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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 1, Ch. IV–Union 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)
–––
UNION CORRESPONDENCE.

{p.348}

SENATE CHAMBER, December 21, 1860.

Hon. JOHN B. FLOYD, Secretary of War:

SIR: You will oblige me by a statement of the officers connected with the Army of the United States who were appointed from Florida, their rank, and pay.

Respectfully yours,

D. L. YULEE.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, December 28, 1860.

Hon. D. L. YULEE, Senate:

SIR: In answer to your letter of the 21st instant I have the honor to inclose to you a statement showing the Dames, rank, and pay, and emoluments {p.349} of the officers of the United States Army appointed from Florida.* The contingent allowances for fuel and quarters and similar items are not included.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Secretary of War.

* List not deemed of sufficient importance for publication.

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SENATE CHAMBER, January 2, 1861.

To the SECRETARY OF WAR:

SIR: We respectfully request you to inform us what is the numerical force of the troops now in garrison at the various posts in the State of Florida, and the amount of arms, heavy and small, and ammunition, fixed and loose, at the various forts and arsenals in that State.*

Respectfully, your obedient servants,

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

* See Maynadier to Holt, January 3, p. 349; Yulee, and Mallory to Holt, January 7, p. 3.51, and Holt to Yulee and Mallory, January 9, 1861, p. 351.

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ORDNANCE OFFICE, Washington, D. C., January 3, 1861.

Hon. J. HOLT, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the reference to this office of a letter from the honorables Messrs. Yulee and Mallory, of the Senate, dated 2d instant, and, in compliance with their request, to report that there is only one arsenal in the State of Florida, and that is one of deposit only. It is called Apalachicola Arsenal, and is situated near the town of Chattahoochee, at the junction of the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers.* The arms, ammunition, &c., now at that post, are one 6-pounder iron gun and carriage, with 326 shot and canisters for the same, 57 flintlock muskets, 5,122 pounds of powder, 173,476 cartridges for small-arms, and a small quantity of different kinds, of accouterments.

The ordnance and ordnance stores at the other military posts in Florida are as follows:

At Fort Barrancas.–Forty-four sea-coast and garrison cannon and 43 carriages, viz: Thirteen 8-inch columbiads and howitzers; two 10-inch mortars, and eleven 32, ten 24, five 18, and three 19-pounder guns; 3,152 projectiles for the same; 20,244 pounds of powder, and 2,966 cartridge bags.

At Barrancas Barracks.–A field battery, consisting of four 6-pounder guns and two 12-pounder howitzers, with carriages, and six caissons, with 300 projectiles and 270 cartridge bags for the same.

At Fort Pickens.–Two hundred and one sea-coast and garrison cannon, viz: Four 10-inch columbiads and four 10-inch mortars, fifty 8-inch and flanking howitzers, and two 42, sixty-two 32, fifty-nine 24, six 18, and fourteen 12 pounder guns, and 128 carriages for the same; also, 4,974 projectiles of all kinds; 3,195 grape-shot, loose; 500 24-pounder stands canister shot; 12,712 pounds of powder, and 1,728 cartridge bags.

At Fort Taylor.–Sixty sea-coast and garrison cannon, viz: Fifty 8-inch columbiads and ten 24-inch flanking howitzers, with caissons, and four 12-pounder field howitzers, mounted; 4,530 projectiles, suited to {p.350} the guns; 34,459 pounds of powder; 2,826 cartridge bags; 962 priming tubes, and 759 cartridges for small arms.

At Fort McRee.–One hundred and twenty-five sea-coast and garrison cannon, including three 10-inch and twelve 8-inch columbiads; twenty-two 42, twenty-four 32, and sixty-four 24 pounder guns, with 64 gun carriages; 9,026 projectiles, and 1,258 stands of grape and canister, and 19 298 pounds of powder.

At Key West Barracks.–For 6-pounder field guns and carriages; 1,101 rounds of shot and other ammunition for the same; 171 pounds of powder; 158 cartridge bags; 538 priming tubes; 7 rifles, and 2,000 rifle cartridges.

At Fort Marion.–Six field batteries, of four 6-pounder guns and two 12-pounder howitzers, and twenty sea-coast and garrison cannon, viz: Four 8-inch howitzers and sixteen 32-pounder guns; also, six 6-pounder old iron guns, and 31 foreign guns of various calibers; 2,021 projectiles; 330 rounds of fixed ammunition; 873 priming tubes, and 931 pounds of powder. Also, 110 muskets, 103 rifles, 118 Hall’s carbines, 98 pistols, 147,720 cartridges for small-arms, and 15,000 percussion caps.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. MAYNADIER, Captain of Ordnance.

* See Holt to Yulee and Mallory, January 9, 1861, p. 351.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, January 4, 1861.

Maj. ZEALOUS B. TOWER, U. S. Engineer Corps:

SIR: With this you will receive an order assigning you to duty according to your brevet rank, and placing you under my command. You will proceed without delay to the Barrancas and assume the command of the troops and forts in and about Pensacola Harbor. You will wait on the commander of the Pensacola navy-yard, ask his hearty cooperation in the great object of your mission, viz, to prevent the seizure of those works or either of them by any body of men whatsoever. Should either of them be preoccupied by any hostile body of men you will first summon them to surrender, and, in case of refusal, consult with the naval commander as to the sufficiency of your joint means to compel a surrender, and if it should appear to both on grave consideration that the means are sufficient you will exert them to a reasonable extent to effect that object.

Should the intruders surrender without the application of force you may permit them to depart in peace, with the promise of an exemption from legal pursuit, and if the surrender be the result of the application of force permit the captives to depart, but without any promise whatever.

With every confidence in you, I remain yours, truly,

WINFIELD SCOTT.

If the telegraphic wires be in operation, report often; but both the wires and the mail may be under hostile control. In important cases, therefore, send messengers.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, January 4, 1861.

Captain MEIGS, U. S. Engineers:

SIR: With this letter you will receive one hundred muskets and accouterments complete, with one hundred rounds of cartridges for each {p.351} musket, to be used in defense of Fort Jefferson if you can find bands to use them. Major Arnold with his company will probably sail from Boston on the 7th instant to garrison your work. In the mean time it is quite possible that some attempt may be made to seize the fort by an expedition sailing from Charleston, say in the Isabel, and secessionists from Florida. All that it is possible for you to do without troops we know will be performed.

WINFIELD SCOTT.

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Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR: SENATE CHAMBER, January 7, 1861.

SIR: We addressed a letter to your Department a week past, asking certain information interesting to be known to us in connection with our public duty, and not having received a reply we beg leave to call your attention to it, and to ask as early an answer as may be convenient to you.

Respectfully yours,

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

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 9, 1861.

Hons. D. L. YULEE and S. R. MALLORY:

GENTLEMEN: In reply to your note of the 2d instant I have the honor to state that the interests of the service forbid that the information which you ask should at this moment be made public.

Very, &c.,

J. HOLT, Secretary of War ad interim.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, January 21, 1861.

Bvt. Col. JUSTIN DIMICK, Lieut. Col., Second Artillery, Commanding Fort Monroe, Va.:

SIR: The General-in-Chief directs that you embark, after arrangements with the commander of the sloop-of-war Brooklyn, one company of the First Artillery with at least three officers, with arms, a good supply of ammunition, and as much subsistence, not exceeding four months’ supply, as the Brooklyn may be willing to receive. Fill up the company to the maximum standard by transfer. Some spare arms should go with it. Issue, or if there be time purchase and ship, a good supply of desiccated vegetables. Superscribe the inclosed sealed orders with the name of the captain designated by you. They are not to be opened until he is at sea.

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

L. THOMAS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

P. S.–Put on board, if possible, six field howitzers with their carriages and equipments and one hundred rounds of ammunition.

L. T.

{p.352}

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, January 21, 1861.

[Capt. ISRAEL VOGDES,] First Artillery, Fort Monroe, Va.:

SIR: You are designated to embark with your company on board the sloop-of-war Brooklyn to re-enforce Fort Pickens, of which you will become the commander as well as of other forts and barracks which it may be in your power to occupy and defend with the co-operation of any naval commander or commanders at hand, although it is understood that Fort Barrancas and probably Fort McRee are already in the hands of the seceders. It is probable that the Brooklyn may be obliged to land you outside the harbor, but it is hoped not so far from Fort Pickens as to be beyond the protection of its guns if the debarkation should be opposed. Of course, the company will be first landed to cover the supplies which are intended for the fort. The Brooklyn will touch at Key West. Deliver the accompanying letter to Captain Brannan, and desire him to communicate freely with Major Arnold, who sailed eight days ago from Boston to occupy Fort Jefferson, giving him intelligence of your movement, and the intention to re-enforce both Forts Taylor and Jefferson with a company each, hoping and believing that the latter is in the possession of the major.

The General-in-Chief, by whose direction I write, has every confidence in the zeal and ability of the officers of the First Artillery.

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

L. THOMAS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

P. S.–You are to understand that you are, not to attempt any reoccupation or recapture involving hostile collision, but that you are, to confine yourself strictly to the defensive.

L. T.

P. S.–The guns, &c., if it has been found possible to get any on board, are intended for Fort Jefferson.

L. THOMAS.

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HEADQUARTERS FORT MONROE, VA., January 25, 1861.

Lieut. Col. L. THOMAS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters of the Army, New York City:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that in compliance with instructions from the General-in-Chief, Captain Vogdes’ company (A, First Artillery) left this post yesterday between 4 and 5 o’clock p.m. to embark on board the U. S. sloop-of-war Brooklyn. A return of Captain Vogdes’ command is herewith transmitted. I also inclose copies of orders issued by me relative to Captain Vogdes’ movement.

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

J. DIMICK, Lieut. Col., Second Artillery, and Bvt. Col., Comdg. Post.

{p.353}

[Inclosure.]

ORDERS No. 13, Extract.

HEADQUARTERS FORT MONROE, VA., January 23, 1861.

In compliance with instructions from the General-in-Chief, Capt. I. Vogdes, First Artillery, will embark with his company (A, First Artillery), filled to the maximum by attached men from the other companies of this post, on board the sloop-of-war Brooklyn, as soon as the commanding officer of that ship reports himself in readiness to receive him. The following number of privates will be detailed from the companies at the post, to be attached to Captain Vogdes’ company, viz: From Company C, First Artillery, 5; from Company B, Second Artillery, 6; from Company L, Second Artillery, 6; from Company F, Third Artillery, 6; from Company K, Third Artillery, 5; from Company D, Fourth Artillery, 6; from Company L, Fourth Artillery, 6.

The assistant commissary will furnish this command with three months, provisions, it being all that can be transported on the Brooklyn. Fifteen thousand rounds of musket-ball cartridges will be issued. Four mountain howitzers and two 12-pounder field howitzers will be taken, with such a supply of ammunition, not to exceed one hundred rounds for each gun, as can be, supplied from this post and arsenal.

Bvt. Second Lieutenant Whittemore, Second Artillery, will proceed with the command.

Sealed orders received from the General-in-Chief have been furnished Captain Vogdes, to be opened when at sea.

By order of Colonel Dimick:

T. J. HAINES, Adjutant.

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WASHINGTON, D. C., January 23, 1861.

Hon. J. HOLT, Secretary of War:

SIR: I proceeded to Pensacola, Fla., pursuant to orders received from the General-in-Chief, with dispatches to Commodore Armstrong, U. S. Navy, commanding the navy-yard at that place, and agreeably to your, request submit the following statement respectfully to your notice:

On my arrival at Pensacola I, as soon as the light of day would permit, went to the beach (having learned on the cars when about twenty miles from the city that the yard had been surrendered, and that two vessels-the Wyandotte and Supply-of the U. S. Navy, were in the harbor) to make a signal to Captain Berryman, of the Wyandotte, in order to place in his hands the dispatches intended for Commodore Armstrong, the latter being a prisoner of war. I there found no sign of a naval vessel, and learned that they were distant some seven miles. I then returned to the hotel, and after having arrived on the porch, where I had been only a few minutes, I was arrested by two persons, who said they were authorized by Colonel Chase to arrest me. They carried me to the latter’s house, where I was brought before the colonel, in the presence of some six or eight persons, and requested, or rather demanded, to surrender my dispatches, which I refused to do, as my dispatches were for Commodore Armstrong. Colonel Chase then said he would allow me to deliver them to Commodore Armstrong in the presence of Captain Randolph, then in charge of the navy-yard for the State of Florida. I proceeded to the yard in company with three troopers belonging to the State troops, and saw the commodore, who received my dispatches sealed, and they, still sealed, were demanded from him {p.354} by Captain Randolph, who opened them and then forwarded them to Colonel Chase. I remained at the yard all of one day, having been placed on parole of honor not to communicate with any officer of the United States Government either at the forts or at the yard, but learned from reports and what I saw that the fort occupied by the United States had been re-enforced by some thirty or more sailors belonging to the navy-yard. The yard had been surrendered, and all the officers, with the marine, guard, had been placed on their parole, and the latter had been placed on board of the Supply, to be conveyed to New York. The yard, as also Fort Barrancas, was occupied by State troops, and Fort McRee was to be occupied so soon as troops should arrive.

I left on the 15th instant, and was given by Colonel Chase the following, in order to allow me a safe passage through the country:

HEADQUARTERS PENSACOLA DISTRICT, January 15, 1861.

Lieut. J. S. Saunders, of the Ordnance, is under parole to me, and is free to go to any part of the country he desires; and this is his safe-conduct for that purpose.

WM. H. CHASE, Colonel, Commanding Forces of Florida.

I have the honor to remain, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. S. SAUNDERS, Brevet Second Lieutenant, Ordnance, U. S. Army.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, January 26, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. W. SCOTT:

DEAR GENERAL: The President is much disturbed by a telegraphic dispatch which announces that the Brooklyn has sailed with two companies instead of one as was ordered. I assured him that the dispatch must be inaccurate, but would be glad to repeat the assurance on your authority.

Sincerely yours,

J. HOLT.

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PENSACOLA, January 28, 1861.

To Hon. JOHN SLIDELL, or, in his absence, Hon. R. M. HUNTER, or Governor BIGLER:

We hear the Brooklyn is coming with re-enforcements for Fort Pickens. No attack on its garrison is contemplated, but, on the contrary, we desire to keep the peace, and if the present status be preserved we will guarantee that no attack will be made upon it, but if re-enforcements be attempted, resistance and a bloody conflict seem inevitable. Should the Government thus attempt to augment its force-when no possible call for it exists; when we are preserving a peaceful policy an assault may be made upon the fort at a moment’s warning. All preparations are made. Our whole force-1,700 strong-will regard it as a hostile act. Impress this upon the President, and urge that the inevitable consequence of re-enforcement under present circumstances is instant war, as peace will be preserved if no re-enforcements be attempted. If the President wants an assurance of all I say from Colonel Chase, commanding the forces, I will transmit it at once. I am determined to stave off war if possible.

Answer promptly.

S. R. MALLORY.

{p.355}

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WAR DEPARTMENT, January 29, 1861.

Lieut. ADAM J. SLEMMER, First Regiment Artillery, U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Pickens:

SIR : The dispatch of which the inclosed is a copy was transmitted today, and the hope is indulged that it will be received before the arrival of the Brooklyn. Lieutenant Saunders goes as the bearer of this communication in order that the Department may be assured that the dispatch has reached you safely, and has suffered no alteration in its transmission, and also that his return may afford you an opportunity of reporting fully all that has occurred in connection with your command since the transfer of your forces to Fort Pickens. In the absence of any detailed information as to the circumstances under which this movement was made, I can only commend its patriotic purpose and express the gratification felt by the Department at its success.

You are instructed to act strictly on the defensive, and avoid as far as possible a collision with the hostile troops concentrated at Pensacola and in the adjacent forts. Should you, however, be attacked you will make the best defense of which your position and resources are capable. The naval forces of the United States now at Pensacola, or which may hereafter arrive there, it is expected will cordially co-operate with you. You will observe that it is expressly understood as the basis of instructions, forwarded to you that the communication between yourself and others in command at Pensacola and the Government is to be kept open and unobstructed. You will avail yourself of this provision, and report by special messenger to the Department as events may justify or require it.

In your dispatches by Lieutenant Saunders you will make known the details of the transfer of your command, the forces which you now have available for active service, the strength of your position, the character of the preparations, if any, in progress which look to an assault upon the fort, and all other matters in any manner bearing upon your ultimate safety.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. HOLT, Secretary of War.

[Inclosure.]

WASHINGTON, January 29, 1861.

To JAMES GLYNN, commanding the Macedonian; Capt. W. S. WALKER., commanding the Brooklyn, and other naval officers in command; and Lieut. ADAM J. SLEMMER, First Regiment Artillery, U. S. Army, commanding Fort Pickens, Pensacola, Fla.:

In consequence of the assurances received from Mr. Mallory in a telegram of yesterday to Messrs. Slidell, Hunter, and Bigler, with a request it should be laid before the President, that Fort Pickens would not be assaulted, and an offer of such an assurance to the same effect from Colonel Chase, for the purpose of avoiding a hostile collision, upon receiving satisfactory assurances from Mr. Mallory and Colonel Chase that Fort Pickens will not be attacked, you are instructed not to land the company on board the Brooklyn unless said fort shall be attacked or preparations shall be made for its attack. The provisions necessary for the supply of the fort you will land. The Brooklyn and other vessels of war on the station will remain, and you will exercise the utmost vigilance and be prepared at a moment’s warning to land the company at Fort Pickens, and you and they will instantly repel an attack on the fort.

The President yesterday sent a special message to Congress commend {p.356} ing the Virginia resolutions of compromise. The commissioners of different States are to meet here on Monday, the 4th February, and it is important that during their session a collision of arms should be, avoided, unless an attack should be made or there should be preparation for such an attack. In either event the Brooklyn and the other vessels will act promptly.

Your right, and that of the other officers in command at Pensacola, freely to communicate with the Government by special messenger, and its right in the same manner to communicate with yourself and them, will remain intact as the basis on which the present instruction is given.

J. HOLT, Secretary of War. ISAAC TOUCEY, Secretary of the Navy.

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FORT TAYLOR, FLA., January 31, 1861.

Col. L. THOMAS, Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Army:

SIR: My company left Fortress Monroe, Va., on the 24th of the present month, and arrived at this place this morning. The Brooklyn will coal at this place, and then proceed to Fort Jefferson. As there was but a very small supply of fixed ammunition at Fort Monroe for field howitzers, I took only two 12-pounder field howitzers and four mountain howitzers. There was plenty of ammunition for these last, but I could only obtain about one hundred and fifty rounds for the 12-pounders.

I have communicated your instructions to Captain Brannan, in command at this place, and have been informed by him that Major Arnold arrived at Fort Jefferson on the 18th instant. Captain Brannan furnished him with six 8-inch columbiads, ten 6-inch field guns, two 12-pounder field howitzers, 10,000 pounds of powder, 700 8-inch shells, and a small amount of ammunition for the field guns. Captain Brannan states that the supply of ammunition on hand is small and the quality bad. The citizens of this place are well disposed, and when the re-enforcements arrive it can be maintained against any force that the seceders may bring against it.

The desiccated vegetables for my command could not be had in Norfolk. Will you please have a supply sent me as soon as possible? I understand that it is impossible to obtain any fresh provisions at Pensacola.

A schooner arrived at this place yesterday, after five days from Pensacola. All of the forts except Fort Pickens were in the hands of the seceders. The strength of these forts was about 3,000 men. All was quiet when the schooner left, and the volunteers were not at all satisfied with their duties. I give you this report as it was given to me. It is probable that you may be in possession of later and more reliable information, but for fear that you may not, I here mention it in my communication.

The privates taken from the companies at Old Point to fill up my company were not regularly transferred. Will you be kind enough to order their regular transfer, as it will greatly simplify the company returns?

I am somewhat doubtful about being able to obtain a supply of fuel at Fort Pickens. However, I shall write to you as soon as I arrive, and give you all the information in my power.

Lieutenant Craven, U. S. Navy, leaves this place this evening for New York, and has kindly offered to take charge of this communication {p.357} for me. Lieutenant Craven has been very kind, and disposed to afford any assistance in his power to the troops stationed at this place.

I have the honor to be, yours, &c.,

I. VOGDES, Captain, First Artillery.

P. S.–My having just arrived from a sea voyage I trust may be deemed a sufficient excuse for any irregularities in this communication.

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PENSACOLA HARBOR, FLA., February 7, 1861.

Col. L. THOMAS, Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Army:

SIR: I have the honor to report that I arrived on this station yesterday in the U. S. steamer Brooklyn, with Company A, First Artillery. I met orders here which prevent the landing Of My company or the re-enforcement Of the garrison of Fort Pickens at present. Yesterday I landed at Fort Pickens, assumed command of the forces on the station, inspected the defenses, and had a consultation with Lieutenant Slemmer. I am compelled to remain on board the Brooklyn for the present, and can, of course, only give general instructions to Lieutenant Slemmer. I am sorry to inform the Department that I found Fort Pickens in a very inefficient state of defense. At the time Lieutenant Slemmer removed his command to Fort Pickens there were only forty guns mounted in the fort. At present there are fifty-four in position. The accompanying sketch* indicates the position and class of guns now in position; total, fifty-four of all kinds.

Lieutenant Slemmer has with him only forty-six enlisted men for duty, and thirty ordinary seamen from the yard at this station, and the latter are entirely untrained, insubordinate, and of but little use in case, of attack. There are fifty-seven embrasures that are unprovided with cannon, and are only about seven feet from the bottom of the ditch, and at present but few of them have only the common wooden shutter, presenting only a slight obstacle to an enemy. There are only very imperfect means of barricading them. Such as they are, however, I have given orders to be immediately employed.

Lieutenant Slemmer has been obliged to employ his command in getting guns into position and in barricading the embrasures. He is obliged to keep one-half of his men under arms every night, and they are nearly all exhausted with fatigue. The guns and carriages and implements are all old, and nearly unserviceable. I have made a requisition direct on the Department for the necessary supply of guns, carriages, and ammunition. The supply of this last is very inadequate. There is no ammunition for the columbiads, no cartridge bags for them, nor flannel to make any. In fact, had it been the intention of the Government to place the fort in the state to render its defense impossible, it could not have been done more efficiently than it has been done. The post is without any medical officer, and if it is intended to defend it there should be an Engineer officer sent at once to the station. I trust that the Department will immediately order that the supplies requested be sent. There are no bunks either for the hospital or for the troops, and but little bedding for the sick. I request a supply may be sent. There are plenty of provisions for the present, although I should like some desiccated vegetables and supplies for the officers. I {p.358} would mention that all of the troops will be compelled to live in open casemates, and many of them will soon be on the sick-list.

The seceders have a considerable force in and about Pensacola; what number I am unable to say positively, but they are estimated at about 1,700 men. They are disorderly, and very unwilling to be controlled. Their leaders, from what I can learn, I believe are sincere in their intention to observe the armistice, but their ability to control the men under their command is very doubtful. They are engaged in erecting batteries, are making sand bags, &c. They have plenty of means of transporting their troops to Santa Rosa Island, and can attack the fort on all sides at once. At present there is not one trained man to a gun within the fort. Should the enemy decide to attack, it is exceedingly probable that he might succeed in penetrating into the fort before my company could be landed or any succor could arrive from the fleet. I should therefore urge upon the Department the necessity of the fleet taking up a position such as to prevent the landing of any forces within one and a half miles of the fort; this would give time to provide for the defense of the work and the landing of the troops from the fleet; otherwise we may have the mortification and disgrace of seeing the fort taken by a body of untrained troops under our very noses.

Should the armistice be broken, my company, all the marines, and as many sailors as may raise the garrison to four hundred men should be immediately landed. All of the advantages of the present armistice are entirely on the side of the seceders. I would therefore urge upon the Department the necessity of immediately re-enforcing the garrison. The two additional companies ordered to Forts Taylor and Jefferson are not immediately required for the defense of those works. In fact, in their present state, and with the forces now in them, they would be stronger than Fort Pickens will be when garrisoned with four hundred men. Captain Meigs kindly offered his services, if necessary, to assist in the defense of this place, and I request the Department that he may be ordered to repair to this place.

Lieutenant Slemmer has done all that it has been possible to do with the small force under his command. His resolution to defend his post at all hazards evinces the highest moral courage on his part, but at the same time I must state that with any amount of vigor on the part of the assaulters his defense would have been hopeless. His resolution has probably been the means of preserving Fort Pickens from the seceders.

Yours, &c.,

I. VOGDES, Captain, First Artillery.

P. S.–I must not be understood as recommending any violation of the existing armistice, but the collection of an amount of troops on the station as may be necessary for the defense should anything occur to rupture the present armistice.

* Not found.

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FORT PICKENS, FLA., February -, 1861.

Hon. J. HOLT, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have to report that since my last letter per Captain Sands, U. S. Navy, matters have assumed no different form. I am continuing the defenses of the fort, and with my command will soon have it prepared to repel an attack. I have now seventy-eight guns mounted and ready {p.359} for action. I will put up to-morrow three 10-inch light mortars. I have no others. The casemate embrasures are closed, some with brickwork and others with stone and pieces of wood. These will be strengthened as time permits. I am making canister for some of my barbette guns, there being none in the fort. An abatis of brush is being placed about the exposed points of attack. I have two 10-inch columbiads mounted, in order to render inefficient any battery which may be erected on the opposite side. There are two others in the fort which can be mounted if necessary. All work has been stopped on these batteries, according to the promise of Colonel Chase. I do not think there are more than four hundred State troops occupying the fort and barracks opposite. Fort McRee is occupied, but no guns mounted to my knowledge.

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

A. J. SLEMMER, First Lieutenant, First Artillery, Commanding Post.

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FORT PICKENS, FLA., February 12, 1861.

Hon. J. HOLT, Secretary of War:

SIR: Since the departure of Lieutenant Gilman as special messenger for Washington nothing of special interest has transpired. I am continuing the defenses, mounting guns on the ramparts, and blocking up the casemate embrasures. Having observed a battery in course of erection upon which they were mounting heavy guns, 8-inch columbiads, and as this battery would rake two bastions and the connecting curtains of this fort, I addressed the following note to Colonel Chase:

FORT PICKENS, FLA., February 11, 1861.

Col. WM. H. CHASE, Commanding the Forces of Florida:

SIR: I observe you are erecting and arming a battery west of the light-house. I deem it my duty to protest against its further continuance, and also of all batteries which may bear on Fort Pickens.

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

A. J. SLEMMER, First Lieutenant, First Artillery, Commanding.

To which I received the following satisfactory reply:

HEADQUARTERS PENSACOLA DISTRICT, February 12, 1861.

Lieut. A. J. SLEMMER, Commanding Fort Pickens:

SIR: I have this moment received your letter of the 11th instant. I am determined to make good the assurances that I have given, that no attack shall be made on Fort Pickens, and to discontinue all preparations for one, as stated in my letter to Capt. S. Barron, dated January 29. I do not consider the erection of batteries on this side as aiming at an attack on Fort Pickens; but, desiring to avoid all actual or implied preparations for an attack, I will give orders for the discontinuance of the erection of the battery.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. H. CHASE, Colonel, Commanding Forces of Florida, &c.

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

A. J. SLEMMER, First Lieutenant, First Artillery.

{p.360}

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE: ARMY, Washington, March 12, 1861.

