard to affairs immediately connected with Fort Pickens. You will also be pleased to make reports to this Department as often as it may be convenient for you to do so. Very little information in respect to the nature of the service and its requirements at the station to which you have been assigned to command has reached this Government. The Department is anxious to know accurately the condition of things there and the necessities of the service, so that it can act with full intelligence, which is so much wanting at present.

A return of your command is required.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. DEAS, Acting Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure.]

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 1.

WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Montgomery, Ala., March 7, 1861.

1. Brig. Gen. Braxton Bragg, of the Provisional Army, Confederate States of America, is assigned to the command of the troops in and near Pensacola, Fla., to which station he will proceed without delay.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

GEO. DEAS, Acting Adjutant-General.

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CONVENTION HALL, MONTGOMERY, ALA, March 9, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, &c.:

SIR: As one of the delegates to the Alabama State Convention I have received a letter from General A. C. Gordon, of Henry County, in said State, from which I make the following extract:

Nothing doing at Apalachicola. No cotton is selling, nor can shipments be made from that port. Unless some of our companies are sent to Apalachicola it will be burned up and our cotton taken if war should be declared. There is now over one million (value) of cotton at Apalachicola at ten cents. Call the attention of our President to the situation of our people in that particular. No forts or guns at that place to defend it. Two companies of volunteers are there without balls or powder. Something should be done, and that, very soon, for the protection of that place and property. Alabama will suffer more than Florida will if that place should fall into the hands of an enemy.

A large portion of the people of Southeastern Alabama ship their cotton to that port for market, and apprehend danger to their interests there, as you will see from the above extract. Will you do me the kindness to make such suggestions in relation to the matter as you may deem proper?

Your obedient servant,

H. E. OWENS.

{p.449}

ORDERS, No. 1.

PENSACOLA, FLA., March 11, 1861.

1. In compliance with Special Orders No. 1 from the War Department, Confederate States of America, dated at Montgomery, Ala., March 7, 1861, Brigadier-General Bragg assumes the command of all troops in the service of said States in the vicinity of Pensacola. His headquarters will be at Fort Barrancas.

...

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, A. G. O., Montgomery, March 14, 1861.

Brig. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding Troops near Pensacola, Fla.:

Suit: Your two dispatches dated the 12th instant* (one accompanied by a return of the troops under your command) have been received, and laid before the Secretary of War, by whom I am instructed to reply as follows:

Requisitions upon the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, and Florida have been made for troops to the number of five thousand, to be placed under your command, and it may be expected that a large proportion of this force will be reported to you in the course of the next ten days. A copy of the law regulating the Provisional Forces of the Confederacy is inclosed for your information and guidance,* and by it you will be governed in mustering the troops into service. It is suggested that the formation by regiments from each separate State will be the most convenient. The requisite blank muster rolls will be sent to you.

Your appointment of Colonel Forney as acting inspector-general meets fully with the approval of the Department.

In regard to an officer of experience in the Quartermaster’s and Subsistence Departments, the Secretary regrets that at present there is no one available who possesses the experience required for those responsible duties, but as soon as it will be possible to do so an officer will be ordered to report to you. In the mean time it will be neceary for you to rely upon such ability as you may have at hand.

You are desired to make known your wants in respect to artillery and the munitions of war, having in view the defense of Pensacola and the reduction of Fort Pickens. The Department would be gratified to receive your opinions in regard to that important subject, and particularly as to the probable effect of the fire from the ships in the roadstead upon parties making regular approaches to the fort.

In assigning you to the command of the forces at or near Pensacola and Fort Pickens, it was intended by the Department that the navy-yard and all things connected therewith should be included, and you are therefore to be governed accordingly. You will please convey this information to Captain Farrand as the orders of the Government.

At your suggestion, Capt. H. Oladowski has been assigned to you as ordnance officer, and he has been directed by telegraph to report to you immediately.

{p.450}

It is observed that you have three months’ subsistence on band for your present force. In view of the large increase which you may expect, you will, of course, make timely estimates for additional supplies. A large quantity has been turned over to the General Government by this State. Funds will be forwarded to you as soon as possible, but it is important that your requisitions should be made on this Department specifying the different heads of expenditure.

It will not be practicable to detach General Van Dorn upon the mission you refer to. That officer has been appointed colonel of infantry, and his services will be immediately needed either at Fort Morgan or the mouth of the Mississippi. Lieutenant Childs has not made his appearance up to this time.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. DEAS, Acting Adjutant-General.

* Not found.

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MONTGOMERY, ALA., March 14, 1861.

Hon. S. R. MALLORY, Secretary of the Navy:

SIR: The port of Apalachicola is without any means of defense, having only two hundred muskets and sixty rifles; no artillery of any kind. The commercial importance of the city may make it more than a point of ordinary interest to the United States Government, if they intend to enforce the collection of the revenue.

The citizens of the city are organized into four volunteer companies, which comprise about two-thirds of the people capable of bearing arms. They are under apprehension that the city and property therein is in danger.

I beg to call your attention to the fact, and request that some means of protection may be afforded us if there is a probability of hostilities. The men can be raised there it we had the guns.

Yours, respectfully,

D. P. HOLLAND.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Montgomery, March 16, 1861.

Capt. J. C. BOOTH, Corps of Artillery, Commanding Baton Rouge Arsenal:

CAPTAIN: Issue with all possible dispatch to General Braxton Bragg, commanding forces at Pensacola

One thousand 8-inch columbiad shot; two thousand 8-inch columbiad shell; four thousand 42-pounder shot; two thousand 24-pounder shot; one thousand 18-pounder shot; one thousand 12-pounder shot; fifteen hundred 10-inch shell (columbiad shell, if possible); one hundred and thirty-eight 24-pounder spherical case, strapped; one hundred and forty-seven 24-pounder grape-shot stands; seventy-nine 18-pounder grape-shot stands; eighty-eight 8-inch grape-shot stands; one hundred and fifty 8-inch columbiad cartridge bags; fifteen thousand priming tubes; two thousand port-fires; five hundred pounds slow match; four thousand friction tubes; fifty thousand musket buck and ball cartridges (percussion).

Have made and issued to General Bragg as above, with all possible dispatch {p.451} Two thousand 8-inch cartridge bags for columbiads; two thousand 42-pounder cartridge bags; two thousand 32-pounder cartridge bags ; one thousand 24-pounder cartridge bags; one thousand 12-pounder cartridge bags.

By order of the Secretary of War:

GEO. DEAS, Acting Adjutant-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 4.

HDQRS. TROOPS CONFEDERATE STATES, Near Pensacola, Fla., March 18, 1861.

