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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 6, Ch. XVI–Confederate Correspondence.

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

CHAPTER XVI.
OPERATIONS IN WEST FLORIDA, SOUTHERN ALABAMA, SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI, AND LOUISIANA.
September 1, 1861-May 12, 1862.
(New Orleans)
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CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE.

{p.725}

Abstract from field return of troops of the Confederate States near Pensacola, Fla., commanded by Brig. Gen. Braxton Bragg, on the 1st day of September, 1861.

Troops.Present for duty.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.
Officers.Men.
1st (Chalmers’) Brigade761,3141,7611,895
2d (wood’s) Brigade811,2722,0042,177
3d (Tyler’s) Brigade811,4871,8041,922
4th (Jackson’s) Brigade528921,0961,126
Alabama Mounted Rifles.27284101
Walton Guards4515555
Total2965,0886,8047,276
{p.726}

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ENGINEER BUREAU, Richmond, September 2, 1861.

Capt. S. H. LOCKETT, Corps of Engineers, Fort Gaines, Mobile, Ala.:

SIR: Five columbiads and rifled guns have been ordered for arming Fort Gaines and thirteen for Fort Morgan. Two of those for Fort Gaines and some of those for Fort Morgan have been forwarded. Please inform me how many of the latter have come to hand. The order for armament of Fort Morgan consists of five guns, of the size and form of the 8-inch columbiad, bored as 24-pounders and rifled. The shot has about the weight of an 8-inch shot, with greater range, accuracy, and power; one 10-inch gun, bored to a 32-pounder caliber and rifled; the remainder smooth bore 10-inch. At Fort Gaines you are to have two 8-inch guns rifled as a 32. These guns are not yet made, but will be forwarded one or two at a time as fast as finished. Their carriages will be made here. It is said that four flank casemate guns and carriages have been sent forward to Fort Gaines, and had strayed from the road. They have been found and ordered on to Mobile. The remainder of these flank guns are being made at Lynchburg.

The Secretary informs me that he has ordered from North Carolina to Mobile thirty 32-pounders. For these the carriages must be made at Mobile. The elevating screws, male and female, will be made here and sent on. As the 32-pounders differ in size, it will not be well to put together any one of their upper carriages until the gun for it shall have come to hand. It is expected that your armament will be improved by rifling the 32-pounders on hand, and these improved guns should be placed where they are most needed. For example, one should be added to the armament at Grant’s Pass as soon as possible. These guns should unquestionably be reinforced with wrought-iron bands, so as to make up one an inch and a half thick and 8 or 10 inches wide. The gun should be perfectly clean, and the band be shrunk on at a light heat. The preponderance of the breech does no great harm. The shells ought not to be longer than two calibers probably, nor to weigh more than 40 or 45 pounds. The charge of powder will not exceed 5 pounds. I will send to Messrs. Skates a sketch showing the mode of rifling adopted here and the form of the shell most approved. There are many varieties. The heavy guns bored with small calibers carry heavier shot and higher charges. There are some old guns lying at Forts Morgan and Gaines. You are authorized to have them rebored, and to build carriages for them if found fit for service, such as firing round or grape shot for the defense of redoubts or of the city.

I have prevailed on the Ordnance Bureau to order of Messrs. Skates & Co. four batteries of field guns, with harnesses. These may help in your defensive arrangements for the city. For additional means of defense you will proceed to construct the following: Drive a row of piles, beginning at the west bank and running over to the point of Dauphin Island Spit, as shown in the sketch herewith. The piles should be as large as those at the Fort Morgan wharf; be driven as deep as possible, 10 feet apart, and cut off 2 or 3 feet under water. The piles should be lashed together with chain cables. By beginning at the west bank and working westerly the enemy will be pushed towards Fort Gaines in proportion as the work progresses. It is expected that the armament of Fort Morgan will be such as to take care of the main ship channel. You can build two redoubts on the peninsula in advance of Fort Morgan. You will also build a battery to mount four or five guns on piles driven {p.727} at the point (a) on the Southeast Spit of Pinto’s Island. This may be done mostly by contract (say with Mr. John King or Mr. Gregg).

On Dauphin Island you will want some batteries, and should consult the commanding officer as to their dispositions. One or two rifled 32-pounders opposite Pelican Island, another of the same kind half way thence to the point of woods, and a strong battery across the island at that point, would seem advisable. For the armament of all these redoubts and batteries you have available fourteen 32-pounders at Fort Morgan, and thirty to be sent from North Carolina-44. You will want for the advanced redoubts at Fort Morgan, say, 12 guns, including several rifled batteries; on Dauphin, 12; at Grant’s Pass, rifled, 7; at Fort Gaines 2 additional on each curtain-10; at battery near Choctaw Point, rifled, 4; in all required, 39. The remaining 5, together with the old guns rebored, should be mounted on siege carriages, and be placed at the disposal of the city troops, to serve as batteries of position for defense of the city. These, with the light artillery disposable there, would be sufficiently formidable. You will go on with Fort Gaines as rapidly as possible, finish the bastions and curtains, with the privy, and the opening there should be closed at once. Make the rampart, the parapet, and the breast-height wall continuous. The breast-height of the covered way will be revetted with planks, and the glacis should be brought essentially to its proper height and shape as well as the covered way. Above all, make carriages and mount guns (green heart pine will answer very well), say, the traverse circles at the flank casemates.

It has proved impossible to get funds, probably because of the sickness of the President. They will be sent at the earliest possible moment. Up to the end of August it will be best to pay in my name, and I will sign and certify the accounts here.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. LEADBETTER, Major Engineers, Acting Chief of Bureau.

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ENGINEER BUREAU, Richmond Va., September 4, 1861.

Capt. S. H. LOCKETT, Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Ala., Fort Gaines:

SIR: I have now every prospect of getting all the irons for 32-pounder gun-carriages made here, and I propose, therefore, to send them on to you. You should go on in the shortest possible time to have the timber sawed and all the sticks got out of the proper sizes, the chassis made, and for the upper carriages everything done but the assembling, for the guns on the carriages can be furnished. The Department is now very anxious to push forward the rifling of guns, and I am sure you will see that there is no delay in that of our 32-pounders. A few of those not yet mounted should be sent first to Mr. Skates, and as soon as one is finished let it be returned and substituted oh the carriage of a smoothbore and try it. This matter should go on night and day, Sundays and week days, cheap or costly.

Presuming that you are to have the 32-pounders from North Carolina, (30), 14 on hand, and, say, 6 old guns, you will have 50 in all. You have on hand a few carriages, but how many I don’t know. Telegraph me the number of carriages for which you want me to provide irons. The columbiad carriage lately received do not fit the guns. Let all of {p.728} them be made to fit, and this without delay, for you will get no carriages in lieu of them.*

Very truly, yours,

D. LEADBETTER, Major Engineers, Acting Chief of Bureau.

* Some matters of detail omitted.

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NAVY DEPARTMENT, CONFEDERATE STATES, Richmond, Va., September 6, 1861.

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

SIR: I have the honor to request that Capt. George N. Hollins, commanding naval station at New Orleans, may be supplied as early as practicable with 100,000 pounds of cannon and 1,500 pounds of musket powder, required for the defense of New Orleans.

With much respect, your obedient servant,

S. R. MALLORY, Secretary of the Navy.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., September 6, 1861.

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

SIR: Ship Island is now in the best condition for defense that my means allow, Col. J. K. Duncan, with four officers of the Regiment of Louisiana Artillery as instructors, has been detailed for temporary duty on the island. I beg leave again to remind the Department that I have not one officer of any army experience at my disposal.

I do not wish to appear pettish or to be importunate in the matter of powder, but if it cannot be obtained the sad spectacle will be presented to the Confederacy of the Mississippi Valley falling into the hands of the enemy because of the lack of ammunition. There is not in my mind the slightest doubt that this city will be attacked early in the autumn. One company of Louisiana troops has been moved to the Grand Caillou, and another will be sent to-morrow. If I had ammunition I would order a gun to be sent with these companies.

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

D. E. TWIGGS, Major-General, C. S. Army.

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ENGINEER BUREAU, Richmond, Va., September 11, 1861.

H. B. WARREN, Esq., Fort Gaines, Mobile, Ala.:

SIR: Captain Lockett was long ago ordered to relieve me at Mobile, and I have taken it for granted that he was there; but hearing nothing from him, I conclude that he has been delayed by some cause. You were telegraphed on the 5th instant to open the letters of this bureau to Captain Lockett, and to act in accordance with the instructions to him as far as possible.

{p.729}

The most urgent matter is first to have the 32-pounders rifled and put in position, with shells fit for their use. I have written to Mr. Skates to hurry up this business. Next get cement from New Orleans, and finish the bastions and close up the north curtain. The postern arch at the main entrance and other interior masonry are of comparatively small account. Lay the traverse rails in the flank casemates as they are laid at Fort Morgan. Make the rampart and parapet as nearly continuous as possible, revetting the breast-height of the latter with planks, as in case of the covered way, if cement is not to be had.

At Fort Morgan the walls of the addition to the citadel (which was intended by me as a privy in case of siege) should be strengthened by an additional thickness of masonry at the northeast end and at the partition walls. A barrier gate of iron bars should be hung inside of the south postern gate, lest the existing gate there be blown in. The outer end of the passage leading under the glacis coupe into the open field should be bricked up just inside the gate by a 6-foot wall.

Of course many last things remain to be done-protecting the magazines with sand bags: substituting these for the board revetment of bomb-proof of citadel, and having arrangements for plenty of water to drink, and everywhere in vessels to extinguish fire. In the casemates the quartermaster’s stores should not be piled against the scarp wall. Leave a free passage for defense of embrasures and loop-holes.

General Withers takes command. Show this to him, or at least to Captain Lockett.

Very truly, yours,

D. LEADBETTER, Major Engineers, Acting Chief of Bureau.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, September 12, 1861.

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

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following copy of a letter just received at this Department:

RICHMOND, September 11, 1861.

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

SIR: The thirty guns (32-pounders) cannot be had elsewhere than from the Portsmouth navy-yard. May I request that you will procure an order from the Secretary of the Navy directing the officer in charge to forward to my address at Mobile, Ala., the thirty guns of the caliber named, or, if those cannot be had, then such others as may be designated by me and not necessary for the Norfolk defenses,

J. M. WITHERS, Brigadier-General, &c.

Your compliance with this requisition would oblige, Very respectfully,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, C. S. A., New Orleans, La., September 12, [861.

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

SIR: Mr. Ford, a citizen of Memphis, informs me that he met in Louisville a few days ago Mr. Walworth, son of Chancellor Walworth, {p.730} recently from Washington, and learned from him that he had been told by the Secretary of the Navy that a person near General Dahlgren, at Pass Christian, was in close communication with the powers at Washington, had given them all the information that they wished, and had told them of our want of guns and ammunition in and near New Orleans. From the same source Mr. Walworth knew that extensive preparations were making to invade Louisiana early this fall. General Dahlgren is in command of a camp of Mississippi troops at Pass Christian, and has a brother in Washington, an officer in the Black Republican Navy. The Secretary of the Navy seemed well aware of our position on Ship island.

Col. J. K. Duncan, whom I sent to Ship Island in the absence of Lieutenant-Colonel Allen, has made a lengthy report upon the importance and capabilities of the island, and declares the place wholly untenable. His report, together with the opinion of Maj. M. L. Smith, chief of engineers, is transmitted herewith.*

I hope to have in operation within two or three weeks a powder-mill, now erecting at the barracks. This is my only real dependence for powder, and yet its success hangs upon an uncertain promise of a supply of saltpeter. I have but 120 rounds for each gun on Ship Island; at the other fortifications not more than 40 rounds. To send this supply I have almost emptied the magazine. If I can obtain ammunition I have no doubts of the result of an invasion in this quarter. I would respectfully suggest, in view of a very probable necessity, that a camp be established near this city as a rendezvous for troops. The assembling of men from their homes is a work of much time.

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

D. E. TWIGGS, Major-General, C. S. Army.

* See inclosures to letter following.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No 1, New Orleans, La., September 12, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to inclose herein a report by Col. J. K. Duncan upon the defenses of Ship Island, together with the opinion of Maj. M. L. Smith, Engineers. I have never been on the island, but every intelligent person whom I meet, acquainted with the locality, concurs with the views of Colonel Duncan, that there are several other entrances to the sound besides Ship Island Channel, and that small steamers and gunboats can pass through them without difficulty. I shall hold the island until ordered to relinquish it.

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

D. E. TWIGGS, Major-General, C. S. Army.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

NEW ORLEANS, LA., September 9, 1861.

Second Lieut. J. G. DEVEREUX, Louisiana Regt. Art., A. A. A. G., New Orleans, La.:

SIR: In accordance with Special Orders, No. 82, dated Headquarters Department No. 1, New Orleans, September 3, 1861, I proceeded to Ship Island, to take temporary command of that post, accompanied by four officers of the Louisiana Regiment of Artillery, to take charge of the {p.731} drills at the heavy guns, as called for by Special Orders, No. 81, from the same headquarters.