Captain VOGDES, U. S. Army, On board U. S. sloop-of-war Brooklyn, lying off Fort Pickens:

SIR: At the first favorable moment you will land with your company, re-enforce Fort Pickens, and hold the same till further orders. Report frequently, if opportunities present themselves, on the condition of the fort and the circumstances around you.

I write by command of Lieutenant-General Scott.

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

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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FORT TAYLOR, KEY WEST, FLA., March 13, 1861.

Lieut. Col. L. THOMAS, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Headquarters of the Army, Washington City:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that everything is quiet at Key West to this date, nor do I apprehend any attack on this fort until a perfectly-organized force is raised. Flags of the Southern Confederacy have been raised upon the stores of various citizens. I doubt if any resident of Key West will be allowed to hold office under the Federal Government unless supported by the military and naval forces. We are on terms of friendship with the best portion of the citizens, and all hope there will be no collision.

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

J. M. BRANNAN, Captain, First Artillery, Commanding Post.

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U. S. STEAMER BROOKLYN, Pensacola Harbor, Fla., March 17, 1861.

Col. L. THOMAS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: On the 24th of last January I left Fort Monroe, Va., with sealed orders from the headquarters of the Army, which assigned me to the command of the forts in this harbor. On my arrival at, this station I met a telegraphic dispatch from the Secretary of War which instructed the commander of the Brooklyn not to land my company for the present.

A few days since I requested a copy of the post return from Lieutenant Slemmer in order to make a monthly return of the whole command. He declines furnishing me with it, as he holds that the telegraphic dispatch superseded my orders, and of course deprived me of the right to command. I do not so construe the dispatch, nor can I consider it as binding upon me, as I have never received a copy of it, nor is it in any way directed to me. I can hardly imagine that the Department could intend that I should be superseded by an officer junior to myself both in grade and rank, and that it would have at least informed me directly of the fact if such had been its intention.

I need not point out to you how important in the present critical state of affairs it is to have a perfect unity of command. Should anything occur that may render it necessary that my company should be landed, it is necessary that some previous arrangements should be made for its {p.361} reception and distribution of the whole command. It is unnecessary for me to state that such arrangements cannot be made by Lieutenant Slemmer, nor can I for one moment consent to his dispensing of either myself or my command. Besides which, until Lieutenant Slemmer declined sending me the return, I had no idea that he disputed my right to command, and I had made arrangements with Captain Adams, commanding the naval forces on this station, to land a force of marines and sailors, which, with ray company and the troops now in the fort, will raise the command to five hundred men. This force, in my opinion, will be sufficient to hold Fort Pickens against any force that may at-tempt to carry it by escalade. There is, however, a great deficiency both of ammunition and supplies for so large a command. The medical supplies are very limited. There are no bunks either for the hospital nor for the men. The casemates are open, and have only brick floors. At present the men are in the officers’ quarters, but these will be, required for the officers, and would besides be entirely inadequate to accommodate so large a command. To expose the men to sleep on the damp brick floors, exposed as they would be to the inclemency of the weather, would soon place most of them on the sick-report.

It is important that requisitions should be made for medicines and quartermaster’s supplies of lumber, bunks, and clothing for the command. I directed the attending surgeon and the acting assistant quartermaster to make the necessary requisitions, but whether they have done so or not I cannot say, as they have not been submitted to me.

I think that the above statement will satisfy you as to the importance of placing things upon such a footing as may settle at once the right to command. I have not deemed it judicious to take the course with Lieutenant Slemmer which I should have taken at any other time, but I think I have said sufficient to satisfy you that it is important that all ambiguity as to my right to command should be at once removed. I therefore ask that instructions may at once be given for me to at once take up my residence within the fort, which the authorities now seem to think is contrary to the agreement entered into.

I deem it important that the commissary and quartermaster’s department at, this post should be supplied with money, as it is impossible to obtain supplies without it.

Some batteries have been erected by the seceders between the navy-yard and Fort Barrancas, on the shore. These may offer a very serious obstacle to the ships-of-war entering the harbor. The troops, however, I think can be safely landed on Santa Rosa Island, and enter the fort without encountering any serious impediment. May I request that you will give your early attention to the above case, and let me know your decision?

Yours, &c.,

I. VOGDES, Captain, First Artillery.

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FORT PICKENS, FLA., March 18, 1861.

Lieut. Col. L. THOMAS, Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Army:

SIR: I have the honor to report that since my last report nothing has happened to disturb the peaceable relations existing between the United States forces and those opposing us. I have placed the fort in condition for defense as well as the means in my power would permit.

The contractor has refused to furnish fresh beef, alleging that he is {p.362} without funds for purchasing cattle. The United States is indebted to him for three months’ supply.

If the intention of the Department is to place re-enforcements in the fort, I would recommend that subsistence stores be sent immediately.

On the morning of the 12th instant four negroes (runaways) came to the fort, entertaining the idea that we were placed here to protect them and grant them their freedom. I did what I could to teach them the contrary. In the afternoon I took them to Pensacola and delivered them to the city marshal, to be returned to their owners. That same night four more made their appearance. They were also turned over to the authorities next morning.

On the evening of the 12th I received this communication:

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS OF CONFEDERATE STATES, Near Pensacola, Fla., March 13, 1861.

To the U. S. OFFICER commanding Fort Pickens, Fla. :

SIR: The bearer of this communication, Capt. R. C. Wood, Army of the Confederate States, waits upon you in my behalf with the purpose of obtaining information necessary to enable me to understand our relative positions. He will communicate to you my views, and receive such reply as you may be pleased to make.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

As I was absent at Pensacola delivering up the negroes, I did not see Captain Wood. I made the following answer, accompanying it with copies of the agreement entered into by Colonel Chase and the War Department, with copies of such other papers as would enable the general to understand our positions:

FORT PICKENS, FLA., March 13, 1861.

General BRAXTON BRAGG, Comdg. the forces, &c., near Pensacola, Fla.:

SIR: Your communication of this date reached this post during my absence. I have the honor to send you a copy of the agreement entered into between Colonel Chase, Senator Mallory, and the War and Navy Departments, with such other communications as may enable you to understand our relative positions. Please let me know as soon as convenient whether you will consider the agreement binding on your part or not.

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

A. J. SLEMMER, First Lieutenant, First Artillery, Commanding.

To which I received the following reply:

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS OF CONFEDERATE STATES, Near Pensacola, Fla., March 13, 1861.

Lieut. A. J. SLEMMER, Commanding Fort Pickens:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your communication of this date with its inclosures. In announcing to you my intention to conform strictly to the spirit of the agreement entered into by Colonel Chase, I beg to suggest to you that the erection of a battery on Santa Rosa Island bearing directly on our navy-yard is, in my view, directly in conflict with the spirit of the agreement. The erection of the works on this side bearing on the channel cannot, I conceive, be taken as a menace against Fort Pickens, and the act seems to me fully justified as a means of defense, and especially so under the threats of the new administration.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

The battery which the general mentions has no reality, and I so requested his aid, Lieutenant Gaines, to inform him.

On the 15th I made the following answer:

FORT PICKENS, FLA., March 15, 1861.

Brig. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Comdg. Forces C. S., near Pensacola, Fla.:

SIR: I placed yesterday your communication of the 13th instant before the commander of the squadron off the harbor. This will account for the delay in announcing {p.363} to you that the assurances given are perfectly satisfactory. Of the erection of the batteries on either side, I have only to say that our views on that point are directly opposite.

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

A. J. SLEMMER, First Lieutenant, First Artillery, Commanding.

I sent yesterday by mail (via New Orleans) my monthly returns and muster rolls for February. I hope they will arrive safely. I was then not aware, that Commander Adams would send a special messenger.

I would most respectfully call the attention of the commanding general to the fact that there is mention of a notification being given as to the termination of the agreement on either side.

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

A. J. SLEMMER, First Lieutenant, First Artillery, Commanding.

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U. S. STEAMER BROOKLYN, March 21, 1861.

[General SCOTT:]

GENERAL: I wrote to you a few days since asking you to decide the subject of command on this station. Since then Lieutenant Gilman has arrived. I hope, however, that you will give my communication a careful consideration, and will see the necessity of establishing a unity of command on the station. As I mentioned in my communication, it is indispensable that, there should be a perfect understanding between the troops and the naval forces, and the positions to be occupied beforehand be fully determined upon. How this can be done when the troops will have to land only when the fort is attacked I am unable to see. It cannot be done unless Lieutenant Slemmer is to be allowed to give me orders and to assign me a position, and to that I never will submit. I will endeavor to perform my duty, I trust, on all occasions, but I never will submit to be commanded, directly or indirectly, by my junior. Moreover, when I enter the fort I become its commander, and will be held responsible for its defense. This will be, probably, when the enemy is already before its walls, and when I must, of course, be ignorant of the disposition which Lieutenant Slemmer has made for its defense. How am I to be held accountable for its defense when I have not the command until the last moment ? I trust, general, that you will see at once the false position in which I am placed, and at once relieve me from it. If not, I enter my protest against being in any way held accountable for what may take place.

Until within a few days the naval and military forces have been supplied with fresh provisions from Warrington and Pensacola, but General Bragg has issued an order prohibiting any supplies being furnished to us, and prohibits the citizens communicating with us, except by special permission.

The conditions of the agreement entered into by the late Government and Major Chase and Senator Mallory give every advantage to the seceders, yet some of them deny the right of those two gentlemen to make it. They are not required to give any notice of its abrogation, and may attack the fort without a moment’s notice, and under the most favorable circumstances it will be impossible to send any assistance to the fort from the ships in less time than three hours. Should there be the least panic among the troops within the fort it would probably be taken. There are about forty guns mounted, and the garrison is about one man {p.364} to a gun. They could only make a single discharge, and would not probably be able to reload the guns. Should those on any of the fronts be discharged too soon, that front would be left without any defense. Moreover, the garrison is kept constantly harassed, and is almost every night obliged to be under arms, from fear of attack. With the present garrison, my company, and one hundred marines, which we could obtain from the fleet, I think it would be perfectly secure from assault.

Our means of communication with the. Government are very uncertain. We do not feel certain that our communications have reached the Department, nor do we know whether the Department’s messenger to us may not have been intercepted. Of course, we do not know how we are expected to act. I would suggest that a small steamer should ply between here and Havana, so as to communicate with the mail steamer from New York-at that port. The supplies at the fort are getting low, and those of the naval forces are still lower. These last have not ten days’ supply.

The Brooklyn leaves to-morrow for Key West or Havana in order to obtain a supply. Should she not succeed, the naval forces will have to be withdrawn. The Brooklyn has by far the most efficient battery of any of the ships on the station, and is besides probably the only vessel that could take up a position to effectively cover our landing. It is much to be regretted that she should be withdrawn at this juncture. My company is to be transferred to the frigate Sabine.

Major Tower, of the Engineers, arrived on the 19th, but under the existing arrangement cannot reside within the fort. Even was he there, not having any force to labor, he could not do much. I have endeavored to lay before you a true statement of the disadvantageous position in which we are placed, and I trust that so far as it can be done it will be remedied. Whatever may be done, I trust that we will be soldiers enough to do all that lies in our power to uphold the honor of our country’s flag, and prevent its forts from being seized by those in rebellion against its authority.

Yours, truly,

I. VOGDES, Captain, First Artillery.

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HEADQUARTERS FORT TAYLOR, FLA., March 27, 1861.

T. A. M. CRAVEN, Lieutenant, Commanding U. S. Steamer Crusader, Harbor of Key West:

SIR: In reference to our conversation this morning and the letter shown by you to myself, and with the desire that we may act together should an occasion occur, I deem it advisable to state that this fort is fully garrisoned with veteran soldiers, and I believe it is entirely within my power to control this island and to prevent a lodgment thereon by any hostile force whatsoever; further, that I intend to treat any attempt to do so as an overt act of war, to be met at its initiation. I have no specific instructions from the War Department, but the course of my duty is clear, and I mean to follow it.

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

WM. H. FRENCH, Brevet Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

{p.365}

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FORT PICKENS, FLA., March 30, 1861.

The ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Headquarters of the Army:

SIR: I have the honor to report that matters have not assumed a hostile attitude. Everything appears quiet. Troops are being quietly concentrated and preparations made for an immediate movement should the present amicable agreement be interrupted. From all I can learn, there are now nearly one thousand enlisted men occupying the various posts and batteries in the vicinity and five, thousand expected. Since my last report the redoubt between Fort Barrancas and the bayou has been occupied and made an ordnance depot. Nearly all the powder has been transferred from the navy-yard to that post. The troops are organized and apparently under good discipline, a marked difference existing between them and the volunteers who first occupied these positions. Guns are being mounted at Fort McRee. The light-house battery has four 8-inch columbiads which bear directly on this work. Another battery of four 8-inch columbiads is situated to the cast and front of the naval hospital. Report says that another battery has been constructed at the old light-house. I cannot distinguish any signs of it, however. If made, it is, effectually masked.

Fort Barrancas is fully armed. Guns are mounted in the navy-yard for its protection. These works are being strengthened and completed each day, and soon the position will be one which will be very difficult to reoccupy, and one which will prove a serious annoyance to this post. Shot and shells can be thrown from each of these works into Fort Pickens. I have protested against the prosecution of these works, but with no effect. Colonel Chase did stop the work, but his successors have continued them on the plea of being for defensive purposes. With one or two batteries established on Santa Rosa Island, Fort Pickens would be in almost as bad a position as Fort Sumter. Fort McRee and these batteries would be able to drive off any shipping and prevent the introduction of re-enforcements and provisions. I have thus far succeeded in preventing any lodgment on the island, and will consider any such movement a breach of the agreement.

It is very necessary that we should be informed as to passing events, and would, therefore, most respectfully call the attention of the Commanding General to the fact that from the 23d February until the 29th March no important communication has been received. We receive nothing but from the sufferance of the opposing forces, which at any moment may be stopped should anything occur contrary to their desires. I am now left without an officer, but will request the transfer of Lieutenant Langdon to the fort during the absence of Lieutenant Gilman.

Fresh provisions are now denied us. If it is the intention of the Government to hold this fort., I would most respectfully suggest that the stores and supplies necessary for the effective defense of the work be forwarded immediately, with definite instructions as to their being landed.

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

A. J. SLEMMER, First Lieutenant, First Artillery, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, April 1, 1861.

Bvt. Col. HARVEY BROWN, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: You have been designated to take command of an expedition to re-enforce and hold Fort Pickens, in the harbor of Pensacola. You will {p.366} proceed with the least possible delay to that place, and you will assume command of all the land forces of the United States within the limits of the State of Florida. You will proceed to New York, where steam transportation for four companies will be engaged, and, putting on board such supplies as you can ship, without delay proceed at once to your destination. The engineer company of Sappers and Miners; Brevet Major Hunt’s Company M, Second Artillery; Captain Johns’ Company C, Third Infantry; Captain Clitz’s Company E, Third Infantry, will embark with you in the first steamer. Other troops and full supplies will be sent after you as soon as possible.

Captain Meigs will accompany you as engineer, and will remain with you until you are established in Fort Pickens, when he will return to resume his duties in this city. The other members of your staff will be Asst. Surg. John Campbell, medical staff; Capt. Rufus Ingalls, assistant quartermaster; Capt. Henry F. Clarke, assistant commissary of subsistence; Bvt. Capt. George L. Hartsuff, assistant adjutant-general; and First Lieut. George T. Balch, ordnance officer.

The object and destination of this expedition will be communicated to no one to whom it is not already known. The naval officers in the Gulf will be instructed to co-operate with you, and to afford every facility in their power for the accomplishment of the object of the expedition, which is the security of Fort Pickens against all attacks, foreign and domestic. Should a shot be fired at you, you will defend yourself and your expedition at whatever hazard, and, if needful for such defense, inflict upon the assailants all the damage in your power within the range of your guns.

Lieutenant-Colonel Keyes, military secretary, will be authorized to give all necessary orders, and to call upon the staff department for every requisite material and transportation, and other steamers will follow that on which you embark, to carry re-enforcements, supplies, and provisions for the garrison of Fort Pickens for six months. Captain Barry’s battery will follow as soon as a vessel can be fitted for its transportation. Two or three foot companies will embark at the same time with the battery. All the companies will be filled up to the maximum standard, those to embark first from the recruits in the harbor of New York. The other companies will be filled, if practicable, with instructed soldiers.

You will make Fort Jefferson your main depot and base of operations. You will be careful not to reduce too much the means of the fortresses in the Florida Reef, as they are deemed of greater importance than even Fort Pickens. The naval officers in the Gulf will be instructed to cooperate with you in every way, in order to insure the safety of Fort Pickens, Fort Jefferson, and Fort Taylor. You will freely communicate with them for this end, and will exhibit to them the authority of the President herewith.

The President directs that you be assigned to duty from this date according to your brevet rank in the Army.

With great confidence in your judgment, zeal, and intelligence, I remain, respectfully,

WINFIELD SCOTT.

APRIL 2, 1861.

Approved:

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

{p.367}

[Inclosure.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, April 1, 1861.

All officers of the Army and Navy, to whom this order may be exhibited, will aid by every means in their power the expedition under the command of Col. Harvey Brown, supplying him with men and material and co-operating with him as he may desire.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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WILMINGTON, N. C., April 2, 1861.

General JOS. G. TOTTEN, Chief Engineer, Washington, A C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report my return from Fort Clinch and my performance of the duty assigned to me by your order of the 18th ultimo, so far as I have been able to perform it.

I have paid off all the employés mentioned in Captain Whiting’s letter of the 8th ultimo, and discharged all not before discharged except the fort keeper, Mr. J. A. Walker, and two laborers. I thought it best to retain the services of these two laborers, partly because the sand embankments inside the fort require constant attention, and partly because I was not able to sell any of the public property.

After I had paid off the accounts, Colonel Butler, commanding the Florida militia at Fernandina, very politely informed me that the authorities of that State had virtually taken possession of Fort Clinch, and that any sale of its property by the United States would be regarded as illegal, and that he thought it his duty to resist such sale if necessary. After some conversation, finding myself unable to change his resolution, I was, of course, compelled to yield.

The State of Florida, or the Confederate States, will probably soon take formal possession of Fort Clinch.

I have told Mr. Walker that while things remain as they are he may regard himself and his two assistants as in the service of the United States, at least until he shall be officially informed to the contrary, but that whenever the property or the fort shall be actually seized the United States will be no longer responsible for services.

There are some small accounts for supplies and for services still unpaid. As soon as I receive them I will forward them to the Department for your decision.

Respectfully,

D. P. WOODBURY, Captain, Engineers.

[Indorsements.]

ENGINEER DEPARTMENT, April 8, 1861.

Respectfully referred to the honorable Secretary of War for his instructions as to the course to be pursued in regard to the care of the Government property at Fort Clinch.

It will be perceived from the within report that while this property is nominally in the possession of the United States, it is actually under the control of the Florida authorities, as is shown by their refusal to permit the sale of the same.

Should the United States, therefore, continue its expenditures for the care of the fort and the property thereat? Unless the Government designs {p.368} taking actual possession of and holding this work and property, I would recommend their being at once abandoned.

J. G. TOTTEN, Brevet Brigadier-General, and Colonel Engineers.

APRIL 10, 1861.

Let the work cease for the present.

SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.

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APRIL 3, 1861.

[For Totten to Secretary Cameron in reference to Forts Sumter and Pickens, see p. 232.]

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U. S. TRANSPORT ATLANTIC, [New York,] April 6, 1861-21 p.m.

Hon. Wm. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State:

DEAR SIR: By great exertions, within less than six days from the time the subject was broached in the office of the President, a war steamer sails from this port; and the Atlantic, built under contract to be at the service of the United States in case of war, will follow this afternoon with 500 troops, of which one company is sappers and miners, one a mounted battery. The Illinois will follow on Monday with the stores which the Atlantic could not hold.

While the mere throwing of a few men into Fort Pickens may seem a small operation, the opening of a campaign is a great one.

Unless this movement is supported by ample supplies and followed up by the Navy it will be a failure. This is the beginning of the war which every statesman and soldier has foreseen since the passage of the South Carolina ordinance of secession. You will find the Army and the Navy clogged at the head with men, excellent patriotic men, men who were soldiers and sailors forty years ago, but who now merely keep active men out of the places in which they could serve the country.

If you call out volunteers you have no general to command. The general born, not made, is yet to be found who is to govern the great army which is to save the country, if saved it can be. Colonel Keyes has shown intelligence, zeal, activity, and I look for a high future for him.

England took six months to get a soldier to the Crimea. We were from May to September in getting General Taylor before Monterey. Let us be supported; we go to serve our country, and our country should not neglect us or leave us to be strangled in tape, however red.

Respectfully,

M. C. MEIGS.

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U. S. TROOP-SHIP ATLANTIC, lat. 32˚ 13', Long. 74˚ 49' 15", April 10, 1861.

Hon. WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State:

DEAR SIR: We expect to touch at Key West, and will be able to set things in order there and give the first check to the secession movement by firmly establishing the authority of the United States in that most ungrateful island and city. Thence we propose to send dispatches under cover to you. The officers will write to their friends, {p.369} understanding that the package will not be broken until after the public has notice through the newspapers of our success or defeat. Our object is yet unknown on board, and if I read the papers of the eve of our departure aright our secret is still a secret in New York. No communication with the shore, however, will be allowed.

Your dispatch arrived as I was on my way to the Atlantic, just before the hour at which she was to sail, and two or three hours after that appointed for the Powhatan. When the arrow has sped from the bow it may glance aside, but who shall reclaim it before its flight is finished?

A violent gale compelled us to lay head to wind for twenty-four hours. We ran one hundred miles out of our course. The Powhatan having taken this gale earlier may have got through it with less delay, so that it is not now likely that we will overtake her. She had orders to call off Key West, and by boat or signal ascertain whether we had passed. It is important that she should reach the port before us.

Permit me to urge, the importance of the purchase of these Collins steamers. Britain has already taken the first, the Adriatic. Jeff. Davis or the United States may take them. They were built under contract subject to be taken at a valuation if needed for war. This ship, the Atlantic, cost $750,000. We have chartered her at $2,000 per day for thirty days, with the privilege, at the end of thirty days, of retaining her at that price, giving her up, or purchasing by the United States at $350,000, one-half her cost. During the height of the gale she showed no signs of weakness, rode easily, without labor, and the very line of cabin-lights reflected from a mirror, which doubles all distortions, was straight and true. This too with forty tons of horses in place of port-guns on her bow, and thirty tons of hay and stores on her after-hurricane deck. The weight of 10-inch pivot guns would not therefore hurt her. Thus far we have lost but one horse, exhausted by struggling after falling during the gale.

The Baltic I hope is chartered on terms like those of the Atlantic. Both should belong to the United States. British agents, if not Southern envoys, are after them. Had we been on board a vessel less staunch and seaworthy not a horse would have been seen on deck and the ship might have shared the fate of the San Francisco.

The dispatch and the secrecy with which this expedition has been fitted out will strike terror into the ranks of rebellion. All New York saw, all the United States knew, that the Atlantic was filling with stores and troops. But now this nameless vessel, her name is painted out, speeds out of the track of commerce to an unknown destination. Mysterious, unseen, where, will the powerful bolt fall? What thousands of men, spending the means of the Confederate States, vainly beat the air amid the swamps of the southern coast, and, filling the dank forts, curse secession and the mosquitoes!

Buy all the steamships, fill them with troops and stores, start them on such mysterious errands, and Mr. Memminger will need more loans and South Carolina herself will grow sick of rebellion.

God promised to send before his chosen people an advance-guard of hornets, Our constant allies are the more efficient mosquitoes and sand-flies. At this time the republic has need of all her sons, of all their knowledge, zeal, and courage.

Major Hunt is with us, somewhat depressed at going into the field without his horses. His battery of Napoleon guns, probably the best field guns in our service, is to follow in the Illinois; but the traitor Twiggs surrendered his horses to the rebels of Texas, and the company {p.370} of well-trained artillerists finds itself, after eight years of practice in that highest and most efficient arm, the light artillery, going into active service as footmen. They, too, feel the change deeply.

I inclose a memorandum which Major Hunt has written at my suggestion, and I bespeak your influence to see that he is supplied with horses. If, in the end, this be not found the best field for the campaign-and I am not yet prepared to advise on this point-then these trained men and officers, these instructed soldiers, may be easily transferred to another field and replaced by some company whose training will suit the duties to be performed at our destination. The major served through the Mexican war in Duncan’s famous battery, was brevetted for Churubusco, again for Chapultepec and the City of Mexico, and commanded the battery at Molino. These are historic names. Such an officer should be encouraged, promoted, translated to that sphere to which his peculiar training and skill will be most useful to his country. I have been gratified, even surprised, at the soldierly and loyal spirit with which these officers go upon this expedition. Whether our aim be Charleston, Savannah, Dominica, Pensacola, Mobile, Key West, Louisiana, or Texas, they do not know, but with cheerful trust in the Government they rely upon its wisdom and patriotism, and not a sad brow or a complaining spirit is on board. This loyalty and devotion is beautiful. It promises for the country, if properly appreciated and encouraged, a most efficient army, animated by hope and patriotism. From such men, and not from the pillows used to bolster up political reputations, should the colonels of your new regiments be selected. Such men will raise regiments at their call. The soil will sprout armed men. They can train them into soldiers who will save the country, if arms can save it. All patriots should look to these things. On the spirit and loyalty of your officers depends the success of your armies.

I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. C. MEIGS, Captain of Engineers.

[Inclosure.]

Memorandum for Captain Meigs.

My battery, dismounted in consequence of Twiggs’ treason, left its horses at Fort Brown, Tex. The guns, light 12-pounders (the new canon-obusier of Louis Napoleon), are the only ones in our service of that kind. They were brought off by the company in spite of extraordinary efforts on the part of the Texans to get possession of them. Their firing is very accurate, and with equal mobility they have much greater power than the 6-pounder. Each is perfectly adapted to the use of all the projectiles known in the service-shot, shell, spherical case, and canister. The fire of one portion of the battery is therefore never sacrificed to that of another, as so often happens in ordinary batteries, where the fire of

the gun must often be sacrificed to that of the howitzer, and vice versa. The men of the company are well instructed both as drivers and cannoneers, a work requiring time and patience, and it is of great importance that the knowledge they have acquired by long training should not be lost to the service, for neither drivers nor cannoneers can be improvised when wanted. The battery has with it its forge, battery-wagons, harness, &c., and requires only horses to make it thoroughly efficient. These ought to be supplied at once, as they would convert a comparatively inefficient, because uninstructed, infantry company into an efficient field battery.

{p.371}

The number of horses required is eighty; for quality and description see page 46 Artillery Tactics. A few good saddle-horses for officers should be sent in addition, say eight or ten.

HENRY J. HUNT, Brevet Major, Captain Second Artillery, Commanding Light Battery M.

Steamer ATLANTIC, At Sea, April 10, 1861.

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HEADQUARTERS U. S. TRANSPORT SHIP ATLANTIC, April 11, 1861.

Capt. E. B. HUNT, U. S. Engineers, Fort Taylor:

SIR: You will make a reconnaissance of the island of Key West with a view to the erection of any field-works which may be required to enable the garrison of Fort Taylor and of the town of Key West to prevent a hostile landing. In making this project you will consult with the commander of the forces in the island, and call upon him for any necessary assistance. The project, when complete, should be submitted to headquarters of the Department of Florida for further orders. You will, for fear of accident, make it in duplicate, retaining one copy and forwarding the other to said headquarters.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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U. S. TRANSPORT SHIP ATLANTIC, April 11, 1861.