The commanding general learns with surprise and regret that some of our citizens are engaged in the business of furnishing supplies of fuel, water, and provisions to the armed vessels of the United States now occupying a threatening position off this harbor.

That no misunderstanding may exist on this subject, it is announced to all concerned that this traffic is strictly forbidden, and all such supplies which may be captured in transit to such vessels, or to Fort Pickens, will be confiscated. The more effectually to enforce this prohibition, no boat or vessel will be allowed to visit Fort Pickens, or any United States naval vessel, without special sanction.

Col. John H. Forney, acting inspector-general, will organize an efficient harbor police for the enforcement of this order.

By command of Brig. Gen. Braxton Bragg:

ROBERT C. WOOD, JR., Assistant Adjutant-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Montgomery, March 19, 1861.

Brig. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding Troops near Pensacola, Fla.:

SIR: Capt. G. W. Lee, of Atlanta, who will present you this letter, is in command of a company of volunteers from Georgia. This company, consisting of one hundred men, chiefly artisans, is exclusive of the quota which has been required from that State, and the Secretary of War desires you will cause the officers and men to be mustered into service and assigned to duty.

The requisition for the 5,000 troops for your command, mentioned in the communication from this office of the 14th instant, is now being rapidly filled. The several commands will be pushed forward with the least practicable delay, and may be shortly expected to report to you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant-General.

P. S.–I take occasion to inform you that the Government has accepted the services of a battalion of Louisiana Zouaves, to consist of not less than four hundred or more than five hundred men, with a proper proportion of commissioned and noncommissioned officers, to serve in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States for a period of twelve months or during the war, unless sooner discharged. One hundred and fifty men of this battalion will be immediately sent to your command, and the remainder of this battalion will follow a few days after.

{p.452}

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EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Montgomery, Ala., March 19, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Montgomery, Ala.:

SIR: From the most reliable information I have reasons to apprehend that difficulty will occur in regard to the transfer of the State troops now at Pensacola to the Government of the Confederate States unless some steps are taken to avoid it. The troops express fears that they are to be transferred without the privilege of electing their colonel and majors, and that they will be continued in service for twelve months, even if pending difficulties should be amicably arranged in a shorter time.

I have said to Captains Baker and Clark, who are here for the purpose of getting information on the subject, that I did not consider there were any reason, able grounds for such apprehension; that the ordinance under which they volunteered authorized the volunteers “when organized into regiments or battalions to elect their regimental field officers,” and that I presumed this provision of the ordinance would not be disturbed. I further stated to them that said ordinance provided that “volunteers shall not be accepted for a less term of service than one year, unless sooner discharged by the governor,” and that it had been my intention so soon as the three-years’ recruits should be raised, organized, and stationed at the forts to relieve the volunteers, unless there was a necessity for their services. Captains Baker and Clark seem to have no doubt that if the Secretary of War concurs in the views above expressed by me all difficulties will be removed.

I regard it as a matter of the utmost importance that this question should be so understood that the troops will not hesitate to be transferred at once. Should they decline, I fear the effect upon other troops and the public service.

In a few days companies enough will be at Pensacola to constitute a regiment, and officers can be elected. Nine companies will be there tomorrow. Will you say to me in reply to this whether or not this will be acceptable to the Confederate Government?

I take it as granted that the volunteers will be discharged so soon as by the establishment of peace the necessity for their services ceases. Let me assure you that the object of this letter is to secure the consent of the troops to their immediate transfer. Any doubt upon the subject of their consent gives me pain and trouble.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. B. MOORE.

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AUGUSTA, March 20, 1861.

President DAVIS:

My always reliable Washington correspondent says evident Lincoln intends to re-enforce Pickens.

WM. H. PRITCHARD.

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PENSACOLA, March 21, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:

What is to be the organization of companies and regiments of volunteers received into service, and how are the officers to be chosen?

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General.

{p.453}

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MOBILE, March 21, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

The sloop Isabella, laden with stores mostly for officers of the United States Navy at Pensacola, was seized last night by the acting mayor, and at the request of General Bragg.

W. J. HARDEE, Colonel First Regiment Infantry.

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MONTGOMERY, March 22, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola:

If they come in as companies they are so received with their officers. So with battalions and regiments. But if received as companies, and mustered into service as such, these companies cannot afterwards organize into battalions or regiments and elect officers. (See Provisional Army bill.)

S. COOPER, Adjutant-General.

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MONTGOMERY, March 23, 1861.

Governor MOORE, Montgomery:

DEAR SIR: In expectation of the early arrival of large re-enforcements of troops at Pensacola, officers will leave to-night for Mobile, to provide subsistence supplies. With your consent they will be directed to receive from this State such stores as are in Mobile, and ship them to Pensacola. Will you be so good as to send me a note to General Green, directing him to make the transfer?

Very truly,

L. P. WALKER.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, A. G. O., Montgomery, Ala., March 23, 1861.

Brig. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding Pensacola Harbor:

SIR: The Secretary of War wishes to be informed, at your earliest convenience, whether any reconnaissance or examination of the country in your rear toward Perdido Bay, and along the Gulf coast, has been made. Having in view the transport of supplies from Mobile to Pensacola, it is of eminent importance to know whether the long transit between Blakely and the latter point can in any way be avoided. You are therefore requested to transmit any information which you may have on the subject, and to ascertain, if possible, whether communication by water, portage, and land carriage can be made between Bonsecours Bay, Perdido Bay, and Pensacola Harbor, and, if so, the least depth of water and the length of portage it would be necessary to make.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant-General.

{p.454}

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WAR DEPARTMENT, A. G. O., Montgomery, March 23, 1861.

Col. W. J. HARDEE, Commanding Fort Morgan:

SIR: It is a matter of considerable importance to ascertain whether communication can be made between Mobile and Pensacola, so as to avoid the long transit from Blakely to the latter place. A view of the map would seem to indicate that a communication can be made by water portage and land carriage from Bonsecours Bay, by Bear Creek Bay, La Launch, and Perdido Bay, to Pensacola. The Secretary of War, therefore, directs that you will organize a boat expedition to make the necessary examination, the result of which you will report as soon as possible. Brigadier-General Bragg has been directed to cause a similar examination to be made from the other end of the proposed line of communication.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, A. G. O., Montgomery, March 25, 1861.