After a thorough examination of the island and the fortifications commenced at its westerly extremity, its capabilities for defense, character of the guns, implements, equipments, and ammunition, together with the condition and discipline of the troops composing the command, I have the honor to report thereon as follows, viz:

1st. The fortification is a half circle, or horseshoe, closed at the gorge with a half-bastion front, as a flanking arrangement for land defense. It was originally intended to carry up the walls sufficiently high for one tier of casemate and one tier of barbette guns, and to have a moat, with a glacis without, to protect the masonry.

The brick work generally was only found to be carried up as high as the soles of the embrasures, however, and in this unfinished state it has been attempted to complete the work for temporary defense.

This has been done by carrying up the piers between the embrasures by brick work in offsets from the outside, which is to be protected by sand bags. To complete the covering over the guns brick piers are being built within the work, and heavy timbers thrown thence to the walls, to be covered by 3-inch planking and sand bags. Hence, from every direction in which a shot or shell can reach the interior of the fort, they will be almost certain to strike one of the piers in question, and chances are that they will be brought down, together with the timber and sand bags over them, burying the guns and increasing the number of casualties from the splinters and scattering brick work.

To have much strength, or to be able to maintain anything like a determined attack, this fort must be completed after its original plans. If progressed with after the present method of temporarily completing it, a few heavy men-of-war will pelt it to ruins in a very short space of time. I regard it as affording the least possible protection to the men and guns, and totally incapable of resisting any formidable force.

If the island must be fortified, and if possible be held at all hazards, I would earnestly suggest that Fort Twiggs and all work upon it be abandoned at once, and that the only attempt made at fortification be the ordinary resort to sand-bag batteries. The embrasures of the latter can be carefully revetted with sand bags and the parapets carried up above the height of the tallest men. Bomb-proof shelters, built close up to the parapets, will afford ample protection to the reliefs and to the men not employed at the guns, who can crawl into them for protection and shelter during an actual engagement. Such a work can be constructed at one-tenth of the cost of the present work, can be completed within a very few days comparatively, and will afford ten times the resistance of the unfinished brick fort. All the labor can be done by the command, and the material is all ready to hand, excepting a few more sand bags.

2d. The present armament is composed of two 24-pounders in position on the flanking front and one 8-inch shell gun completely exposed on the same front; eight 32-pounders within the circular work and one 32-pounder and one 9-inch Dahlgren shell gun without the fort and behind a sand-bag parapet. The fire of the two latter is partially masked by the masonry of the fort, as is shown, together with the positions of all of the guns, by the following diagram.*

The guns are all good enough of their several classes, but the 32-pounders, being mounted upon barbette gun-carriages on casemate {p.732} chassis, the barbette wheels strike against the scarp walls, and materially interfere with pointing the guns, and intercept their full elevation in consequence.

But taking the 9-inch Dahlgren gun, however, the best gun, with full charge and elevation, its extreme range falls short of Cat Island about a mile and a half. Within this mile and a half of the channel, I am informed by pilots familiar with the sound, there is 18 feet of water. Hence, admitting that the fortification is completely defensible within itself and mounted with the best guns, yet nevertheless it could not prevent the passage of large-class ships through the very channel which it is built to guard. This, however, is but one passage leading into the sound.

Between Ship and Horn Islands there is another, with a depth of 14 feet of water, and between the eastern end of Horn Island and Petit Bois still a third, which several pilots agree in stating had deepened to 18 feet during the heavy storms of last year.

Now, the coast line is about 15 miles distant from these island keys, which partly lock and protect the main-land. About midway between them, a line drawn from east to west and generally parallel with the coast, will represent the 13-foot line of water, and from this line to the main-land the water shoals very rapidly, becoming extremely shallow as the coast line is approached.

It is hence evident that gunboats of light draught can alone be used by the enemy against the coast. Upon this coast there are only two points of so much consequence as to require a vigilant guard. These are, 1st, New Orleans, through the Rigolets, and, 2d, Mobile, through Dog and Pascagoula Rivers; for, if the war is to be prosecuted by the enemy regardless of all the rules governing civilized communities, it will be utterly impracticable without a navy to protect all the watering places and residences along the sound, and indemnity must be looked for either by the confiscation of Northern property within our borders or by a like retaliation across them.

But with the cities mentioned the case is different, as their possession by the enemy may change the destinies of the war. Through Dog and Pascagoula Rivers light transports and gunboats can pass to within 20 or 25 miles of Mobile, thus throwing men and material to within a single day’s march of that city, with fair roads leading thence through an open pine country. A few batteries erected at suitable points on those rivers can prevent this, and the guns used need only be of the caliber of 24 or 32 pounders.

In a like manner Fort Pike, on the Rigolets, can be strengthened and one or two other points fortified, which will prevent an entrance into Lake Pontchartrain. If the enemy obtains possession of Fort Pike, and thus a foothold on the lake, by operating thence as a base with the boats and material to be collected upon its shores, the capture of New Orleans becomes almost certain in time, and consequently Forts Jackson and Saint Philip and the control of the entire mouth of the Mississippi River, by starving those forts into capitulation.

The occupation of Ship Island even by the most powerful fortifications, fully capable of resisting a combined land and naval attack, does not benefit either of the two important points mentioned, nor yet protect them in the least. Neither does it protect the sound coast, as gunboats can pass between Ship Island and the main-land with impunity, passing thereto through any of the channels in and around the islands.

Nothing, for instance, would be more easy for the enemy than the capture of the small steamers and other craft now plying in the sound {p.733} by merely passing between any of the channels around the islands and heading them off with two or more gunboats. Again, it is perfectly practicable for the few hostile gunboats to lie off of Ship Island, and merely by preventing the landing of stores and material to starve them into capitulation without firing a single gun. Its present condition certainly makes it a temptation to a bold and active enemy where the prize is thirteen guns, seven companies, and the glory and éclat of the achievement.

If, however, our inferior gunboats had Fort Pike on the one hand and the forts proposed upon Dog and Pascagoula Rivers upon the other to act upon as bases, they would always have strong points upon which to retreat, and whence, working by combined movements, the sound might be kept comparatively free from the enemy’s gunboats, which alone can operate there, if, indeed, many of these boats could not be captured.

At all events, Ship Island affords no protection to those boats now, their only point of refuge now being behind Fort Pike; but the fort on Ship Island is wholly incapable of resisting a combined land and water attack like that which the enemy threatens. The two detachments of regulars are more than sufficient to man all of the guns and afford the necessary reliefs. The other five companies should be deployed in open order without the fort and behind the line of sand hills, at from 300 to 400 yards from it, where they would be within good supporting distance of the regulars in the fort. Being in open order, they would be less liable to casualties from the enemy’s shells, and whence, from under cover, a heavy rifle fire could be opened upon a landing party above or they could-form and charge from behind the sand hills, as occasion might require. This would probably be the best plan of resisting an attack from an insignificant force. Should the enemy land 4,000 or 8,000 men beyond the range of the fort guns, however, and thence attack simultaneously with the bombardment of a considerable fleet, with the guns on every ship equal to the two best in the fort and superior to all of the rest, the result of the engagement would not differ materially from that at Cape Hatteras, and would not, in my opinion, last an hour.

In short, I consider the works now on Ship Island totally incapable of formidable defense, and feel confident that they cannot be made so within any reasonable period of time. Furthermore, I am satisfied that, however much they may be strengthened, they can still be starved into submission without firing a single shot.

The occupation of the island is objectless, as there is no control over any channel nor of the sounds at best. Hence great expense is unnecessarily incurred, besides the risk of the men and material now there in a shameful and humiliating manner, and all without even intimidating the enemy or of being productive of one particle of good in any direction.

Strongly advocating the superiority of land batteries over superior naval attacks, I cannot, nevertheless, without a strong protest, stand by and encourage an impracticable project, which has not a single object of importance to recommend it. Such an impracticability, aimless and objectless, is now being projected at Ship Island, and, if prosecuted to the end, I predict for it disgrace, from starvation on the one hand or butchery and capture on the other, in case of any considerable combined attack.

I would, therefore, most seriously and earnestly urge the immediate abandonment of the island. The troops, guns, and important material {p.734} can be removed in a single night, as the present enemy would probably prevent their removal in the day-time.

Instead of the useless occupation of this island, I would respectfully recommend that the smaller guns be taken and placed in intrenchments to be thrown up near the months of Dog and Pascagoula Rivers and the heavier ones to strengthen Fort Pike, for the reasons before given. These points are important and there is an object in holding them, whereas Ship Island has no object or importance, and its occupation is more likely to prove highly disastrous than to be productive of good.

I found at the island only about 15 rounds to each gun, but powder and cartridge-bags sufficient to increase the number to each gun to about 120 rounds. Lieutenant Devereux, an active and skillful officer, was appointed ordnance officer, and details were made from the several companies to assist him in making cartridges, lining the magazine, keeping the guns in order, and to look after the implements and equipments. The men of the several companies were drilled at the heavy guns by the officers of the Louisiana Artillery who accompanied me, and among them were found a number of detachments sufficiently well drilled to man the guns; besides, the regular detachments there are in command of Lieutenants Semmes and Barnes, from West Point, and as they requested permission to drill their own companies at the heavy guns I of course granted it, these officers being fully competent to the task. These two companies alone can furnish all the necessary reliefs and gun detachments to man and fight the battery at any time. In view of this I have directed the officers of the Louisiana Artillery mentioned to repair to their several posts, and they consequently accompanied me to town this evening. They are of much less use at Ship Island than at Forts Jackson and Saint Philip.

The sand-bag revetting in front of the five 32-pounder guns was carried up to the top of the wall, with proper embrasures left, the masonry and wood work not being quite ready for the sand bags at other points. The planking over the guns I directed to be parapeted around with sand bags and then the interior space to be filled with loose sand.

Colonel Barrow had improved the discipline on the island for the few days he was there before my arrival, and I am satisfied that he would get along very well shortly and as satisfactorily as circumstances admit of. He ran a sand-bag traverse in rear of the five 32-pounders looking to the westward on the line a b of great importance. Similar traverses will have to be thrown in the rear of all the guns for their protection. Both of the shell guns are very much exposed to be dismounted by the enemy’s fire, but especially the 8-inch gun, which is wholly unprotected. Trusting that the island will be speedily abandoned and the men and material moved elsewhere, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. K. DUNCAN, Colonel, C. S. Army.

* Omitted, as of no present importance.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

ENGINEER’S OFFICE, New Orleans, September 11, 1861.

Maj. Gen. DAVID E. TWIGGS, Comdg. Military Department No. 1, New Orleans, La.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the reference to this office of the report of Colonel Duncan upon the defenses on Ship Island, and return it with the following remarks:

The report discusses the defenses from two points of view: First, the {p.735} particular manner of fortifying the island; second, the policy of occupying it at all.

On the first point the views expressed in the report are not concurred in. First, I see no reason for abandoning a position inclosed by the heavy scarp wall of a regular fort and building up the same height of wall of sand bags, the embrasures in both instances to be made alike. Again it is not apparent to me that the labor required to protect a gun placed behind a wall capable of resisting shot can be less than if the same gun is placed on the open ground; hence, that a new work can be commenced as suggested and sooner finished than the present one. The timber bomb-proofs rest upon low piers built upon the scarp wall, protected on the outside by sand bags, and upon piers run up from the ground in rear of the gun carriages. It but remains to inclose the rear of these timber casemates, as they may be termed, by piling up sand bags to the height of the brick piers, and we have not only a perfect bomb-proof; but a comfortable place for the soldiers, inasmuch as the roof above has designedly been made water-tight.

In regard to the use of sand bags, it may be remarked that their efficiency is of a temporary character, five and six weeks being sufficient for them to become so decayed as to admit of little or no strain being put upon them.

But it is proper to remark here that the work at Ship Island has progressed unusually slowly, and that much remains to be done. The engineer office here has not from the first had one single dollar at its disposal to expend there, and has not up to this day ever teen able to get any funds. The few bills and laborers that have been paid the quartermaster department has provided for.

Owing to the impossibility of my being at the island after the first week of the occupancy, and there being no engineer officer to send, considerable work has been done having no special bearing upon the proper defense of the fort. This, under the circumstances, was doubtless unavoidable. The two guns remaining outside are the two rapidly pushed ashore under fire and mounted on our first arrival at the island, and bear so handsomely upon the entrance and sound that it has not been thought desirable to attempt their removal to the inside until more important work is finished.

In regard to the armament of the fort, I have but to remark that every available gun of any size has been sent there.

In respect, then, to the defense of Ship Island, if it is to be held, my opinion is decidedly in favor of continuing the occupation of the work, incomplete as it is, and for perfecting its interior arrangements. I believe the garrison can be more readily sheltered there than elsewhere. The work is, to a certain extent, ready for an attack at any moment, and I regard it as less liable to be taken by an assaulting force, consequently stronger than a work of the same size as suggested in Colonel Duncan’s report.

As to the policy of attempting to hold Ship Island at all, my views were officially given in a communication dated May 16, 1861, and forwarded to Montgomery by the commanding officer of this department. In a subsequent one, dated May 25 a course to be pursued to defend Mississippi Sound was recommended, and this also forwarded.