Bvt. Maj. L. G. ARNOLD, Commanding Fort Jefferson:

SIR: You will take measures for the occupation by sea-coast earthen batteries of all the points in the harbor of Tortugas necessary to secure a complete command of the anchorage and of the channels of entrance thereto. For this purpose you will consider that a certain number of sailing vessels of the Navy will be available. They will be moored in such positions as to command the anchorage and the passes, and will themselves be supported by the shore batteries. These batteries should be constructed to resist projectiles now used in our own and European navies, and should therefore be provided with earthen parapets of not less than twenty-four feet in thickness. It is considered that no battery should contain less than three pieces of heavy caliber, and that the means disposable will not permit more than three to be constructed at any one point. The batteries should be closed works capable of offering some resistance to a sudden assault; should contain bomb-proof magazines for a small supply of ammunition, renewable from the ships or from Fort Jefferson, and will be occupied by detachments from the crew, of the troops or the garrison of the fort, relieved at short intervals.

Sufficient shelter for the garrison must be provided. For this purpose temporary sheds of lumber will suffice. The guns should be mounted in barbette. They will be supplied either by the fleet or by the Ordnance Department. The works will be constructed of the materials to be found on the spot, sand and fascines or gabions. Timber will be supplied from the public stores for the platforms, magazines, &c.

The points to which your attention is particularly directed as probable to be occupied are Bird Key, Sand Key, Loggerhead Key, East Key, {p.372} Middle Key, and Bush Key. The construction of their outlines should be commenced at once, in order that they may be ready to receive the guns as soon as they arrive. In their construction your command will be employed. The Engineer officers at Fort Jefferson will be called upon by you for their professional advice and assistance in this matter.

Plans, as soon as prepared, should be forwarded to the headquarters of the department for consideration and approval, but you will not wait for this approval of the complete system to commence the works.

The first point on which to commence work is Bird Key.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS U. S. TRANSPORT SHIP ATLANTIC, April 11, 1861

Lieut. J. ST. C. MORTON, Fort Jefferson, Tortugas:.

SIR: You will act in concert with Major Arnold, commanding the harbor of the Tortugas, in preparing with the least possible delay projects for the complete temporary defense and occupation of the whole harbor of the Tortugas. The orders issued to Major Arnold, which he will exhibit to you, will impress you of the general project. Requisitions have been made upon the Ordnance Department for twenty to twenty-four heavy guns with barbette carriages and platforms of timber for these batteries. If these arrive they will be used. If ships arrive before them, the guns from the ships will be landed for this use, to be replaced by the Army pieces when received.

Orders have, been issued to the commander of Fort Taylor to clear the brush and timber from a certain portion of the island of Key West. This brushwood will be used to make fascines, and will be transferred to the Tortugas upon requisition.

Relying upon your resources, energy, and intelligence for official professional aid in this matter,

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS STEAMSHIP ATLANTIC, Off Key West, April 12, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. KEYES, Secretary to General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: In obedience to the special instructions of the General-in-Chief, I proceeded to New York on the 2d, and arrived there on the morning of the 3d instant, and was engaged until Saturday, the 6th, in preparing for this expedition. On the afternoon of that day Barry’s battery (Company A, Second Artillery), Hunt’s company (M, Second Artillery), Duane’s company of Sappers and Miners, and Companies C and E (Johns’ and Clitz’s), Third Infantry, and twenty Engineer carpenters were embarked on board the steamship Atlantic, Captain Gray. We hauled out in the stream at dark, but continued to take in cargo through the night, and on Sunday morning at 3 1/2 weighed anchor and went to sea. On Tuesday and Wednesday we had a heavy gale, dead ahead, the horses of the battery suffering very much from the heavy sea, the wet, and the cold, and were preserved only by the substantial excellence {p.373} of our ship and the vigilant care of the officers. Only two died during the gale, and the rest are doing well. My command are all healthy and in good spirits.

I have directed Lieutenant Balch, ordnance officer, to make on the proper offices requisitions for various articles which were not to be procured at our departure. I respectfully urge that they be sent immediately.

I ordered the purchase of two 6-pounder rifted guns, which are said to be at Fort Columbus, and that a 42-pounder rifled gun, also at that post, be sent, with all the necessary implements and projectiles, by the first vessel. I have also directed Lieutenant Balch to make a special estimate of guns for Fort Jefferson, which may be of vital importance, and which should be furnished without delay.

I would respectfully and earnestly urge that six 42-pounder rifled guns, with implements complete, and one thousand rounds of ammunition to each gun, as specified in the requisition of Lieutenant Balch, be immediately prepared and sent by steamer to Fort Pickens. Their value will be inestimable. With them we shall be able to act, if need be, with great efficiency against Fort McRee, Barrancas, and the navy-yard, and place our opponents from an offensive to a defensive position. I earnestly solicit the approbation of the General-in-Chief on this subject, and that the guns may be prepared and sent by steam without a moment’s delay. James’ apparatus for rifling guns is at Fort Columbus, and the guns, if diligence be exercised, may be prepared for shipment in a week.

We go into Key West for two or three hours on important duty enjoined by the General-in-Chief, and from thence to Fort Jefferson for some indispensable articles, where we shall be delayed only a short time, and shall then proceed to our destination.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Key West, April 13, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. KEYES, Secretary to the General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.

COLONEL: We arrived at this place this afternoon. Captain Meigs and I have had an interview with Judge Marvin which has been entirely satisfactory. He, though anxious to leave the place, will remain, having now the assurance of support from the military authority. I have found great industry, intelligence, and enterprise in putting forward the works at the fort, and consider it quite secure against any force that can at this time be brought against it. Brevet Major French, the commanding officer, has been untiring in his labors, assisted ably by Captain Hunt, of the Engineers, and the officers of the garrison. He and all his officers are, I am happy to say, entirely devoted to the Union and the country, under any and all contingencies. I have issued General Orders in relation to the posts, copies of which will be forwarded by the first opportunity. Finding here some 10-inch mortars, I have taken three of them with the necessary ammunition, and also, there being here two 6-pounder field batteries, I have directed one of them to be put on board the Atlantic.

{p.374}

We sail this evening for Fort Jefferson, where we go to get a flat, some boats, and other indispensable articles.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 1.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Key West, April 13, 1861.

In obedience to the instructions of the General-in-Chief, approved by the President of the United States, creating the Department of Florida, and assigning it to the undersigned, he hereby assumes the command of the same.

The department comprises the State of Florida and the contiguous islands in the Gulf.

The headquarters of the department will hereafter be announced. The following named officers compose the staff of the department, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly:

Bvt. Capt. G. L. Hartsuff, assistant adjutant-general.

Capt. R. Ingalls, assistant quartermaster.

Capt. H. F. Clarke, assistant commissary of subsistence.

Dr. John Campbell, assistant surgeon.

Capt. M. C. Meigs, chief engineer.

First Lieut. G. T. Balch, ordnance officer.

HARVEY BROWN, Brevet Colonel, Commanding.

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U. S. STEAMER CRUSADER, Off Key West, April 13, 1861.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington :

DEAR SIR: We arrived here and anchored some three miles below the fort to prevent communication. Going to the fort in a boat Colonel Brown sent notes to Judge Marvin; to Colonel Patterson, the newly appointed Navy agent; to Mr. Howe, the new collector; and to Mr. Tiler, the late Navy agent. Mr. Clapp, whose commission as marshal we brought with us, we found at the fort. To these gentlemen the general policy of the Government in regard to the fort and island of Key West was explained, and the assurance of support from their Government was received with great satisfaction. I found that Colonel Patterson has lately made himself quite conspicuous by his Union sentiments and their open avowal. The best feeling prevails between the gentlemen now appointed and the officers of the garrison and I have no doubt that all will work harmoniously together.

The anxiety to which Judge Marvin has been subjected has preyed upon his spirits and he looks depressed, but he is ready to do his duty and stand to his post, at least until the Government is ready to relieve him. His presence for a time, and his influence are, I think, of much importance in eradicating the treasonable spirit which has lately had full and free sway here. He will be able as now supported, I think, to accomplish it without recourse to any harsh measures.

The officers here assure us that the reports spread through the newspapers of the demoralization of our troops in Texas are untrue. The troops are well disciplined, loyal, and ready to serve their country. At {p.375} one time, when the administration then in power seemed to be allowing things to take their own course, and the Government seemed to be falling to pieces, the officers and men might have been inclined to look around for some refuge, but the first act of vigor satisfied them that they yet have a Government, and to it they will be true.

We yet have some 10-inch mortars which will be of use; some artillery for the land fronts, and a few other things which were needed to increase our strength.

The Brooklyn is supposed to have reached Pensacola about the 1st or 2d, and there is little doubt that as she carried the orders to the troops to land, they landed immediately upon her arrival.

Captain Craven, U. S. Navy, of the Crusader, informs me that Captain Adams had told off marines and sailors enough, in addition to Captain Vogdes’ company, to make the landing party five hundred strong; so that apparently it will be left for us only to strengthen the garrison, supply it with ammunition, artillery, and stores, and to put it in position to stand a long siege. This occupation of this strong-hold, within one hundred miles of Montgomery, must have a great effect upon the rebellion.

As an instance of the spirit of the soldiers, Captain Brannan was directed to detail seven of his men to fill vacancies in the command on the Atlantic, and telling them that he wanted seven men for the purpose, and that, as they were to go where there would certainly be fighting, he would prefer volunteers, the whole company stepped forward.

The administration will find I trust elsewhere that as here Union men enough will appear as soon as supported and protected by their Government they can speak with safety and effect.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. C. MEIGS, Captain of Engineers.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, April 13, 1861.

Bvt. Maj. W. H. FRENCH, Commanding Fort Taylor, Key West:

SIR: You will use the forces of your command, if need be, for the protection of the officers and citizens of the United States on this island in the discharge of their public duties, and the pursuit of their legitimate private occupations. You will not permit on the island any person to exercise any office or authority inconsistent with the laws and Constitution of the United States, and will, if necessary, prevent any such exercise by force of arms. If unhappily rebellion or insurrection should actually exist at any time, you will then publish a proclamation, with which you will be furnished, suspending the writ of habeas corpus, and will immediately remove from the island all dangerous or suspected persons. You will before publishing this proclamation take the advice of the United States judge and attorney on its necessity and expediency (its legality has been determined by higher authority), and receive with deference their opinion, giving them that consideration and weight to which their patriotism and legal knowledge entitle them. In exercising the authority here vested in you the greatest conciliation and forbearance must be observed, that while the duty be rigidly performed it may always be done in a spirit of conciliation and kindness.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

{p.376}

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U. S. FRIGATE SABINE, Off Pensacola, April 14, 1861.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy, Washington:

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that immediately on the receipt of your order by Lieutenant Worden, on the 12th instant, I prepared to re-enforce Fort Pickens. It was successfully performed, on the same night, by landing the troops under Captain Vogdes, and the marines of the squadron under Lieutenant [John C.] Cash. No opposition was made, nor do I believe the movement was known on shore until it was accomplished.

A strong party of officers and seamen were sent to assist in case of resistance, who afterwards returned to their ships. The marines remained in the fort, at the request of Captain Vogdes, a copy of which I inclose.* the whole expedition was under the charge of Commander Charles H. Poor, assisted by Lieutenant [Albert N.] Smith, of the Brooklyn, Lieutenants [R. F. R.] Lewis and [L. H.] Newman, of the Sabine, and Lieutenant [G. E.] Belknap, of the St. Louis; and it is highly creditable to these officers that this service was performed without accident or disorder under unfavorable circumstances. The Brooklyn, Captain [W. S.] Walker, and the Wyandotte, Lieutenant Commanding [J. R. M.] Mullany, were very skillfully managed. They carried the landing party to the designated spot with accuracy in spite of the darkness of the night, and not having the light-house to guide them, the light having been extinguished early in the evening.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. A. ADAMS, Captain, Senior Officer Present.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Transport Steamship Atlantic, April 15, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. KEYES, Secretary to the General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: I wrote you at Key West, reporting our arrival there, and took from Fort Taylor some guns and stores necessary for our expedition, and detached from the companies of the fort and barracks thirty-three men to fill up in part the companies of the command to their maximum organization, intending to take the balance from Fort Jefferson. These men are required to fill vacancies caused by desertion or other absence at New York.

We left Key West at daybreak yesterday morning (the 14th), and arrived at Fort Jefferson at 1 p.m. I found this post in the good order to be expected from its vigilant commander. The present armament of the fort is thirteen 8-inch columbiads and a field battery, and 104 barrels gunpowder, 608 shells, 150 shot, and a vessel now at the Wharf is unloading thirty 8-inch columbiads and twenty-four 24-pounder howitzers, with carriages, implements, &c., complete, with 250 barrels of powder, 2,400 8-inch shells, 600 round shot, and a proportioned quantity of fixed ammunition, so that this post may be considered secure from any force that the seceding States can bring against it. The whole lower tier of this work may with little labor be prepared for its armament. Some flagging and the traverse circles are the principal work to be done. On the recommendation of Captain Meigs, chief engineer, {p.377} I have directed Major Arnold to have four water batteries, mounting three guns each, to be erected on the adjacent keys. This being done, with-the support of one or two ships of war, the whole anchorage will be within command of our guns.

I would respectfully recommend that at Fort Jefferson for the 42-pounders ordered 8-inch unchambered columbiads be substituted, and that the wooden carriages of all three forts be replaced at the earliest possible day by iron ones. I took from Fort Jefferson twenty negro laborers for the Engineer Department, thirty-one privates to fill up the companies, so that they are now full, a field battery and four mountain howitzers, with implements, and ammunition, some bricks, and a large flat. We got under way, at 8 o’clock p.m., and very soon lost the flat. Her lashing-rigs and hooks, not being sufficiently strong, drew out and left her adrift. Lieutenants McFarland and Reese, of the Engineers, on the advice of the chief engineer, have been attached to this command.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Transport Steamship Atlantic, April 15, 1861.

Bvt. Maj. L. G. ARNOLD, Commanding Fort Jefferson, Fla.:

MAJOR: My short stay at your post and the hurry of business prevented my conversing with I on so freely as I could have wished on the defense of the fort. The importance of Fort Jefferson can hardly be overestimated, nor can I too strongly impress on you the importance of the constant exercise of every precaution and of the most unceasing vigilance against surprise. Your post may not improperly be considered the Gibraltar of America, and you should guard it with the same jealous vigilance you would if we were at war with a strong maritime power. No vessel, Government or merchant, should be allowed to approach without being boarded, and, if necessary, required to heave to for the purpose. Your guns should habitually be kept loaded and ready at a moment’s notice to be fired; a sufficiency of ammunition always prepared for immediate service, and the officers and men assigned to their positions, so that by day or night each can at a moment’s notice be at his post. Your drawbridge should always be raised at night, the embrasures closed and fastened, and the guards by day and night required to the observance of the greatest possible vigilance. The troops must be impressed with the necessity of almost constant fatigue in mounting guns, erecting batteries, laying platforms, &c., and other necessary work, and encouraged to a cheerful compliance with the exigencies of the service.

I am aware, major, of your zeal and ability, and of the excellent discipline that has characterized your command, and I doubt not that you will have anticipated these suggestions. If so, no harm is done, and I wish, if any here made may have escaped you, that you will without delay give them your attention.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

{p.378}

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FORT PICKENS, FLA., April 16, 1861.

To the ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Department of the East:

SIR: I have the honor to report that on the 14th instant it was reported to me that a small boat bad landed at the wharf with a flag of truce, and that the bearer solicited an interview with the commanding officer of the post. I requested Lieutenant Slemmer, of the First Artillery, to accompany me, and repaired to the wharf. On my arrival the gentleman bearing the flag informed me that he was the bearer of a message from General Bragg, and that he was his adjutant-general. He then inquired whether I was the commanding officer of the fort. I replied that I was. He then stated that he was directed by General Bragg to inquire why the armistice in respect to re-enforcing Fort Pickens had been violated by throwing re-enforcements into it. I replied that I had never been a party to any armistice; that I had been sent by the General Government to take command of the post, and had entered under the orders of the General Government. He then addressed himself to Lieutenant Slemmer, and stated that he was directed to inquire of the former commanding officer why the armistice had been violated, to which Lieutenant Slemmer replied that he always obeyed the orders of his superiors. This ended our official interview. After exchanging the usual civilities customary among gentlemen previously acquainted, we parted, and Colonel Wood left the post. I would mention that Lieutenant Ingraham, formerly of the Marine Corps, was present during the interview as a witness on the part of Colonel Wood, and that Lieutenant Slemmer, at my request, performed the same duty on my part.

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

I. VOGDES, Captain, First Artillery, Commanding Fort Pickens.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, April 18, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. KEYES, Secretary to the General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: We arrived off this place on the evening of the 17th instant, having encountered a heavy norther on the passage from Tortugas. I immediately sought and obtained an interview with Captain Adams, commanding the naval forces here, who promised me every assistance in his power, and boats to laud my command. I decided to land with a part of my force without delay,, and while preparing to land, signal rockets from Fort Pickens, indicating an expected attack, hastened our departure. I got in the fort at 2 o’clock yesterday morning with the Sappers and Miners and a part of Clitz’s company. Our arrival probably prevented the contemplated attack. I found in the fort, besides the two companies of artillery, a detachment of one hundred marines and sailors. The greater portion of them I have sent back to the ships. In the course of yesterday and to-day all the troops and horses have landed, and a very small portion of stores, the landing of which in the surf is a slow operation.

In going over the fort and examining its condition, the miserable state of its armament, the small supply of ammunition and stores, I am almost discouraged at the task before me. The mounted guns are few in number-two 10-inch shell guns, four 8-inch howitzers, seventeen 32-pounders, {p.379} and seven 18 and eleven 12 pounders. The guns are generally indifferent, and the carriages old and not to be depended on.

I have not been able to ascertain the exact force of the secessionists, but so far as I can learn their force is nearly 7,000 men. Their forts are fully armed, Fort McRee having, it is said, one hundred heavy guns. Fort Barrancas’ guns are not so heavy, and they have, besides, several heavy batteries, so that every face but one of this fort is taken in reverse, and if they take possession of Santa Rosa, which with my force I cannot prevent, they can erect batteries so as to enfilade every face.

I cannot too strongly urge the importance of the heavy rifled guns, with their carriages, for which 11 have estimates, sent without a moment’s delay, though how we are to get them ashore in the face of an enemy I cannot now say.

I am now impressed with my inability to return, even moderately, a fire for any considerable time, and the entrance of the Powhatan will certainly cause a collision for which I am unprepared. I have urged Captain Meigs to defer his entrance until we are better prepared. A collision at this moment would embarrass me exceedingly in unloading the ship and getting my supplies ashore, and we are so short of all necessaries that they are of the first importance. In the face of the heavy batteries she will have to encounter, I very much doubt the possibility of the Powhatan getting in by daylight, though I may be mistaken. The odds against her are fearful.

I thought it advisable to inform the secession general of the position in which I stand, so I sent to him a flag of truce with the letter marked A, to which he returned no answer, only remarking to the bearer, Captain Vogdes, that in re-enforcing this fort I had broken the truce.

It is reported to me that until the day Captain Vogdes entered the fort communication by mail was allowed, they inspecting the letters, and forwarding such as they pleased and retaining the others; but since then no letters are forwarded either to or from this post. The post-office should be transferred to this place, and an officer appointed postmaster.

I have my whole force employed in mounting guns, making roads, preparing quarters, and unloading the steamer. Many traverses are indispensably necessary for the protection of the men and guns in case of a bombardment, and I have not been able for want of tools and sand bags even to commence them. In two days I think I shall be able to make a respectable defense against the combined force of the forts and batteries, and to inflict more injury than I shall receive.

I found affairs in Key West tending to so favorable an issue that a part of the forces-there may be spared. I have, therefore, ordered two companies of infantry to proceed in the Crusader, which Captain Adams has kindly authorized me to use, to this post. When they arrive and those in the Illinois, I shall be so strong as to defy the taking of this fort by assault, whatever maybe the force brought against it. I think these companies should be replaced by two others if they can be spared.

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

HARVEY BROWN Colonel, Commanding.

{p.380}

[Inclosure A.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, Fla., April 17, 1861.

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

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that I have arrived at this post, and that I shall, unless assailed, act only on the defensive, and make only such disposition of my forces as is necessary to protect them from any enemy, foreign or domestic. I have also to inform you that no movement of, the troops of my command or of United States vessels in this vicinity will have any other than a defensive object, unless we shall unhappily be compelled to act offensively, repelling aggression against the flag, persons, or property of our country.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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GENERAL ORDERS No. 3.

HDQRS. DEP’T OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, April 18, 1861.

Extract.

Fort Pickens is hereby announced as the headquarters of the Department of Florida:

...

By order of Colonel Brown:

GEO. L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, April 19, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. KEYES, Secretary to the General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: I respectfully report for the consideration, and I hope for the approval, of the General-in-Chief the reasons inducing me to urge on Captain Meigs and Lieutenant Porter a delay in forcing an entrance into the harbor of Pensacola. Aware of the desire of the Government that a ship should be placed there, and knowing that I was opposing the wishes of Captain Meigs, nothing but a profound sense of its necessity would have, induced interference on my part; but, believing if the actual state of this post at this time were known that no such instructions would have been given, I did not hesitate to express my views and wishes in the case.

As I have already reported to you, I found this post in the worst possible condition for hostilities-the batteries out of order; some of the largest and most important guns dismounted; the necessary traverses and other protections for the troops unprepared; the garrison deficient; the subsistence nearly exhausted; the ammunition (except powder) not sufficient in important articles for one day’s service; a total want of Engineer, Quartermaster, and Ordnance tools and implements, and the fort in a complete state of confusion, all requiring the labor of every man in it; the steamer Atlantic lying here with large supplies of indispensable stores, which can only-without extreme inconvenience, involving {p.381} great time and labor-be landed within range of the guns of Fort McRee, and the vital importance of getting these stores ashore, rendered, in my judgment, delay in encountering hostilities of the utmost importance, and any act of ours provoking, or I may say assuredly and certainly causing it, to be premature and unwise.

Time with us is everything, and I can see but little injury accrue from delay. I cannot and will not see the flag of my country fired on without returning the fire, and I am desirous not to be plated in this category until I am able efficiently to defend myself and assail the enemy, which now I cannot do.

I desire that my remarks on the condition of the fort may not be considered as reflecting in the slightest degree on my predecessors in command. To Lieutenants Slemmer and Gilman too much praise cannot be awarded for their energy, zeal, and perseverance in keeping this post a truly forlorn hope-and I trust they will receive the reward their gallantry merits. To Brevet Major Tower, of the Engineers, and Lieutenant Whittemore very great praise is due for associating themselves voluntarily with Slemmer in the day of his darkest hour, and for their efficiency in assisting the defense. Captain Vogdes had been in command but a few days and had done everything during that time that his means permitted.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosures.]

U. S. TROOP-SHIP ATLANTIC, OFF SANTA ROSA, April 18, 1861-1 a.m.

Col. H. BROWN, Commanding Expedition:

DEAR SIR: It is so quiet to-night that I think it quite important to make use of the opportunity to land all the men possible, and as I find that the boats carry more than we expected, and one-half of Mr. Hildt’s company is already on shore, I have ventured to use some discretion and land the rest of his company with Major Hunt’s. This leaves only the battery to be landed to-morrow with their horses. We will request the fleet to cover the landing of the horses and battery, and you tan send a company of infantry to their assistance should it appear that it is best to place them east of the fort. This can only be determined after a reconnaissance of the island.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. C. MEIGS, Captain, U. S. Engineers.

U. S. TROOP-SHIP ATLANTIC, April 18, 1861.

Col. HARVEY BROWN, Commanding Department of Florida:

DEAR SIR: I advise you to call upon Captain Adams to send a sailing ship to Key West to order up the Crusader with two companies of infantry and such stores as they can spare. The Wyandotte from long service, without time for repairs, is liable to break-down at any moment, and the Crusader will be very useful in her place. The zeal and energy of her commander in this cause, too, will tend much to your advantage. The three companies left at Fort Taylor will be able to hold that place against all opposers. When relieved the Wyandotte might go to Key West to report, but at present, at any risk, she must be kept here. Let the carpenters make wagon-bodies as soon as possible. We will, by the {p.382} Wyandotte, send boats to the nearest lauding-place. Captain Barry says his horses are strong enough to be used.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. C. MEIGS, Captain of Engineers.

P. S.–I will bring mattresses for the carpenters from the boat. They should be encamped and kept in good humor. They are more valuable than soldiers just now.

U. S. STEAMSHIP POWHATAN, OFF PENSACOLA, April 18, 1861.

Col. H. BROWN, U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Pickens, Florida:

DEAR SIR: In looking carefully over the orders of the President in relation to my entering the harbor, I find them so imperative that they leave no margin for any contingency that may arise. Your letter to Captain Meigs, of the 13th, requesting me not to go in and draw the fire on you before you had time to prepare, is quite sufficient to satisfy me that any such course on my part would be very indiscreet, but, to satisfy the authorities in Washington, I would be obliged to you if you would address me a little more fully on the subject, and state as near as you can your actual condition, and the time required to make up deficiencies. If you think that in two days’ time you will be ready for me to make the attempt, please notify me, for after that time I shall have to run the gauntlet by moonlight, which would no doubt be a good time for an exhibition, but darkness would suit better for a piece of strategy. I know that I am here to give you aid and comfort, and keep any of the enemy from crossing over in boats on the inside, but while I will do all I can in the way of aid, I cannot do much in cutting off boats where I now am. Will you please make such suggestions as your good sense will dictate, and I will endeavor to follow them as near as I can.

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

DAVID D. PORTER, U. S. Navy.

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FORT PICKENS, FLA., April 19, 1861.

Col. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army:

SIR: I would respectfully recommend that a mail may be made up in the quartermaster’s office in New York for this place, and be sent from thence by way of Havana. Also, I would suggest the propriety of transferring the post-office at Warrington to this place. That post-office was intended principally to supply the wants of the Army and Navy, and those employed by the War and Navy Departments. The post-office is now in the hands of the seceders, and all communications pass through their hands. General Bragg has issued an order that all mail matter for the fleet and Army should be sent to the commander (seceder) at the Pensacola navy-yard, and letters from the fleet or Army should pass in the same way. It certainly was not intended that the facilities of the mail should be provided for the enemies of the country, or that the officers of the service should be subjected to the mortification of submitting to receive their letters in this humiliating way.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Major, Second Artillery, Brevet Colonel, Commanding.

{p.383}

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ENGINEER DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 19, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I inclose the copy of a letter from Captain Hunt, dated Key West, April 11, which you may think advisable to lay before the Secretary of the Navy. I may be permitted to add that the danger is a real one that Captain Hunt specifies, namely, the landing of a considerable body of hostile troops on the shore of that island, out of reach of the guns of Fort Taylor. This the fort and its garrison can in no degree prevent. If landed with heavy artillery this force may reduce the fort* by siege, because as yet that part of the structure that is to cover its walls from land batteries has not been built, nor can it be erected so as to fulfill its object for a year or more.