Brig. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Comdg. Provisional Forces, Pensacola Harbor, Fort Barrancas

SIR: In reply to your communication of the 21st, I am instructed by the Secretary of War to state that the Provisional Forces called into the service of the Confederate States for the defense of Pensacola Harbor are as follows: 1,000 infantry from Georgia; 1,000 from Alabama; 1,000 from Louisiana.; 1,500 from Mississippi, and 500 from Florida, making in all 5,000 infantry. The organization of companies will be such as may be furnished by States, but the number of privates should not fall below fifty per company. Should the companies come singly, or organized into battalions or regiments before muster into service, they will be received with such officers as have been furnished by the State, medical officers excepted. The field officers are either elected by the companies or appointed by the respective governors. Such medical officers as may be required for the troops of your command you are authorized to employ under contract. The battalion of Louisiana Zouaves, mentioned in my communication of the 19th instant, will be-mustered as they arrive, including the officers who accompany them.

I inclose a brief of the organization of a regiment of infantry and a company of artillery and cavalry of the C. S. Army, as fixed by law.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant-General.

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MONTGOMERY, March 29, 1861.

General BRAXTON BRAGG, Pensacola:

Your communication of the 27th received.* Do you propose or prefer an increase of force beyond the five thousand ordered, and to what extent?

S. COOPER, Adjutant-General.

* Not found. Entered in Confederate archives as “Plan of attack on Fort Pickens.”

{p.455}

Field return of troops of Confederate States near Pensacola, Fla., commanded by Brig. Gen. Braxton Bragg, March 31, 1861.

[Extract.]

TroopsPresent for duty.Total PresentAggregate Present
Infantry.Cavalry.
Officers.Men.Officers.Men.
General staff17
First Regiment Alabama, twelve mouths’ volunteers4762839885
Georgia, twelve months’ volunteers4106109113
Louisiana Zouaves59597101
Total559631,0451,116

WAR DEPARTMENT, A. AND I. G. O. Montgomery, April 3, 1861.

Brig. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding Troops in Pensacola Harbor, Warrington, Fla.

GENERAL: I am instructed by the Secretary of War to inquire whether you have made any progress in or preparation for the erection of reverse batteries on Santa Rosa Island, and if you have considered this mode of attack.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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PENSACOLA, April 5, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

Dispatch of 3d received. We are prepared for defense. Should the agreement not to re-enforce be violated, may I attack? Answer immediately.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 5, 1861.

S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:

SIR: At the request of the writers I send you the inclosed letter, without knowing anything of the value of the information imparted, but I can vouch for the accuracy of any statement made by either of them, having known them personally for years.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BOLLING BAKER.

[Inclosure.]

APALACHICOLA, April 3, 1861.

Hon. L. POPE WALKER, Secretary of War, C. S. A.,. Montgomery, Ala:

the undersigned, a committee appointed by a military organization of this city, styled the Perry Artillery, duly formed under the laws of {p.456} this State, represent that the city of Apalachicola, is entirely undefended by fortifications, and has no means to repel aggressions from her seaboard; that the commercial importance of this city demands that she should no longer remain in her present exposed and defenseless condition.

The undersigned respectfully urge that the Perry Artillery should be speedily supplied with a necessary battery to render the same an efficient arm of the city’s defense.

With great respect, &c.,

B. F. SIMMONS, S. W. SPENCER, J. J. GRIFFIN, J. L. DUNHAM, Committee.

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MONTGOMERY, April 5, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola, Fla.:

Can you prevent re-enforcements being landed at other points on Santa Rosa Island other than the docks? Do you mean by “attack” the opening of your guns upon the fort or upon the ships? If the former, would your operations be confined to battering the fort? Telegraph, and write, also, fully.

L. P. WALKER.

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PENSACOLA, April 6, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

I can control the dock, but re-enforcements can be landed on the outside Santa Rosa Island in spite of me. The ships, except the Wyandotte, are beyond my range. She can be driven off or destroyed. Any attack by us now must be secretly made by escalade. My batteries are not ready for breaching, and we are entirely deficient in ammunition. No landing should be made on Santa Rosa Island with our present means. Will write.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, A. AND I. G. O., Montgomery, April 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG:

The Government at Washington have determined to re-enforce Fort Pickens, and troops are now leaving for that purpose.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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HEADQUARTERS CONFEDERATE STATE TROOPS, Near Pensacola, Fla., April 6, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Montgomery, Ala.:

SIR: Your dispatch of the 5th instant reached me this morning, and was answered immediately. Mine of the 3d,* asking if I might attack, {p.457} was predicated on several occurrences which I could not explain in a dispatch, and which admitted of no delay. A strong easterly wind was blowing, calculated to drive off the United States naval vessels. It continues yet, but they hold on, though evidently with trouble. They have placed an Engineer officer in Fort Pickens in violation, as I conceive, of the agreement “not to re-enforce.” And, finally, I have reason to believe the garrison in Fort Pickens is greatly demoralized by influences which are operating strongly in our favor. Under these circumstances I desired to know if I should be free to act when a favorable occasion might offer. Believing myself that the United States Government and some of its agents are acting in bad faith towards us, I do not hesitate to believe we are entirely absolved from all obligations under the agreement of 29th January; but as a question of political policy might be raised, I deem it prudent to ask the consent of the Department before acting on so important a matter.

I am not prepared with my batteries for anything more than a feeble defense (see my requisition for ordnance and ordnance stores), and that Condition cannot be changed until I can get supplies. The only attack-which I could hope to make now would be a sudden dash, distracting the enemy by a false attack, and scaling the walls in an opposite direction. The weakness of the garrison, and the ardor and ignorance of my troops, would be strong elements of success. In this movement I should not propose to fire a gun unless in the diversion.

Such is now the incessant occupation of my staff officers in receiving, supplying, and organizing troops that but little can be done in other preparations. We have the force and the labor necessary, but the skill to apply them is confined to a few.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

* No dispatch of the 3d found; reference probably to that of the 5th; p. 455.

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PENSACOLA, April 7, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

Your dispatch of 5th answered by telegraph and letter. I shall fire upon any re-enforcements to Pickens unless ordered not. Need supplies called for in my ordnance requisition. Have but few cartridge bags and no flannel. I shall send to Mobile for some to-day, but have no money to pay. Not a cent has been received since I arrived. Dispatches for Fort Pickens and the fleet can be received from Washington through the post-office here. The blow is over, and the vessels stood it out. Twelve hundred men expected on to-day from Mississippi and Georgia.

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General.

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 8, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola:

Our Commissioners at Washington have received a flat refusal.

L. P. WALKER.

{p.458}

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 8, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola:

The expression “at all hazards” in my dispatch of this morning* was not intended to require you to land upon the island. The presumption is that re-enforcements will be attempted at the dock, and this I hope you can and will prevent, though it should lead to assault of your works. The belief here is that they will not only attempt to re-enforce the fort, but also to retake the navy-yard.

L. P. WALKER.

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 8, 1861.

Gov. T. O. MOORE, Baton Rouge, La.:

The state of affairs at Pensacola requires that I shall urge you no longer to delay in sending forward troops. You cannot get them in time by enlistment. Why not take volunteer companies? I hope you will consider this most urgent.