I have nothing to add to-day to the reasoning and conclusions of those reports, which were essentially the same as those now submitted by Colonel Duncan, and should the enemy appear in force at any time within the next three weeks the relative positions of the combatants will be as there indicated. But notwithstanding the views then expressed, {p.736} the occupation of Ship Island was understood to have been directed by the President of the Confederate States. The necessity that existed then for its occupation exists, as far as I am aware of; now, and I do not perceive how, under this condition of things, its abandonment can be determined upon without the express authority of the President himself. Should it be decided to vacate the island, then the proper defense of the sound is a question to be taken in connection with the gunboat force that is or will be available.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. L. SMITH, Major of Engineers.

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HDQRS. FIRST Div. LOUISIANA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, New Orleans, La., September 12, 1861.

Maj. Gen. DAVID E. TWIGGS, Commanding Department No. 1, C. S. Army:

GENERAL: In accordance with the wish expressed by you verbally, on the 9th instant (the day I visited you at your house), that I should proceed to Berwick Bay and examine the fortifications and other means of defense that could be made available in the event of an attack upon that place, I proceeded thither the next morning, accompanied by three of my staff, Majors Farish, Hyllested, and Fago. During my journey on the Opelousas Railroad I had every possible assistance from the gentlemen in the employment of the company, and, upon arriving at my destination, each seemed to vie with the other in the desire to afford me information. To Captain Carr my thanks are particularly due for the handsome and generous manner in which he placed not only his steamer, the Sigle, but his own valuable services as a pilot, at my disposal.

Immediately after my arrival I proceeded to inspect Forts Berwick and Chène. Fort Berwick is situated about 4 miles from Brashear City, at the junction of Wax Bayou and the Atchafalaya River. The depth of water on the bar of Wax Bayou, as I was informed, is about 7 feet. The fort is a common earthen one, quadrangular in shape, with earthen parapets 5 feet high on three sides, the rear being protected only by palisades about 7 feet high, loop-holed for musketry, the whole surrounded by a moat about 6 feet wide in front and 3 feet in the rear. On the front face two 24-pounder pivot guns are mounted, which command the outlet of Wax Bayou, where boats of only very light draught can be used, but which would be of little avail in protecting the Atchafalaya.

To render Fort Berwick capable of resisting only a moderate force the parapets would require strengthening. The magazine also requires protection, which can be done by covering the same with earth to the thickness of several feet. I would recommend three additional guns being sent to Fort Berwick, to arm the right and left parapets, which are at present defenseless; also a light gun (9 or 12 pounder) to aid in protecting the rear, which is open to attack by a land force.

The ammunition consists of 21 24-pounder cartridges, 200 shot, and 4,000 musket-ball cartridges. Rammers, port-fires, primers, and flannel for cartridges and swabs are much needed; but I do not enter into the particulars, as I am assured a list has already been furnished by the officer in command. The garrison consists of two companies, one of infantry and one of sappers and miners.

Fort Chène is in all respects a counterpart of Fort Berwick, situated {p.737} at a point commanding two bayous, admitting only vessels of light draught of water, and consequently of much less importance than Fort Berwick. The armament is two 24-pounder pivot guns. The ammunition consists of 90 24-pounder cartridges, 193 shot, 30 charges of canister, and 3,000 musket cartridges. The garrison consists of one company of infantry.

My next visit was to Shell Island, which is 15 miles from Brashear City, and is at the junction of the main channel of the Atchafalaya River and Shell Island Bayou. The depth, as I was informed, of the former is 9 feet on the bar at high water and never less than 7 feet; and of the latter 6 feet on the bar at high water and never less than 4 feet.

Shell Island, as its name would indicate, is composed of shells, but only in part, raised about 2 to 3 feet above high-water mark. In the rear is an impenetrable marsh, but on its front, and facing Atchafalaya River and Shell Bayou, is a shell bank, extending 400 yards in length by 60 in depth.

I am of opinion that a strong fort ought as soon as possible to be constructed upon Shell Island, commanding, as it does, the most important channel to Berwick Bay, the main channel of the Atchafalaya River at this point being only about one-quarter of a mile wide, and consequently easily commanded by a battery. In urging the establishment of a fort on Shell Island for the protection of Berwick Bay I do not think I overestimate the value of the position, while it will render it unnecessary to maintain Fort Chène, the garrison and armament of which could be removed to Shell Island.

A fort situated upon Shell Island ought not to contain less than ten guns, some of heavy caliber. I am informed that the planters in this section of country will furnish any number of hands for works of defense.

I would also call your attention to the companies composing the garrisons of Forts Berwick and Chène. They are infantry, some of which, especially in Fort Berwick, are but imperfectly acquainted with the musket exercise, while all, both officers and men, are entirely ignorant of the management of heavy artillery. A competent instructor of artillery is a most pressing necessity.

The great number of fishermen, or men of doubtful avocations, who reside in the numerous bayous, quite out of reach of the forts, renders a coast guard necessary. The steamer Mobile, which is now being altered into a gunboat, will not be ready for two weeks, and I would recommend the employment in the mean time of Captain Carr’s steamer, the Teazer, and which, being of light draught of water, could act as a tender to the Mobile, and render effective service in clearing the bayous of all such as may be rendering aid and comfort to the enemy. I would also urge the employment of Captain Carr upon this service, for which his intimate knowledge of Berwick Bay and its bayous make him so well fitted.

The commanders of the forts have represented to me the necessity, to the proper carrying out of their duty in preventing the passage of small craft, that they each be supplied with a 6 or 8 oared barge, the small boats they are at present using being loaned them by citizens.

In laying before you the foregoing result of-my examination of the means of defense at Berwick Bay, permit me to again call your attention to the serious results that would arise from this point falling into the hands of the enemy. We should be completely cut off from the valuable supply of cattle from Texas, while 60,000 barrels of coal, which is an article of almost incalculable advantage to the enemy’s shipping, would {p.738} be sacrificed. No time or means ought, therefore, to be lost in properly defending a point of so much importance.

Respectfully submitted.

JNO. L. LEWIS, Major-General, Comdg. First Div. La. Volunteer Infantry.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 151.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., September 12, 1861.

...

18. The State of Alabama and that portion of Mississippi east of the Pascagoula River will hereafter constitute a separate command, which is assigned to the charge of Brig. Gen. Jones M. Withers, Provisional Army.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, September 13, 1861.

General DAVID E. TWIGGS, New Orleans, La.:

Take immediate measures to evacuate Ship Island, and cause the guns to be removed at once.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, C. S. A., New Orleans, September 16, 1861.

The Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: There will no doubt be an invasion of this place by the Black Republicans early in the fall. I respectfully ask that two brigadier-generals be ordered to report to me at as early a day as possible. The works around the city are extensive, and it is impossible for one person to attend to all matters pertaining to the service.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. E. TWIGGS, Major-General, Commanding.

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MOBILE, September 16, 1861.

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

SIR: In view of the opposition manifested here to the assignment of Brigadier-General Withers to the command at Mobile, I deem it proper to state that in my opinion the public good will be promoted by the order which it is understood the Department has given to that effect.

I have just returned from a visit to General Twiggs at New Orleans. {p.739} I received official confirmation of an important fact, report of which had previously reached me; that is, that there are less than 50 rounds of powder at the three forts at the mouth of this bay. Two hours of active fighting will exhaust the supply, and then the repetition of the contretemps at Hatteras is open, and Mobile is at the mercy of a naval power holding these forts and commanding the bay.

General Moore is here, and I at once advised him of the fact. He appeared surprised. New Orleans is equally destitute of powder. If it be possible I trust that these works will be supplied at once.

Pardon me for expressing the opinion that the five regiments constituting the garrison at Ship Island may be cut off whenever the enemy commanding the sea wills it. The waters of the Mississippi Sound can only be defended by guns afloat, and without them the Ship Island forces are at the mercy of the Black Republican fleet. That garrison cannot command the Ship Island Pass. If it could, there are several others by which gunboats may enter. I am aware of the presumption of my opinion. A sense of duty prompts it, for after the misfortune shall have befallen us I should reproach myself if I remained silent.

I am greatly indebted to the Government for the presence and instructions of Captain Lockett. I am doing all in my power to aid him in carrying his plans into execution.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN FORSYTH, Mayor.

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NEW ORLEANS, September 17, 1861.

SECRETARY OF WAR:

Ship Island is evacuated. Two heavy frigates, two steamers, a brig, and two tenders were 8 miles off Ship Island at dark yesterday. As the last boat departed the steamers were bearing down upon the island.

D. E. TWIGGS.

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MOBILE, September 17, 1861.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR:

I am just informed that there is very little powder at Forts Gaines and Morgan, Ala. Have but little. It is of the utmost importance that cannon powder be sent immediately to these forts.

A. B. MOORE.

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RICHMOND, September 18, 1861.

His Excellency A. B. MOORE, Governor Alabama:

Supplies of powder will be sent to the forts designated as soon as possible.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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NEW ORLEANS, September 18, 1861.

SECRETARY OF WAR:

The enemy’s fleet did considerable shelling yesterday at, as they supposed, a masked battery on Ship Island.

D. E. TWIGGS, Major-General.

{p.740}

ENGINEER BUREAU, Richmond, Va., September 19, 1861.

General JONES M. WITHERS, Mobile, Ala.:

GENERAL: At the last moment the Ordnance Department has laid hands on our big rifled gun and sent it to Memphis. The programme is that we are to have the next one. We are able, therefore, to send only a 10-inch smooth bore, with its appurtenances, carriage, implements, and a few shot and shells. Our main reliance for the present must be the seven columbiads at the two forts and the rifled 32-pounders. I am satisfied that these last will prove to be formidable guns. They weigh 7,000 pounds each, I think, and with a shell of about 50 pounds weight each of those guns should be better (more effective) than a 10-inch columbiad. Sights should be adapted to them. I had hoped to send some friction-primers, but they are not ready, and must be sent by express.

Lieutenant Withers has a list of the articles which you have asked for, with a note of the establishment from which they have been ordered by the Ordnance Department. Lieutenant Withers has been very active in his efforts to promote the interests of the public service.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. LEADBETTER, Major Engineers, Acting Chief of Bureau.

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HEADQUARTERS LOUISIANA MILITIA, New Orleans, September 20, 1861.

Hon. JEFFERSON DAVIS, President Confederate States:

DEAR SIR: I am now endeavoring to organize the militia of my State, in order that we may be in some state of preparation for an attack. The generals and some of their subordinates, at a recent meeting to concert measures to this end, adopted the following resolution, which at their request I forward to you:

Resolved, That the governor of this State be requested respectfully to write immediately to the President of the Confederate States and ask his excellency to appoint and send to New Orleans two competent superior officers, one of the Corps of Engineers and one of the Artillery, to form with General Twiggs a board of defense.

Without sanctioning the request contained in the last part of the resolution concerning the board of defense, which appears to me not consonant to military usage or propriety, I have already represented to you the necessity of having an officer here who, with youth, energy, and military ability, would infuse some activity in our preparations and some confidence in our people. I hope ere this General Van Dorn has acquainted you with my views, which from motives of delicacy I preferred to deliver to him verbally in a confidential conversation.

The generals of my militia have designated the corps from which the officers to be sent here should be selected. I leave that to your good judgment, asking only that this city, the most important to be preserved of any in the Confederacy, and our coast, the most exposed of all the States, be no longer neglected.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THO. O. MOORE.

{p.741}

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, September 21, 1861.

Hon. JOHN FORSYTH, Mayor of Mobile, Ala.:

SIR: In reply to your letter of the 16th instant I am directed by the Secretary of War to say that the Government is aware of the deficiency of powder at the forts below Mobile, and is using every effort to supply it as promptly as possible.

The garrison at Ship Island has been withdrawn, to prevent the possibility of its being out off by the enemy.

This Department will be pleased to receive your suggestions on all occasions.

Respectfully,

A. T. BLEDSOE, Chief of Bureau of War.

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HEADQUARTERS LOUISIANA MILITIA, New Orleans, La., September 21, 1861.

Maj. Gen. JOHN L. LEWIS, And the other Field Officers of the First Division of Militia of Louisiana:

GENTLEMEN: I have examined the proceedings of your meeting held on the 19th instant, of which a copy was presented to me by your committee. I immediately addressed a letter to President Davis, and inserted the resolution of request for the appointment of an additional engineer and artillery officer at New Orleans.

I must decline complying with the request contained in your first resolution. Passing by the consideration of the question of my power or right to declare martial law, I cannot perceive, in the present state of public affairs, any justification for the adoption of so stringent a measure. Martial law suspends the functions of the civil magistrate, and makes the will of him who declares it the supreme and only law. If he has the power-the military force-to compel subjection to his will, no one can question the propriety or necessity of any of his orders. It is true it may be restricted in its operations as to locality, but it cannot be modified as to character. It may be declared in a district or portion of country, and has in some instances been accompanied with qualifications of its operation; but these qualifications may be altered or dispensed with at the pleasure of the person who has the supreme power. It is therefore the substitution of the uncontrolled rule of one man for the government of law as administered by civil officers. I do not think the exigencies of the State and its people at the present moment demand or require the assumption and exercise of such power. I have in contemplation issuing general orders for the enrolling and organization of the militia, in the enforcement of which I shall expect, and know I will receive, your active co-operation.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THO. O. MOORE, Governor of Louisiana.