In the mean time complete security may be assured by small, quick-armed steamers stationed at Key West and cruising in its vicinity, provided other demands of the public service will permit the Navy Department to supply such protection.

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

JOS. G. TOTTEN, Brevet Brigadier-General.

[Inclosure.]

FORT TAYLOR, KEY WEST., FLA., April 11, 1861.

General J. G. TOTTEN, Chief Engineer, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: It will probably be known ere this time if there is reason to anticipate any active demonstration by the C. S. Army to secure possession of this work. With the probability of such an occurrence will come the duty of defeating or preventing it by anticipatory measures. It is not for me to speculate on this probability, but if it does exist it cannot be amiss for me to ask attention to the defensive problem which would then arise. I shall do this, although perfectly aware of your acquaintance with the case, and strongly hoping that a peaceful possession by the United States of this line of keys may be assured. Supererogation can be no crime in this instance.

If there is any likelihood now of a large demonstration to take this place, measures should at once be taken to prevent the landing of forces and munitions on the part of the key beyond the range of Fort Taylor guns. This lauding can be made without difficulty unless something more is done, and thus regular siege can be laid to the fort. This ought to be prevented, as it can most readily by maintaining an excess of naval force. The only good landing places not commanded by our guns are along the east portion of the south beach. You will see the landing even of a siege train there would be quite practicable if left undisturbed. But if two or three naval vessels, steamers being best, of course, are stationed along the south beach at points near the shore, say one-half mile, there is enough water, and they could cover all this line by their fires, and could also watch for any rendezvous of an attacking force in the vicinity. The same result-can be attained by establishing two or three batteries along that shore and having the forces stationed here increased by several hundred men. The landing of men in boats would be quite practicable with such rapidity as to speedily outnumber the permanent garrison of the key, and, indeed, I see nothing to hinder putting several thousand ashore almost before the landing is suspected. This, however, would be made an entirely fruitless operation if our naval strength and {p.384} distribution were such as to make the landing of stores and munitions impracticable, and the capture of the transport fleet certain. Along the north side the water is quite shoal, and a landing of men or stores could only be made by boats or scows of light draught, and, indeed, on the south beach scows would be the lauding agency for stores.

You will at once see that if we are kept restrained by a superior field force suddenly landed, the debarkation could go on if no naval interference interrupts it. Open batteries could hardly be held against the assault of superior numbers, and might be turned by landing on the north side through Boca Chica or more eastern channels.

Thus, unless we have a force superior to any likely to be landed, open batteries would be rather unsafe reliances. By using abatis, &c., some power of resistance could be given to such defensive batteries, and they might be useful adjuncts. But the best and safest reliance is in a naval cordon and reef cruisers to cut up any expedition by the roots, and forbid it any foothold on this island. Our Navy, being at once available, could crush out any demonstration and annihilate the fleet of transports on which reliance would be placed as the base of operations. The combination of a larger land artillery force with naval strength would be the same basis of defense, and this would afford the needed watch and give a chance of forming a line across the key cast of the salt-house. I might discuss the strategy of the case much more, but it can hardly be needful. I should mention that the necessity of using steamers for dispatch boats in case of siege should be duly considered. Without this resource we might be for a long time shut up without information being conveyed. Whether the Havana and New York boats could be relied on then is to be doubted. On the whole, the main question is this: Are we in any danger of siege I If so, landing should be made impracticable or useless by such a concentration of force here as to control the east cud of the key or to cut off all chance of landing a siege train and supplies. The attempt to use light-draught steamers to operate out of reach of naval vessels on the north side is to be considered and duly obviated.

I have been obliged to write this in haste. I do not suppose you will need to be reminded of the points considered, but it is better that I should omit nothing which might be thought my duty, should these considerations chance not to have been entertained.

Mr. Mallory wrote here, I have been told, by a recent mail, that when the C. S. Army were ready, an attempt to take these works would be made, but I do not believe this would be tried were our assured strength such as to contest the debarkation.

I am glad to say that from what I have heard to-day the secessionists here have essentially given in and are beginning to see the error of their ways. Judge Marvin has at last been induced, I believe, to hold on to his place, and I trust that all conflict of jurisdictions will now be avoided. It is surmised that judge McIntosh may conclude not to come here at all.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

E. B. HUNT, Captain of Engineers.

P. S.–Judge Marvin feels sure be will be here by the next boat, April. 21. I suppose the shadow of destiny begins to show too clearly for further doubt. I think a turning point is passed, and “submission” to their former peace and quiet will, I hope, replace the rule of bad passions.

{p.385}

The main question is to be decided by the United States once for all, and I do not doubt that this decision is already made.

P. S.–The yellow fever is to be considered in sending men here, acclimation being very important. Crowding a large force on the key will endanger its appearance in a destructive type, and if acclimated crews and troops can be sent this would be a great safeguard.

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U. S. SHIP ATLANTIC, April 19, 1861-3.20 p.m.

Col. HARVEY BROWN, Commanding:

MY DEAR COLONEL: I have received your letter, and thank-you for the very kind terms in which you express your difference in opinion with me. Believing that it was wrong to interrupt the disembarkation of stores by any movement of this ship while this most favorable weather lasted; yielding in all naval matters to the experienced opinion of Captains Porter and Gray; knowing that the Powhatan has her steam down and her steam chimney under repairs, and that she cannot, therefore, move to protect us in any new position; informed that the best landing yet discovered is that at which we, lay (Harris already in this quiet sea to-day stove the only boat sent towards Fort Pickens, and drenched in salt water the officers’ baggage), I concluded not to attempt to move the ship until, the work of the day being over, we could do so without delay to the unloading of stores.

Received your note as I was about entering a boat to examine the beach with Captain Porter and determine what place will do for her new berth. I am sure that were you on board and had so seen the destruction caused by the surf last evening you would agree with us and would think we bad done our best. Your orders are commands to which I shall always while with you implicitly conform when they are given without leaving me discretion, and I have ordered Captain Gray to put up steam and move down the coast. We can get about two miles nearer, no more, and then we will be within fire and I think much troubled by the outer sand-bar parallel to the coast.

As for the other matter, the entrance of Captain Porter into the harbor at this time, I agree with you in opinion. It was only by exhibiting your letter to him and indorsing most thoroughly my agreement with it, and giving him a copy of the General Orders just published to all officers to co-operate as you desired, that I stopped this gallant officer, bent on a desperate deed of self-sacrifice and devotion to his country. He will await your orders, as I shall, in all obedience and fealty.

Most truly, your friend and aid,

M. C. MEIGS.

Please say to Major Tower that his wishes are being executed, and the sand bags I doubt not will be sent at the earliest opportunity; that Gillmore was left with Keyes.

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U. S. TROOP-SHIP ATLANTIC, Off Santa Rosa, April 20, 1861.

Col. H. BROWN, Commanding Department of Florida:

DEAR COLONEL: If my estimate is correct you have now about 690 men inside Fort Pickens. The Illinois is here with two companies, say {p.386} 168. The Saint Louis has gone to order up two companies of infantry from Key West, say 154. You have then here 858; coming up, 154; total, 1,012. The Sabine crew is 450; Powhatan, 300; Brooklyn, 300; Wyandotte, 75; total, 1,125. Crew of the Saint Louis, 250; Crusader, 100; Minnesota, 600; total, 950. Total force to be concentrated about Fort Pickens subject to your orders, 3,087.

The soldiers will have six months’ supplies as soon as the Illinois is discharged. Now, what to do with them? I agree with you in regard to the great importance of avoiding everything that will bring on a collision as long as possible. The policy of the Government I understand to be to hold, occupy, and possess what we now have, and not to produce collision if it can be avoided; in no case to fire the first hostile gun. The attack upon Fort Pickens must be made by bombardment or cannonade. I believe that it is impossible to land a force upon this island in face of the batteries of the Powhatan, Brooklyn, and Wyandotte, properly placed, without exposing it to sudden and swift destruction. If your men and means are all concentrated in Fort Pickens, every shell which enters the fort will tell its tale of destruction. To concentrate all these appears to me to be like putting the depot of a besieging army in the ricochet and breaching batteries. I think that the true mode of treating is that which regulates the advance batteries of a siege.

The sand hills of Santa Rosa afford good, well-protected bayous or approaches, along which material, men, horses, and artillery can be moved, properly protected from all direct and enfilading fire by works of very small extent, needed only to close a few gaps and to cut through a few ridges. An approach should be constructed across the open space at the foot of the glacis, and I think that a gallery through the glacis into the ditch may be advisable. I think that a gateway might be cut with advantage through the south entrance. I save the hauling of material and the hoisting of gun carriages over the ramparts. This gate, too, not being exposed to the direct fire of the opposing batteries, will not tempt an insubordinate, undisciplined volunteer to fire the shot which will open the war.

The three 10-inch mortars brought from Key West and some other pieces of artillery I think might be well placed in battery outside the fort. The division of these batteries will divide the enemy’s fire, and thus lessen its destructive effect. The mortars, being reserved to throw out light and fire balls from the fort, may be placed behind one of the sand ridges in posit-ion to bombard the navy-yard and its batteries. Here the mortar battery would be protected by the guns of Pickens. The light battery and a large portion, say two-thirds, of the garrison I think should be placed in an intrenched camp in the woods where the horses landed. Here they could be without the range of the batteries on the mainland. They would occupy then five miles of the island. A plank road, with natural epaulement on east side, would afford plenty of communication. This communication would be protected by the guns of the fleet, which should be moved in position, and which could destroy any enemy attempting to cut it off.

Vedettes and sentinels upon the ridge could keep up constant communication between the fort and the intrenched camp. Captain Barry will undertake it, as a boat expedition shall land in face of his guns. The working party and guard, detailed for twenty-four hours’ duty, should be kept in the fort to protect the provisions and ammunition there deposited, to work the guns, and repel a sudden assault should the enemy be rash enough to undertake one. The troops in camp and in fort would be healthy, not exposed to fire or too hard worked, and I {p.387} think that all would be more cheerful, more comfortable, and more safe. The present crowded condition of the fort will, if it continues, bring on disease that in even a not crowded place will be destructive.

I have thrown these ideas, the fruit of much reflection upon this subject, together, colonel, for your consideration, and hope they will prove worthy of your approval and adoption. Upon you rests, of course, the responsibility which accompanies command, and I defer to your greater experience, rank, and responsibility, merely offering that advice which commends itself to my judgment.

I am, very truly, your friend and servant,

M. C. MEIGS, Captain of Engineers.

You know that tents for 1,000 men should be on the Illinois; that 10,000 yards of canvas afford means to cover the horses from sun and insects, and that ample stores of lumber, ordnance, provisions, &c., are here or on their way.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, April 20, 1861.

Col. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: I inclose you a report of Lieutenant Slemmer in relation to an attempt of the seceders to bribe and seduce the garrison from their duty. That the attempt was made is fully proved by the fact that the money paid to Private McGarr is now actually in the possession of Lieutenant Slemmer. This noble fidelity should be rewarded, but the kind of reward I am not prepared to yet recommend. The design was to spike the flank casemate howitzer, and then to take the work by escalade. I have no doubt but that other soldiers of Lieutenant Slemmer’s garrison were tampered with, and I fear in one or two cases successfully, but have not yet had time to investigate the affair.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Brevet Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

FORT PICKENS, FLA., April 18, 1861.

To the ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Headquarters of the Army:

SIR: Having had my suspicions aroused by letters passing to and from Fort Pickens and the village of Warrington, I issued orders that no letters or packages should be sent from or received at the post except those passing through my hands. Subsequent to this a roll of papers came from Warrington, addressed to Ordnance Sergeant E. H. Broady. Upon opening them a letter fell out, of which the following is a copy:

BROADY: You are without exception the dam’dest fool I have the pleasure of knowing. Bragg will give you a dam’d sight better berth than you have, and besides, you will be on the right side. Don’t be a jackass always. Look at Gardner-see his position. I have authority for offering you a like commission. Answer me. Where can I take you a cocktail.? My regards to Flynn. Come over and see me. I can assure you that permission to visit your wife, and in a capacity she will be more than glad to find you in, will be granted you. No humbug. Come over.

Yours,

B.

{p.388}

I kept this letter, determining to watch the sergeant and intercept other letters. The next day another roll of papers came to the same address, out of which the following note was obtained:

What a jackass you are. I again renew my offer of a position with a lieutenant’s commission and all your pay twofold that is due you from the Federal Government. Also to Flynn. If you will help us along to save bloodshed, I can offer any private in the company $500, and any noncommissioned officer $1,000 too, with a guarantee of future provision as high or higher as he now stands. Every man who will take upon themselves to give us the fort without bloodshed, and save the lives of your garrison, will be well paid-all back pay, $500 for the privates, $1,000 for noncommissioned officers, and a commission in the Confederate army. This, Broady, I offer from authority. I would not offer it otherwise. You as a friend I believe will trust me. We must and will have the fort, but ’tis not worth one drop of blood; but if it cost 5,000 lives we must and will have it. Fill it full of Federal troops if you will, yet we must and will have it. Don’t be a dam’d fool. When and where can I see you? I will go over to-night, and will take a cocktail if you say so.

Answer first opportunity.

Yours, &c.,

B.

The same day I received private information that the troops on the opposite side were making preparations, preparing boats, &c., and intended to come over that night or the next. I immediately addressed a note to Captain Adams, commanding the squadron, informing him of the fact, and requested re-enforcements. A storm prevented the Wyandotte from coming out the harbor that night. I kept my men in position, keeping a strict watch on the sergeant. Nothing occurred. The next day I received a letter from Captain Adams, of which the following is a copy:

U. S. FRIGATE SABINE, Off Pensacola, April 11, 1861.

Lieut. A. J. SLEMMER, Commanding Fort Pickens, Fla.:

SIR: You have stated in your communication to me of the 10th instant, that from information received through private hands you have reason to believe that the safety of the fort depends on its immediate re-enforcement. Will you be pleased to lay this information in full before me? So many unfounded rumors have been in circulation to this same effect that it is necessary to be cautious, and my orders are positive not to land re-enforcements unless the fort is actually attacked or preparations are making to attack it. Should your information be such as to justify it, I will have re-enforcements landed as soon as practicable when the state of the sea will admit of boats landing outside the harbor and at night, as you recommend.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. A. ADAMS, Captain, Senior Officer Present.

A storm prevented the steamer Wyandotte from returning to the squadron that night. On the morning of the 12th I made the following answer:

FORT PICKENS, FLA., April 12, 1861.

Capt. H. A. ADAMS, Commanding Squadron of Pensacola Harbor:

SIR: In reply to your communication of the 11th instant, I have to state the information I received is through varied sources, and all to the same effect, viz, that the troops were preparing to embark for this island, and that boats and material were ready at the navy-yard to start at any moment; that the intention was to land either last night or the night before. The weather having been such these nights that they could scarcely cross unless very determined, they may be expected at the first favorable opportunity. I have deemed my information of such importance that for the last two nights my men have been placed at the guns in readiness to repel an attack. My men and officers are much fatigued, and I deem it absolutely necessary that the fort should be re-enforced immediately. Provisions should also be landed while there if, yet time to do so by the Wyandotte.

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

A. J. SLEMMER, First Lieutenant, First Artillery, Commanding.

{p.389}

On the night of the 12th instant, Captain Adams having received instructions from the Navy Department, Captain Vogdes landed with his company and the marines from the vessels, and relieved me from the command of the post. On the morning of the 11th instant I sent Ordnance Sergeant Broady on board the frigate Sabine, as I deemed it very unsafe to keep him in the fort, even if a good man, subject to the seductive influences I knew to be at work upon him. On the morning of the 13th instant a private of my company, G, First Artillery, Owen McGarr, came to me and made the following statement:

I was on picket guard last night. During the night I saw a small boat approach the beach. I stepped back to see what it was about, when a man came before me. I brought my musket to a charge and ordered him to halt. He said, “Don’t shoot; I am a friend.” He then began to talk to me and ask about the fort. While he was talking three others came up behind me. They asked me many questions, asking me about the number of men, &c., about the flank defense, whether the guns could not be spiked, &c. Said they would give any man plenty of money if he would only spike the flank defense guns. Asked when I would be on picket guard again. I told them on Monday night. They said, “We will be over and ready.” As they were going away one said to me, “How are you off for money in the fort?” I said, “We have not been paid for six months.” He then put a roll of bills in my hand and said, “Give that to them.”

He then gave me a roll of bills, in amount sixty dollars. I have it now in my possession. There are evidences that the intention was to bribe my men to spike the flank defense and thus obtain possession of the fort.

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

A. J. SLEMMER, First Lieutenant, First Artillery.

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U. S. STEAMSHIP ATLANTIC, Off Santa Rosa, April 20, 1861.

Col. H. BROWN, Commanding Department of Florida, Fort Pickens:

SIR: Captain Gray says that orders from owners are to obey your orders, and to move from anchorage only on written orders; in fact, to have written orders for every movement. He desires to have from you written directions as to his proceedings hereafter. Much done has been by written orders from me, which he obeyed, and which I understood you to authorize me to give. He desires also a certificate from you to show his owners and all others that he has done his duty faithfully, and on my own part I do not see how any man could do more than he has. His real, activity, and readiness have been all that we could desire.

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

M. C. MEIGS, Captain of Engineers.

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HEADQUARTERS TROOPS STATIONED AT KEY WEST, Fort Taylor, April 20, 1861.

Maj. L. G. ARNOLD, Commanding Fort Jefferson, Tortugas:

MAJOR: In order to further the views contained in your letter of the 1st instant, received to-day, I have been with Lieutenant Morton, Engineer Corps, to the town of Key West, for the purpose of giving my personal guarantee that any negroes he may be able to engage for labor at your post will not be removed therefrom for any purpose whatever without the consent of their owners, and I further offered to obtain yours to {p.390} the same effect should they be allowed to be sent. It is not necessary for me to allude to the reason of this unless its propriety should hereafter be questioned.

In regard to the force employed at Fort Taylor, I have not yet had time to see Captain Hunt, but fear that the lateness of the season, which takes the white laborers north, and the excitement in town regarding the capture of the black force at your post, will be difficulties not readily to be overcome.

You are correct in ascribing to me a general desire to promote the good of the service, which is, as it has always been, the uppermost thought in my action.

I am, major, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

WM. H. FRENCH, Brevet Major, U. S. Army, Commanding

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, April 22, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. KEYES, Secretary to the General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: I wrote you on the 19th, detailing my proceedings to that time. Having sent my dispatches by a sailing vessel, I herewith inclose duplicates.

Since my last the weather has been generally favorable, and we have been busily employed in putting the fort in a condition of defense, and in lauding provisions and other stores. I have made quite as good progress as I could have expected. The steamship Atlantic will be discharged to-day, when I shall send her to New York. The Illinois arrived yesterday, and landed Brooks’ and Allen’s companies, Second Artillery, and a detachment of recruits, so that I have now at this post nine full companies; aggregate about eight hundred and sixty men. I have also sent to Key West for the two infantry companies there. My present command is more than sufficient to repel any assault that may be made on the fort, but the holding the western portion of this island and preventing the rebels making a lodgment on it is of vital importance, and to do so effectually a larger force than I now have is required. If the assistance of the ships could always be insured, my present force might perhaps suffice, but they are constantly liable to be blown off, and may be so for several days, of which an enterprising and numerous enemy might and probably would avail himself. The presence of a large force here also prevents the secessionists from weakening their force, and thus prevents diversion to other places where their presence would be more unwelcome. I propose, as soon as I can put the fort in a defensive state, to throw up field works. No. 1, about one and a half miles from the fort, to be garrisoned by Barry’s battery and two foot companies; No. 2, about the same distance in advance, to be defended by two or three foot companies, leaving five or six for the garrison of the fort. I shall then strongly urge on Captain Adams, commanding the naval forces, the necessity of keeping his ships, or at least two of them, so close to the shore as to be able to rake the island. I have already so requested, and it, has been in part complied with, but great reluctance is felt in placing sailing ships so near the shore. It gives me pleasure to state that I have received from the Navy very valuable assistance, which has been cheerfully and cordially rendered.

The work in the fort is progressing rapidly under the supervision of {p.391} Major Tower and Captain Vogdes. Having now established something like system, I hope very soon to have it in fighting order. Guns are now being mounted, and traverses for the protection of the works and men being made; but there is an immense work to do. Our prospects are daily brightening, and I hope very soon to be in a situation to act both offensively and defensively. My command is in excellent health, and the men cheerful and in fine spirits. With such officers and such men I have nothing to fear from any number of rebels. Although most of my stores have been landed in full view and within range of the guns of Fort McRee, yet no hostile demonstration has been made; all has been quiet. I cannot at all account for their not taking possession of the island during the term of Lieutenant Slemmer’s command, its importance being so great and so evident; nor can I account for their abstaining to take the fort, their number rendering its success almost certain, unless from a reluctance on their part to commence hostilities, or their not being prepared for it. I think their present peaceful attitude arises from a consciousness of our ability to greatly distress them by destroying the navy-yard and by closing the port, while they can only hope to do us partial injury by a long and fruit-less bombardment.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, April 22, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. KEYES, Secretary to the General-in-Chief., Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: Since writing my dispatches, I have seen newspaper extracts announcing the secession of Virginia, the taking Fort Sumter and Gosport navy-yard. Should this news be true the security of Key West I have therefore countermanded and Tortugas might be jeopardized my order for bringing two companies from Key West here, and I shall urge Captain Adams to keep a ship at Tortugas and one at Key West, in position to protect the works at these places.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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U. S. TROOP-SHIP ATLANTIC, SANTA ROSA, April 22, 1861.

Col. H. BROWN, Commanding Military Department of Florida, Fort Pickens:

DEAR SIR: If the news sent to Major Hunt by Colonel Bragg be correct as reported to me by Captain Porter, it becomes necessary to look for means to guard your communications and the most important posts of Key West and Tortugas against a naval enterprise. If the State of Virginia has really rebelled, and surprised the Gosport navy-yard, she has some good vessels, and she will very soon have officers to fight them, as Virginians will follow the fortunes of their native State. I do not think, then, that the two companies ordered up from Key West should now be withdrawn from that place. I think that the Sabine and St. Louis, useless here, should go, one to Key West and one to Tortugas, and be moored in position to aid in the occupation and defense {p.392} of these harbors. The letter of the President of 1st April, which you bear, and which Captain Adams has seen, gives you full and ample authority to call upon him to make this disposition of his ships.

The expedition under your command embraces the coast and islands of Florida in its scope, and your attention was particularly called to the “even greater importance” of Forts Taylor and Jefferson than of Fort Pickens. The value of all these posts is greatly increased if the news referred to be correct. I would call upon Captain Adams, in virtue of the authority in you vested by the President, to “co-operate” by sending these ships to Key West and Tortugas. The Crusader will be very useful here, the sailing ships there. Here you need steamers, and sailing ships, except as depots, are useless. From his present position it would take Captain Adams half a day in good weather to bring his guns into play, and in bad weather he could not move at all.

The team road should be extended up the island to the landing. The sailors are hard worked and should be spared rowing. The plank between the gate and dock would make the road. Now less than ever would I put this precious material on the Atlantic and Illinois at peril of destruction by a rough, drunken volunteer’s shot. If one of these ships is struck by such a shot, apologies will not restore her. Too little work was done yesterday on ship and shore.

I inclose a copy of your letter of the 17th instant to me, which I handed to Captain Porter indorsed, as you will see.* By this I succeeded in stopping him.

I am, very truly and respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. C. MEIGS, Captain, Engineers, Chief Engineer.

P. S.–This ship, if properly supplied with boats, can sail by 1 p.m. to-day.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, Fla., April 22, 1861.

Bvt. Maj. L. G. ARNOLD, Commanding Fort Jefferson, Tortugas:

MAJOR: News has been received here that Virginia has seceded and Gosport navy-yard taken. If so, several large ships have fallen into the hands of the secessionists, and your post maybe jeopardized. I shall try to get a ship stationed near to support you, but every effort must be made to strengthen your position as much as possible. Mount all the guns you can, and keep your whole force at work until all is finished that your means may permit.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, Fla., April 22, 1861.

Bvt. Maj. L. G. ARNOLD, Commanding Fort Jefferson:

MAJOR: At my request Captain Adams, commanding the naval forces at this place, has ordered the ship St. Louis to be stationed off your fort in such a manner as to give you necessary aid and protection. He is {p.393} also required to render you assistance in any manner that you may require, consistently with the safety of his vessel.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, Fla., April 23, 1861.

Bvt. Maj. W. H. FRENCH, Commanding Key West, Fla.:

SIR: I am directed by the colonel commanding to say that at his request Captain Adams, commanding the naval forces at this place, has ordered the steamship Crusader to be stationed off your fort in such a manner as to give you necessary aid and protection. Her captain is also required to render you assistance in any manner that you may require consistently with the safety of his vessel.

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

GEO. L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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U. S. TROOP-SHIP ATLANTIC, Havana, April 25, 1861.

Brig. Gen. J. G. TOTTEN, Chief of Engineers, Washington:

GENERAL: In obedience to orders from the President of the United States, I accompanied as engineer the expedition of Colonel Brown, fitted out in New York, and sailing under secret and confidential orders to attempt to re-enforce Fort Pickens.

I left Washington on the afternoon of the 3d April, having been engaged from the 31st March in preparation for the expedition.

The Secretary of State having assured we that any arrangement I might make for the preservation and control of the public works under my charge in Washington during my absence would be approved by the Executive, I appointed Capt. J. N. Macomb, Topographical Engineers, and my brother-in-law, my attorney to sign checks, draw requisitions, and do all other acts necessary for the control of these public works until my return.

Arrived in New York, I devoted myself, in concert with the commander of the expedition, Col. Harvey Brown, Colonel Keyes, military secretary, and others, to the fitting out of the vessels necessary to convey the troops, horses, artillery, ordnance, and stores to Santa Rosa.

By the request of the President I sailed in the first transport ready, the Atlantic steamer, formerly of the Collins line, with instructions to remain with Colonel Brown until he was established in Fort Pickens, and then to return to my duties in Washington.

We had on board five companies of artillery and infantry, two of which were light artillery, Barry’s and Hunt’s. Captain Barry’s company carried their horses with them, 73 in number. Captain Hunt’s company, having lost their horses by the treachery of General Twiggs in Texas, were dismounted.

Such artillery as could be hastily collected, such part of the stores and supplies for six months for 1,000 men, purchased in New York, as could be embarked by the evening of the 6th April, were placed on board and the vessel hauled into the stream after sunset on that date.

She continued taking in stores during the night and sailed on the {p.394} morning of the 7th instant. While of many articles large supplies were put on board, not less than fifty days’ rations of any single article of subsistence accompanied us, and we carried with us thirty days’ forage for the horses.

The dock was left covered with stores, shovels, sand bags, forage, subsistence ammunition, and artillery, to follow with steamer Illinois, to sail on the evening of the 8th.

These two vessels it was believed would carry supplies for 1,000 men for six months.

The uncertainty of the Government as to the condition of Fort Pickens, and as to the very orders and instructions under which the squadron off that fortress was acting, led to apprehensions lest the place might be taken before relief could reach it.

A landing in boats from the mainland on a stormy night was perfectly practicable in spite of the utmost efforts of a fleet anchored outside and off the bar to prevent it. Such a landing in force taking possession of the low flank embrasures by men armed with revolvers would be likely to sweep in a few minutes over the ramparts of Fort Pickens, defended by only forty soldiers and forty ordinary men from the navy-yard, a force which did not allow one man to be kept at each flanking gun.