L. P. WALKER.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Montgomery, April 8, 1861.

Hons. B. F. SIMMONS, S. W. SPENCER, J. J. GRIFFIN, J. L. DUNHAM, Apalachicola, Fla.:

GENTLEMEN: I am instructed by the Secretary of War to reply to your letter of the 3d instant, and to express his deep interest in the subject-matter of which it treats. He begs to assure you that the proper defense of every assailable point of our coast is the matter most pressing upon the consideration of the Department, and you may be assured that an officer will be sent to examine the harbor of Apalachicola at the earliest practicable moment. But you must remember, gentlemen, that the departments are but just organized, and that the pressure upon the Department of War is necessarily very great.

Trusting that the assurance given will be satisfactory, the Secretary directs me to express his regret that it is out of his power at present to comply with your request.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. J. HOOPER, Private Secretary.

–––

PENSACOLA, April 9, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

Your dispatch received last night. Will do our best, but supplies are short for a continued resistance. Want transportation to move guns, shot, and troops. Sixteen hundred men arrived yesterday and last night.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

–––

FORT MORGAN, April 9, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

SIR: It is the opinion of Major Leadbetter, Engineers, that the great number of sand bags reported on the way to Tortugas are intended for building cover-faces at Fort Pickens. If this be done that place cannot be breached by our present batteries.

W. J. HARDEE, Colonel, C. S. Army.

* Dispatch not found.

{p.459}

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 9, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola:

Captain Boggs left, here this morning to join you. Forty thousand dollars are at your disposal, to be used in the way he suggested to we as coming from you. Although he has no instructions on that point, as it escaped me in the hurry of his departure, you will, however, understand.

L. P. WALKER.

–––

MONTGOMERY, ALA., April 9, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola:

A post-office emissary of the Washington Government, named Bryan, has left or will leave for Pensacola, who contumaciously insists upon opening the route between Warrington and Pensacola. Deal with him as you may think he deserves.

L. P. WALKER.

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 9, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola:

Forty thousand sand bags have been shipped from New York. May be intended for cover-faces at Fort Pickens. I call your attention to this possibility.

L. P. WALKER.

–––

PENSACOLA, April 9, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

Your several dispatches of to-day just received. Will handle the post-office emissary. Shall try the use of money; but great vigilance is exercised. They fear their own men. Shall take up buoys and stop lights very soon.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 12, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola:

Lieutenant Worden, of U. S. Navy, has gone to Pensacola with dispatches. Intercept them.

L. P. WALKER.

–––

BARRANCAS, April 12, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

Mr. Worden had communicated with fleet before your dispatch received. Alarm guns have just fired at Fort Pickens. I fear the news is received and it will be re-enforced before morning. It cannot be prevented. Mr. Worden got off in cars before I knew of his landing. Major Chambers is in the cars. He will watch Mr. Worden’s movements. If you deem it advisable, Mr. Worden can be stopped in Montgomery.

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General.

{p.460}

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 12, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

Just received the following from our manager in Mobile:

Worden was arrested yesterday and is in the hands of General Bragg.

Very respectfully,

HUBERT.

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 12, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola:

Three companies of artillery from Mississippi and one from Georgia are on their way. Could you use more?

L. P. WALKER.

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 13, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola:

When you arrested Lieutenant Worden what instructions, if any, did he show you? Did he communicate to you that be had verbal instructions, and, if so, what were they? He is here under arrest, and it is important for you to reply fully.

L. P. WALKER.

–––

PENSACOLA, April 13, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

Several merchant vessels here. Shall I capture such as belong to citizens of the United States?

BRAXTON BRAGG.

–––

PENSACOLA, April 13, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

For service here volunteer companies of artillery are little better than others. They have not the right instruction. Every State is exceeding its quota. Shall I receive them? Landing shot at Fort Pickens, outside.

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General.

–––

PENSACOLA, April 13, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

Re-enforcements thrown into Fort Pickens last night by small boats from the outside. The movement could not even be seen from our side, but was discovered by a small reconnoitering boat.

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier General.

–––

PENSACOLA, April 14, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

Captain Adams, commanding the fleet, writes on 13th, just received. Subsequently to the date of your last letter, as you are probably aware, {p.461} re-enforcements have been placed in Fort Pickens, in obedience to orders from the United States Government. Lieutenant Worden must have given these orders in violation of his word. Captain Adams executed them in violation of our agreement.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

–––

PENSACOLA, April 14, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

Lieutenant Worden assured me he only had a verbal message of pacific nature. The re-enforcement of Pickens was preceded by signal guns from there. What caused it I cannot ascertain. Worden’s message may have had no connection with the move. He was in Pensacola when the move was made. Five thousand men here now, and two thousand more coming. Subsistence, forage, and transportation should be hurried. You can now spare the supplies from Sumter, which is ours.

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS CONFEDERATE STATES, Near Pensacola, Fla., April 14, 1861.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Montgomery:

SIR: It is a matter of impossibility for me to keel) you advised of the arrival of troops. They come under such various orders, and fail so often to report at all, that they are [here] for days sometimes before I hear of them. As near as I can ascertain this morning, by a visit of a staff officer to each camp, the inclosed statement of my present strength is, very nearly accurate.* I am obliged to receive them by order, and let the muster rolls be made afterwards.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

–––

MONTGOMERY, ALA., April 15, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Montgomery :

SIR: Very unexpectedly I find myself a prisoner of war at this place. May I be permitted to request that you will do me the kindness to inform me of the grounds upon which I am so detained I

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN L. WORDEN. Lieutenant, U. S. Navy.

–––

PENSACOLA, April 15, 1861.

L. P. WALKER:

Mail steamer Galveston from New Orleans this morning. I have taken possession of her. One United States ship arrived last night.

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General.

* Not found.

{p.462}

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 15, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola:

Merchant vessels belonging to citizens of United States must be permitted to depart without interruption. Strict surveillance, however, regarding dispatches from fort and fleet to Washington Government. Caution your own men against writing, or sending, as to what you are doing.