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NEW ORLEANS, September 22, 1861.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

DEAR SIR:... I am looking anxiously for the officers you promised to send us. A gentleman by the name of Smith, I believe from New {p.742} York, is much desired here, or Captain Boggs, at Pensacola. I have felt considerable anxiety (but never have mentioned it except to Moise) about assistance here when it should be required. You are now in a situation not to send off a man from Virginia, Kentucky, or Missouri. What should we do in Louisiana if we should be attacked by even 30,000 men when all are gone and arms too? Our fortifications are very backward. We have but one engineer here (Major Smith), and he is not an active one, according to my judgment. I am not satisfied with our situation-not at all; and, should we be attacked by any strong force, I am fearful of the result. My arms have all been given out and all gone. We could get the men, but they would be of no use. I sent to Cuba for guns long since and made a failure. I have now 1,800 there if I could get them; besides I have sent a considerable amount to another point, but whether I shall ever get them or not I do not know, and as for our reliance on the assistance of any volunteers now in those States where hostilities exist, whether from our State or others, it is very poor.

It is high time ample provision was made for the reception of our enemies. If they cannot raise soldiers rapidly, they can, it is said, raise any number of sailors and marines. Dr. Mackie writes from Nashville (just arrived there from the North) that gigantic measures are being adopted at the North for a move on Louisiana, and no secret in the matter, and that he believes it will be made soon. Now, my dear sir, do at once what may be necessary for our State. I can’t say any more, as my office is filled with talkers.

I am anxious for saltpeter. I am alarmed to death for want of powder. Aid us in these materials, as we could fight but a short time with present supply.

By the very earnest solicitations of General Polk, General Twiggs has consented to send the Third Regiment to him, so you can, if agreeable. Leave the Fourth here; but if it remains across the lake it would do no good for the defense of the city.

General Dahlgren is over the lake with 1,500 or 2,000 men. Is that force not sufficient? I desire to write you relative to the gentleman above and may do so. If I do not, another will.*

Yours, very truly,

THO. O. MOORE.

* Some matters of detail omitted.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., September 22, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Richmond, Va.:

Letters of the 16th received. Third Regiment ordered to Columbus. Cannot the Fourth remain? Send officers at once. I dispatched you for saltpeter. None yet received.

THO. O. MOORE.

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RICHMOND, VA., September 23, 1861.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE, New Orleans, La.:

I shall not move the Fourth Regiment from Louisiana without the most urgent necessity. Shall send one or two brigadier-generals to New {p.743} Orleans this week. Two tons of saltpeter were ordered from Augusta to New Orleans on the 19th instant.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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NEW ORLEANS, September 23, 1861.

SECRETARY OF WAR:

I have countermanded the movement of the Third Regiment to General Polk at the wish and with the concurrence of Governor Moore.

D. E. TWIGGS.

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ENGINEER BUREAU, Richmond, Va., September 23, 1861.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR:

SIR: The defensive works for the protection of Mobile Bay and city consist of Forts Morgan and Gaines, a battery at Grant’s Pass, and other batteries now under construction in the immediate neighborhood of the city. Fort Morgan has five 10-inch columbiads, two of them known to be mounted; two others probably so; the fifth on the way, not arrived. Some ten other heavy guns (rifled) and columbiads ordered by Mr. Secretary Walker are anxiously expected, and are believed to be under fabrication in this city. There are also about thirty-eight 32-pounders mounted on the work, which are now being rifled. From these last we cannot expect the full range and power of guns made for rifling, but when the full armament shall have been received it will be formidable. Two redoubts are under construction on the land side in advance of Fort Morgan. Present garrison, one regiment.

Fort Gaines is opposite Fort Morgan, 34 miles distant, and the two are required to protect the intervening channel. This work was intended to mount one columbiad in each bastion (five of them) and fifty 32-pounders in barbette on the curtains. It has two 10-inch columbiads, probably not yet mounted, as their carriages (new iron) do not fit the old and usual form of traverse circle. The alteration is being made. Two rifled guns and one 8-inch smooth bore are required there, and will be made in this city. Ten 32-pounders are mounted on the curtains. Four of its flanking guns have been received, and are probably mounted. Sixteen more of the last-named guns (howitzers) are required, and are being made at Florence, Ala. The present garrison of Fort Gaines is supposed to be three companies.

Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines are permanent works, with walls of brick masonry. The battery at Grant’s Pass mounts three 32-pounders, which will soon be rifled; garrison, one company. Near the city, in the neighborhood of Choctaw Pass, a battery is being built in the water to command the channel in case small vessels should run past the forts or armed launches be hauled across the peninsula of Mobile Point. Some batteries are being thrown up on the land front of the city, for which guns were ordered by Mr. Secretary Walker. The labor for this last work is understood to be furnished gratuitously by the citizens.

The great want of Mobile Bay is an armed steamer, to cope with any armed small craft which might steal into the bay at night or be hauled over land, as already mentioned. A single armed launch could cut off communication between the city and the forts, for there is literally nothing in which to make head against such an invader. A steamer {p.744} like the Miramon should be immediately bought for that service, and be armed with one or two heavy guns.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

D. LEADBETTER, Major of Engineers, Acting Chief of Bureau.

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RICHMOND, September 23, 1861.

General DAVID E. TWIGGS:

Will send you an active and competent brigadier-general this week. Will send you powder as fast as we can procure it.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, September 25, 1861.

JOHN FORSYTH, Mayor, Mobile, Ala.:

I have ordered 50 barrels of cannon powder sent from Nashville to Mobile, also 100 barrels to New Orleans, also 12 tons of saltpeter to New Orleans for immediate manufacture. Further supplies will be sent at the earliest possible moment.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS TROOPS CONFEDERATE STATES, Near Pensacola, Fla., September 25, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: You will pardon me for the freedom of addressing you, but the subject is of vital importance, and requires prompt attention. For some time a growing dissatisfaction has existed here among the regular officers of the Army from the old United States service, which has culminated in a number of resignations. They have seen themselves overlooked by their Government, while their juniors in years and service, and I think their inferiors in many cases, were put over them in rank in other armies. To this they submitted without a murmur, and labored incessantly, doing what their superiors in rank here could not do, but for which they were receiving the credit. The last feather, however, has broken the camel’s back. The Department, just before your entrance on its duties, came into their midst, and selected one of the very youngest of their number for the grade of colonel. Lieutenant (Colonel) Wheeler is a very excellent officer, and none envy him his good fortune, but they cannot see the justice of the apparent reflection on themselves. The jealousy with which professional soldiers look upon military rank is second only, my dear sir, to that of honor. For whatever success I have attained in my efforts for the organization and instruction of this army I am indebted to these officers. You can see, then, how keenly I may share the mortification which has been inflicted on them, and I sincerely trust the Department will be able to assist me in averting the calamity which threatens, for they clearly see that my personal influence heretofore exerted has availed them nothing.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG.

{p.745}

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RICHMOND, September 25, 1861.

General DAVID E. TWIGGS, New Orleans:

I cannot spare any rifled cannon for New Orleans. You have one transferred from Hollins. Have the others rifled as fast as possible at the New Orleans founderies. There are but two large-sized rifled guns received at Savannah and twelve rifled field pieces. The coast of Georgia will be attacked in a few days, and I cannot withdraw guns. I have appointed Mansfield Lovell a brigadier-general, and ordered him to New Orleans. He will be with you this week. Have ordered 10 more tons of saltpeter from Augusta to New Orleans, and 100 barrels of cannon powder from Nashville to New Orleans and 50 barrels to Mobile.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., September 25, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Richmond, Va.:

General Twiggs requests me to seize all the pork in the city, about 2,500 barrels. Shall I do it?

THO. O. MOORE.

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RICHMOND, VA., September 25, 1861.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE, New Orleans, La.:

I know of no necessity for seizing the pork. Do you see any need of it?

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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ENGINEER BUREAU, Richmond, September 26, 1861.

SECRETARY OF WAR:

The letter of Hon. F. B. Shepard, under date of September 4,* has been referred to this office for information. At that date the condition of Fort Gaines in the matter of armament and munitions was very unsatisfactory. The fort itself was scarcely defensible with any armament, though all the guns available had been mounted. Two 10-inch guns had been received, but not mounted for want of carriages. These have been supplied, and it is hoped that these guns are now mounted. The bastions are now finished, their traverse circles laid for a columbiad in each; the scarp wall by this time must be everywhere to its proper height; the magazines are undoubtedly available; the rampart and parapet are rapidly approaching entire continuity, and the glacis wants but little to give efficient cover to the masonry. There are still wanted three heavy guns for the three bastions now unarmed and sixteen flanking howitzers. These guns have been ordered by the Hon. Secretary of War, and are supposed to be under fabrication. They are urgently needed, as well as others, at Fort Morgan. The lack of munitions and implements at Fort Gaines lies between the commander of the post and {p.746} that of Fort Morgan. The latter place, though insufficiently supplied for the exigencies of war, can well spare more largely to the other. Most likely General Withers, now in command, has corrected the unequal ratio of distribution. At Fort Gaines the guns are supplied with friction-primers. There are six 32-pounders bearing favorably on the land. The Fort Gaines channel is from 9 to 10 feet deep.

D. LEADBETTER, Major Engineers, Acting Chief of Bureau.

* Not found.

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NEW ORLEANS, September 26, 1861.

To SECRETARY OF WAR:

We are ready to make powder at once if we get saltpeter.

D. E. TWIGGS, Major-General.

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RICHMOND, VA., September 26, 1861.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE, Louisiana:

SIR: Yours of the 20th instant, containing a copy of a resolution which you informed me was adopted by the generals and some of the subordinates of the militia of Louisiana, has been received. I concur in your objection to a proposition for a board of defense; and in relation to the other point would say that long since one of the best officers in the Engineer Corps, and of superior rank (Maj. M. L. Smith), was sent to Louisiana to perform the duties of chief engineer there. If from any cause he has been found incompetent, I regret that the evidence was not laid before me, so that he might have been removed.

General Van Dorn has not communicated to me the views which you intrusted to him to be orally delivered; but from various sources I have learned that General Twiggs has proven unequal to his command. As in his selection I yielded much to the solicitation of the people of New Orleans, I think they should sooner have informed me of the mistake they had made. Your own recent letter was the first information received by me. I have, however, directed Mansfield Lovell, who is no doubt known to you by reputation, to be appointed a brigadier-general, and assigned to duty in connection with the defenses of New Orleans and the adjacent coast. It is some weeks since I met a committee from your city, charged with propositions for the defenses of New Orleans, and had hoped the needful works for defense were under construction and repair. In the mean time I have endeavored to provide the necessary armament and munitions.

Should your worst apprehensions be realized-which I cannot bring myself to believe when I remember how much has been done for the defense of New Orleans since 1815, both in the construction of works and facilities for transportation-I hope a discriminating public will acquit this Government of having neglected the defenses of your coast and approaches to New Orleans.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

{p.747}

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MONTGOMERY, September 27, 1861.

General S. COOPER:

There is misapprehension as to my requisition for troops. It was for three regiments, independent of Mobile organizations, which were only considered for an emergency. If governor of Alabama cannot furnish the three, have I authority to accept deficiency from Mississippi if tendered? Answer to Mobile.

J. M. WITHERS, Brigadier-General.

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NEW ORLEANS, September 27, 1861.

To SECRETARY OF WAR:

Mississippi troops on lake shore will muster in for eleven months only. Hollins has orders from Secretary of Navy not to turn over the guns to me. Can Colonel Duncan be appointed brigadier-general, to report to me?

D. E. TWIGGS.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., September 27, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Richmond, Va.:

No pork here except amount mentioned. What are we to do for our volunteers here? Answer.

THO. O. MOORE.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., September 28, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Richmond, Va.:

My guns are gone-are all distributed. Can any be had? I telegraphed you about pork I seized. Answer.

THO. O. MOORE.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, September 28, 1861.

His Excellency THOMAS O. MOORE, Governor of Louisiana, New Orleans:

SIR: In reply to your letter of the 22d instant I am directed by the Secretary of War to say that 12 tons of saltpeter and 100 kegs of powder have been ordered to New Orleans, in compliance with your request for those articles. The President has written to you relative to the other points touched upon in your letter.*

Respectfully,

A. T. BLEDSOE, Chief of Bureau of War.

* Mr. Davis’ letter not found.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., September 29, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

MY DEAR SIR: I have about 3,500 men in camp, organized into companies, and three regiments formed, including the Thirteenth, Colonel {p.748} Gibson’s, and have not arms for them all. I am now sorry that I ever sent off so many, as they, with the volunteers who took them off are so occupied I fear I shall not get them back when needed. It seems that all will be wanted that are in Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri, where they are; if so, we are here certainly in rather an unpleasant situation, for if we could raise the men we could not arm them. Our fortifications have progressed slowly, it having rained almost every day since they were commenced, but now we are getting on more rapidly, the weather improved, and more force put on the works. We are much in need of engineers and other officers, as I before wrote you. I see the necessity for them daily. General Twiggs’ age precludes the possibility of his doing the labor necessary to a command of the magnitude and importance of this, and an officer here should be able to visit and inspect every place. Even were I possessed of the military qualifications, with my present official duties I could do nothing in that way. The raft was placed across the river at the forts on yesterday, I think; it was all ready, and the engineer went down to place it three days since, so I trust nothing can pass the forts.