Believing that a ship of war could be got ready for sea and reach Pensacola before any expedition in force, I advised the sending of such a ship under a young and energetic commander, with orders to enter the harbor without stopping, and, once in, to prevent any boat expedition from the main to Santa Rosa.

Capt. David D. Porter readily undertook this dangerous duty, and, proceeding to New York, succeeded in fitting out the Powhatan, and sailed on the 6th for his destination.

Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, as the result will show, the Powhatan had been put out of commission at Brooklyn and stripped of her crew and stores on the 1st April, only two and a half hours before the telegram from the President ordering her instant preparation for sea reached the commander of the navy-yard at that place. She was got ready for sea, however, by working night and day, and sailed on the 6th, about twelve hours before the Atlantic.

Off Hatteras, on Monday, 8th, the. Atlantic ran into a heavy northeast gale, which increased to such a degree that, in order to save the horses on the forward deck, it became necessary to heave the ship to under steam and keep her head to sea for over thirty-six hours. When the gale abated we, found ourselves 100 miles out of our course, 138 miles east-southeast from Hatteras.

With all speed possible under the circumstances we made our way to Key West, where, anchoring off the harbor and allowing no other communication with the shore, Colonel Brown, the ordnance officer, Lieutenant Balch, and myself landed by boat at Fort Taylor.

Here, calling the United States judge, Mr. Marvin, the newly-appointed collector and marshal, and the commanding officer of the fort, Major French, to meet Colonel Brown at the fort, the orders and instructions of the President were communicated to these gentlemen, and the commission of marshal for Mr. H. Clapp, intrusted to me for this purpose by the Secretary of State, was delivered to Judge Marvin.

Several secession flags floated from buildings in view of the fort and upon the court-house of the town.

The President’s orders to the authorities at Key West were to tolerate the exercise of no officer in authority inconsistent with the laws and Constitution {p.395} of the United States, to support the civil authority of the United States by force of arms if necessary, to protect the citizens in their lawful occupations, and in case rebellion or insurrection actually broke out to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, and remove from the vicinity of the fortresses of Key West and Tortugas all dangerous or suspected persons.

Having by restowing, much of our cargo made room for some additions, Colonel Brown here drew from Fort Taylor a battery of 12-pounder howitzers and 6-pounder guns, three 10-inch siege mortars for which shells had been embarked at New York, and a supply of ammunition for the field pieces; these, being placed upon a scow, were towed out to the Atlantic anchorage by the Crusader, Captain Craven, and put upon her decks during the night.

Early the next morning, 14th April, we proceeded to the Tortugas, where, proper instructions were, left with Major Arnold, commanding the place. Four mountain howitzers, with prairie carriages, light and suitable either for the sands of Santa Rosa or for the service upon the covered ways of Fort Pickens, with supplies of fixed ammunition, spherical case and canister, were taken on board.

Twenty carpenters and one overseer, engaged in Washington, had followed me to New York and were already on board the Atlantic.

To assist in the manual labor of disembarking the immense stores, to be landed on an open sea beach exposed to the broad Gulf of Mexico, Colonel Brown, under the ample powers conferred on him by the President, directed Lieutenant Morton, Engineers, to send with the expedition one overseer and twenty of the hired negroes at Fort Jefferson and skillful with the oar and the rope. By some mistake twenty-one of the negroes embarked, and they proved hardy, willing, and cheerful laborers during the disembarkation.

Lieutenants Reese and McFarland, Engineers, here, joined the expedition.

To assist in landing artillery, the attempt was made to tow a scow from Fort Jefferson to Pensacola, but it broke from its fastenings before we left the harbor. It has since been recovered at the fort.

Leaving the harbor of Tortugas after dark on the 14th, forcing our way through a heavy head sea caused by a severe norther, losing all the horse-stalls on the port bow of the steamer, washed away by the sea, though fortunately without destroying any of the horses, we reached the anchorage of the squadron off Pensacola bar at 6 p.m. of the 16th instant. It must then have been known in Pensacola, though concealed from the fort and from those afloat, that Fort Sumter had, after bombardment, surrendered on the 13th.

Communicating with Captain Adams, commanding the squadron, and exhibiting his instructions from the President, Colonel Brown called upon him for boats to make a landing immediately after dark.

The Atlantic proceeded at dark, towing the boats to anchor near the shore, and, while waiting for the boats to come alongside, the signal for attack, two rockets from the fort, was made by Captain Vogdes.

Captain Vogdes, with his company and 110 marines, had landed on the night of the 12th. The orders of General Scott to him to land, received some days before, had not been executed, because unrevoked instructions to Captain Adams from the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of War contradicted them. Captain Adams had therefore declined landing the troops until Lieutenant Slemmer officially informed him that he apprehended an attack.

From the signs visible on the mainland and from information received {p.396} by him, Lieutenant Slemmer on the 12th, being convinced that an attack was imminent, called upon Captain Adams to land the troops, and it was done that night.

Major Tower, Engineers, thought that this landing and very stormy weather had deferred the attack. But commotion on shore and movements visible from the fort led them to believe that an attack would be made immediately after the arrival of the Atlantic, and therefore the signal was sent up.

The ditches of the Barrancas were lighted up and much hurrahing was heard.

While the boats were collecting on the Atlantic, Colonel Brown and his staff, taking a boat of the frigate Sabine, under Lieutenant Belknap, of that vessel, pulled into the mouth of the harbor, and we landed on the beach between Forts McRee and Pickens. Passing many sentinels and patrols, we entered Fort Pickens by the north gate, and were gladly welcomed by Captain Vogdes and his officers, who assured us that five thousand men might be expected on shore in a short time.

I returned in the Sabine’s boat to direct the lauding of all the men who could be got ashore during the night.

On our way to the Atlantic we met the fleet of boats, and which landed as intended, and put our two hundred men into the fort within a few hours after our arrival.

The night passed off quietly, and the next morning early all the rest of the command, with the exception of the carpenters and laborers and Captain Barry’s artillery company, retained to attend to their horses, were landed on the beach and marched into the fort.

I landed that morning, with Captain Barry and a covering party of men, about five miles from Fort Pickens and reconnoitered the island, determined upon a suitable place for landing the horses and for an intrenched camp out of range of the heaviest artillery on the mainland, and at a point beyond which a boat canal may easily be cut across the island.

During the day and night of the 17th and the morning of the 18th the horses were got ashore. One was drowned alongside by some mismanagement, one got loose, swam twice around the ship before he was caught., and died from exhaustion after landing, and one, turned head over heels by the surf, broke his neck. Four had died and been thrown overboard in the boisterous passage, so that seven out of seventy-three were lost. The rest landed safely, and were at once set to work to haul into the fort the immense stores brought with the expedition.

On the morning of the 17th, while engaged in landing the horses, the Powhatan, which we had passed without seeing her during the voyage, hove in sight. A note from Colonel Brown advised me that in his opinion her entrance into the harbor at that time would bring on a collision, which it was very important to defer until our stores, guns, and ammunition were disposed of.

As the enemy did not seem inclined yet to molest us; as with 600 troops in the fort and three war steamers anchored close inshore there was no danger of a successful attempt at a landing by the enemy, it was evident that it was important to prevent a collision, and her entrance would have uselessly exposed a gallant officer and a devoted crew to extreme dangers.

The circumstances had changed since Captain Porter’s orders had been issued by the President. Knowing the imperative nature of these orders and the character of him who bore them, I feared that it would not be possible to arrest his course; but requesting the commander of {p.397} the Wyandotte, on board of which I fortunately found myself at the time I received Colonel Brown’s letter, to get under way and place his vessel across the path of the Powhatan, making signal that I wished to speak with him, I succeeded at length, in spite of his changes of course and his disregard oil our signals, in stopping this vessel, which steered direct for the perilous channel on which frowned the guns of McRee, Barrancas, and many newly-constructed batteries.

I handed to Captain Porter Colonel Brown’s letter, indorsed upon it my hearty concurrence in its advice, which, under his authority from the Executive, had the force of an order from the President himself, and brought the Powhatan to anchor near the Atlantic, in position to sweep with her guns the landing place and its communications.

The Brooklyn shortly afterwards anchored east of the Atlantic, and the Wyandotte took up position near her.

The landing of so many tons of stores was laborious and tedious. Whenever the surf would permit, it was carried on by the boats of the several vessels, Powhatan, Brooklyn, Wyandotte, Sabine, and St. Louis. The most useful boats engaged were the paddle-box boats of the Powhatan. One of them, armed with a Dahlgren boat howitzer, was kept ready to protect the stores and men on the beach from the guard-boats of the enemy, which would occasionally approach the narrow island from the bay opposite. None of them, however, interrupted the landing.

On the night of the 19th-20th the Illinois arrived bringing Brooks, and Allen’s companies and 100 recruits and some sixteen stragglers from the companies embarked on the Atlantic. She brought in all 295 men and officers and a full cargo of stores.

On the 23d, having landed all the cargo of the Atlantic, having seen Colonel Brown established in Fort Pickens, I proceeded to sea in the Atlantic to leave dispatches and get coal at Key West, to return her to New York and myself to return to Washington.

The naval store of coal at Key West is small and the Mohawk was about to take her place at the dock to coal and proceed to Fort Pickens to relieve the Wyandotte, almost worn out, having been over one hundred days under steam without opportunity for repair.

The only merchant on the island who had coal for sale, Mr. Tift, sympathizing with those who are in array against his country, refused to sell coal to a steamer in Government employ, and the Atlantic was forced to come to this port as the quickest way of obtaining coal for the voyage to New York.

The seizure of the Star of the West, the issue of letters of marque and reprisal, and the proclamation of the President were not then known to us.

Large requisitions for ordnance and ordnance stores have been made by Colonel Brown. They should be forwarded with all possible dispatch.

The principal batteries constructed against Fort Pickens are beyond the range of the siege 10-inch mortars at that place, and heavy sea-coast 10-inch mortars are much needed. A battery of rifled guns is also wanted.

The distance of the hostile batteries is so great that I think, therefore, though annoying, will do little damage. Rifled 42 pounders will enable the garrison to dismount the 10-inch columbiads which arm the battery west of the light-house, and which are the most formidable opposed to them.

Sea-coast mortars placed in battery outside the fort, but protected by {p.398} its fire, will cover the whole ground occupied by hostile batteries, and will draw off much of the fire intended for Fort Pickens.

I advised Colonel Brown to place the greater part of his men in an intrenched camp outside. He has now, including marines and 21 mechanics nearly 1,000 men in the fort.

A favorable spot for camping is found about four miles from the west end of the island. It is beyond the range of the 13-inch sea-coast mortar at the navy-yard. It is overlooked, as is the whole narrow island between it and the fort, by the guns of the steamer-9 and 11 inch guns. A good road can be made between this intrenched camp and the fort, perfectly protected by sand ridges forming natural epaulements from all horizontal fire for nine-tenths of the distance. A boat channel can be easily cut through the island just above it, and this may enlarge to a navigable inlet. Here the men and horses would be healthy, safe from annoyance and from fire.

The fort itself, it appears to me, should be treated like the batteries in front of besieging parallels. Men enough to work the guns in use and to protect it against a sudden dart should be kept in it, and none others exposed to fire.

Thus treated, so long as the United States maintains a naval supremacy off Pensacola, it appears to me that Fort Pickens can be held with little loss of life.

As Fort Sumter, I learned at Key West, has been bombarded and taken, I presume that the farce of peace so long kept up at Pensacola while planting batteries against the United States will soon terminate, and that the entrance of troops, provisions, munitions, and ordnance, by steam and sail, under the guns of our squadron and of our fortress, to be turned against both whenever convenient to do so, will be stopped.

The enemy did not seem to be ready to commence hostilities. They stopped the papers on the night of our arrival, 16th, and of the next mail they allowed, I understand, only two letters to come off to the squadron, both from Southern States. They informed the garrison that Fort Sumter had surrendered without bloodshed; that General Scott bad resigned; that Virginia had seceded; that Pennsylvania troops passing through Baltimore to the defense of Washington bad been robbed of 8,000 stand of arms, &c., but they continued to work the naval foundery night and day, Sunday included, casting, as was reported, solid shot for their 10-inch and other guns, and they moved artillery from Fort McRee to other positions in preparation for hostilities.

Fort Pickens, Fort Taylor, and Fort Jefferson Deed much to put them beyond all hazard from the attack of a naval power. Upon these wants I shall have the honor of making a detailed report.

Orders were given by Colonel Brown, as commanding the new Military Department of Florida, for the fortification of the Tortugas Keys, so as, in connection with vessels of the Navy moved in proper positions, to command the whole anchorage. At present a fleet could enter that harbor and find secure anchorage without exposing a single ship to the fire of Fort Jefferson.

Orders were also given to the commander at Key West and to the. Engineer officer, Captain Hunt, to prepare plans for intrenchments to prevent a hostile landing on the island of Key West.

Fort Taylor, with a brick and concrete scarp exposed toward the island, from which it is only 300 yards distant, cannot resist a landing, and is no better fitted to withstand bombardment than Fort Sumter. The burning woodwork of its barracks would soon drive out its garrison.

I add an approximate estimate of the United States forces on and {p.399} about Santa Rosa Island, said to be opposed by about 5,000 to 7,000 men on the mainland. The army on the mainland, however, is probably increased by detachments set at liberty by the taking of Fort Sumter, unless, as is more probable, their armies are both intended for action against Washington City:

The Mohawk, at Key West, is ordered up to relieve the Wyandotte; and the St. Louis is at Key West, believed to be under orders for the Tortugas. Crusader is here to return to Key West in a day, or two.

The expedition is under great obligations to the sailors of the fleet, who were ready and untiring in the severe labor of landing horses, ordnance, and stores of all kinds upon the sea beach, exposed at times to a heavy surf, which killed one horse and bilged several boats.

Lieutenants Brown, of the Powhatan, and Lewis, of the Sabine, remained on board the Atlantic for several days, directing the boats and seamen, and were of the greatest assistance to us.

Captain Gray, commanding this steamer, the Atlantic, deserves, the thanks of the Government. None could exceed him in efforts for the success of the expedition and for the well-being and comfort of all on board. Night and day he and his crew worked at their posts embarking or disembarking men and stores. His skillful seamanship carried the vessel with the loss of only four horses through a most severe gale which lasted for thirty-six hours, and his watchfulness narrowly saved her from collision with a large vessel at night and during the height of the storm.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

M. C. MEIGS, Captain of Engineers.

{p.400}

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U. S. FRIGATE SABINE, Off Pensacola, April 26, 1861.

ORDER:

Colonel Brown thinks it probable that an attempt may be made by General Bragg to land forces on Santa Rosa Island with a view of making approaches by land against Fort Pickens, in which case he asks the co-operation of the squadron to prevent it. You will therefore have as many men ready to land as can be spared with safety to your ship. The signal of danger will be two rockets thrown up from the fort, which are to be answered by the ships. On seeing this signal you will immediately have your boats manned and armed for service. A detachment of soldiers will leave the fort at the same time, and march along the beach on the sea side toward the ships, displaying two red lights. They will form near the beach, opposite the ships, to cover the landing of the seamen. Their position being known by the red lights, the boats will land as near them as possible, and the men formed to unite with the soldiers in executing whatever orders are given by the commanding officer.

H. A. ADAMS, Captain, U. S. Navy, Senior Officer Present.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, May 2, 1861.

Lieut. Col. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: I have heretofore addressed my official communications to Colonel Keyes, because he, as the agent of the President as well as military secretary of the General-in-Chief, superintended the fitting out of the expedition for the relief of the fort, which expedition was then a secret one. The reasons for secrecy no longer existing, I address my letter, according to regulations, to you. Since my last letter to Colonel Keyes nothing of special interest has occurred. We have been unceasingly employed with my whole force and part of the ship’s in preparing the fort for defense and in unloading the Illinois. Some idea of the condition of the fort for defense may be had when it is considered that every day (one Sunday excepted) since the 17th of April, the day of my arrival, I have had from 1,000 to 1,200 men constantly at work, and of these, 800 have been employed on the work; and although we have achieved quite as much as I expected, we want a fortnight more of work before we shall be fully prepared to resist the numerous batteries and heavy guns that are bearing all around on us. The enemy are equally busy, having large numbers at work on several batteries which are visible to us, and judging by the number of men we see around one or two other places, I think that they have at least two other batteries we cannot see. All the guns excepting those of the forts seem of large caliber, 8 or 10 inch columbiads.

We can see one battery (No. 1) at the navy-yard; one (No. 2) in the rear of Warrington church-a large work, looking like an instruction camp; No. 3, near the barracks-no guns can be seen in it; a little southwest of the fort, and near the old light-house, a battery (No. 4) of four guns, very much concealed; and south of the new light-house another (No. 5) of four guns, plainly to be seen. There is probably one more between this and Fort McRee. These batteries and the forts enfilade and take in reverse every face and curtain of this work but one. {p.401} Fort McRee takes in reverse one more important battery, which is exposed front, flank, and rear to heavy and numerous guns (Plan D).* I have no apprehensions whatever of an attack by escalade, as I think I can whip them in open field; and in a very few days, by the able assistance of Major Tower, I shall be so protected from bombardment as, I hope, to be able to hold the fort a long time.

A man presented himself a few nights since to one of my sentinels, pretending to be a Northern man and a reporter of a newspaper. He brought us valuable information, and thinking his safety might be jeopardized if he returned, I sent him on board the Powhatan. Captain Porter suspected him, and there is but little doubt of his being a Southerner and a spy, as the inclosed letter marked A, will show. He tore the original up, and scattered the fragments in a spit-box. Captain Porter had them collected and pasted together. Two days afterwards a constable or sheriff came over, under a flag with a warrant against him for theft. I dismissed him without any name.

My command continues comparatively healthy, although the men are worked hard. In the hurry and confusion of our sudden departure from New York, articles of the first importance, which had been prepared and ready to go on board ship, were left behind, and others of little importance shipped; among the former, some 8 or 10 inch shells, which, as reported to me, were in a lighter alongside the Atlantic, and yet not taken on board. A special request to have them put on board the Illinois was also neglected, and not one of the former came. I have by borrowing of the Navy obtained enough of the latter for immediate service, and one hundred of the former, so that I have now 150-not enough for one day’s continuous firing. There are a great many guns in the fort, most of them from want of shell useless. There are twelve 32 or 42 pounder rifled guns. With a fall supply of elongated balls [they] would be of inestimable value, and I earnestly hope that some of this kind are, in compliance with my former requisition, now on the way here, as also four sea-coast 10-inch mortars, and the 8 and 10 inch shells which were left behind. The 10-inch siege mortars will barely reach the navy-yard, and will not be so efficient as they should be, though I hope with the maximum charges to render them effective. I have a battery of two mortars in the ditch, and am now building another about half a mile from the first, where I also propose to erect a battery of heavy guns, if the enemy gives us time and I can get them.

I am no further enlightened than when I last wrote on the cause of delay in their opening fire on us. Every day makes me feel more secure of making an efficient defense, and in a very few days my defensive preparations will be complete. I learn from several sources that the Montgomery and Pensacola Railroad is not finished by eight miles, and that they have two bridges yet to build.

Having received unofficial information that the President has issued a proclamation blockading the ports of the seceding States, I requested a conference with Captain Adams, commanding the naval forces, and asked him if he would not feel himself authorized to anticipate its official reception. Having also heard that a vessel loaded with an Armstrong gun and ammunition is on her way here from Charleston, I asked the captain if he would examine vessels entering the port, and stop such as have articles, contraband of war. He said that his orders were to act strictly on the defensive; that a sufficient time has elapsed since the date of the proclamation for him to have received official notice of {p.402} it if it were published, and as he has received no such notice he did not feel at liberty in any manner to alter the existing status. The next day I renewed the subject in a letter, a copy of which I send you (B) with his answer (C), in which he accedes to my wishes that vessels having articles contraband of war on board shall be stopped, and Captain Porter, with the Powhatan and a small schooner I let him have, is now boarding all vessels entering the harbor.

Major Arnold reports all well at Fort Jefferson; that be is busily engaged in strengthening his post, and that he considers himself capable of repelling any force that can be brought by the rebels against him.

At Key West the secession feeling fomented by the Confederate Secretary of the Navy still prevails among some influential citizens. Major French’s policy has been, I fear, too tampering, and he has not taken sufficiently active measures in strengthening the Union party and fostering the Union feeling. I have therefore given him peremptory orders (letter D) on the subject. I do not consider Key West to be sufficiently garrisoned, and have therefore ordered Major French, in case of the arrival of troops there on their way north, to detain two full companies (letter E). Should no troops be expected to touch there I respectfully recommend that two companies of regulars or four of volunteers be immediately sent to that place. A small steamer or steam-tug-one that is fast and of light draught of water-would render us very great service. I have chartered a small schooner, but have had to let the Navy have her for overhauling vessels attempting to enter the harbor, and besides a sail vessel is not suitable for our purposes.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Major, Second Artillery, Colonel Commanding.

* Not found.

[Inclosure A.]

U. S. STEAM-SLOOP POWHATAN, April 28, 1861.

Col. HARVEY BROWN, Commanding Fort Pickens, Fla.:

DEAR SIR: The inclosed letter will give you a pretty good idea of our “spy.” He tore it up and threw the pieces into a spit-box. I had them collected and put together. All his movements are watched. He wrote another yesterday, which I shall get hold of before long. Please save the inclosed for me. I shall probably be pulling about the channel and harbor to-night or to-morrow night. Will you direct your guard-boat to keep clear of me? I shall be in a black double-banked boat, and the enemy have none such. If the guard-boat gets close to us, the watchword is “Bragg.”

A little pilot-boat schooner chartered by the Army arrived here yesterday. She would be a great acquisition to us for certain purposes, while here doing nothing. I am to act as guard-ship hereafter, and prevent the inside people from receiving munitions of war. The schooner would be a great assistance in enabling me to cut off fast sailing vessels. If you have the authority, do you not think that it would be well to keep her here? I will mount a rifle gun on her. Captain Adams has appointed the Wyandotte to assist me, but she draws fifteen feet of water, and could not chase those fellows over the shoal spots, and her machinery is defective. I could do more with the schooner, particularly with a breeze.

I am, very truly and respectfully, yours,

D. D. PORTER, Lieutenant, Commanding.

{p.403}

J. C. MORRIS, Esq.:

DEAR SIR: I wrote you from Atlanta. Was my note received and attended to? Please telegraph my friends that I spend a couple of days at Pensacola previous to my departure for Texas. I want to see a besieged fortress once in a life-time. Everything goes on finely here. Hope to hear of surrender of Fort Sumter to-day; next Pickens, and then Washington.

Very truly,

JOE.

[Inclosure B.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, April 26, 1861.

Capt. H. A. ADAMS, Commanding Naval Forces of Pensacola:

CAPTAIN: I received yesterday the lanterns and your order, for which I am much obliged. We are sadly deficient in 8-inch shell for one sea-coast howitzer, to act against the navy-yard. I am told that you have some. If you have and can spare a part of them it will greatly relieve me. I am also told that the Brooklyn has an abundance of 9-inch shell guns, and I would submit to your consideration the expediency of establishing a naval battery near the fort of, say, three of those guns, to be manned and fought exclusively by the Navy. Their co-operation in this manner would be of the most essential importance, and the Navy associated with the Army in the defense of this fort would cause a generous emulation between the two services promotive of the best feeling. I am told that a vessel is now on her way from Charleston to this place, loaded with an Armstrong gun, ammunition, and projectiles. It is of vital importance to us that such a gun should not be used against us, and I cannot but think that with the information we now have of hostilities having actually commenced, you will be warranted in detaining her, or any other vessel having, articles contraband of war, and I would suggest whether your not doing so might not be unfavorably received at home. I do not, under present existing circumstances, propose capturing the vessel, but only that entrance to this harbor should be prohibited.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure C.]

U. S. FRIGATE SABINE, Off Pensacola, April 28, 1861.

Col. H. BROWN, Commanding Department of Florida, Fort Pickens:

SIR: I fully concur with you in the propriety of preventing munitions of war from being carried into Pensacola, and have given the necessary orders to that effect. The establishment of a naval battery on shore seems to me at this time almost impracticable. Our men are exhausted by hard work, which is still accumulating, and diminished by sickness and detachments. The remainder are necessary for the care and defense of the ships, and for landing parties to co-operate with you. Officers we have none. I am hourly looking for the arrival of Flag Officer Stringham, to whom I will refer your proposal immediately. He will have a fresh crew and officers to spare. In the mean time I would suggest that a place for the battery be selected and prepared for the guns by laying platforms, &c. They are very heavy, and will require solid foundations. {p.404} Will not the guns of the Brooklyn do quite as efficient service on board as they would on shore to prevent in the manner we discussed the other day the approach to the fort by Santa Rosa? In case of necessity she can get much nearer the beach than she now is.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. A. ADAMS, Captain, Senior Officer Present.

[Inclosure D.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, Fla., May 2, 1861.

Maj. W. H. FRENCH, Commanding Fort Taylor:

MAJOR: Your communication of 24th ultimo, regarding affairs at Key West, is received.

The colonel commanding approves your reasons for not cutting the brush and undergrowth on the island, and you will, therefore, leave it uncut. The purchase of the schooner is also approved, but the colonel thinks it might have been better to submit the matter to the proper authority in Washington. Your proposed purchase of mules is approved, and you will send them here by the first opportunity. As soon as possible, endeavor to learn certainly whether Judge Marvin intends, to resign, and if he does, direct him to report the fact to Washington immediately-by the Illinois, if possible. The colonel further directs that you ascertain definitely whether the State courts acknowledge allegiance to the United States. If they do, you will protect them fully in the discharge of their legitimate duties; if not, you will forbid and prevent their sessions. You will give the new Federal appointments your full support and countenance.

In no case must any other flag than our national one be permitted to fly over any public building, or any body of men, doing or organized to do, anything belonging to the duties of the Federal Government. Should the necessity arise, you will be directed in your course by the letter of instructions to the colonel, and be firm and decided in executing your orders. You will go to Mr. Patterson, and having shown the authority of the colonel, will request him to furnish steamers in government employ with coal in cases of necessity. The colonel will address him personally on the subject.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. L. HARTSUFF Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure E.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, Fla., May 1, 1861.

Bvt. Maj. W. H. FRENCH, Commanding Fort Taylor:

MAJOR: The colonel commanding directs that if a vessel shall arrive at Key West with troops bound for a northern post, if the commander does not rank the colonel commanding this department, you direct him to land two companies filled to the maximum organization from others which may be on board, to form a part of the garrison of the fort or barracks, as you may deem most advisable, and, if necessary, to be transferred to this post for its defense. If the officer in command should be superior in rank, you will then show him a copy of the order of the President, giving the colonel commanding authority to call on all officers of the {p.405} Army and Navy for assistance, and in his name call upon him for the two companies. You will show the authority named to the officer, whether he does or does not rank the colonel commanding.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS TROOPS STATIONED AT KEY WEST, May 2, 1861.