L. P. WALKER.

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ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Montgomery, April 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding Forces Pensacola Harbor, Warrington, Fla.:

GENERAL: The Secretary of War urges upon you the importance of causing to be built a floating battery, unless you should have special objections to it. The one at Charleston performed admirably in enfilading Fort Sumter, and Captain Hamilton, who superintended its construction, can be sent down to Pensacola to superintend the one to be constructed there.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 16, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Montgomery:

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following statement in relation to my recent visit to Pensacola to your attention:

I left Washington City on the morning of April 7, with a communication from the Secretary of the Navy to Captain Adams, of the United States ship Sabine, and was informed by the Secretary that I would have no difficulty in making the communication to Captain Adams under the existing agreement. I arrived at Pensacola on the morning of the 11th instant, announced myself to Mr. LeBaron as an officer of the U. S. Navy, who sent an officer with me to General Bragg. I informed General Bragg that I had come from Washington, and desired to communicate with Captain Adams, of the Sabine. He wrote me a pass authorizing me to go to the Sabine, and upon handling it to Me he asked if I had dispatches for Captain Adams. I replied that I had not written ones, but that I had a verbal communication to make to him from the Navy Department. I then asked him if I would be permitted to land on my return towards Washington. He replied that I would, provided Captain Adams or myself did nothing in violation of the agreement existing between them. I remarked that I knew nothing of the agreement he mentioned. I then left General Bragg and went to the navy-yard, from whence I embarked for the Wyandotte about 4 o’clock p.m. On reaching her I was informed by her commander that he could not carry me out to the Sabine that night, in consequence of the strong wind and rough sea on the bar.

During that evening Lieutenant Slemmer, of Fort Pickens, came on board, and I had a few moments’ social conversation with him. I had no dispatches for him whatever, and I gave him no information as to the nature of the communication which I had to make to Captain Adams. Of course he knew, as did every officer on board, that I came from the Navy Department to communicate with Captain Adams. On the next {p.463} morning, the 12th instant, while waiting for the sea to subside on the bar, so that the Wyandotte could go out, one of the officers suggested that we should go on shore and take a look at Fort Pickens, to which I assented. We accordingly, about 9 o’clock a.m., landed there, and walked about the ramparts for half an hour, and then returned on board. During my visit to the fort I did not see Lieutenant Slemmer, as he was asleep and I did not desire to disturb him, as I had no object in seeing him, except to pay him the proper visit of courtesy on going within the limits of his command.

At about 10.30 or 11 o’clock a.m. the Wyandotte went out of the harbor and put me on board the Sabine, somewhere near 12 o’clock. I made my communication to Captain Adams, and stated to him what General Bragg had said in relation to the agreement between them. He, nevertheless, gave me a written order to return to Washington as “special messenger,” which order you have. Of course I proceeded to obey the order, and was landed by the Wyandotte at Pensacola about 5 o’clock p.m. I was told by Captain Adams that it was not necessary, for me to see General Bragg on my return, and therefore I did not stop at his quarters.

I make this statement, ready with the solemnity of an oath to be confirmed. It is made, not with regard to personal safety, or of any consequences that might result to me personally, but purely in defense of my honor as an officer and a gentleman. Several officers in the Confederate service-among them I will mention Capt. D. N. Ingraham and Surg. W. F. Carrington-I think I can appeal to with confidence.

I respectfully submit this statement to the consideration of the honorable Secretary of War.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN L. WORDEN, Lieutenant, U. S. Navy.

–––

PENSACOLA, April 17, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

Large steamer with troops joined the fleet last night. Send me instructed officers of Artillery for my batteries.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

–––

PENSACOLA, April 17, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

Another naval steamer arrived to-day. Col. Harvey Brown and several hundred men landed. Colonel B. informs me he will hold himself on the defensive.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 19, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola:

Events are such as to excite belief that demonstrations may be made upon you at an early day. I would, therefore, advise increased vigilance in preventing possible communication with the fleet or Fort Pickens. Martial law should be rigidly enforced. Everything is being done to send you guns and artillerists. We are badly off, however, especially in this latter particular.

L. P. WALKER.

{p.464}

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 19, 1861.

J. E. BROWN, Milledgeville:

Have, just received your letter of the 18th instant.* You are mistaken about the fleet. It lies off Pensacola. Am willing to do anything necessary to defend Savannah and its approaches, but think you will concur in opinion that your suggestion is not now necessary. Pensacola and not Pulaski is the point. This is certain.

L. P. WALKER.

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 19, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola:

Do you need for any purpose more troops than you have?

L. P. WALKER.

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 19, 1861.

General BEAUREGARD, Charleston:

Send to Pensacola the workman who planned and Captain Hamilton who superintended the construction of your floating battery. Hope you will do so at once. Mortars very much needed at Pensacola, and I hope you will send as many as possible, and without delay.

L. P. WALKER.

–––

PENSACOLA, April 20, 1861.

L. P. WALKER:

For the present force of the enemy I have enough, but cannot foresee his movements. It would be well to have a reserve force of three thousand under instructions on the railroad. Two companies mounted men are needed now. Just saluting Virginia.

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General.

–––

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 24.

HDQRS. Troops CONFEDERATE STATES, Near Pensacola, Fla., April 20, 1861.

I. All intercourse hereafter with Santa Rosa Island, Fort Pickens, or the United States fleet, is strictly prohibited.

II. Martial law is declared to exist and will be rigidly enforced on all territory within five miles of the lines of this army.

By command of Brigadier-General Bragg:

ROBERT C. WOOD. JR., Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

MONTGOMERY, April 29, 1861.

Gov. J. E. BROWN, Milledgeville:

I wish you to furnish immediately one regiment of infantry of picked men for Pensacola (private). Bragg needs them for lodgment on Santa Rosa Island, preparatory to opening upon Fort Pickens. Dispatch is necessary. One regiment goes from here in a day or two. Would like to have it consist of drilled companies, if possible.

L. P. WALKER.

* Not found.

{p.465}

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Montgomery, April 30, 1861.

Brig. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding at Pensacola:

GENERAL: Apprehending that you might have construed the suggestions thrown out from this Department as to the erection of batteries on Santa Rosa Island, and as to the attack on Fort Pickens) into orders to proceed first to the occupation of that island, and next to an immediate bombardment and general assault of the fort, I write to say that as to both points I desire you will consult your own judgment and discretion. It is true that this Government considers the early reduction of Fort Pickens as highly important, but it is not desired that you will proceed until you shall feel assured of success through an entire confidence in your own arrangements, and the dispositions must be left with yourself, save when positively instructed.

Very respectfully,

L. P. WALKER.

–––

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS OF CONFEDERATE STATES, Near Pensacola, Fla., May 6, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Montgomery:

From the tenor of my orders and instructions there has existed no doubt in my mind that the Department desired me first to secure the defense of my position here, and then the reduction of Fort Pickens, if practicable. No suggestion has been regarded as an order to proceed in any manner contrary to my own conviction, and no step has been taken which my own judgment has not approved; but I have felt it a duty to lay before you the means and sacrifices necessary to accomplish the object.