We have not heard of the fleet that has left with the 20,000 men, but I have no doubt, and that is the impression generally, that it is destined to other points besides Brunswick. We can be greatly harassed here on our entire coast, and no doubt will be, and I am kept constantly distressed at the incompetency, as I consider, of our commander. If anything is to be done here you must send us officers and more arms. The Fourth Regiment, I trust, will not be sent off, but that it will be brought over. Cannot General Dahlgren take care of the lake coast? I fear he is not the man that should be there.

I am now waiting for the saltpeter, as I am informed the mill is ready, but everything by rail moves so slow, so slow. I have had Major Ramsey to dispatch the whole line to forward it as fast as possible. The amount of powder here is very small compared to what is necessary, and a knowledge of that fact keeps up a constant excitement among our people.

I, notwithstanding your advice to the contrary, seized the pork in the city, and telegraphed you (but have had no reply), and shall hold it, unless requested by you to act otherwise, as I see no way to feed our troops without it, but hope you do, as your advice was to that effect. Write me fully on that point.

Is the Government doing anything to clothe and shoe our troops? I do not learn that it is. I have sent a suit of clothes and underclothes, blankets, and shoes to our regiment in Missouri, and blankets for our entire force in Virginia, and clothing for the First and Second Regiments, with shoes also for the whole force, but provision ought to be made for another pair of shoes, as some of those I sent I fear will not last very well, but they were the best to be had.

Have arrangements been made by the Government for arms in Europe? Certainly arms ought to have been procured before this. I have about 1 600 in Havana, and have $150,000 in England to purchase more. The only trouble is to get them here. Cannot Mr. Slidell, who leaves soon, give some aid and advice in the matter? He knows the parties acting for me. I expect something done, indeed everything that is necessary for us, for I have tried to do so for the Confederacy. I hardly know what I have written, I am so constantly troubled by visitors on business.

Yours, truly,

THO. O. MOORE.

{p.749}

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., September 29, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Richmond, Va.:

I seized pork against your advice. Will release if not wanted. Generals not arrived. Have not arms for volunteers in camp. Have you any? What am I to do? Answer.

THO. O. MOORE.

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RICHMOND, VA., September 30, 1861.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE, New Orleans, La.:

I can conceive no possible reason for seizing pork and cannot approve it. There is an abundance of food in our country, and private rights ought not to be invaded except in cases of necessity for public defense.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, September 30, 1861.

General DAVID E. TWIGGS, New Orleans:

Do not accept the Mississippi troops for less than twelve months, unless they are simply for local defense, under law passed last session. Captain Hollins was only ordered to turn over to you a single rifled gun as a model for rifling other guns at the foundery. If he refuses this, let me know. Terry has already been ordered to join General Johnston with his regiment. Do as you please about assigning Higgins to ordnance duty. It is said here that young Palfrey, recommended by you for your staff, is not twenty-one years old. If this is so he cannot be appointed an officer in the Army.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., September 30, 1861.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE, New Orleans, La.:

Your several dispatches about arms and generals received. Pray have a little patience. I am doing the best I can with the means at my disposal, and you do not allow me time to concert the arrangements necessary to satisfy you. In two or three days I will inform you fully of what is to be done.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

{p.750}

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Abstract from field return of troops of the Confederate States near Pensacola, Fla., Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg commanding, for October 1, 1861.

Commands.Present for duty.Aggregate present.
Officers.Men.
lst (Ruggles’) Brigade1502,7783,686
2d (Anderson’s) Brigade1252,0612,698
Alabama Mounted Rifles (Jenkins)27694
Walton Guards (McPherson)45155
Total2814,9666,533

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NEW ORLEANS, October 4, 1861.

To SECRETARY OF WAR:

Black Republicans assembling a fleet at Head of Passes. The Richmond, a sloop of war, a schooner, a captured pilot-boat, and the Water Witch were there yesterday evening. I will send some powder and re-enforcements to Colonel Duncan immediately. I do not think Fort Jackson is the point that will be attacked. I will try to be ready to meet them at all points.

D. E. TWIGGS.

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ENGINEER BUREAU, Richmond, Va., October 7, 1861.

Capt. S. H. LOCKETT, Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Ala.:

SIR: Your letter of the 1st instant has been received.* The commanding general being responsible for the defense, he decides what works shall be built and when. Your own responsibility ends when your views have been made known to him officially.

With regard to armament, I had supposed that having the Secretary’s order for thirty guns from North Carolina we were sure to get them, but there is no hope in that quarter. From present appearances I would not recommend you to rely on getting any more heavy guns or carriages from this quarter. The demands from all directions are urgent, and the Secretary says he cannot give what he has not got. If you do not get heavy guns for the remaining bastions of Fort Gaines-and I see no probability of getting them-you will have to mount a rifled 32 in each. If the flank guns fail (and I can gain no information of them) you had better fasten the embrasure shutters firmly, and make a loop-hole for musketry in each. Of course you will have the guns rifled for Grant’s Pass, and another gun ought to be added there. When I left, the magazine at that place was not sufficiently covered.

I see you have had a broadside. One heavy rifled gun left on the 3d.

Very truly, yours,

D. LEADBETTER, Major Engineers, Acting Chief of Bureau.

* Not found.

{p.751}

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 173.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., October 7, 1861.

...

IX. The command of Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, Provisional Army, is extended to embrace the coast and State of Alabama.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 110.}

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS OF C. S., Near Pensacola, Fla., October 12, 1861.

I. Brig. Gen. Daniel Ruggles, Provisional Army, is relieved from duty with this command, and will proceed to New Orleans, and report to Major-General Twiggs, in conformity to special orders from the War Department.

The regret of the commanding general in parting with General Ruggles, whose labors have been so untiring and efficient with this army, is lessened by the knowledge of his transfer to a more extended field in Louisiana, where he is commended to the confidence of many friends.

II. Brigadier-General Gladden, Provisional Army, is assigned to the First (Ruggles’) Brigade. Col. J. Patton Anderson is relieved from the command of his regiment, the First Florida, and will relieve Brigadier-General Gladden in command of the Second (Anderson’s) Brigade.

III. The habit again growing up in the army of an indiscriminate waste of ammunition must be discontinued. No guns will be loaded except on the advanced and beach picket guards, and their guns will be discharged at a target the next morning at sunrise under their respective officers. The discharge of a gun at any other hour will subject the offender to arrest and trial. Captain Jenkins’ company, mounted volunteers, will patrol the camps of the whole army for the enforcement of this order, and all officers will be held accountable for any infringement. Not only our success but our safety depends on a preservation of our very limited supply of ammunition.

By command of Major-General Bragg:

GEO. G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., October 13, 1861.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE, New Orleans, La.:

MY DEAR SIR: I snatch a moment this (Sunday) evening to answer your favor of the 29th ultimo. Matters have been so changed since the date of that letter that it is scarcely necessary to do more than say that I have used every effort in my power to put [you] in such a position as shall allay all fears relative to the defenses of New Orleans.

Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell, a brilliant, energetic, and accomplished officer, has been assigned to the command of your department. Powder, saltpeter, and cannon have been forwarded, and will be still further supplied as fast as they can be possibly spared, and the recent gallant dash {p.752} of Captain Hollins at the blockading fleet must have infused new life and spirit into our people.

The Government is fast providing, to the extent of its ability, shoes and clothing for our troops, and is greatly relieved in this herculean task by the patriotic and generous aid of just such governors of States as our own Tom Moore.

I am sure you will be persuaded that nothing I can do shall be left undone for the defense of Louisiana, while you would not wish, I am equally sure, that I should neglect the defenses of other points of importance in order to concentrate all our resources in New Orleans alone.

Yours, very truly,

J. P. BENJAMIN.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. I.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF ALA. AND WEST FLA., Near Pensacola, Fla., October 14, 1861.

I. The command of Major-General Bragg, extended by Special Orders, No. 173, Adjutant-General’s Office, October 7, 1861, to include the coast and State of Alabama, will be known as the Department of Alabama and West Florida. All returns and reports from troops stationed therein will be rendered to the headquarters, near Pensacola.

II. The following officers compose the staff of the major-general commanding:

1. Maj. George G. Garner, assistant adjutant-general.

2. First Lieut. Towson Ellis, aide-de-camp.

3. First Lieut. J. E. Slaughter, acting inspector-general.

4. Capt. W. R. Boggs, chief of engineers and artillery.

5. Capt. H. Oladowski, chief of ordnance.

6. Maj. L. W. O’Bannon, chief quartermaster.

7. Capt. Thomas M. Jones, chief of subsistence and paymaster.

8. Surg. A. J. Foard, medical director.

9. First Lieut. H. W. Walter, acting judge-advocate.

III. Brig. Gen. J. M. Withers will continue in the execution of his present command, to be known as the District of Alabama.

...

By command of Major-General Bragg:

GEO. G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., October 14, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

We want muskets without delay. Send us some.

THO. O. MOORE.

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RICHMOND, VA., October 18, 1861.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE, New Orleans, La.:

Will send you the very first muskets that I can dispose of.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

{p.753}

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ENGINEER BUREAU, Richmond, Va., October 18, 1861.

Col. J. GORGAS, Chief of Ordnance:

DEAR SIR: Fort Gaines, at Mobile, Ala., yet requires for its armament sixteen 24-pounder howitzers and carriages for flank casemate defense. Three of its bastions are yet without guns in barbette, and require a columbiad in each-say three 8-inch columbiads, with barbette carriages.

Very truly, your obedient servant,

D. LEADBETTER, Major Engineers, Acting Chief of Bureau.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., October 18, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary, of War:

SIR: As this city, the first in importance in the Confederacy, has been greatly drained of arms, ammunition, medical stores, clothing, and supplies for other points, I would respectfully suggest that the heads of bureaus be requested to order nothing further of that description to be forwarded from here until we have provided ourselves with a fair supply for the force required for the defense of this city. Anything that in my judgment could be spared I would readily send forward; but it will require great exertions to put ourselves in a proper state of defense, and nothing should be diverted from that purpose until the object is gained. The actual state of preparation I shall not put on paper.

When companies or regiments enlisted for twelve months have been in service under State authority for a portion of the time and are then transferred to the Confederate service, persistent objection is made in some instances to being mustered for a longer period than the balance of the original twelve months. Most of these have fully nine months to serve, and as the fate of New Orleans for this season must be settled within that time, I shall not stand upon that point, unless you direct me by telegraph to do so.

I am greatly in need of two things, viz, an assistant adjutant-general, acquainted with the details of office matters, forms, &c., who can instruct the volunteers and keep the records in such shape that claims may be settled at some indefinite future period, and some saltpeter for the manufacture of powder. While the first would greatly facilitate matters here, it is not indispensable; the latter is.

We are daily expecting funds, without which we cannot get on a great while.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 120.}

HDQRS. TROOPS CONFEDERATE STATES, Year Pensacola, Fla., October 22, 1861.

The major-general commanding, intending to be absent for a few days on a tour of inspection, the command of the troops at and near Pensacola {p.754} will devolve upon Brigadier-General Gladden, pending the disability of Brig. Gen. R. H. Anderson.

The official designation of the forces at and near Pensacola will in future be, “Army of Pensacola.”

By command of Major-General Bragg:

GEO. G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., October 23, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Is it impossible to give us powder or saltpeter in quantity immediately?

M. LOVELL.

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RICHMOND, VA., October 23, 1861.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

We calculate that we have sent in powder and saltpeter to New Orleans within the last month the equivalent of 500 barrels of powder, to be added to the stock previously on hand. We can spare no more at present without urgent necessity. Telegraph me what your whole supply is.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, C. S. A., New Orleans, La., October 25, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: I have received your telegram relative to the amount of powder and saltpeter sent to this point within the past month, but think it hardly advisable to make known our deficiency through the telegraph office.

Your dispatch says that “the equivalent of 500 barrels of powder has been sent here within a month.” I find no correct returns of ordnance and ordnance stores from the various posts, but have sent a circular calling for them, and am getting them in. I know that the acting ordnance officer has several invoices of powder which have not yet come to hand. Admit, however, that we have 500 barrels. We have now at the various forts and approaches 210 guns in position and about 100 more that we shall soon have in place, giving in all 310 guns of the caliber of a 24-pounder and upwards. The average charge, large and small, will be 8 pounds for each gun, or 2,480 pounds for a single round apiece. Five hundred barrels contains 50,000 pounds, which would give us 20 rounds per gun, not more than enough for an hour’s fight; but the powder received from Memphis was quite worthless. More than 30 barrels invoiced to us have not arrived, and we loaned Commodore Hollins the powder with which he made his attack upon the vessels above the passes a few days since. We have therefore less than 20 rounds per gun.