Capt. T. A. M. CRAVEN, Commanding U. S. Steamer Crusader:

CAPTAIN: I have it from a reliable source that certain citizens of Tampa have threatened to burn the steamer Salvor and destroy the property of her owner, on the ground that he took cattle to the Tortugas for the use of the United States troops. It is absolutely essential to these keys that the communications with the mainland be uninterrupted, and I would respectfully suggest for your consideration the advantage of a military demonstration in the localities liable to be troublesome, giving those people who are disposed to annoy an opportunity for a little serious reflection upon the fact that they receive no immunity from this quarter. There are buildings at Fort Brooke which did belong to the Government. I am not aware that they have reverted to the State or to individuals. Should this be so, and you should be obliged to act strongly, sacrificing them might produce the desired effect without further procedure. Should you desire material or additional men they will readily be furnished upon your requisition.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

WM. H. FRENCH, Brevet Major, U. S. Army, Commanding.

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FORT TAYLOR, FLA., May 4, 1861.

J. P. BALDWIN, Esq., Mayor, Key West City:

My DEAR SIR: I proposed on yesterday to print an address to the citizens of the United States on Key West. The address was delayed, and I take the opportunity to say to you, in continuation of the conversation had a few days since, that from circumstances brought to my attention direct, and from reliable sources, it is my opinion that there will be a strong effort made to distress the inhabitants of this key. Isolated and shut up by the water of the Gulf, should what I hear prove correct, the distress would be extreme upon the inhabitants of the island. It is in your power to aid in avoiding this contingency, which, whether near or remote, will be terrible when it comes. I have served in Florida during the early wars, and remember the distress of the inhabitants of Saint Augustine, to whom the government had to furnish subsistence. It is probable that such may be the case on the key. The government determining to hold it will be responsible for its loyal citizens; and should the necessities referred to arise, it will be necessary to discriminate, and those who do not belong here should be so notified.

It is also essential that it should be generally known that the functions of the commanding officer on Key West, ex officio, embrace during the present crisis all the military, including citizens desirous to bear arms for the preservation of life and property. It will be necessary for me, {p.406} in order to combine them with those of the government, that a muster-roll according to the form prescribed should be supplied to these headquarters by any military organization now existing.

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

WM. H. FRENCH, Brevet Major, U. S. Army, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS TROOPS AT KEY WEST, Fort Taylor, May 5, 1861.

Col. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army:

COLONEL: The Illinois, from Fort Pickens, is in coaling, and knowing the anxiety of the Government with respect to the insulated forts, Taylor and Jefferson, I communicate direct. This key is in an excellent state for defense. The few suggestions given by me to Captain Meigs are all that will be required until winter. The more men the more disease. I have used my general authority to mount a section of Light Company K, and expect acclimated horses from the Havana in a few days, cheap and hardy. With these the island can be patrolled, vedettes kept up, and light guns moved rapidly.

The sentiment on the key is strictly selfish. The Union man to-day is the disunionist of the morrow. My effort has been to make it the interest of the citizens to be loyal, to encourage the Union men, and to lift up the fainthearted. The judiciary (Federal) have had but little to act upon. I call upon them officially, indirectly. Brought up and resident with the citizens, it might at this time compromise. I have made myself acquainted with the respectable inhabitants under the same rules and formalities which exist elsewhere. The effect has been to open the trial sooner than might have been anticipated. Everything which should have been for sale, after a refusal, when Captain Meigs passed by on the Atlantic North, is now given-coal, water, wharfage. I am opening propositions through Colonel Patterson, naval officer, to buy out for the Government at reduced rates water lines, &c. I have asked from the mayor of Key West lists of the inhabitants, extra mouths, &c., which will have to be fed by the United States. Extraneous people will have to leave. Now there are not ten barrels of flour for sale on the island. Military organizations have been directed to make to me (ex officio) their rolls. No more troops are needed; water is scarce, not doubtful, and the command is equal to every occasion. My position has required me to take responsibility. This I never shrink from. I have the confidence of my officers and the loyalty of the rank and file. Indorse my recommendations, as they are moderate. This place is safe.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

WM. H. FRENCH, Brevet Major, U. S. Army, Commanding.

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EXECUTIVE MANSION, May 11, 1861.

To the SECRETARY OF ME NAVY:

SIR: Lieut. D. D. Porter was placed in command of the steamer Powhatan and Capt. Samuel Mercer was detached therefrom by my special order, and neither of them is responsible for any apparent or real irregularity on their part or in connection with that vessel.

{p.407}

Hereafter Captain Porter is relieved from that special service and placed under the direction of the Navy Department, from which he will receive instructions and to which be will report.

Very respectfully,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA., Fort Pickens, Pensacola, May 13, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: Since my last nothing of interest has occurred, and no demonstration of any kind been made by the enemy. He continues strengthening his batteries, but I cannot perceive that he has erected any new ones. The Florida and Alabama Railroad has been finished, and he has received some large guns and mortars; but, so far as I can discover, he is rather making defensive than offensive preparations. My command has been unceasingly employed in unloading ships, storing provisions and stores, and in putting up works for the protection of the men and guns in the fort, and for bombarding the enemy without. The most important would ere this have been finished but for the want of sand bags, which is so important that I had to send an officer to Havana to purchase them or gunnybags. Major Tower states that he made a requisition for 100,000, and sent it to Washington by Lieutenant Gilman in March, and no notice has yet been taken of it, although two steamers have since then arrived, by one of which (the Philadelphia) they might have been sent.

Having understood that there were three sea-coast 10-inch mortars at Tortugas, I have ordered two of them here. I am also in daily expectation of the schooner Perrin, which sailed from New York about the 17th of April. When she arrives we shall have, it is hoped, every article necessary for offensive operations, of many of the most essential of which we are now sadly deficient.

Great abuse of the flag of truce having in two or three instances occurred, I wrote General Bragg the letter marked A, and sent it by Captain Hartsuff, assistant adjutant-general. In the afternoon of the same day his aid, Captain Wood, accompanied by Captain Stevens, of the Engineers, came to the wharf, where I met them. He brought me a letter from General Bragg, addressed to me commanding Fort Pickens. I told Captain Wood that I was by order of my Government in command of the Department of Florida; as such I had addressed General Bragg, and that I could receive no official communication that did not recognize me as such. He carried back the letter, and I have since heard nothing on the subject. But no objectionable movements have since taken place. On the 7th two steamers appeared off the bar. They were brought to by the Powhatan and Brooklyn, and afterwards permitted by Captain Adams to return to Mobile. I inclose letters B, C, and D on this subject.

My sick-list is increasing, attributable, I think, to hard labor in a hot sun. None of the cases are very serious. I have lost two by death and two by, desertion. I earnestly renew my application for a fast-sailing steamer or steam-tug of light draught of water. Two would be better than one. Their necessity can hardly be overestimated.

Since my last the mortar battery north of the fort has been finished and the mortars put in it, and I shall in a day or, two have one for four 8-inch howitzers completed near the same place. I propose also commencing {p.408} this week near the sea-beach, and to the east of these batteries and about six hundred yards from them, a battery for three 10-inch columbiads, and afterwards another for the same number of columbiads in a place yet to be selected. These finished, the guns and shells received, I hope to be able to give a good account of my command.

Company G, First Artillery (the old company), is so tainted with scurvy as to be of little or no service to me, and the disease increasing daily, I have on the certificate and recommendation of-the senior assistant surgeon Ordered them to Fort Hamilton (vide letter E). I have been induced to this by the long and distinguished services of this company at this place, by the report of the surgeon that a Northern climate was necessary to the recovery of their health, by the conviction that they would be of but little service to me, and by the fact that they can be sent to the North without any expense to the Government. I trust that my action will meet the approval of the General-in-Chief. I have attached the newly-joined men to Company A, First Artillery. I have directed Major French to send me by the first opportunity one of the companies now at Key West. I am amply strong to hold this fort against any force the enemy can bring against it, but not to prevent a lodgment on the island by a large force, which they can in one night throw on it, and I have therefore reluctantly ordered a company from Key West, where I think they are not strong enough; but this place is of the most pressing importance at present.

I have not received any orders or official communications, but see by the papers that affairs have materially changed Since I received my instructions to act only on the defensive. Is it the intention of the Government that the same orders should govern me, or may I, if occasion offer, take the offensive?

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

HARVEY BROWN, Major, Second Artillery, Colonel Commanding.

[Inclosure A.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, May 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding Troops in Florida:

SIR: I respectfully call your attention to what I conceive an abuse of the rights and privileges of a flag of truce. This morning a steamer came to the wharf of this post with a flag, in which, besides the bearer, were a number of officers of your command and some citizens with spyglasses, the professed object of the flag being to bring a private letter from a lady to a subaltern officer of my command.

A steamer a few days since, also with officers of your command on board, visited one of the ships off this post, and in going and returning instead of keeping in a direct line, coasted along the shore on both sides is close to this fort as she with safety could.

These both are, in my judgment, gross abuses of the flag, and I trust you will cause them to be immediately corrected. I observe and cause to be observed by my command strictly the laws of war in such cases, and expect a like observance on your part.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

{p.409}

[Inclosure B.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, May 8, 1861.

Capt. H. A. ADAMS, Commanding Naval Forces of Pensacola:

CAPTAIN: I deem it my duty to call your attention to the importance to the defense of this fort of excluding all steamers from the harbor. Their introduction would be of essential injury to us and benefit to the enemy, so that every possible precaution should, I think, be used to prevent it. I think that under no circumstances should a steamer or a vessel loaded with forage or provisions or articles contraband of war be permitted to enter. All those articles are for the consumption of the army of the enemy, and we, by permitting their introduction, are really feeding our enemies, and giving them the means of assailing us. We have information, which, though not official, is authentic, that our steamers have been seized and appropriated by the enemy; that he has issued letters of marque, and is fitting out privateers, and that our officers have been taken prisoners, our property stolen, and that one of your own officers is now a prisoner in his hands. Under these circumstances, should not effective measures be taken to stop all vessels? I certainly think so. Permit me to suggest that the passage at the north of the island and the landing of the Perdido should be strictly watched, and that every possible exertion should be used to prevent the introduction of supplies of any and every kind.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure C.]

U. S. FRIGATE SABINE, Pensacola, May 8, 1861.

Col. HARVEY BROWN, U. S. Army, Fort Pickens:

COLONEL: I have given orders to the guard-vessels to allow no provisions to enter Pensacola Harbor. In the absence of all instructions with regard to the blockade, I do not know how to proceed towards foreign ships, which by the laws and customs of nations are Usually allowed a certain time to come and go after the declaration of a blockade, nor towards those coasting vessels which exhibit a license from the U. S. Government. My doubts on this subject prevented me from making prizes of the two steamers detained last night, which had cargoes of provisions consigned to Judah & LeBaron. I have sent them back to Mobile. The President’s proclamation of blockade, is dated April 19, and it is more than time some specific directions about it should have reached me here. Should I hear of any privateers, man-of-war, or letter of marque being at sea, under the secession flag, I intend to commence making captures immediately. But I shall be greatly embarrassed what to do with them, as I have no officers to put on board and carry them to a port of the United States for adjudication. Has any progress been made in the preparation of a battery to receive the Brooklyn’s 9-inch guns, if it should be, thought advisable to land them? I am afraid the work, of discharging the Philadelphia will go on but slowly, as the large boats of the Powhatan have been so much injured as to require extensive repairs, and those of the Brooklyn win be employed for a few days in ballasting the Supply.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. A. ADAMS, Captain, Senior Officer Present.

{p.410}

[Inclosure D.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, May 8, 1861.

Capt. H. A. ADAMS, Commanding Naval Forces off Pensacola:

CAPTAIN: I wrote you this morning on the subject of allowing provisions to enter Pensacola Harbor, and am gratified that you have so far anticipated my wishes. I am not prepared to express a decided opinion as to the foreign vessels, but as the port has not been actually declared in a state of blockade I should suppose it to be expedient to let them pass, unless they actually have on board articles contraband of war. I am, however, decidedly of opinion that no United States vessel, containing any article which will nourish or assist the enemy, should be permitted to enter, and most certainly no one, either American or secession, from a rebel State. I regret that you did not feel it to be your duty to detain the two steamers, they being in my opinion lawful prizes.

I have done nothing in relation to the batteries for the guns of the Brooklyn because I distinctly understood you to say that you could not possibly spare any guns from her. I may also say that other and more pressing work would have prevented my doing it, but that I will have an engineer detailed to lay out and superintend such a work whenever you may wish to commence it, presuming, as I do, that your officers will wish the whole to be a Navy work.

Is not the unloading of the Philadelphia and provisioning and supplying this work of very paramount importance to ballasting the Supply, I think that now, while the sea is smooth and the enemy quiet, nothing should take the boats off, and I most respectfully urge that the ballasting the Supply may be deferred until after the steamer is unloaded.

I am much obliged for the papers.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure E.]

FORT PICKENS, FLA., May 9, 1861.

Capt. GEORGE L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General,

SIR: I have the honor of addressing you for the purpose of calling the attention of the colonel in command of the department to the condition of the men of Company G, First Artillery, stationed at this post. Said company has been for the last three years stationed in this vicinity, and for the last four months confined to the limits of this post. During the latter period it has been almost altogether deprived of fruits and vegetables, and during the whole of the three years but very scantily supplied therewith. Whilst occupying this fort the men and officers of the company have been taxed to their utmost capacity by physical labor and incessant watching night and day against attacks from the enemy. A number of cases of scurvy have already appeared among the men, some of them of considerable severity, and there is great reason to fear the general prevalence of the disease among them. The approach of the hot season will tend to aggravate the disease. The supplies of anti-scorbutics in the commissary stores I trust will be sufficient to prevent the appearance of the disease among the men lately arrived from the North, but I do not believe in their efficacy to relieve the cases which have already appeared or to prevent the recurrence of new cases among the men of Company G, First Artillery. Were it in your power to do so, I {p.411} would suggest the advisability of ordering to the North the old soldiers of the company; but if it be not in the limits of your authority to do so, I respectfully recommend that that portion of the company which has been on duty here so long be ordered to Key West, in order that the men may avail themselves of the tropical fruits and vegetables to be procured at that place, and for the benefit otherwise to be derived from change of air.

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

JOHN CAMPBELL, Assistant Surgeon.

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HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, May 14, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: Since my letter of yesterday I have dispatches from Major French, commanding Key West, and among other reports that he has suspended the writ of habeas corpus at Key West. When I was there on my way to this place I left in the hands of Major French a proclamation, to be published when a contingency requiring it should arise. He considers that it has done so. I inclose his letter (A) to me and my answer (B).

The Water Witch, which was dispatched to Havana for sand bags, has returned with some, with which we can finish our defenses.

I was misinformed as to there being 10-inch sea-coast mortars at Tortugas. There are none there or at Key West.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Major, Second Artillery, Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure A.]

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS AT KEY WEST, May 8, 1861.

Capt. GEORGE L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Department Florida:

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 2d instant this 10 a.m. There have been no secession flags flying since my peremptory order on the subject. The military organization called the “Island Guards” has disbanded, in consequence of my directing the mayor to furnish me with the muster roll, which he did. The newspaper called the “Key of the Gulf” I suppressed, because it was uttering treasonable and threatening language against the judiciary and other United States officers. I directed the mayor to inform the editor (a Mr. Ward) that he was under military surveillance, and that the fact of his not being in the cells of this fort for treason was simply a matter as to expediency and proper point of time. To enable me to meet such cases with promptitude, I published on the 6th instant Colonel Brown’s proclamation suspending the writ of habeas corpus. At this date I have not deemed it advisable to follow it with any restrictions upon the municipal authorities or the citizens of the town. As cases have arisen they were at once met, and I will continue this gradual enforcement of the power of the U. S. Government, thus allowing loyal citizens aid and support in their duties and pursuits.

I have the gratification to know that my course has the approval of the judicial officers here, and has given universal satisfaction to the {p.412} Union-loving citizens, besides others whose interests are compromised by the acts of secessionists.

There will be no difficulty hereafter in procuring coal or other ships’ requirements. All will be supplied upon the usual terms.

The U. S. consul, Mr. Shufeldt, at Havana writes to me that he has funds for the purchase of coal, but that none is at present to be had there. Should any arrive later he will purchase and ship it to this place.

Judge Marvin has not resigned. The district attorney, marshal, and clerk are performing all duties which do not require a jury. There is no grand jury, therefore, no presentments. In consequence, it has devolved upon me to use my own judgment in the summary processes I have previously mentioned, and afterwards received the approval and support of Judge Marvin and Mr. Boynton, district attorney.

Lieutenant Commanding Craven, U. S. Navy, has put the harbor under blockade. I inclose a copy of his Order.*

No State court has been held here. I doubt whether it will be. The instructions of the colonel commanding will be strictly observed.

The inclosed number of the New Orleans Picayune (May 3),* sent to me by the consul at Havana, shows that no troops can be relied on as coming from Indianola, Tex. This unparalleled act of treachery, violating the stipulations made by their own convention to assist the troops to evacuate the territory, gives no hope from that quarter. The ordnance and stores required, I regret, are not here, except a few 10-inch shells. I have directed one hundred with sabots and straps to be sent. This fort is daily growing in strength. The barbette guns on the face fronting the town are all in position. I am proud to say that the officers and men are in a high state of discipline and subordination, and, although another soldier might never come, I doubt whether even a lodgment could be made on the island.

We have had a fine rain, replenishing the tanks. Nearly three months’ water is on hand, independent of the wells at the head of the bridge. The health of the command is very good.

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

WM. H. FRENCH, Brevet Major, Commanding.

* Not republished.

[Inclosure B.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, May 13, 1861.

Bvt. Maj. W. H. FRENCH, Commanding Fort Taylor, Key West:

MAJOR: The colonel commanding entirely disapproves your action in sending Ordnance Sergeant Flynn away from your post without his authority. The fact that he was not ordered to Washington, nor to any other place except your post, was proof in itself that it was neither the colonel’s intention nor desire that he should go anywhere else, because if so the order would have been issued from these headquarters. The colonel considers that in this case you have not only exceeded the limits of your authority, but that you have no excuse for so doing, as there, was both time and opportunity for communicating with him. The matter did not demand immediate attention and no interest of the service was in the slightest degree injured by delay.

The colonel commanding directs that hereafter you will in no case, except when the necessities of the service can be shown to be absolutely {p.413} imperative, assume the responsibility of ordering men under your command out of the department without his authority.

As the colonel has only your own letters and not the replies nor the special reasons for your action, he cannot judge of the immediate necessity for suspending the writ of habeas Corpus, but having the approval of Judge Marvin and of the district attorney, it has his. He desires that you send here all the papers in the case.

The island being under martial law, all its citizens must acknowledge allegiance to the Government. While the colonel wishes you to be perfectly firm and decided in upholding the laws and suppressing rebellion, he desires that it may be done in a spirit of kindness and conciliation, so that if possible they may be led from error rather than be driven into it by an undue exercise of authority. If, however, any prove incorrigible and refuse allegiance to the Government, they must be sent from the island immediately, without respect of persons.

The colonel does not approve of any removal of troops to Tampa or elsewhere from Key West, nor will any be made unless in case of extreme urgency. Key West is of paramount importance, and must not be weakened for any contingent service; neither does he think it at all expedient for the Crusader to leave Key West for any such purpose. He intends to address Captain Adams on the subject.

The colonel is much gratified to learn the falsity of the report that a secession flag was permitted to fly from the court-house. He commends your zeal, and is pleased to learn of the soundness of your officers.

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

GEO. L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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U. S. FRIGATE SABINE, Off Pensacola, May 14, 1861.

Col. H. BROWN, Commanding Department of Florida, Fort Pickens:

COLONEL: Yesterday I gave General Bragg official notice of the blockade of Pensacola Harbor, in order that the foreign ships lying there might be made fully aware of it. I inclose you a copy of a communication from him in reply, which I have just received.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. A. ADAMS, Captain, Senior Officer Present.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS OF CONFEDERATE STATES, Near Pensacola, May 14, 1861.

Capt. H. A. ADAMS, Senior U. S. Naval Officer, of Pensacola:

SIR: Your communication of yesterday’s date, announcing to me an act of aggressive war on the part of your Government by the blockade of this port, I accept as such, and consider it a virtual acknowledgment of our national existence and independence.

You will please to consider the harbor as closed against all boats and vessels of the United States, as I shall permit none to enter except your dispatch-boat under a white flag.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

{p.414}

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT. OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, May 19, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: Since my letter of the 13th nothing of special interest has occurred. We have continued to be busily at work preparing for hostilities, and, although much retarded and delayed by the want of essentially necessary articles which should have been sent, we are now very nearly prepared. Yesterday the schooner J. N. Genin arrived and relieved me from great anxiety, having brought me, besides three columbiads, a supply of 8 and 10 inch shells and of 42-pounder shot, of which I was very much in want. Major Tower estimated for 100,000 sand bags in February or March, and no notice has been taken, that we know, of his requisition, although the safety of this fort and the lives of many of the garrison depended on our getting them or some others. Fortunately, we have been able to get partially supplied by our own exertions, or this fort would now be in no condition to stand a bombardment. We are now again nearly out. I have finished the battery north of the fort, and have now mounted on it and read for service four 8-inch howitzers and two 10-inch siege mortars. The distance of the battery from the navy-yard is one and a quarter miles, so that these guns will barely reach; but they are the best I have, and I think I can throw shells from both into the yard,. Between this battery and the fort I am erecting another for two 10-inch columbiads. It will be ready for the guns in four or five days. The guns are still on board the schooner the wind having blown so high as to make it impossible to land them.

Having to detach two companies for watching the approaches to the fort and to prevent the enemy landing, and Barry’s company having charge of the new battery (which I call Battery Lincoln), I have not force enough to man the guns and do the necessary garrison duty. I have therefore asked a steamer of Captain Adams to go to Key West and bring Jones’ company of artillery here. She leaves in the morning, and carries this letter.

I respectfully renew the request and recommendations contained in my former letters.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Major, Second Artillery, Colonel Commanding.

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UNION DEFENSE COMMITTEE, New York, May 21, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War, Washington:

DEAR SIR: The chairman of our executive committee, Mr. S. Draper, informs me that he has sent you this morning a telegram representing the necessity of sending a number of rifled cannon to Fort Pickens.

As chairman of the sub-committee having charge of purchases of arms and ammunition for the Union Defense Committee, I beg leave to endorse fully Mr. Draper’s telegram, and to state that the requisite number of guns, or a portion of them, can be procured here, and that they should be forwarded by the United States transport to sail for Fort Pickens on Friday, the 24th instant. Any directions you may be pleased to give on this subject will be promptly attended to by our committee.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant

J. J. ASTOR, JR., Chairman Committee on Purchase of Arms and Ammunition.

{p.415}

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, May 22, 1861.

J. J. ASTOR:

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 21st instant, and in reply beg leave to say that this Department can give no such authority as is therein asked for, and does not desire any cannon forwarded to Fort Pickens by the Union Defense Committee. If any are needed there this Department will be duly informed of it by the officer in command, whose duty it is to inform it, and whose judgement and wishes on the subject will be deemed sufficient to command its prompt attention through the agency of its own proper officers assigned by law for such purposes. The Union Committee will, therefore, please forward no ordnance to Fort Pickens.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 27.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, May 22, 1861.

A council of war will meet at the quarters of the commanding officer at 111 o’clock a.m. to-day. The following officers will compose the council, viz:

Bvt. Lieut. Col. Horace Brooks, Second Artillery.

Capt. Rufus Ingalls, Quartermaster’s Department.

Capt. William F. Barry, Second Artillery.

Bvt. Maj. Henry J. Hunt, Second Artillery.

Capt. Harvey A. Allen, Second Artillery.

Bvt. Maj. Zealous B. Tower, Engineers.

Capt. Henry F. Clarke, Subsistence Department.

Capt. Henry B. Clitz, Third Infantry.

First Lieut. George T. Balch, Ordnance.

Capt. George L. Hartsuff, assistant adjutant-general, will record the proceedings.

By order of Colonel Brown:

GEO. L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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FORT PICKENS, May 25, 1861.

Col. H. BROWN, Commanding Department of Florida:

SIR: It is my opinion that Fort Pickens cannot be successfully defended against the enemy’s forces now arrayed against us unless a sufficient number of the steamships aid your command to prevent any landing upon Santa Rosa Island. If the enemy once establish themselves on this island in the absence of a powerful steam fleet, they can in a few days build batteries to prevent ships from approaching this end of the island, and rapidly advance and reduce this work by a short siege. The heavy fire upon the flank and rear of our land fronts will prevent us from making a strong resistance if it does not dismount nearly all our guns. Two curtains of our land fronts have no guns upon them, and the flank guns are seen in reverse. The Navy must hold the island until re-enforcements arrive, or our nation must suffer another disgrace in the loss of Fort Pickens. Circumstances have much changed during {p.416} the past three weeks, the power of the enemy being nearly doubled in men and heavy guns.

ZEALOUS B. TOWER, Brevet Major, Chief Engineer, Department of Florida.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, May 27, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: Since my last dispatches no hostile movement has been made by the rebels, and we have been industriously employed in preparing to defend this fort, and have nearly completed the internal defenses, at least so far as we can do without sand bags. I have also completed and armed Batteries Lincoln and Cameron, the former with two 10-inch siege mortars and one 8-inch sea-coast howitzer, and the latter with two 10-inch columbiads. I am preparing beds for one 10-inch columbiad in the gorge of bastion D, and one in the salient of the counterscarp of bastion E. I have a gun for the former, and am daily expecting one for the latter, a schooner having three 10-inch columbiads, with projectiles, &c., having been spoken at Tortugas bound here. When she arrives I purpose erecting a battery of two guns on the point of the island south of the fort. I have established a camp about three-quarters of a mile from the fort, where the two infantry companies are encamped, and am cutting a military road in the interior of the island some three or four miles, to enable me, by prompt movements of the battery and other troops, to repel the enemy in case he makes a lodgment on it.

The schooner J. N. Genin will be unloaded probably to-morrow, it being very slow work in an open roadstead. These, I believe, are all my operations since I last wrote. I see by the Herald of the 4th instant that Captain Meigs reports this fort as being secure from all possible attacks, and able to resist any that can be made against it: If Captain Meigs has made such a report he has reported what at the time was notoriously incorrect, and his report has been very injurious by probably preventing those supplies of arms and ammunition which are of vital importance, and which would doubtless have been promptly sent had our real condition been correctly reported, but which, of course, would not be to a fort able to resist any attack that could be made on it. At the time Captain Meigs left here this fort was in no condition for offense or, defense. Every gun, every front, and every casemate but one was unprotected, and open to’ the shot and shells of the enemy, and their defense must have been at a fearful loss of life. There were only two 10-inch columbiads mounted-the only guns that can with certainty and efficiency reach the enemy-and there were not shells enough either of columbiads, howitzer, or mortar for one half day’s firing, nor have I now enough to last, even with moderate firing, more than four days; and the only guns in the fort to be depended on are the columbiads, though I hope and believe I can reach the enemy with the 32-pounders, the howitzers, and the mortars.

I send you a sketch [inclosure I], by which it will be seen how we are surrounded, and that most of the batteries are beyond the ordinary range of our guns. It must always be borne in mind that the armament of this fort was designed to reach only to the channel. We, I trust, now will be able to defend ourselves against the enemy. We {p.417} have, however, one vulnerable point: If he makes a lodgment on the island, and is able to approach the fort on that side, it must inevitably fall. I have no fears of his doing this so long as the ships remain to prevent it, but they are likely to be taken away, and if they are the consequences may be calamitous.