The change which has been made in my proposed plan of operations is the result of unavoidable delay, by which the enemy has been enabled to frustrate my first intentions. Fort Pickens is now more than twice as strong as it was three weeks ago, and the approaches to it will be made more and more difficult every day. They are now extending their operations on the island of Santa Rosa, and every hour will add seriously to the difficulties to be overcome. The importance of rapid movement on our part is very apparent if we are to proceed to the reduction of Fort Pickens, but it would be very bad policy to move until we axe prepared to succeed. My plan for a lodgment on the island is arranged, and will be executed as soon as the means are available. In the present state of that work, with a garrison fully competent for its defense, and a support at all times ready at hand in the fleet, its reduction will cost us many lives, much time and labor, and a very large expenditure of money. Whether the end will justify the means the Department must decide.

My works on this side, both for at-tack and defense, are nearly completed, and preparations are going on for the island movement, but we are still deficient in many essentials. Five thousand sets of infantry accouterments are necessary for the preservation of our ammunition. It is now carried by the men in their pockets, and one day’s hard service would destroy it all. A supply of musket cartridges is also a first necessity. Having yet had no response to my requisition of last March, I shall send an officer to Louisiana to see if some can be had at Baton Rouge. The present supply here would last me in an engagement about thirty minutes. Our best defense against the fleet-shells-cannot be used for want of fuses. Not one has yet reached me. These items are not mentioned {p.466} by way of complaint, for I know full well the difficulties and embarrassments which surround the Department, bat simply to show how utterly impossible it is to check the enemy in his operations.

Night before last we succeeded in placing some serious obstructions in the channel between Forts Pickens and McRee, which will intimidate the fleet and seriously retard any movement to enter the harbor. It might be much more effectually blocked, but at a heavy expense for the necessary vessels. The entrance, however, of steamers would entirely frustrate our movement on the island, if it did not result in a capture of our force.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

–––

MONTGOMERY, May 10, 1861.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR:

Having had the honor to converse with you more than once touching the state of the public service in the State which I represent, I beg leave to present the following remarks:

There may be little doubt that in the war which is now inaugurated the enemy will not be unmindful of its vast preponderance of maritime power, and that at the same time that they press forward upon the ]and toward Virginia they will make a strong diversion along the Atlantic and in the Gulf. Beside the indications of their intentions at Pensacola and New Orleans, the sending out of privateers on the part of the South will be met by the North by other letters of marque, and having no commerce to prey upon they will be directed against our sea-coast and its property, and they will endeavor to ravage the sea islands of Georgia and South Carolina and the coast of Florida. The capital of the last-named State is in close proximity to the Gulf-twenty miles by railroad-and in the midst of the most dense negro population and the largest plantations in this State.

From Pensacola to Saint Augustine-fourteen hundred miles and more-there is nothing approaching to a fortification, except those at Key West and Tortugas, which are held by the foe, and are for them a convenient and illimitable naval depot. They are the keys of the Gulf.

To fortify this immense extent of coast is impossible. Want of time, want of money, want of engineers, want of heavy guns, all forbid it. Fortunately, the entrances for vessels of any size are very few. They may be enumerated thus: Saint Andrew’s, Saint Joseph’s, Apalachicola, Saint Mark’s, Cedar Keys, Tampa. Passing over the peninsula, Key West, and its dependencies, you come on the Atlantic coast to the mouth of the Saint John’s or Jacksonville, and lastly Fernandina. Saint Augustine is fortified, though imperfectly armed. There are, of cannon, of all kinds, in Florida:

At Saint Augustine: Four 32-pounders, mounted en barbette; four 8-inch sea-coast howitzers, not mounted; two 12-pounder mountain howitzers, and one brass 6-pounder field piece.

At mouth of Saint John’s River there are four 32-pounders, mounted en barbette.

At Fernandina: Four 32-pounders, mounted en barbette.

At Cedar Keys: Two 32-pounders, mounted en barbette.

At Saint Mark’s: Two 32-pounders, mounted en, barbette.

{p.467}

At Apalachicola: Two 6 pounder field pieces, brass.

At Tallahassee: Two 6-pounder field pieces, brass.

There are no other cannon in the State, save at Pensacola. With this artillery and with the aid of an engineer much may be done to fortify to such extent as to repel vessels of war or privateers. A system of small armed steamers to cruise upon the coast would be one very powerful element of defense, but in addition to these I propose to combine the local military material of the country. I estimate the entire rank and file of Florida at, a little less than nine thousand men. This is very small for a State having a sea-coast of fifteen hundred miles in extent, and an area of fifty-two thousand square miles. The country is deficient in arms, but still more in military organization and drill.

To make the material more efficient, and at the same time to meet the present exigency of coast defense, I propose that to each of the following seaports, Saint Mark’s, Apalachicola, Cedar Keys, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Fernandina, there shall be sent an officer of the Confederate Army., of the rank of first lieutenant or captain, of military ability, charged with the duty to recruit from the vicinity a, company each, of not less than sixty-four nor more than one hundred men, who when recruited shall belong to the Confederate Army, and be put upon pay and rations, the said company to serve for the time being as a garrison, and to be drilled as well for infantry as artillery, subject on any emergency to be transferred elsewhere at the order of the President; the officers to superintend any constructions which require an engineer. This garrison to act in concert with the steamers of the coast-guard, and in case of attempted invasion to be backed by the militia of the country, around whom in action they would serve as a point d’appui.

I cannot too much press the importance of the policy that while the material of the country be made as efficient as possible in its own defense, at the same time the industrial pursuits of the country should be interrupted as little as may be by distant marches and countermarches. It is of the last importance that the crops now planted should not be disturbed nor the negroes withdrawn. Money is the sinews of war. If the plantations belonging to our Gulf coast are ravaged or deserted, to avoid the plunder of the negroes (not to speak of insurrection), the capacity of the country to contribute to the war is at an end. If the corn crop should fail a large mass of starving population will be thrown back upon the higher country, itself a buyer from the Northwest, that refuses to sell its food. I have spoken particularly of the Florida coast. It will be remembered that the coast of Florida is at once the coast of Georgia and Alabama. Macon is as near to Saint Mark’s on the Gulf as to Savannah on the Atlantic. The Sea Islands and coast of South Carolina and Georgia are equally exposed to predatory warfare; but while they have each, say, two hundred miles of sea-coast only, they reach back into the mountains into a farming country, where the slave element does not predominate, and from which aid may be drawn to the lower country of the coast.

This war will not be determined by a single pitched battle of two large armies. There will be the line of the Ohio, the line of the Potomac, the line of the Atlantic States, and the line of the Gulf States. Until we can take the ocean with a navy on equal terms with the enemy-a distant day-the conflict on these two last must be at the water’s edge.