I am hurrying into operation two mills which will give us 6,000 or 8,000 pounds per day if we can get saltpeter, and have sent an agent {p.755} to contract for working some of the idle saltpeter caves in the adjoining States. Of sulphur and charcoal we have a supply.

The want of powder is our only glaring deficiency. I do not allow an ounce to be burned unnecessarily, and am straining every nerve to add to our supply. If I can get saltpeter, and the enemy will give us a few weeks, which I think he will do, we shall be pretty well prepared to defeat him. With 100 rounds per gun I should feel pretty safe.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Mobile, October 25, 1861.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond:

SIR: As indicated in my dispatch of the 22d, I left Pensacola that night, and arrived here on the 23d. After a long and free interview with General Withers on the state of his command, it was arranged to visit the defenses, which was done yesterday.

A small battery is being erected on piles at the junction of Mobile and Tensas Rivers, not far from the city, which may have a beneficial effect in preventing boat expeditions should the enemy enter the bay.

At Grant’s Pass a small earthwork has been erected, and furnished with three guns and a garrison of one company. This is probably sufficient for the purpose of keeping this pass open to our steamers still allowed to run to New Orleans. As the place is not susceptible of successful defense against any large attacking force, I directed the hull of an old vessel we own here to be heavily ballasted and anchored there, ready to close the pass at a moment’s notice, and a practicable ford to be staked out by which the garrison can reach the main-land.

Fort Gaines is rapidly approaching a condition for strong defense, but is almost destitute of guns and ammunition. Demands long since made for both meet no response. It is of little or no importance except to prevent the enemy from using the island against us, being about 2 1/2 miles from the channel. With a view of preventing a landing on the island an outwork is in progress, some 3 miles off, and masked by intervening woods. Deeming this a weakness, by dispersing our forces and armament, I directed its discontinuance. The completion of the fort will be pushed vigorously, and the armament increased as rapidly as possible. Two large brick buildings, three stories high, built inside the fort, apparently as a mark for the enemy’s fire, to mask the field of our guns, or to furnish splinters and brickbats for the destruction of the garrison, I have directed to be demolished at once. The temporary quarters, of wood, badly located and much dispersed, are to be concentrated in a proper position.

Fort Morgan is in a better condition, though not half armed, and with a very limited supply of ammunition. In rough weather, and especially during the north winds of winter, boats cannot land at the wharf at this post. Another wharf is being constructed some 3 miles off, at Navy Cove, and a railroad laid to it from the fort. Three sand batteries are being constructed for the defense of this position. Fort Morgan is the key to Mobile Bay, and must be held with a heavy armament and ample supplies. I shall at once reduce my position at Pensacola to one of {p.756} defense strictly, and send what can be spared to this point, though it will be totally inadequate to the wants here.

The safety of this position is in the enemy’s ignorance, if he be ignorant, for they seem to get late and correct information from us by illicit means through our own people. It may be that the very state of affairs so long existing on the Gulf has called out his heavy expedition not yet heard from, and which may strike us at any moment without warning. We must at every hazard force him to land and fight us in the open field. For this we are well prepared at Pensacola, except in light artillery, for which the Ordnance Department has persistently promised and as persistently withheld all supplies. Here we are equally deficient in that and not very well off with infantry, but in both we possess some elements of improvement not heretofore available to me. I shall at once commence the manufacture of artillery harness, carriages, guns, and ammunition at this point, and hope soon to increase our efficiency-or rather decrease our inefficiency-in this essential arm. We need more cavalry for defensive operations at both points, but it is useless to call for them unless we are assured of arms.

A recent order from General Pillow, if we are correctly informed, will paralyze this arm of our service, if it does not starve us all out. A heavy rise in the provision market is already the result of this unfortunate move. With a rigid blockade in front and a stringent embargo behind on both provisions and munitions we occupy rather a perilous position. It may be well to inform the author of this move of our presence here and of the fact that we are engaged in the same cause with himself. I inclose the report of Mr. Hessee, quartermaster’s agent here, on this subject. We are confidently assured of railroad connection within three weeks hence to Pensacola. This will greatly increase our ability to meet an attack on either place. With unity of sentiment and concert of action between the commanders mutual aid could be received and given with great celerity between this and the department west; but one common superior if the Government has an officer of the requisite rank, would more effectually secure the same object, and greatly strengthen the defenses of the whole Gulf coast. On this point I submit a communication, indorsed by Brigadier-General Withers, in regard to a telegraph line on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. I shall encourage its construction. Our lines on the coast can be destroyed at any time by the enemy.

Would it not be more healthful and comfortable, and equally as cheap, to concentrate near this place and Pensacola the unarmed regiments in Alabama in suitable camps of instruction, where they could be ready to receive the arms of the twelve-months’ men soon to be discharged? They might be learning the artillery drill, too, which they cannot do where they are. The discharges will commence in three months, and the subject is worthy of early attention. The effort to raise troops here for local defense, sedentary militia, is working badly, and should be abolished everywhere. Whenever we can get arms we can get men for the war unconditionally. The two regiments of Colonels Buck and Crawford have consented to change their times and tenure of service, and are mustered in for twelve months.

Brigadier-General Withers is laboring hard and successfully. He has very properly suspended the grand scheme for squandering money by digging ditches around the city, which would have required 40,000 men to defend them, and has concentrated his means and labor on important points requiring the promptest attention and all his resources.

{p.757}

I shall have to spare him a part of my regular officers from Pensacola, as his need is great and pressing. I shall return to Pensacola to-morrow.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Year Pensacola, Fla., October 28, 1861.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I arrived here yesterday from Mobile, and find no change to report. The enemy is in a constant state of excitement on Santa Rosa, and has frequent alarms. He has moved artillery up the island to our landing place of the late expedition. General Withers’ command needs much to put it in an efficient condition. He has about 4,200 troops which should be increased to 6,000-mostly raw, and inefficiently organized, armed, and equipped, and very destitute of military instructors. The positions of Forts Morgan and Gaines and Grant’s Pass are occupied by his best troops, about 2,000, and in close proximity. The two senior officers commanding at the forts are very competent, but sadly addicted to drinking, and therefore unsafe for those exposed positions. The General cannot remain there and discharge his other duties, though he will visit them frequently. The remainder of his command, except two detached companies, will be concentrated in a suitable camp on the west of Mobile Bay and some 15 or 20 miles below the city, where they will be away from dissipation, can be cheaply supplied, and will be available for any attack. These two positions require commanders of military knowledge and experience and capacity for command.

First Lieut. J. E. Slaughter, acting inspector-general; Capt. W. R. Boggs, Engineers; Lieut. Col. J. B. Villepigue, Georgia and Mississippi regiment, and Maj. L. W. O’Bannon, quartermaster, furnish material from which the President might select two brigadiers for those important positions, I can very well fill the vacancies on my staff from well-instructed volunteers, except in the Engineers. Should Colonel Villepigue receive one of the appointments, one of the others might fill his vacancy. I shall order First Lieut. G. W. Holt, C. S. Army, to report to General Withers, at Mobile, as depot quartermaster there, and discharge the agent now on that duty. Lieutenant Holt deserves and should receive promotion. First Lieutenant Hallonquist, U. S. artillery, will also be ordered to report to General Withers, as chief of artillery. As that command has several companies of light artillery, I suggest his appointment as major of them. Promotion could not fall on a more gallant or efficient officer. If it could be arranged so that Brigadier-General Ruggles could be my second in command here, or could assume my local duties, my services could be much more efficient, and from the hold he has on the confidence and affection of the troops here I know the consequences feared by the Department in my removal would not ensue. I should still be much with them.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

{p.758}

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O’BANNONVILLE, October 29, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:

In view of the heavy expedition now on its way South, we should develop all our resources. One regiment here and one at Mobile can be armed by using arms of the sick and disabled. Can they be sent from Huntsville? We have efficient light artillery. For want of supplies we have less than 2,000 effective men at Mobile outside of the forts.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, October 29, 1861.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans:

SIR: Your letter of 18th instant was not received till yesterday, 28th. I telegraphed you to-day that we have no power to receive troops for less than twelve months, but where troops offer themselves specially for local defense they may be accepted in any proportion and for any term, as they are a mere improvised militia, not entitled to pay or subsistence except during actual service. (See act of 21st August, No. 229, of third session.)

I cannot restrain the heads of bureaus from purchasing or forwarding supplies from New Orleans. This interference with commerce exceeds my power except in case of extreme urgency. I much prefer that you should make requisitions for everything in the way of supply that you need, and have your purchases made in New Orleans, and thus it is easy to prevent the removal from the city of what is required for its defense without infringing on the rights of any one.

I anxiously await your letter about the supply of powder and saltpeter. I cannot conceive what has become of the quantity recently sent to New Orleans, say within the last six weeks. I hope your demand for supply was based on erroneous information from persons who did not know the facts.

I have ordered a young officer, said to be of high merit as an engineer, to report to you-First Lieutenant Cunningham, just appointed in artillery, with a view to assign him to Engineer Corps if he proves as competent as represented.

I am much gratified to learn from different sources that you have succeeded in inspiring general confidence in New Orleans, thereby justifying the confidence reposed by the Government in yourself.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Near Pensacola, Fla., October 30, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: On the receipt of your letter of the 6th instant a short reply was made to the first point and a further one promised on the main subject.

Though very grateful to my wounded feelings, yours was not entirely satisfactory to me, nor to those on whose behalf I had presumed to complain. {p.759} I now propose to controvert your positions, knowing the danger I encounter.

Nothing, it seems, can be done for my neglected officers under the legislation as it now exists. How does it happen that so much has been done for others, their juniors, under this same legislation? You acknowledge this in your letter. You admit one case in Colonel Wheeler. Others present themselves to my mind. A private in one of my companies, a gentleman of high attainments and merit, only equaled by his modesty, was offered the colonelcy of a regiment. He declined it in favor of one of my regular officers, but saying, “If civilians must be appointed then I will accept.” He was at once commissioned, and removed from a position he adorned on my staff to one he was unprepared to fill. He will in time make a fine officer, but those he preferred seeing appointed were already made. Other regiments raised at the same time were officered by civilians in the same way. All of my staff officers here of the old Regular Army, the first to quit it, some even before their States seceded, were allowed to rest in subordinate positions, while their inferiors in rank, of the eleventh-hour converts and civilians, were placed over their heads. Certainly the legislation of Congress never required this. You now propose that whenever I can spare them you will find means to give them increased rank in the Provisional Army. I will not spare them if I can help it, nor are they desirous of leaving me, but I claim consideration for them equal to that accorded to their inferiors in other armies. My officers and myself have remained at our posts faithfully laboring in the cause we so early espoused. We have not united in the “Onto Richmond,” seeking high places. We considered it unmilitary and unbecoming. We were ardently serving the cause, not ourselves, but, nevertheless, we did not suppose our Government would so soon forget we were in its service and degrade us. This state of things, my dear sir, we believe has been brought about to some extent without the knowledge of the President and against his wishes, but it is nevertheless a rankling sore, which he only can cure. I am candid, perhaps harsh, but I am doing him more service than by permitting the evil to grow while he is in ignorance. I do not hesitate to say, “I impugn the action of your predecessor.” He has done the service more harm in the Cabinet than he will ever repair in the field.

Let me now appeal to you for an old brother soldier, who is more aggrieved and with more cause than any of us. Brigadier-General Ruggles first reported to me as second in command under the impression derived from the Adjutant-General, and I believed it from the precedence given his name in his order. We soon learned that Brigadier-General Anderson, his junior by many years in the old service, and it is no disparagement to say very far his inferior as a soldier, was his senior in rank. General Ruggles, soon after raising this question, was ordered to New Orleans, as a means, we hoped, of removing this cause of complaint. What was his and our dismay, then, to learn that another junior, just from the enemy, who had been up to a late hour lecturing them on the art and science of war, was promoted over his head, and assigned to a command the highest and most important in the Southern country. That command includes my home and fireside, and all that is dear to me in life. I can appreciate the feeling of sullen dissatisfaction which pervades my neighbors. The appointee is competent, but he does not and cannot possess the confidence of many who look with distrust on his eleventh-hour conversion. A great element of strength is thus lost to us. You will never preserve the morale of this army by thus degrading the commanders they so much admire and love. The feeling of discontent {p.760} has reached the rank and file intelligent enough to read and digest these things, and where I expected to re-enlist hundreds for the war tens cannot be found. They will not abandon the cause, but will try and find a service less obscure and more appreciated-one in which their commanders possess sufficiently the confidence of the Government to justify them in expecting more consideration.

The result of all your deliberations has not been to preserve the morale of this army. Soldiers who have confidence in and respect for their commanders are never demoralized by seeing them advanced in rank or command or by seeing their sphere of usefulness increased, nor will you encourage the zeal of those commanders by making known to them that success in their arduous labors of organization and instruction is to consign them to inferior positions, as mere drill-masters.