Captain McKean arrived here the day before yesterday, and immediately ordered the Powhatan and Brooklyn away, and proposed leaving himself in the Niagara. This would leave this place with only the Sabine, Huntsville, and Water Witch to blockade the port and protect the island-a force inadequate. I protested against the measure, and showed him my authority to do so. He consented to remain with the Niagara, but yesterday wrote me that be intended leaving immediately in the Niagara. I assented to it, provided he left all the small steamers. He has ordered the Water Witch to leave in the morning for Havana, but has not informed me as to the Wyandotte, which is now absent at Key West. I inclose copies of the letters between him and me on the subject (A to D).

The force of the rebels is said to be now from 8,000 to 10,000, so that it will easily be seen that he has force enough to occupy the island. If the ships are to be taken away by every commander that accidentally touches here, then a force sufficiently large to hold the island should be sent, but under existing circumstances I think the ships preferable.

On Wednesday morning about 3 o’clock it was reported to me that the dry-dock was moving out. It had been for a long time rumored that she was being fitted out as a water battery, with heavy guns. All preparations were accordingly made. She accordingly-a huge black monster-moved slowly towards Battery Lincoln until within less than a mile, when she stopped broadside to this fort. At daybreak she was seen in this position, but, no hostile demonstration from her or elsewhere being made, we remained quiet. I thought it a good opportunity to free myself from a false position-that of being obliged to act only on the defensive. I therefore wrote a letter to General Bragg (E), and not receiving an answer, having taken the opinions of the older officers of my command, I wrote him a letter marked G. My messenger brought back answers to both, F and H, all of which I here inclose. The next morning we discovered that she had been sunk, and she so remains at this time, and is apparently unoccupied. She lies within less than a mile of Batteries Lincoln and Cameron. General Bragg says her present position is accidental, and I doubt not it is so. He probably intended to move the dock to Pensacola or some other place where she would be safe in case of bombardment, but the wind being strong from the north she either broke loose or the tugs were unable to control her movements, and she was floating directly on our batteries when she was brought to anchor, and he, not knowing whether I would consider his explanation as satisfactory would not hazard her loss and that of the steamers which would necessarily be employed in towing her off, and therefore he sunk her.

I have received no dispatches or instructions from Washington since I left.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Major, Second Artillery, and Colonel Commanding.

{p.418}

[Inclosure A.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, May 25, 1861.

Capt. W. W. McKEAN, Commanding Naval Forces off Pensacola:

SIR: I have just received a letter from Captain Adams, commanding the ship Sabine, stating that the ship just arrived is the Niagara, Captain McKean. She has been ordered down here to blockade Mobile and the mouth of the Mississippi, and will require the Brooklyn and Powhatan, or perhaps this ship, to assist her. These vessels will sail this evening. I respectfully represent to you that the taking away these ships will jeopardize the safety of this fort. The force of the enemy on the other side of the harbor is represented to be from 8,000 to 10,000. My force for duty is a little less than 700, exclusive of marines and sailors.; so that if the ships are taken away I cannot prevent a landing of the enemy on Santa Rosa Island, their making a permanent lodgment here, and subsequent approaches on this fort. The Sabine might be spared in case of great emergency, but neither of the steamers should be taken away at this time without a more pressing urgency than that of the blockading Mobile Harbor. I therefore enter my solemn protest against the removal at this time of any of the steamships from this harbor, the safety and preservation of the fort imperiously demanding their continuance here. I inclose you the authority I have from the President of the United States to make this protest, the expedition named being the preservation of this fort, and I respectfully call on you in his name to assist me in preserving it, by keeping the ships in their present position.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure B.]

U. S. STEAM FRIGATE NIAGARA, Off Pensacola, May 26, 1861.

Col. HARVEY BROWN, U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Pickens, Pensacola:

SIR: The steamer Huntsville arrived this morning. She is a fine vessel, mounting one 8-inch gun on a pivot, and two 32-pounder carriage guns, and has sufficient power to tow a vessel of the largest size. I have ordered the sloop St. Louis here, and she may be looked for hourly. Do you not think that the Sabine and those vessels will be a sufficient force to prevent a landing of the rebels on the island? I am of opinion that it will, and as it is of vital importance that the port of Mobile should be blockaded before the arms are received, I am very anxious to proceed to that point. In the event of a threatened attack the Mohawk could be dispatched for me, and as the distance is short I could reach here in a few hours. Please let me hear from you by the bearer.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. W. McKEAN, Captain, U. S. Navy.

{p.419}

[Inclosure C.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, May 27, 1861.

Capt. W. W. McKEAN, Commanding Naval Forces of Pensacola:

SIR: I am in receipt of your letter of the 26th instant. Although the two sail vessels you propose leaving will give a very inadequate support on account of the difficulty of moving them, their inability to lie close to the shore, and their projectiles being principally solid shot, yet, appreciating the importance of blockading Mobile and capturing the vessel, I will interpose no further objections to the departure of the Niagara after the arrival of the St. Louis, provided the Mohawk is permitted to continue to guard the north pass, which I consider of great importance, and that the Wyandotte and Water Witch continue here with the Huntsville to enforce the blockade and protect the island.

I again respectfully request that you will order Captain Porter immediately to return to me the small schooner which I lent him especially to assist him here, and which in so extraordinary a manner he took away without my knowledge or consent.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure D.]

P. S.–“Since writing the above your communication has been handed to me. I will leave the Mohawk and Huntsville here, and will in compliance with your request direct Lieutenant Commanding Porter to order the schooner immediately back. The Powhatan is off Mobile, but it is very important that she should proceed to the Mississippi as soon as possible, for it will require three vessels to blockade that river. She had but one week’s water when she left, and cannot obtain a supply until she reaches the Mississippi.”

(A true copy of a postscript in a letter from Captain McKean to me, the letter being on another subject.)

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure E.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA. Fort Pickens, May 22, 1861.

Brig. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding Troops in Florida:

SIR: In my letter to you of the 17th ultimo I announced my intention of acting only on the defensive, unless assailed. Since then your so-called government has commenced ail unholy, unjust, and parricidal war oil our common country, and you personally have been almost constantly hostilely engaged in erecting batteries against this fort, and last night in anchoring a floating battery within range of and menacing my command. You will therefore be pleased to notice that I shall act on the offensive whenever the interests and honor of my country, in my opinion, require it.

I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

{p.420}

[Inclosure F.]

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS CONFEDERATE STATES, Near Pensacola, Fla., May 22, 1861.

Col. HARVEY BROWN, Commanding U. S. Forces, Fort Pickens, Fla.:

SIR: Your communication of this date announced your intention to “act on the offensive whenever the honor and interests of your country, in your judgment, require it.” To any action you may take I shall respond with alacrity. Having voluntarily pledged yourself “to act on the defensive, unless assailed,” I am no little surprised at your complaint that I, who acted under no such pledge, have been “constantly hostilely engaged in erecting batteries against your fort,” when you have been all the while, under my daily observation, doing precisely the same thing against my position. The merits of the controversy between our respective governments I choose not to discuss with you. Impartial history will decide that question for us; but I must insist on the propriety and necessity of your observing those courtesies of style and language which I have a right to expect from one holding your high position, in any future communications addressed to these headquarters.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure G.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, May 22, 1861-2 p.m.

Brig. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding Troops in Florida:

SIR: It being impossible for me to know the character of the vessel now under my guns, or the object for which she is placed there, or of her removal from there, I can only consider her as designed to act in some manner against this fort or the shipping off this harbor. I have therefore to notify you that any attempt to remove or to occupy her will be considered an act of hostility, which I shall resist with what means I possess, unless I shall receive a satisfactory explanation.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure H.]

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS CONFEDERATE STATES, Near Pensacola, Fla., May 22, 1861.

Col. H. BROWN, Commanding U. S. Troops, &c., Fort Pickens:

SIR: Your second communication of this date is received, and I am surprised at the excitement which has been caused by the accidental position of the dry-dock from the navy-yard, without troops or armament. I cannot see how it could be regarded in any hostile light, and I had intended removing it as soon as my means and the wind and tide would allow.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

{p.421}

[Inclosure I.]

{p.422}

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, May 29, 1861.

To the ADJUTANT-GENERAL:

SIR: The Department proposes to send an expedition to re-enforce Santa Rosa Island. Steamers will be immediately purchased, and one regiment of troops will be taken with the expedition.

You will prepare for signature the necessary orders.

Object of the expedition will not be known until it reaches its destination.

SIMON CAMERON.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, May 29, 1861.

Col. J. W. RIPLEY, Chief of Ordnance:

SIR: It is reported that a battery of Whitworth guns and ammunition has been received in New York as a gift to the Government. You will take immediate steps to cause these guns-all the rifled 42-pounders prepared for Fort Pickens which may be ready in time; the 30-pounder and 10-pounder rifles now on Governor’s Island; the ammunition for the above; as many 10-inch shells both for sea-coast mortars and for 10-inch columbiads, and those carriages now mounted at Fort Richmond (care being taken to provide suitable pintles for the above, so as to mount them in sand batteries on plank platforms outside the fort); materials for platforms for forty or fifty heavy guns, including all the above, and thirty 9-inch Navy guns; also all ordnance stores, materials, &c., heretofore called for for the use of Fort Pickens-to be prepared for shipment upon steamers which will be got ready by the War Department and !Navy Department at the earliest moment. One hundred thousand sand bags, a complete set of heavy wheels, with slings, gins, &c., for handling the guns oil Santa Rosa Island, ropes, blocks, cartridge-bags, and all the sea-coast mortars ready at the time the vessels sail from New York or Boston, will also be sent out.

It is intended to keep the destination of this expedition secret; therefore order the necessary instructions by telegraph, and do not make known their object.

Fort Pickens appears to be in danger for want of ordnance, called for long since. Where the error lies the Department does not propose to inquire. The present duty is to deal with the question as it stands, and to spare no exertion, no resources, of the Government to put it, if possible, out of hazard.

The names of the vessels will be made known to the quartermasters, New York, as soon as engaged. Some ordnance men should, if possible, be detailed to accompany the expedition. It is proposed to put up a large number of batteries on different points of Santa Rosa Island to answer the formidable fire prepared by the rebels, to silence and destroy their batteries, if possible.

The War Department desires the benefit of any suggestions you may have to offer tending to the most speedy supply of these essentials or any other. Is it certain that there are enough 42-pounders and other shot for guns already in battery there? Is not more powder Deeded? If so, it should be packed in metallic cases, water-proof, and not so full as to sink if thrown overboard. The means of lighting up the island in case of attack should be provided. Timber for blindages and for battery magazines should be provided.

SIMON CAMERON.

{p.423}

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, May 29, 1861.

Hon. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy:

SIR: For increasing the defenses on Santa Rosa Island and restoring the equilibrium lost since the late completion of the Montgomery and Pensacola Railroad, which has enabled the rebels to multiply their batteries and arm them with large guns and mortars, the War Department desires the use of thirty IX-inch guns, Navy pattern, with carriages and implements complete, and as many shells as can be supplied on short notice. Understanding that you have at Portsmouth, or can have in a few days, the above number of guns, I request you to give the necessary orders for the shipment on board a steamer, to be chartered and sent there to receive them for the War Department. It is proposed to send out not less than ten large steamers, with a regiment of troops. It is important that these steamers should be each armed with three or four guns, the heavier the better, and supplied with some sailors of the Regular Navy to work the guns, under the direction of a competent naval officer on each, these sailors out there on the fleet off Santa Rosa to be ready to assist in landing or setting these guns in battery on the island of Santa Rosa. The steamers will be chartered or purchased as transports by the War Department, and their usual working crew and sailing commander, if chartered, will be furnished by the owners under the charter-party.

As late advices from Fort Pickens show that some error has been committed which has left the fort insufficiently provided with ammunition and guns to resist a bombardment daily threatened, all this should be executed with the greatest speed and secrecy. The destination of the vessel and the character of her cargo should be kept secret to all bat those to whom it is necessary to make, them known, in order to the speedy preparation of the expedition.

These vessels will carry, also, a number of Army 10-inch guns and of Army shells, mortars, &c., and it is hoped a battery of Whitworth rifled guns and some rifled 42-pounders. Heavy boats for landing the guns will be needed. If a suitable crew can be furnished and carried out by any, naval vessel going to Fort Pickens, it will much facilitate the landing of the guns and carriages. The next best means will be probably to send out paddle-box boats of large size. In this the War Department will depend upon the co-operation of the Navy, which is earnestly invited to secure the holding of Fort Pickens, whose military and political importance just now cannot be exaggerated.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

SIMON CAMERON.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, May 30, 1861.

Col. M. C. MEIGS, Eleventh Infantry, Washington:

SIR: You have been directed to take charge of the organization and dispatch of an expedition to sail from New York and Portsmouth under sealed orders.

You are authorized to call upon the quartermaster, commissary, and other staff departments in New York for such supplies not already ordered as may in your judgment be necessary for the object of the expedition.

You will direct Mr. Tucker, transportation agent, in regard to the {p.424} charter of the necessary steam vessels, and will consult and co-operate with the Navy officers at Brooklyn and Portsmouth in shipping certain naval supplies of guns and ammunition.

Respectfully,

SIMON CAMERON Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, May 30, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: Since my letter of the 27th instant the steamer Suwannee has arrived from Key West with Company F, First Artillery, under command of Lieutenant Closson, and by the same vessel the Engineer Department received 12,000 gunny-bags, which I think will be as many as will be required.

I inclose you documents A to C, by which it will be perceived that the principal seceders, have left Key West, and that through the wise system of conciliation and firmness combined, a strong Union feeling now prevails on that island, and it may be reasonably expected that all the inhabitants of the island will return to their allegiance. I received also assurance from the commanders of Forts Taylor and Jefferson that their respective posts are in good fighting order, and entirely safe from any force that can be brought against them by the rebels.

I have to report that Paymaster Albert J. Smith deserted the service of the United States from Key West on the 22d instant. He turned over to Captain Hunt, of the Engineers, about $2,000 previous to his desertion. I have advertised him as a deserter, and offered a reward for his apprehension.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure A.]

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS AT KEY WEST, May 16, 1861.

Capt. G. L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Department Florida:

CAPTAIN: Since my communication of the 12th instant, the regular time for opening the session of the district court arrived, viz, the second Monday in May (13th). No court has, however, been held. My order refusing to permit, judicial or magisterial functions to be exercised, except by persons who will swear allegiance to the United States, has been carried out, and for the last three days there has been no court for the usual civil routine of a town. I prepared certain rules and instructions to meet this want, intending to have all cases referred to Captain Brannan, to be appointed civil lieutenant-governor of the town, but I ascertained that a citizen (Mr. P. Jister) had been elected a magistrate by the people a year ago, and had declined to serve when Florida passed the ordinance of secession. I sent for him, but he was averse to serving, until I showed him that it would be obligatory to use the martial code unless some loyal citizen would act. He has concluded to do so, and I sent for the district attorney, who has proffered his aid and advice.

{p.425}

On Sunday Judge McQueen McIntosh arrived, preparatory to the opening of his court under his Confederate, States commission. He was waited upon by men of his own party, who represented the precise state of affairs on the island; that everything was going on peaceably and quietly; that his authority would not be recognized by myself, and that if he attempted to exercise his office it would unnecessarily produce difficulties and excitement.

On yesterday Judge McIntosh called upon Judge Marvin at his office. Judge Marvin has informed me that the result of the interview was perfectly satisfactory. Judge McIntosh was strongly impressed with the uselessness of attempting to assert the Confederate States sovereignty here. He was informed how secure the persons and property were on this island, and that the inhabitants preferred to be allowed to remain as they were. Allusion was made to the military officers, and the manner of their obeying the instructions of the Government, which had given general satisfaction. Judge McIntosh decided to return, and at the request of Judge Marvin I requested Captain Craven to allow him and his friends to leave the island without applying to me for a permit to do so, there being an order prohibiting non-residents going or coming without my authority, published since the judge came.

Judge Marvin in his conversation with me, in the presence of others, stated in an impressive manner that he fully and highly approved of every act I had performed since taking the command, with other matters relevant thereto, which it would become some one other than myself to bring to notice.

On yesterday I issued an order prohibiting the collecting of taxes, levies, or assessments, by any one acting under the authority of the State of Florida.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

WM. H. FRENCH, Brevet Major, U. S. Army.

Judge McIntosh had not intended coming here, but was positively directed to do so by the government of Montgomery.

It is important, in order to understand the change of feeling brought about here, that I should state there has been organized on the island a volunteer company of seventy-five citizens, who propose visiting the fort, on Saturday to report to me. At their request I gave them a flag to display on the occasion. Seventy of the white laborers and employés on the fort have also volunteered. For these, arms, &c., will have to be procured.

[Inclosure B.]

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS AT KEY WEST, May 20, 1861.

Capt. GEO. L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Department of Florida:

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of May 13. Inclosed is a report made to me by the acting ordnance officer, upon which was based my sending away from the island Ordnance Sergeant Flynn. Lieutenant Closson also made the report indorsed by him. Lieutenant Webber, at the time alluded to, stated that the ammunition in the magazines had been tampered with, and about two hundred 42-pounder cartridges made unserviceable. This, in connection with his intimacy with a man named Crusoe, a notoriously designing and dangerous man (he leaves the island to-day), determined me to get rid of him, as I did, or otherwise he would have been hung on the spot, should his treason (suspected) have developed itself by an attack.

{p.426}

His example might have spread, and there was no way to keep him aloof from the men.

I inclose two numbers of the “Key of the Gulf,” the last published. When the paper of the 27th April appeared I spoke to several respectable citizens to have the paper suppressed, and had an assurance that it would not appear again. To my surprise, that of May 4 came out, more violent and incendiary than its previous numbers. There was great excitement among the Union men, and the rabid secessionists were much elated. After a perfect understanding with the district attorney, and having received Judge Marvin’s views, sent to me verbally by Captain Craven, of the Navy, the act of habeas corpus was suspended, in order to arrest without molestation the parties suspected of uttering the treasonable sentiments, &c. The editor has left the island. The Salvor today takes away Mr. Crusoe, the late magistrate of the county, and county clerk; Judge Douglas and family; Mr. Asa Tift and his negroes. Others are preparing to leave, and winding up their affairs.

No martial law has been put in force here. That code has not bad to be enforced. The civil magistracy (Union men) has been installed and supported. The habeas corpus act was simply suspended for prospective purposes. Fortunately, in no instance has it been necessary to make an arrest, and as soon as the Union men elect their own mayor and councilmen, and the municipal affairs are arranged on the basis of the paramount sovereignty of the United States laws, the proclamation may be withdrawn. Every voter will be required to swear allegiance to the United States at the polls, and every officer elected must qualify himself in the same manner.

I inclose a roll of Union citizens, who marched to the fort on Saturday, and through Mr. Maloney, a strong Union lawyer of this place, placed themselves under my orders. I received them in the usual manner, presented a flag, and the inclosed roll of 106 of the most respectable citizens at Key West was handed to me. It is furnished to the colonel commanding, not only because it is a matter of great public importance, but as an evidence that the authority and responsibility with which I was vested have not been disadvantageously employed. About the same time a company of citizens, employés on the works, seventy-five strong, also formed and reported themselves, organized with officers, &c., to receive my orders. In the first company are Judge Marvin, Mr. Boynton, district attorney, the naval officer, collector, &c. The latter has the U. S. marshal, clerk U. S. court, &c.

I also inclose a circular upon which the citizens are about to act. The leading men are projecting a ticket with Judge Marvin for mayor, Messrs. Howe, Maloney, Campbell, and others of the most influential and respected men for aldermen.

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

WM. H. FRENCH, Brevet Major, U. S. Army, Commanding.

[Inclosure C.]

We, the undersigned, citizens of Key West, believing that the distracted condition of the country demands that* our services should be offered to her in this her, hour of need, that we may assist in preserving the honor of our flag, upholding the laws, and quelling rebellion, do hereby agree to form a volunteer company, and hold ourselves subject to the order of the commander of the United States forces at Key West.

A. PATTERSON et al.

MAY 16, 1861.

{p.427}

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, Fla., May 30, 1861.

Maj. W. H. FRENCH, Commanding, Key West, Fla.:

MAJOR: I am directed by the colonel commanding to say that he has read the papers you sent with great pleasure, and that he is much gratified by the loyalty exhibited at Key West. Your course, marked by prudence and ability, meets his decided approbation. He trusts the continuance of the same forbearance and consideration will bring all the inhabitants to their duty.

Directions have been given to Major Arnold to send you the siege battery as soon as possible. The colonel agrees with you that it is inexpedient to erect a battery on the north end of the island at present.

If you can put some guns on the Suwannee or the Wanderer, with a sufficient crew not to endanger her, it might, perhaps, be well to do so whenever either may not be, required for other service.

The colonel only desires that under no contingency shall Fort Taylor and. Key West be endangered in the slightest degree by detachments. The colonel directs that you send either the Suwannee or the Wanderer to this fort immediately, loaded with lumber, boards, and scantling, in about equal proportion. A little wood might be put on board.

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

GEO. L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, May 31, 1861.

Col. Wm. B. FRANKLIN, U. S. Army, Washington:

SIR: The General-in-Chief directs you to request the governor of New York to designate a regiment of three or two years’ volunteers for a distant service not to be named. You are confidentially informed that Fort Pickens is the destination of the regiment. It is to be embarked under your direction, with certain supplies to be prepared under immediate authority of the War Department. You will learn the probable time of embarkation, and concert with the proper agents on this subject. Your exertions will be directed towards inspecting, mustering, and equipping the regiment prior to its departure, so that it may be provided with whatever is necessary for its efficiency and comfort.

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

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

P. S.–Please forward by confidential hands the inclosed letter to Colonel Brown.

E. D. T.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, May 31, 1861.

Bvt. Col. H. BROWN, U. S. Army, Commanding Department of Florida, Fort Pickens:

SIR: The General-in-Chief directs me to inform you that a regiment of volunteers from New York-, mustered into service for two years unless sooner discharged, is ordered to re-enforce Fort Pickens, under your command. This will enable you to send back the company of infantry to Key West. The general directs that you detach Captain and Brevet Major Hunts company with its battery, and order it to return in the {p.428}

transports to New York Harbor. A large supply of ordnance and ordnance Stores, provisions for 1,000 men for six months, a cargo of ice and quartermaster’s stores will also be shipped to you.

The General-in-Chief directs that you detach Captain Clitz, Third Infantry, and order him to report at headquarters as major of a new regiment.

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

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, June 5, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: Since my last letter I have received three 10-inch columbiads, and about 300 shells and 300 8-inch shells, and I hear that the steamer South Carolina has some mortars for me, but of what kind I have not learned. I have nothing special to report. My defenses are progressing and nearly completed. The weather is hot, but the troops are comparatively healthy. I want officers in consequence of the increased number of guns I have mounted, and of batteries erected. I have not enough to fight the guns. The duty is very hard on officers and men, and the companies ought to be at the maximum, whereas there is not more than an average of two to a company for company duty, and as the officers are almost all expecting promotion, some may receive orders to leave. It is therefore proper that I should urgently press the sending more, and that I should state to you that I would not consider myself at liberty in the present state of circumstances of my command to permit an officer to leave, should I receive orders to do so, unless others arrived, or until after you shall have had time to act on this letter. I think the safety of my command might be jeopardized by doing so.

It may not be amiss, in consideration of the reports and rumors afloat here, to say that three or four more companies of regulars would be highly desirable, but that a large force of raw troops, whether volunteers or regulars, unless sufficient to enable me to cross to the main and attack the enemy, would be worse than useless. With any number less than 5,000 of such troops I could only act defensively, and all the energies of my command would be exhausted in feeding them. Besides, the hot and sickly season is approaching, and Northern raw levies in this climate would not be efficient for hard service. I think our present position in a strategic view is good. With 800 or 900 men I keep nearly or quite as many thousands from operating elsewhere. If the enemy attacks me I can repel him, and if it be deemed advisable for me to attack him I can destroy the navy-yard and do other great injury. I therefore think that true policy dictates an increase of my command of three or four full companies of regulars for the purpose of securely holding the island in case the ships, by storms or otherwise, be driven off; that it being too late in the season to act offensively, except by this fort, no irregular troops should be sent until fall, and that more officers be immediately sent me.

I would also respectfully urge the necessity of a more prompt and attentive action in answering my requisitions and those of my staff, and would observe that sending sail vessels with stores of any kind should be discontinued. Steam only can be depended on. I renew my application {p.429} for a fast-sailing steamer or steam-tug for an express boat and general service. I have just learned that the South Carolina has on board three 10-inch sea-coast mortars and some 600 shells.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

P. S.–I have received no instructions whatever since I have been here, and am still under orders to act on the strictly defensive.

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Declaration of blockade.

To all whom it may concern:

I, Wm. Mervine, flag officer, commanding the U. S. naval forces composing the Gulf Squadron, give notice that by virtue of the power and authority in me vested, and in pursuance of the proclamations of his Excellency the President of the United States, promulgated under dates of April 19 and 27, 1861, respectively, that an effective blockade of the port of Key West, Fla., has been established, and will be rigidly enforced and maintained against all vessels (public armed vessels of foreign powers alone excepted) which shall attempt to enter or depart from said port of Key West, Fla.

WM. MERVINE, Flag Officer, Commanding Gulf Blockading Squadron.

Given at Key West, June 8, 1861, U. S. Flag-ship Mississippi.

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U. S. FLAG-SHIP MISSISSIPPI, Key West, June 11, 1861.

The declaration of blockade of this port made by me on the 8th instant is so far relaxed in its terms as to allow legitimate trading between this port and the ports of the loyal States. Trading between Key West, the island of Cuba, and any of the West India islands, so long as it is confined to lawful objects of commerce, may be carried on under such restrictions as may be imposed by the naval commander stationed off this port.

WM. MERVINE, Flag Officer, Commanding Gulf Blockading Squadron.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, June 12, 1861.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report to you that the Star of the South, the South Carolina, and the Massachusetts have arrived, bringing guns, howitzers, ammunition, hay, oats, and twenty mules and carts, with other stores. I have now, of 10-inch columbiads, five mounted on the five bastions of the fort, one in the salient of the counterscarp opposite bast-ion A and two at Battery Cameron. Of 10-inch sea-coast mortars, two mounted at Battery Lincoln, and I expect in a week to have in addition two 10-inch columbiads and two 10-inch-sea-coast mortars in {p.430} Battery Scott (at the southwest point of the island, opposite Fort McRee) and one sea-coast mortar in the fort.

If the rifled guns which we hear unofficially are on the way here come, I shall put two of them in Battery Lincoln, in place of two of the 8-inch sea-coast howitzers, and the remainder in the fort. I shall very soon after this be entirely ready to act, either defensively or offensively. I would remark that the 10-inch columbiads, the 10-inch sea-coast mortars, and the rifled guns are the only ones on which any dependence can be placed, the ranges of the others being too short, unless with high charges, to reach the enemy with any effect. I have some and but little hopes that the 8-inch howitzers may reach with efficiency. I have two 42-pounders and plenty of 32-pounders, but I have no confidence in them.

My advices from Key West and Tortugas are satisfactory. I consider Key West as loyal, and that no future danger need be apprehended of her disloyalty.