France, under Napoleon I, had the Army of the Rhine, the Army of Italy, the Army of Spain, and the Army of England, which was so dexterously transferred to Austerlitz. It will probably result that the Confederacy will have its Army of the Ohio, its Army of the Potomac, its {p.468} Army of the Atlantic States, and its Army of the Gulf of Mexico. Florida has upward of seven hundred men in the field at Pensacola. She has nearly two thousand more embodied under the last requisition of the War Department, equipped by the State, and ready to march whenever and wherever the President may order. She stands ready to sustain the Government and the war with her utmost strength. She asks in return that her sons may have their just share of the appointments to military service, the great incentive to young Southern men. On her own soil or on any other soil she is ready to do her duty. Her men will, however, turn their faces from their homes with much more alacrity if the Government shall have initiated some system which will provide as far as may be for the protection of her coast.

I desire lastly to speak of the bays of Saint Andrew and Saint Joseph, in West Florida. The first of these is within a hundred miles of Fort Pickens, the other fifty miles further cast. The depth of water is at Saint Andrew’s eighteen feet, at Saint Joseph’s twenty. Both afford the means of penetrating into Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. A single battery at the last-mentioned place would defend the harbor against incursions. I have to suggest to the Department that a competent engineer be sent to examine these bays and to report thereon.

It is not impossible that some of the ports of Florida, which by reason of their obscurity are not yet blockaded, may be made use of for the introduction of arms purchased abroad. Fernandina, on the Atlantic, and, in case of impediment there, Saint Andrew’s or Saint Joseph’s, would for this purpose be highly important, and I beg leave to call them to your attention in that point of view.

Very respectfully,

GEO. T. WARD.

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MONTGOMERY, May 17, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola:

Can you spare from Pensacola, without interfering with your plans a portion of your infantry for Virginia? If so, what number, and will you designate the regiment?

L. P. WALKER.

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PENSACOLA, May 19, 1861.

L. P. WALKER:

For offensive operations I require all I have. For mere defense I can send three regiments-one from Alabama and two from Georgia.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

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NAVY-YARD, FLA., May 28, 1861.

His Excellency JEFF. DAVIS, President:

Concurring fully in your suggestions,* I can spare twenty-five hundred men for Virginia and can start them immediately, well armed.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

* Not found.

{p.469}

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TALLAHASSEE, June 1, 1861.

L. P. WALKER:

I have been telegraphing you since the 13th ultimo relative to the two thousand troops raised under your requisition. We have batteries erected at several points on the coast, requiring at least two regiments to garrison. If Florida is to take care of herself, say so.

Respectfully,

M. S. PERRY.

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PENSACOLA, August 2, 1861.

General S. Cooper, Adjutant-General:

General Walker has been ordered to Richmond, upon certificate of his physician that it is dangerous for him to remain here longer. He is very feeble and failing daily. Can you possibly supply his place?

BRAXTON BRAGG.

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ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, August 4, 1861.

General B. BRAGG, Commanding, &c., Pensacola:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 28th ultimo* has been received and submitted to the President, who instructs me to state that he has particularly noticed your suggestion respecting an increase of force to your command in the event of the movement indicated by you, and to inquire how soon you think you would need the increased force, and at what point you would wish it to be assembled. Our present limited means is required to re-enforce where attack is most to be expected. This suggestion, however, is not made with any purpose of declining a compliance with your requisition, but simply in order that you may understand our necessities elsewhere.

The Ordnance Department has been instructed to increase your supply of ammunition, for both artillery and small-arms, agreeably to your suggestion.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

* Not found. Entered in Confederate archives as referring to condition of affairs on Santa Rosa Island.

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HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, C. S. TROOPS, Near Pensacola, Fla., August 8, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: Perhaps you would like to hear from this place, once of so much importance. The departure of General W. H. T. Walker and the sickness of Colonel Clayton have for a time placed me in command of the Second Brigade here. I have the First Alabama Regiment, the Seventh Alabama, and a Georgia battalion, with two independent companies, in all about two thousand three hundred men, with Fort Barrancas and three-fourths of all the batteries at this place. If there could be a fight I would have a fair chance for a place in it of some importance, but we look for nothing of the kind now. I believe that with three thousand additional troops Pickens can be easily taken, certainly with five {p.470} thousand. We have much sickness. In my eight infantry companies there are two hundred on sick-list. In First Regiment three hundred and twenty-four out of nine hundred and seventeen are sick. Not so many in the Georgia battalion. Our troops are dispirited by inaction, desponding at the thought that they will never have a fight. I have had several conversations with the general, and find that he is regretting that no opportunity could be afforded him on the field of Manassas to show his ability to control and fight an army. From what I have seen of him I have no doubt that his selection for this command has been a most judicious one. The army has throughout great confidence in him.

I find myself a good deal abused. I have established and maintained so far order and discipline in my regiment. It is difficult to bring Volunteers down to a soldier’s life, but we cannot succeed without it. If all the regiments at Manassas had been as well drilled as mine we would not have lost so many men. I refer to General W. H. T. Walker, who will be in Richmond, as to my regiment and how we are doing.

Well, after all this I wish to say that if Virginia is to be the field of fight, that Pensacola is a fine place for a school of instruction, and the Seventh Regiment wants to graduate in about fifteen days or thereabouts so as to make room for some green squad. We are only in for twelve months, and I am perfectly willing to stay here that long, but I want a place for the war. Alabama is offering many troops. I believe that I can take charge of a regiment and put it in fighting order in two months or less. If you transfer me to a regiment for the war, Colonel Coltart will have command here. He is a fine officer, and just now far more popular than I am in the regiment. If, then, Alabama should offer a number of companies sufficient to make a regiment, for which no commander has been selected, I ask for the post, to be transferred, and I refer to all the officers of this Army regulars and volunteers, as to qualifications in drill and discipline.

I rejoice over Manassas for many reasons, and over the valor of the Fourth Regiment our boys have shouted time and again. I trust that the Government will find all their efforts crowned with success, and when we shall have soundly whipped the scoundrels the just meed of praise will certainly be given to the man who in his office is laboring day and night to maintain and care for our vast Army. May Heaven bless you and strengthen you for your great labors.

Truly, your friend,

S. A. M. WOOD.

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HEADQUARTERS THIRD REGIMENT FLORIDA VOLUNTEERS, Fort Clinch, near Fernandina, Amelia Island, August 12, 1861.