Feeling so deeply it was due to myself, to you, and the President that I should give free expression to my sentiments, it is done in no spirit of insubordination. All that I have, all that I am shall remain in this cause whenever and wherever it may please the Government to employ me.

I am, sir, very respectfully and truly, yours,

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., October 31, 1861.

His Excellency President DAVIS:

DEAR SIR: The works for the defense of this city are progressing rapidly, and I think in a couple of weeks we can defeat any force that shall attempt invasion, if we can provide ourselves with powder. I have now one mill in operation which will turn out 1,200 pounds per day, another which can make 1,500, and in two weeks hope to have a third in full blast which will make 3,000 or 3,500 pounds per day. I have your dispatch about saltpeter and am looking for it daily; but we ought to have to-day 50 tons of cannon powder on hand besides what we can make.

My letter to Mr. Benjamin of the 25th instant will give you an idea of what we require to serve our guns.

I think we can fix the raft between Forts Jackson and Saint Philip so as to make a complete obstruction under the fire of those works. I send you inclosed a sketch of the works and raft.* The dotted black lines above the latter, running diagonally to Saint Philip, represent an arrangement which I propose to shed the drift over towards the opening in the raft on the Fort Jackson shore.

With your permission I will urge strongly upon you the appointment of Col. J. K. Duncan as a brigadier-general; he is worth a dozen of Ruggles, and has rendered most efficient service with a zeal, untiring industry, and ability which entitle him to your high consideration. Had he more rank he could be of great assistance to me in organizing and giving directions, and I can assure you that help would not be unacceptable, as I have to keep driving all day and frequently the larger part of the night. If you have serious objections I will not press it, but the public service would be advanced by giving him rank enough to direct, and if necessary order, the colonels of volunteer regiments in this department, who require a great deal of dry-nursing.

{p.761}

General Bragg consents to the removal of Major Lovell to service here. I have two armed boats which he could use to material advantage on the coast of Mississippi, where, I am sorry to say, there are many disaffected persons, who will communicate with the enemy at every opportunity.

I receive every assistance here, except from some of the speculators, who endeavor to secure materials that the Government must have. The first operation I can fix upon them I shall publish their names to the community.

I am inclined to think that the attack on this coast will be on Mobile from East Pascagoula by land, with a strong demonstration by water. Is that city defended by intrenchments on the land side?

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL.

* Not found.

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O’BANNONVILLE, October 31, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:

Does my command include General Walker’s brigade at Huntsville? In an emergency I might use a part of it with the arms of my sick and wounded. The measles at Mobile has disabled many.

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General Commanding.

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RICHMOND, October 31, 1861.

General BRAGG, Pensacola:

You are authorized to take two of the Alabama regiments from Huntsville, to be armed with the spare arms at Mobile and Pensacola. If the expedition should make its attack elsewhere you must not expect to retain them with you.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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BOWLING GREEN, October 31, 1861.

J. P. BENJAMIN:

By special messenger General Lovell writes from New Orleans, October 24:

There is an absolute, immediate necessity for powder or saltpeter for the defense of New Orleans, and the ordnance officer at Nashville reports 15 or 20 tons of saltpeter at each of the mills, and 20 tons on the way from Georgia; also 1,500 pounds of cannon powder on hand now, being prepared for General Zollicoffer, Twenty-four hundred pounds will yet be required by General Polk from the first manufactured. Great as seems the pressure at New Orleans, I do not feel authorized to make demands on the ordnance department at Nashville except for the wants of my own department, and therefore give you information of the call and the supply.

The messenger of General Lovell is waiting, and I wish for instructions. Can the 20 tons of saltpeter from Georgia expected be sent to New Orleans?

A. S. JOHNSTON, General.

{p.762}

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RICHMOND, November 1, 1861.

General A. SIDNEY JOHNSTON, Bowling Green, Ky.:

Your dispatch received. Send nothing to General Lovell without orders from this Department. I have ordered 10 tons of saltpeter sent to him from Augusta.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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O’BANNONVILLE November 1, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

I shall be ready to spare the two regiments and a considerable portion of my other force for any point the enemy may assail. My railroad connection with Mobile will be completed in twelve days.

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 200.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., November 1, 1861.

...

17. The two Mississippi regiments, known as or called the Fourth Mississippi Brigade now at Camp Pettus, near Enterprise, Miss., will proceed to Pensacola, Fla., and report to Major-General Bragg, commanding.

By command of the Secretary of War:

...

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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Abstract from field return of the Army of Pensacola, Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg commanding, for November 1, 1861.

Commands.Present for duty.Aggregate present.
Officers.Men.
1st (Gladden’s) Brigade1672,9703,813
2d (Anderson’s) Brigade1352,0632,639
Alabama Mounted Rules (Jenkins)48799
Walton Guards (McPherson)45155
Total3105,1716,606

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, November 4, 1861.

Major-General BRAGG, Pensacola:

MY DEAR SIR: I have ordered two and shall probably order a third Mississippi regiment to Pensacola. These regiments are not yet organized {p.763} with field officers. The men are recovering from measles, and it is thought imprudent to send them north at this season. This will give you an opportunity to reward such of your officers as you may think most worthy with field appointments. Send in a list of recommendations for appointments of field officers for these regiments, and I doubt not the President will be glad to avail himself of the opportunity of testifying his sense of the merits of those officers who have cheerfully borne with you the dull routine and cheerfully watch at Pensacola without a murmur. You know that such appointments are made under act No. 155, second session, and are temporary in their character. They expire at the end of the war, and the officers then resume their regular position in the permanent Army. As soon as it is ascertained that no attack is to be made on you by the enemy’s naval expedition, I hope you will send us in the place of those new regiments those of your present forces who have served longest and seem to you best to merit removal to more active field service.

Yours of 25th ultimo* to Adjutant-General, with its inclosures, is received. I have written to General A. S. Johnston on the subject of the interference by General Pillow with the forage collected for General Withers’ command. I recognize the justice of his complaint, and trust that no further occasion of like character will require action on the part of the Department.

I fully concur in your strictures on the local-defense system, but you are mistaken in supposing that the Confederate Government can do anything to prevent it. The difficulty lies with the governors of the States, who are unwilling to trust the common defense to one common head. They therefore refuse arms to men who are willing to enlist unconditionally for the war, and put these arms in the hands of a mere home militia, who are not bound to leave the State. It is a very untoward condition of things, but as we have no arms, and the State authorities will not give us the control of the matter, we are forced to accept from them just what they choose to give. Still worse, they are accepting and arming men for local defense for six or twelve months, and thus breaking up our volunteer regiments that were offering for the war, in order to get from us such arms as we could supply. All this is sad, but I know not how to avoid it. Each governor wants to satisfy his own people, and there are not wanting politicians in each State to encourage the people to raise the cry that they will not consent to be left defenseless at home. The voice of reason, which would teach them that their home defenses would be best secured by a vigorous attack on the enemy on his own frontier is-unheeded, and a clamor is raised against us for not attacking the enemy in front by the very men who are depriving us of the possibility of such a movement, by withholding the arms necessary for re-enforcing our little Army, that is so fearfully outnumbered that I dare not give you the figures. I have entire confidence that you will do all that skill and energy can effect with your own insufficient means, and will to the utmost of my power aid in all measures that you may devise for the security of the department committed to your charge.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

* Not found.

{p.764}

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., November 4, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Will the Secretary of the Treasury allow us to use the Marine Hospital for military purposes? Shall I recognize foreign consuls?

M. LOVELL.

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RICHMOND, VA., November 4, 1861.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

Foreign consuls are recognized by our Government in all commercial matters. What kind of military use do you propose to make of the Marine Hospital? Answer, and I will apply to the Secretary of the Treasury. I ordered 10 tons of saltpeter sent to you by express from the Augusta Arsenal.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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HUNTSVILLE, November 4, 1861.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

Orders have been received from General Bragg, saying by authority of the Secretary of War. Do these orders supersede the orders to report to General Sidney Johnston? Answer at once.

L. P. WALKER, Brigadier-General.

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RICHMOND, November 5, 1861.

General L. P. WALKER, Huntsville, Ala.:

General Bragg was authorized to call down to the coast any organized regiments that he could arm until we are relieved from the alarm about the naval expedition. It is useless to keep your regiments idle in camp whilst waiting arms. As soon as General Johnston can arm them your brigade will be put on the march for his headquarters. General Bragg had arms enough of the sick on hand to arm two regiments in Mobile and Pensacola, and for this reason was allowed to call them to his aid. I write you in full.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Near Pensacola, November 5, 1861.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: From the delay in hearing from the enemy’s fleet, which sailed south on the 29th ultimo, we infer it is intended for some point in the Gulf. With a view of being ready with all our available means, I have ordered General Walker to send one regiment of his command to Mobile and one here to be armed with the weapons of our sick. Colonel Deas’ regiment and Colonel Beck’s, already armed by private enterprise {p.765} and by the State of Alabama, I have ordered to report to General Withers, at Mobile.

This will give an efficient force of about 7,000 here and 5000 at Mobile. From what I learn of the force in Louisiana from private sources I suppose we could calculate on assembling 15,000 men at any point the enemy might assail from this to New Orleans.

If nothing intervenes, we shall pass a train from here to Mobile on the 11th. By giving assistance and working at night this result is accomplished some days sooner than we expected.

I am much in need of some young and active navy officers for my small gunboats. They were promised me verbally last summer, and I have since applied for them. Our landsmen are but poor substitutes.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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HUNTSVILLE, November 7, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

I have ordered the troops under my command to Pensacola and Mobile, and shall, unless otherwise directed, proceed to Mobile myself.

L. P. WALKER.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., November 8, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

Mill here now ready. Can make 3,000 pounds of powder per day, but without an ounce of saltpeter. Cannot you send it from Memphis?

THO. O. MOORE.

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RICHMOND, VA., November 8, 1861.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE, New Orleans La.:

It is impossible for me to comprehend what has become of the saltpeter sent to New Orleans. I have sent 24 tons, and cannot learn that one pound has been received or one pound of powder made. On September 26, 3 tons were sent by freight; on September 27, 1 ton was sent by express; on October 1, 3 tons were sent by express; on October 2, 7 tons were sent by express; on November 2, 10 tons were sent by express. All this was sent from Augusta, and I cannot get the acknowledgment that one pound was ever received and you now say you have not one ounce. This mystery must be explained before I can send any more.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, C. S. A., New Orleans, La., November 8, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: Governor Moore has just handed me your dispatch of to-day relative to saltpeter. The amount named therein (24 tons) will {p.766} all have been received when the 10 tons now on their way from Augusta shall arrive. The acting ordnance officer, Captain Rawle, informs me that he has not yet acknowledged the receipt of the 14 tons already received, because he has had no invoices with the greater part of it, and does not know from whom it came. The only invoice we have from Augusta is that for 10 tons now on the way. Every pound we have on hand is being made up into powder, but a good deal of it is so mixed with foreign matter that it does not give more than pound for pound of powder; but when all made up it will only make about 50,000 pounds, which when distributed will give us about 20 rounds per gun, as fully explained in my letter to you of the 25th ultimo.

We have a battery of light artillery here, raised by order of General Twiggs composed of Confederate recruits under Captain Higgins, with a complement of four horses to each gun and caisson. He applies to me for a farrier, which I consider necessary and a judicious economy, but find no legal authority for employing one. I am satisfied that a good farrier would more than pay for himself, especially here, where the price of horses is so high. Will you authorize his employment?

I have been requested to ask your attention to the case of Dr. S. Burke, now on duty at Fort Jackson. He was the surgeon on duty with the Louisiana Regiment of Artillery when it was mustered into the Confederate service on 1st June, but by some oversight on the part of the mustering officer he was not transferred. He nevertheless remained at his post on severe duty from that time up to 21st September, when he received his commission. This he hesitates to accept, as he thereby loses nearly four months’ rank and pay and one of his juniors takes precedence of him. He asks that his appointment may date 1st June, the day of transfer of the regiment with which he has been serving since its entry into service. His zeal and attention to duty are highly spoken of by his commander, Colonel Duncan, who intercedes for him in this act of justice.

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your printed circular of instructions, as also of your letter of 29th ultimo. I have to thank you for the expression of confidence therein contained, and shall do my utmost to prove that the administration has made no mistake in my case. We are progressing rapidly towards a good state of defense. The interior line of works will soon be complete and the guns mounted. I have increased the armament of Forts Pike and Macomb by four 42s each, and have sent twelve to Colonel Duncan for the forts below. I think we shall make a complete obstruction of the raft (see the sketch I sent the President), and if we stop the enemy’s ships we can hammer them to pieces, if the powder holds out.

I have sent 1,000 men to Berwick Bay, and have called for four companies of mounted men (local-defense men) from Saint Mary’s Parish, mainly to show themselves occasionally among the negroes.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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O’BANNONVILLE, November 11, 1861.