I inclose you a letter of Major French (A). I have approved of his seizing and arming the steamer in question, should she visit Key West. I have also authorized him to muster a company into service for the purpose of scanning the coast between Key West and this place and keeping my line of operations clear, provided he can depend on them, and that their being mustered into service is approved at Washington.

I have been so much engaged in preparing this post for a bombardment as to have little time to attend to other matters that require my personal attention, but which the present state of affairs renders impossible for me to give. The rebels are still at work strengthening and increasing their batteries and mounting heavy guns on them. My command continues comparatively healthy, there being no serious cases of disease, and the number diminishing.

I again respectfully allude to the facts that I am under orders to act only on the defensive unless attacked, and that I have received no orders of any kind since I have been at this post and in command of this department. It may be proper for me also to say that the relations of the rebels to our country having been so changed since the date of my orders, by the bombardment of Fort Sumter and by their declarations and acts of war, that I do not feel under any obligations to confine myself to defensive measures, should I, when ready, deem it to the advantage or honor of the United States for me to act offensively, believing that such will be the wishes of the Government,

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant.

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure A.]

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS AT KEY WEST, June 5, 1861.

Capt. GEO. L. HARTSUFF, Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Department of Florida, Fort Pickens:

CAPTAIN: The most direct information has reached me by a gentleman of undoubted character and a strong Unionist, that he had a conversation with Captain Hartstene, of the S. C. Navy, who was at Tampa on a visit within this last week examining the harbor and steamers there. He tried to negotiate, for the Salvor, but came to no conclusion. This steamer is better than any of the small class which have lately come from the North.

{p.431}

Further, Saint Mark’s is being fortified, and an aggressive preparation is going on upon the west coast of Florida to act upon the right flank of the line of communications between this base and Fort Pickens.

The Salvor is now at Havana. On her return I will seize her. Her owner will not sell. Captain Craven I will request to put a crew in. Soldiers and guns will be provided by myself, and she will be convoy and a towboat at the same time.

Captain Hartstene also said that Bragg bad no idea of attacking Pickens, but was diverting the U. S. troops. The weight to be attached to this you have better opportunity of judging than myself.

This note is written just as the mail closes, and the few facts presented are worthy of consideration.

I have no fear about this island, and am constantly on the alert. For an expedition I can raise fifty men (citizens), whose desperate character and remembrance of wrong would bear hard upon any point of the coast or the mainland. I believe this demonstration was anticipated by me in a former communication.

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

W. H. FRENCH, Brevet Major, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, June 14, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: I have been kept in such entire ignorance as to the future designs and intentions of the Government respecting operations here, and whether any further are designed than the mere holding of this fort, that I have not felt at liberty to give any views on any subject apart from those relating to the fort. There is, however, one of so much importance in my estimation as to, warrant my respectfully submitting it to the consideration of the Government. The weather here is now intensely hot, and will probably soon be to men of Northern constitutions exposed to the miasma of the swamps very unhealthy. I would not, therefore, throw any large body of troops here until after the September gales are over. If then it is intended to operate offensively, and to repossess ourselves of the fort and navy-yard, the preoccupancy of the harbor is almost indispensably necessary.

The rebel batteries are so numerous, so strong, and so advantageously situated as, in my opinion, to preclude the entrance of large ships, except at an immense cost of life and property, and there is, too, a strong probability that vessels to obstruct the channel are sunk between this fort and McRee, and the dry-dock also lies across the channel between here and the navy-yard. I do not, however, consider it as a serious obstacle, the water being deep on both sides of it. Their entrance in the harbor being, as I conceive, out of the question, I would as a substitute use steam gunboats of light draught of water-say of four and a half feet-each carrying two or three rifled guns, and strongly armed. There are two ways by which boats of this character may be introduced into the harbor: 1st, through the main entrance, by hugging closely the island shore, and taking a dark and cloudy night for the purpose; and 2d, and perhaps preferably, through the channel at the east end of the island. This is long and somewhat intricate, but I am told that six feet of water can be carried through it, and that many of our Navy officers are acquainted with it. That such boats as I propose can be carried {p.432} through is certain, for a large steamer was a few weeks since carried through it, and is now busily plying between Pensacola and the navy-yard. By reference to the map it will be seen that these vessels can lie in safety beyond the range of any guns the rebels can bring against them, supposing him to have a battery, which is doubtful, at Deer Point, but which if he has can be easily taken. It will also be seen that such an anchorage is opposite the narrowest part of the island, where the boats would be under the protection in some measure of the ships outside, and where, the boats of ships can be easily hauled over and used in connection with the gunboats. The rebels have no floating force of consequence in the harbor. These vessels can therefore entirely command it and its tributaries, and entirely cut off the supplies by water of the rebel troops. By landing a sufficient force somewhere between this and the Perdido their position can be entirely invested. Six or eight boats would, I think, be sufficient, but they should be prepared so as to be ready and here in October, and the most profound secrecy as to their destination be observed; otherwise the enemy would destroy the eastern passage.

I make these suggestions rather to invite attention to the subject than as being well-digested views. There are many Army and Navy officers acquainted with the harbor who can give reliable and valuable information on the subject.

It may not be amiss in connection with this subject for me to say that I consider Fort McRee as assailable, and that with five hundred good troops more than I now have, and with the co-operation of the Navy, I am confident I could in a very few days reduce it..

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

HARVEY BROWN, Brevet Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, June 22, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: Since my last dispatch I have received seven 42-pounder rifled guns, one of smaller caliber, and two 6-pounder rifled field guns, with a reasonable though insufficient supply of ammunition. We are now mounting some of these guns; have mounted two more sea-coast 10-inch mortars, and-will in two or three days be ready to mount two more 10-inch columbiads and two of these rifled guns that I propose putting in batteries. After landing some powder now here and mounting the rest of these guns, I shall be prepared to defend this fort or to act offensively.

A negro deserter came to me a few days since who has been for several years employed by his master as a pilot of this harbor. He says that the rebels sank a dredging boat and a brig in the channel; that the former floated ashore and the latter is supposed to have gone to pieces, and that the dry-dock does not at all obstruct the channel, being sunk some twenty yards from it; that the rebels are building a large floating battery of very heavy timber, having prepared it at Pensacola and brought it down in pieces to the navy-yard, where it is now being put together; that the smallpox is raging among the rebel troops, and that great sickness prevails, three or four dying daily; that the rebels have a large hospital in Pensacola; that there is a detachment of troops, but no battery, at Deer Point; that they have been constantly engaged for some {p.433} weeks in removing articles from the navy-yard to Pensacola, from whence they were sent away by railroad, and that the batteries at and near the yard are very numerous and have large guns in them. The man is intelligent and has given me considerable information, which, of course, I receive with large qualification.

I again respectfully repeat what I said in one of my earliest letters, that the commanding officer of this fort should have secret-service money, to be expended at his discretion.

My sick-list is heavy and increasing, having this morning upwards of ninety on it-none serious-arising from hard work in the sun and in the water, sleeping in damp casemates, and drinking impure water. We have been nearly six weeks without rain, and with only two light storms since. One of the cisterns leaked and we lost the water, and that of the other has to be used with great economy and only for drinking, water for cooking purposes being obtained by sinking wells. I am having a temporary hospital built about a mile from the fort, near the beach. When finished the sick will have a better chance than they now have of recovery. I have lost but three by death, one of which by an accident. I shall not send the negroes back, as I will never be voluntarily instrumental in returning a poor wretch to slavery, but will hold them subject to orders.

I am very much in want of a powerful spy-glass or telescope. We have plenty of ordinary ones, but with one of great power we could constantly possess ourselves of the most valuable information of the movements of the enemy.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, June 24, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant, General, Washington, D. C.

COLONEL: I respectfully report to you that the steamer Illinois arrived here on the 23d instant with twenty-eight Dahlgren 9-inch guns and implements and some ammunition for same. This is her whole cargo, and not one article on board her is wanted or can advantageously be used here. I shall not therefore touch her cargo, but, having embarked Hunt’s battery on board, shall send her to Tortugas to be unloaded there. Permit me respectfully to suggest that the good of the service will be advanced by only sending us those articles for which we make requisitions and which we want, and not multitudes of articles which only encumber us. These Dahlgren guns are not fitted for our service, and their shells are fused in such a manner that only one-third of those sent can be used at all, and these are of too short range; so that were I to land these guns, I should have only 700 shell. I have no doubt of their being sent under an impression of doing us good service, whereas we are only embarrassed by these kind intentions, which are very expensive to the Government. I have ordered Hunt’s battery to embark on board the Illinois. Barry’s will in about ten day’s on board the Vanderbilt.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

{p.434}

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, Fla., June 26, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: I have received your letters of the 30th ultimo and 7th instant ordering me to send Barry’s and Hunt’s companies to New York, and informing me that a regiment of New York Volunteers had been ordered to re-enforce Fort Pickens. When, in the face of repeated applications and urgent entreaties for more regular officers, and of strong representations, repeatedly urged, of the necessity of more regular companies, and of my declaration that at this time volunteers would very much embarrass me, and the expression of a hope that none would be sent, nine of my officers, one-third my whole number, and two artillery companies are taken from me, and a regiment of undrilled New York City Volunteers, entirely undisciplined, are sent me, I can only attribute it to a want of confidence in my judgment, or of disbelief in, and disregard to, my urgent and repeated representations of the wants and necessities of this fort.

I respectfully submit to the consideration of the General-in-Chief the accompanying table A, showing that I am left with thirty-one officers and two hundred and ninety enlisted men less than are necessary for a vigorous defense during such a bombardment as we shall probably have.

I desire earnestly in the discharge of my duties to put self aside, and to act only for what I consider to be the best interests of the country. I cannot, under the existing state of affairs, being in the face of an enemy six or eight times superior to me in number, with batteries and forts quadrupling mine, ask to be relieved, but, as there will probably be a large force ordered here in the fall, if not sooner, I would respectfully suggest that an officer having more rank, and in whom the general will place more confidence, be sent to command this department. My ambition will be fully satisfied with the consciousness of having faithfully performed an important duty in re-enforcing and holding this fort, and in putting it in a condition to defy the whole congregated nation of rebels.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

P. S.–Several officers have, I perceive, been promoted to companies here. Not one has joined, although there have been two or three appointments.

H. B.

[Inclosure.]

A.–Table of armament of Fort Pickens and its batteries, the number of officers and enlisted men required to perform its duties, and the number for duty at the post.

{p.435}
Guns. Officers. Enlisted men.
Maximum. Minimum. Three reliefs.
Fort Pickens.
Five 10-inch columbiads105
Two 42-pounder guns, smooth-bore42
Seven 42-pounder, rifled2515141
Four 32-pounder guns, smooth84
Two 8-inch howitzers42
Battery Scott.
Two 10-inch sea-coast mortars2130
Two 10-inch columbiads3248
One 42-pounder rifled gun2126
Battery Cameron.
Two 10-inch columbiads2148
Battery Lincoln.
Four 8-inch howitzers3296
Two 10-inch sea-coast mortars2120
One 42-pounder rifled gun2124
Glacis of Bastion E.
One 10-inch columbiad3230
Required to man and supply the guns 44 26 735
General staff448
Post staff226
Medical staff3312
Engineers, sappers and miners5550
Ordnance2240
Guards, orderlies, teamsters, &c 30
Grand total 60 42 881
At the post-officers, field and staff16 16 
Officers and enlisted men for duty, with guns and post1313591
29 29 591
Deficiency 31 13 290

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, July 3, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: Nothing of interest has occurred at this post since my last letter. Battery Lincoln is finished and armed. Battery Scott has its last 10-inch columbiad now mounting and the 42-pounder rifled gun will be mounted the forepart of next week. There are four rifled guns and three mortars now here on board the Vanderbilt. I shall land them as soon as possible and mount them as soon as landed.

Not having officers and men enough to man the guns I have mounted, and being about to increase the number, I have felt it to be a duty to bring one of the artillery companies from Tortugas here. I accordingly sent two companies of volunteers to that post, and ordered one of the companies now there to this. They may be expected in about a week, by which time I hope to have the guns and ammunition landed, and will be in a suitable state for either offensive or defensive operations.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, July 10, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: Although aware of the unpleasantness of the subject, and of the multiplicity of the cares pressing on the General-in-Chief, I am compelled by a sense of duty to again solicit his attention to the entire insufficiency of the garrison of this fort for its efficient defense. It may seem strange that a post successfully preserved by seventy-five men when almost without armament or protection, should not have enough {p.436} when well protected and garrisoned by some six hundred and with ample armament, and yet such is emphatically the fact. The preservation of this fort from the day, of its occupancy until the night of it’s re-enforcement by the troops of my command is solely attributable to the timidity-I may say cowardice-of the rebels, and in saying so I would not derogate the slightest from the merits of my predecessors, who nobly held it under peculiar difficulties, for if vigorously attacked by one-half his forces at any time it would inevitably have fallen, its successful defense being impossible.

I would most respectfully urge that while raw recruits and volunteers may be useful in the field and as infantry, they are useless except for guards and fatigue duty in a fort, and that an artillery soldier cannot be improvised in a day, but that time and tuition are necessary to make him, and that therefore the New York Volunteers are not of the slightest use in manning the guns of and defending this fort. I then again repeat that the number of officers and men is entirely insufficient to man the guns of this fort and the batteries, should they be bombarded: that twenty more officers and four more companies are required, and I respectfully urge that if no more companies be sent, at least that the officers belonging to the companies now here may be ordered to join, there being but thirteen present-exactly one-half the whole.

I hope the General-in-Chief, if he thinks me to be pertinacious, will attribute my solicitude to a deep conviction of its paramount importance, founded on an intimate personal knowledge and experience of the subject. I have felt great doubt and anxiety as to the course I should pursue here in the absence of any other than instructions to act on the defensive. I have at the hazard of imputed timidity resolutely resisted every attempt to bring on a collision, and done everything in my power consistently with the dignity and honor of my country, to avoid a rapture, being determined not to fight until I was ready; and although personally fame or notoriety at least would have resulted, I have never until within a very few days-indeed, I am not now-been in a condition to warrant an attack, having never had the means of fighting for more than two days at ten hours a day; and although not now fully prepared, I shall, when the Vanderbilt and State of Georgia are unloaded, have shot and shells for some four days’ bombardment, and may be considered as ready. Such being the case, what course should I pursue-act still strictly on the defensive, or open my batteries against the enemy? The reasons for the former, at the present time, are, first, that my instructions are to act strictly on the defensive, and that having in two or three instances called attention to this fact, no other instructions have been given me, although there has been time and opportunity to do so; second, that the relative strength of the enemy is very greatly superior, and that he has to keep some 8,000 men to watch 1,800; third, that If be attacks me and fails his defeat will be disgraceful and fatal to his cause; fourth, that, we gain more and lose less by delay than he does; and for the latter, first, the moral influence which a successful bombardment of this fort, the destruction of the navy-yard and of the public and private buildings at Warrington, would at this time have in our country; second, the immense amount of ammunition which he must expend by his numerous batteries and which he can ill afford; third, the destruction and demoralization of his troops, being raw bodies, and the prestige obtained by an inferior force acting offensively, and a beleaguered fort turning on its assailants-are some of the reasons which may be assigned for the two courses to be pursued.

The objections to offensive operations on my mind are these: I have {p.437} not officers and men sufficient to efficiently and with vigor carry them on; second, that they will at this time be followed by no decisive results, as if entirely successful I cannot pursue the advantage; third, that whatever be the result, he can and probably will claim a victory, as the bombardment will not be followed by exterior movements; fourth, that the destruction of the navy-yard and its appurtenances, which would be inevitable, and, indeed, the great object of attack, may not in view of future operations be desired by the Government; fifth, that I am within eight days of headquarters, and if offensive operations were desired I would be so instructed. It is proper I should in candor state that I do not consider the instructions obligatory, circumstances since having so altered, and that I had fully determined and made the necessary arrangements to open fire on the enemy when ready, my intention being frustrated by the removal of the two companies; that I sent for another artillery company from Tortugas with a view to this object, but that in consideration of the great personal advantages I might if successful derive and which may bias my judgment, and that I have seen in, a newspaper that I am to be relieved, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that it is my duty to act strictly on the defensive until the pleasure, of the Government be known, and which I respectfully now solicit.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Brevet Colonel, Commanding.

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FORT PICKENS, July 11, 1861.

General THOMAS:

My DEAR GENERAL: I received to-day your order taking from me at one fell swoop all my staff. A few weeks since Barry’s and Hunt’s companies were taken from me, and a regiment of raw, undrilled recruits from the purlieus of New York sent me as a substitute. To-day Chalfin brings me an order for him to go, and this evening Mr. McCreery writes me a note, stating that Captain Allen had officially notified him that he was dropped, and declining to serve any longer. So I am left in the most important post in the Union with an entirely inadequate command. If there was a designed purpose to sacrifice me I could not be worse treated. It is true there is no present prospect of collision, as Bragg don’t want to and I cannot fight; but accident, the design or imprudence of an individual, may at any moment bring on a battle, and I shall have to fight it under every possible disadvantage; so that if I escape disgrace I shall be fortunate. I declare to you that. I have not at this moment really one-half as many officers as are absolutely necessary and not much more than half enough men for a vigorous and severe bombardment, as this will be if it comes off. I have passed three months of continued excessive anxiety and care., for no one can know the difficulty of my position since I have been here or the totally defenseless state of this fort when I came here but those who were with me. And just as I began to see the break of day and was making arrangements to fulfill what I believed to be the expectations of the country by attacking the rebels, I am suddenly stopped by the removal of two of my best companies and nine of my officers. When exerting myself to recover from this blow by bringing Dawson’s company here, I not only found them without officers but at the same time, I am again smitten by ail order for the removal of all my staff, leaving me with only two officers at Batteries {p.438} Lincoln and Cameron (one each), and only two at Battery Scott, and, exclusive of the staff, four at Fort Pickens, when the minimum should be four to each company, making twenty-eight. Now, is this right? Is it just to place an officer in such a situation when surrounded by an enemy ten times his own number, with an armament four times as many as his? Officers are promoted to the companies here, but not one comes. They are promoted from here as their chief wants them, and all go. Companies C and E, Third Infantry, have but one officer. Company A, Second Artillery, is commanded by a second lieutenant, its captain and first lieutenant being at one point. Company K, Second, has a captain and first lieutenant, who is entitled to promotion. Company F, First, has a captain under orders and a first lieutenant promoted to a captain. Company A, First, has a captain and first lieutenant, the former entitled to promotion; so that if these officers receive their promotion and are ordered away, I shall be left without an officer. However, if the worst comes to the worst, I have made up my mind never to surrender this fort, and I leave this letter as a testimony of the reasons why it was not gloriously victorious.

Yours, truly,

H. BROWN.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, July 15, 1861.

General Al. C. MEIGS, Quartermaster-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

DEAR GENERAL: I wrote the Adjutant-General by the last steamer on the subject of a steam-tug for this place. It seems to me that strange ideas are entertained of the kind of vessels required to tow boats, as a large propeller of 500 or 600 tons burden, and drawing when light fifteen feet water, was sent; the bar over which she would be required to tow the boats having on it only some ten feet, and near the shore, where she is most wanted, there being only some eight feet. I want a powerful, swift boat, of some seventy-five to one hundred tons, neatly fitted up, and that does not draw more than seven feet water. I suppose such a boat can be purchased for $10,000 or $12,000, or can be hired for some $1,000 or $1,200 per month, and without the slightest exaggeration I am confident such a boat would have twice paid for itself in unloading the Vanderbilt alone. If troops are to be sent here in the fall to act offensively, two or three of these boats should be here for towing and for landing troops and stores. The one I now require is also wanted to run as a mail-boat to Havana and Key West. She should be sent here loaded with coal (in bags) for her own consumption. Afterwards arrangements must be made for her coaling at Key West. If one is sent, let her have a good new boiler and be in all respects in good order, there being no means of repairing here. With such a boat I can, on an average, unload a ship in half the time I now can, and if you calculate the daily charter of the steamers coming here you can very easily see the saving to the Government by having one.

Before this reaches you this fort will be in complete readiness, and I presume no fort in the United States was ever better prepared for offensive or defensive operations (if manned, which it is not half), so far as the efficiency of service and security and protection and safety of the men go, my object having been to attain the greatest possible efficiency with the least possible expense of life of my garrison, and I have spared no labor in effecting it, and I have had most efficient and accomplished {p.439} engineers, who have devoted all their energy to the work. But I receive no orders, no instructions. My officers and companies are taken from me, and I am left helpless. But where there’s a will there’s a way, and I have the will, but am still under orders to act only on the defensive. I have had two companies and fifteen officers, including all my staff, taken from me. A regular officer of your department here is indispensably necessary, and he ought to be a man of business. It is said you committed a blunder in sending Barry’s battery here. Whether you did or not, it has been of the most essential service, not for anything it actually did, but for reasons that will be apparent to you; but if you did commit a blunder in bringing it here, a far greater one was committed in taking it away, and this will be seen in the fall.

Yours, truly,

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, July 23, 1861.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: If, as is surmised, it is the intention of the Government to send the Fifth Artillery here in the fall, I would respectfully suggest, for the consideration of the General-in-Chief, the benefit to be derived to the regiment and to the service by obtaining one-half the companies required by transfer from the other artillery regiments; that four of the companies now in this department and two, at Old Point Comfort be transferred to it, thus rendering it immediately fit for service on its organization, and saving the expense of the transportation of four companies from the North here.

All of the following companies, which I think may advantageously be transferred, are now and will be without captains: A, First Artillery, Vogdes’; F, First Artillery, Chalfin’s, and H, Second Artillery, late Brooks’, now at Fort Pickens; C, Second Artillery, Arnold’s, Fort Jefferson; F or H, Third Artillery, Reynolds’ or Burton’s, and E, Fourth Artillery, Getty’s, Fort Monroe.

Captain Chalfin is now here with his company, and one of the subalterns of Vogdes’ company, transferred to the Fifth, is also here.

I suggest that Captain Getty keep his old company, and that Captain De Hart be assigned to the Third Artillery, Company F or H, now at Old Point; that Chalfin keep his own (F, First); that Seymour be assigned to the command of A, First (Vogdes’); Griffin to H, Second (late Brooks’), and Smead to C, Second (Arnold’s), the subalterns to be assigned at Washington and ordered immediately here, as also the captains, and that the regimental staff and two of the majors with Getty’s and De Hart’s companies, fully officered, be sent as early as possible, and the other companies as last as they are recruited and organized. These suggestions are made under the supposition of the regiment’s coming here, and also that it is not, as it is also rumored, a light artillery regiment.

I have not the slightest desire to remain in this country, having already served in Florida fourteen years and upwards, and would much prefer serving in the North; but I desire distinctly to state that in the present contest I wish to serve anywhere and in any capacity suitable to my rank that may be considered most conducive to the interest of the country, without any regard to my personal predilections.

{p.440}

It may not be amiss to state that the enemy opposite have light artillery, and although the removal of the two batteries from here would seem to indicate that none were considered necessary, I would with great deference venture the opinion that if we act offensively we cannot efficiently without at least one battery, and that for extensive operations we should have two batteries.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Fifth Artillery.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, July 24, 1861.

To the ADJUTANT-GENERAL U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: I respectfully report my command in comparatively good health-no serious cases. I have a hospital on the beach, about one and a half miles from the fort, finished, and the sick in it. The 8-inch columbiads sent from Tortugas are here, and will be landed to-morrow and the next day. I shall then have all the guns I intend to mount. I am building and have nearly completed a battery for the two heavy mortars (12 and 1.3 inch) about a quarter of a mile east of the fort and near the sea-beach. I expect next week to put up a battery for three 10-inch mortars (two of which were landed yesterday) in the center of the island and about one and a quarter miles from the fort, which done, I shall have completed (with the exception of a small battery at Spanish Fort) all the works I propose to erect.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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Message of the President of the United States, in answer to a resolution of the Senate requesting information concerning the quasi-armistice alluded to in his message of the 4th instant.

JULY 31, 1861.–Read, ordered to lie on the table and be printed.

To the Senate of the United States:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 19th instant, requesting information concerning the quasi-armistice alluded to in my message of the 4th instant, I transmit a report from the Secretary of the Navy.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

JULY 30, 1861.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, July 29, 1861.

The Secretary of the Navy, to whom was referred the resolution of the Senate of the 19th instant; requesting the President of the United States to “communicate to the Senate (if not incompatible with the public interest) the character of the quasi armistice to which he refers in his message of the 4th instant, by reason of which the commander of the frigate Sabine refused to transfer the United States troops into Fort Pickens in obedience to his orders; by whom and when such armistice was entered into; and if any, and what, action has been taken by the Government in view of the disobedience of the order of the President {p.441} aforesaid,” has the honor to report that it is believed the communication of the information called for would not, at this time, comport with the public interest.

Respectfully submitted.

GIDEON WELLES.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA, Fort Pickens, August 16, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

COLONEL: ... I have nothing especial to report. I have this morning exactly one hundred on the sick-report, the volunteers about seventy. None of the cases are serious. I have lost in all but six since I have been here, only three of which were from disease incurred here. The volunteers have had no deaths. The men are, however, all more or less prostrated and enervated by hard work in a hot climate.

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

HARVEY BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

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QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., February 27, 1865.

Bvt. Brig. Gen. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, War Department:

MY DEAR GENERAL: The Navy Department has no copy of the instructions to D. D. Porter and other naval officers under which they cooperated with the expedition of April, 1861, to re-enforce Fort Pickens.

The President has none, and they have applied to me. My copies, I think, I placed in Hartsuff’s hands. He was adjutant of the expedition.

Please forward the inclosed note to him, and if you have copies let me have for the Navy Department a copy of the President’s order to Porter and to other naval officers. Also of the order to Colonel Brown, which required all naval officers to aid him.

General Scott knew of the expedition and its orders; and you were acting confidentially with him and may have had custody of those orders, which were kept secret even from the Secretaries of War and Navy, I believe.

Yours, truly,

M. C. MEIGS, Quartermaster-General Brevet Major-General.

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QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington City, March 15, 1865.

Brig. Gen. E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:

DEAR TOWNSEND: The Navy Department has lately inquired after the orders under which the Fort Pickens expedition was organized and carried out.

The instructions to Colonel Brown and to Capt. D. D. Porter were {p.442} prepared by Colonel Keyes and by myself, or the greater part of them were so prepared, and the more important papers were signed by the President.

I left all my notes of these instructions with Hartsuff, that he might make up a complete record of the orders and instructions for the headquarters of the Department of Florida, of which Colonel Brown was placed in command. As he left Fort Pickens before they were engrossed, he left my papers in the office of the commander of the department.

The department having been broken up, it is probable that the records are still at Fort Pickens or Pensacola. I believe that the records of a department, when it is discontinued, should, by military rule, be sent to the Adjutant-General’s Office at the War Department for safe keeping.

Would it not be well to send out orders for the transmission of the early records of headquarters of the Department of Florida to your office, so as to insure their preservation?

This earliest expedition of the war was organized under exceptional circumstances, and its records do not appear to have been preserved in Washington.

Inquiry at the Navy Department, and at the Executive Mansion and at the State Department, has failed to discover any copies of the orders.

It was an Executive act, unknown at the time to any but those engaged therein, including General Scott, the Secretary of State, and the President.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. C. MEIGS, Quartermaster-General, Brevet Major-General, Chief Engineer of the Expedition to Relieve Fort Pickens in, April, 1861.

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