Hon. J. MORTON, G. T. WARD, J. B. OWENS, or L. P. WALKER, Richmond, Va.:

DEAR SIR: Having been recently elected and commissioned colonel of this regiment, I ask that, you will give your attention to the following views: I have six companies of infantry on this (Amelia) island, two at the mouth of the Saint John’s, and two at Saint Augustine. On this island there is a sort of battery, but incomplete. The guns, four in number, 6-pounders, are badly mounted, and would not stand continued firing. I regard the battery and guns as very little protection, the range of the guns being too short to protect the channel. I have heard that forty 32-pounders were ordered over here, also a competent engineer. {p.471} I hope this is so. This will satisfy our wishes on this point. Our companies here are composed of from eighty to one hundred men, more than enough to manage the guns at the battery, while their other duties in guarding the coast will give them ample employment. I would, therefore, ask that I be allowed to raise an artillery company of sixty-four men, which should be attached to this regiment. This company I could raise in a very short time. But more important to the defense of this island than anything is a company of dragoons or mounted men. This island has a sea coast stretching along the Atlantic eighteen miles in length, at any point of which the enemy could land any number of troops in surf-boats.

The enemy’s war vessels are in sight every day; one, supposed to be the Vincennes, having on Monday burned a prize within a mile and a half of the shore. They also anchored on last Thursday evening within two miles of the shore, opposite this town, making the distance, land and water, from the town three and a half miles. Now, if I had a horse company I could patrol the sea beach, and they could not land without my being in so as to meet them at the place of landing. With a cavalry company I could so dispose my infantry as to meet them, the enemy, at almost any point they may attempt to land; but with only six companies on the island, placing one of these at the battery, then you have five infantry companies to protect and guard a coast of eighteen or twenty miles. I hope, therefore, that a company of dragoons will be allowed me in addition to what I have in my command. I regard this as absolutely necessary to our proper defense, and ask to refer you to a report which Captain McRory has furnished at my request, he having been captain of a volunteer artillery company on this island.

I have not as yet visited the mouth of the Saint John’s or Saint Augustine, this regiment only having been organized on the 11th instant. As soon as I can see those places I will, if necessary, report their condition.

One more suggestion. I think the Georgia and Florida Atlantic coast ought to be placed under one command, the nature and character of the defenses necessary being the-

[Letter not finished.]

N. B.-I have no drill officers. My regiment is composed entirely of citizens. I would be glad to have two drill officers attached to this regiment immediately. If I cannot have them sent here I could engage them here if I had the authority.

Be pleased to attend to this without delay, and believe me, yours, respectfully,

W. S. DILWORTH, Colonel, Commanding.

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MARIANNA, FLA., August 16, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have recently visited Apalachicola and Saint Vincent’s Island; examined the work that has been done in the construction of the fort, and concur in the opinions expressed in the inclosed letter from Lieut. J. A. Alexander, in reply to inquiries made by me. Citizens of Apalachicola have promised to furnish the teams. Of all places in this State Apalachicola is most important to the commercial interests of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, and at present is in a condition almost defenseless. Now is the time to prepare for its defense. A few weeks hence {p.472} may be too late. The enemy is well acquainted with the localities, and my opinion is that if they shall attempt to take Apalachicola they will land their forces for the purpose between Saint Joseph’s Bay and the city. If successful they would capture all the vessels in port, a quantity of provisions, and other valuable property, and having cut off supplies from the troops on Saint Vincent’s Island would create a necessity for their surrender. It is not probable the enemy will make the attack with a force which they may believe insufficient to accomplish these purposes.

I have examined with care the face of the country six miles in rear of Apalachicola, toward Saint Joseph’s Bay, and the grounds are very favorable for defense by artillery, cavalry, and infantry; and if no at-tack shall be made before the 15th of October I will endeavor to have State troops placed in suitable positions to co-operate successfully with such troops as may be there in the service of the Confederate States.

I am, very respectfully, sir, yours, &c.,

JOHN MILTON.

If an officer who is a good artillerist could be sent to Apalachicola he could render very efficient service in the arrangement of cannon and drilling of troops to use them.

[Inclosure.]

APALACHICOLA, August 10, 1861.

General MILTON, Governor Elect of Florida:

SIR: I have the honor to report that there is an absolute necessity of ten teams in order to complete the fortifications now in process of erection on Saint Vincent’s Island, and in addition to its present armament, viz, four 32-pounders, mounted on ship carriages, we shall require four 32-pounders on barbette carriages, and two 24-pounders on siege carriages. For the defense of the Saint Joseph’s road, we shall require two 24-pounders, on siege or field carriages. There is an exceedingly small supply of ammunition here, which deficiency it is necessary to remedy as early as possible, and we are in immediate need of at least one thousand friction primers.

I have the honor to be, sir, yours, very respectfully,

J. A. ALEXANDER, Lieutenant, C. S. Army.

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ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., August 17, 1861.

General BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding, Pensacola;

GENERAL: Your requisition for ordnance and ordnance stores, inclosed with letter of 7th August, 1861, has been referred to the Bureau of Ordnance, and returned with report that there are no guns. These guns have been specially in demand for Manassas, and great efforts are being made to supply this want. With regard to disposition of the company, the. Secretary of War decides that it is a question whether you can employ it advantageously without these guns, or whether with a different armament it might not serve more advantageously elsewhere, which your discretion can determine.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. H. CHILTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.473}

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, August 19, 1861.

Col. W. S. DILWORTH. Fernandina Fla.:

SIR: The attention of this Department has been already directed to the importance of the defense of the harbor of Fernandina, and in reply to your letter of the 12th instant I have the honor to inform you that artillery such as you desire has been already directed to be forwarded to you, in compliance with previous requisitions addressed to this Department, and it is hoped it may arrive in time to meet your most pressing exigencies.

In reply to your further propositions I have the honor to say that an artillery company, if organized and furnished with a battery, will be accepted, and assigned to your command if its services are desired by you; and that a cavalry company also, armed and furnishing its own horses, will be accepted, if required, and assigned to your command.

Respectfully,

L. P. WALKER Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, August 30, 1861.

Hon. JOHN MILTON, Marianna, Fla.:

SIR: I have had the honor to receive your communication of the 16th August, covering a letter from Lieut. J. A. Alexander, relating to the defenses of Apalachicola, and it gives me pleasure to inform you that Brigadier-General Grayson, of the Confederate Army, has been assigned to the military command of Florida, and will report in full to this Department the necessities of that State. In the meanwhile the enemy will, doubtless, find employment elsewhere.

I have the honor to be, with high consideration,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

Library Reference Information

Type of Material: Book (Book, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Corporate Name: United States. War Dept.
Main Title: The War of the Rebellion:
a compilation of the official records of the
Union and Confederate armies.
Prepared under the direction of the Secretary of War
by Robert N. Scott.
Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1880-1900.
Published/Created: Washington : Government Pub. Off., 1880-1901 (70 v. in 128).
Description: 70 v. in 128. 24 cm.
Subjects: United States. Army--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources.
Confederate States of America. Army--History--Sources.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories.
LC Classification: E464 .U6