General COOPER:

Railroad to Mobile completed this morning. It is equal to 3,000 men at each end.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

{p.767}

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, November 17, 1861.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans:

DEAR SIR: I have your letter of the 8th instant, and am happy to learn that the saltpeter has been received in New Orleans. I beg your special attention to the manufacture, as from imperfect refining of the saltpeter much of the powder made at different points absorbs moisture so rapidly as quickly to become worthless. Our supply of powder and of material for its manufacture is so small, that it would be really a calamity to exhaust our material and find the powder valueless.

I received your former letter in regard to the quantity of powder required in your department, and am anxiously awaiting the promised report of the ordnance stores on hand, for there was, of course, quite a quantity of powder on hand before the saltpeter was sent. I beg you will have made for me as early as possible a complete official return of all “ordnance and ordnance stores” in your department, as it is impossible for me to introduce regularity into the administration of this Department without such returns. I always feel a suspicion when they are not furnished that makes me reluctant to respond to requisitions.

I have also learned to regard with great distrust the statements of manufacturers of what they are going to make. A statement of the actual results of one week’s work in the powder-mills in New Orleans would be far more satisfactory than any number of assurances of prospective efficiency. I see no objection to your employing a farrier, if necessary, for your company of light artillery. The law, however, does not permit the enlisting of such an artificer to any other than cavalry companies. In regard to Dr. Burke’s case, I beg you to inform him that many such cases exist, but I cannot remedy them until I get authority from Congress, which I am now about to ask and hope to obtain. As some additions have been made to my printed circular I send you another copy as amended. I am much gratified to hear of your rapid progress in perfecting the defenses of New Orleans, and especially from different friends of your success in inspiring confidence amongst our people.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., November 17, 1861.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond:

SIR: In a letter from the Secretary of War I am informed that the three regiments of Mississippi volunteers to be ordered here are not organized, and I am desired to make recommendations for field officers. The inclosed rosters of field officers will show you there is some grave misunderstanding about the two regiments which have arrived.* They claim, too, that their service dates from August 24 last, when called out by the State, leaving them only nine months to serve.

In regard to the companies to compose the other regiment for the war I sent you a telegram from Major Hessee, reporting their refusal to come. Yesterday I was called on by Colonel Dowd, claiming to be colonel of {p.768} the regiment referred to. He informs me there are nineteen companies in all-ten organized as a regiment under him and nine other independent companies; that they construed the order variously, but that his companies would refuse to come except as an organized regiment. The other nine, however, would move under the order and soon be here.

With these facts before you, it is for the Department to solve the question. Col. T. H. Watts’ Alabama regiment for the war arrived yesterday; aggregate about 900.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

* Not found.

[Indorsement.]

NOVEMBER 23, 1861.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War. Colonel Dowd’s regiment has since been ordered to Savannah, to report to General Lee. I have no recollection of the telegram of Major Hessee.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., November 19, 1861.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: The process of reorganizing the twelve-months’ men in this army for the war, under a suggestion from the President, had been commenced, and a few companies were in progress. The plan was to allow the men of the same regiment to form companies and elect their officers, when they would be mustered in for the war and discharged on their old engagements. These companies to be attached to their old regiments until a sufficient number were obtained for a regiment, when the companies would be aggregated, and the field officers appointed by the President.

A letter from the Secretary of War, of the 9th of November, in reply to my request for the discharge of Captain Posey’s company, First Alabama Regiment, lays down a principle, necessary in that case to make it conform to law, which I fear is incompatible with the course proposed by me, and I must therefore suspend my action until further advised. If the men must be first discharged and then re-enlisted, but few will be secured. Most of them having the option will insist on going home, and nothing but the presence of an enemy in sight will prevent it; and if their re-enlistment is postponed until near the time of their discharge the same desire to get home, with an immediate prospect of gratifying it, will have the same result. The arrival of a goodly number of unarmed men, ready to receive all guns as soon as turned in will stimulate re-enlistments; and one company of the instructed and disciplined soldiers of the oldest force here will be worth any two just formed.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

{p.769}

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, C. S. A., New Orleans, La., November 19, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: Since my last communication we have steadily progressed in our preparations for defense. Six tons of powder have been made, and distributed to the various works in due proportion. I have increased the armament of Fort Pike by four 42-pounders, Fort Macomb with four 42s and one 8-inch shell gun, Fort Livingston with one 8-inch columbiad, and Forts Jackson and Saint Philip with six 42-pounders each. The raft in the river between the last-named forts has been farther secured by four anchors of 3,000 pounds each and fastened by heavy chains to either shore, and I think will stop a fleet under the close fire of more than 100 heavy guns (with Commodore Hollins’ assistance about 150). Feeling satisfied that ships under steam can pass forts in an open channel, I am taking prompt measures to obstruct the passage at Forts Pike and Macomb, at Berwick Bay, and in the Mississippi above the city at a point where I shall concentrate the fire of 50 guns of heavy caliber.

I have ordered the Marine Hospital to be fitted up for army use by the quartermaster. On inquiry I found that we could not rent a hospital for less than $3,000 per annum, and it would cost half as much more to fit it up. Besides this, we hire three or four buildings for ordnance stores. The sum of these rents laid out on the hospital will enable it to answer all purposes, and the improvements will belong to the Government. Nothing will be lost in rent.

We shall have in operation in a few days three powder mills, two of which are private property and one belongs to the city. They will turn out more than 3 tons per day. The powder is proved, and rejected if much under range. We will want all the saltpeter that can be had, as we will be able to work up about 3 tons a day. Permit me to call your attention to the necessity of a telegraph line between Meridian and Mobile; also between Meridian and Montgomery. The line hence to Mobile runs along the coast, and can be cut at any time by a force from the enemy’s fleet, to say nothing of the largely disaffected population on the southern coast of Mississippi. I inclose you a letter received from Mr. Douglass on this subject.* It requires immediate attention.

General Pillow telegraphed me to send him 5,000 men to Columbus. This I declined, as I have no more than are necessary for the defense of New Orleans and its approaches. If the river had been obstructed above, so as to prevent a fleet from passing down, I might have felt justified in giving him some assistance, but I should have attached more weight to the call if it had come from General Johnston.

I regret that I cannot have some columbiads and mortars in addition to my present armament. Some of the detached companies, transferred from the State service under General Twiggs’ orders, have become much reduced and disorganized by bad management and poor officers, and I should wish to have power to disband some and consolidate others, so as to make the force more effective; also authority, under your sanction, to discharge men in certain cases of hardship, family affliction, or where they are required for important work-as, for instance, some cases of widows’ only sons, or where parents have died since entry into service, or where they are required in founderies or workshops where Government work is being done. I should exercise such authority very sparingly, and only in cases where I feel satisfied you would approve. {p.770}

Colonel Preston, who was to join my staff, has gone to South Carolina. Am I not entitled to two officers in the adjutant and inspector general’s department-one lieutenant colonel and one major?

I have received the appointments of Majors Palfrey and Lanier. General Ruggles has been sick since his arrival here, which has devolved all the inspection of troops upon me from Berwick to Mississippi City. I was in hopes that the President would act on my request in relation to Colonel Duncan. Matters, however, by dint of incessant attention, are progressing favorably, and I hope soon to be able to report myself as beyond the chances of an attack.

Has your attention been called to the fact that the enemy can land near East Pascagoula and march 24 miles over a good road into Mobile? I understand that there are no intrenched lines on the land side around that city, but can hardly think it possible that it has not been done. If so, it is an easy road from Ship Island to Mobile.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, C. S. Army.

* Not found.

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CIRCULAR.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., November 21, 1861.

With a view of preserving to our cause the invaluable services of those soldiers he has so long commanded with pride, the general is desirous of reorganizing his old regiments for the war. The advantages to be obtained by the officers and men themselves are so apparent as to give the strongest hope of a large success. But few of us, if any, can contemplate retiring from the field to the inglorious occupation of idly witnessing the labors of our mothers, wives, and daughters, nobly working for their defenders in the field.

To receive a discharge and go home temporarily, with a view of again enlisting in some other command, will subject the soldier to many annoyances he has probably not contemplated. He will never again be as well satisfied, mixed up, as he will be, with strangers and raw men, where he will have to go through all the drudgery of elementary instruction, so essential to them, but irksome to him. All his former acquaintances and esprit de corps will be lost, and he will be looked on as a raw recruit instead of a veteran of one campaign. Above all, he will lose his arms, for the army is now full of men eager to see him depart, that they may secure his gun, with which to win a name. To return with an old shot-gnu, or perhaps with no gun at all, and wait a chance opportunity to secure what has been thrown away, will be the fate of those who thus depart. Those who remain may confidently rely on soon being employed actively-if not here, at some other point to which they can now be sent, their places being supplied by the new troops; and as far as he can do so, consistently with his sense of duty, the general will allow to those who re-enlist and require it an opportunity to visit home and arrange their business affairs. This indulgence will be granted to re-enlisted men in preference to all others.

1. Companies of not less than 64 privates (a larger number would be preferred), with their proper officers, non-commissioned officers, and musicians, will be received and mustered for the war, retaining their present arms and equipments, when they will be discharged from their old engagements and paid off to that date.

2. Such companies will be attached to their old regiments until a sufficient number is obtained to constitute a new regiment, when they {p.771} will be aggregated, and field officers will be appointed by the President. In making these appointments he will no doubt be influenced by a known desire of a large majority of a regiment, ascertained through the proper military channel; but no elections will be held and no electioneering will be tolerated. Merit, not popularity, will control the selections.

Such of his veterans as are willing to join him for the war the general will be proud to receive, as evincing a confidence he has labored to deserve. It may not be his good fortune to lead them against the enemy, but on any field and against any foe he will answer for their conduct, and predict for them a brilliant victory or a glorious death.

By command of Major General Bragg:

GEO. G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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O’BANNONVILLE, November 23, 1861.

General S. COOPER:

General Withers should have the assistance of two regular officers of rank and experience. Dissipation and a want of experience and organization will cause me to tremble for the result if he is vigorously attacked now.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, November 28, 1861.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: The arrival of an unorganized regiment of Mississippians yesterday gives us at this place now four new regiments, 3,000 men at least, with only about 600 efficient arms between them. About the same state of affairs exists at Mobile. These men will at once be put to a rigid course of instruction, and, with the example and influence of our well-instructed, well-disciplined veterans, will soon be made into good soldiers. When arms can be had for them I shall be able to spare a considerable portion of my gallant little army for more active, and therefore more gratifying, service elsewhere.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., November 29, 1861.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: To transmit some letters to our prisoners of war and send over the free negro in my possession to his friends I yesterday sent a flag to Fort Pickens, with a communication to Colonel Brown, a copy of which I inclose.* He refused to receive my communication or to reply, and only consented to take the negro after one of his officers specially waited on him to represent the urgency of the case. Fort Pickens is not seriously injured, of course, as my fire was not directed at the fort, which is ours, but at those inside of it. The armament and garrison seem to {p.772} have suffered, and the commander is by no means as courteous and amiable as he was after the infliction on his outside confrere Colonel Wilson. My lookouts report that escorts to their grave-yard, which is immediately under our glasses, are very frequent, and that two officers certainly have been buried. Yesterday a small boat attempted to enter the harbor from the fleet-a privilege heretofore accorded them, as our steamers were allowed to run freely to the yard. We fired on it, when the crew precipitately abandoned it and swam ashore, leaving the boat to float off. Some of our shots went very near the fort, but they declined the invitation. We infer they are satisfied. One of their ships (the Hartford) was towed off yesterday by a gunboat, thus proving her disability. Some operation is going on by them far up Santa Rosa Island, but what we cannot exactly conjecture. An expedition leaves to-day to ascertain.

Captain Thom’s company of Marines, 100 men, leaves to-day for Virginia, by request of the Secretary of the Navy. This is the third draft made on me, and while it gives me great pleasure to discipline and instruct his men, the Secretary must excuse me for declining any longer to furnish him arms, &c. It is a depleting process I cannot stand.

As early as last spring and frequently since I have asked for some young navy officers, but without success. I have two steam gunboats commanded by landsmen. A rifled ship gun promised for one of them some weeks ago is not yet heard from. These points are of importance.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General. Commanding.

* Not found.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 14.}

HDQRS. DEPT. OF ALA. AND WEST FLA., Near Pensacola, Fla., December 1, 1861.

Brig. Gen. L. P. Walker, having reported in person at these headquarters for duty, is assigned to the District of Alabama, and will report to Brigadier-General Withers, at Mobile.

By command of Major-General Bragg:

GEO. G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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Abstract from field return of the District of Alabama, commanded by Brig. Gen. Jones M. Withers, December 2, 1861.

Troops.Present for duty.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.
Officers.Men.
1st Alabama Battalion15202367406
18th Alabama36594858942
19th Alabama35625940992
20th Alabama34474836916
22d Alabama37376709783
Beck’s Alabama regiment30333674728
Company infantry Alabama volunteers4626666
Battalion infantry Mississippi volunteers (3 companies)11196238267
Companies (5) mounted Alabama volunteers14371410461
Battalion Light Artillery (5 companies)23407471506
Fort Gaines619911,1441,263
Fort Morgan821,2231,5961,691
Total3825,8548,3099,021
{p.773}

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., December 2, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War:

MY DEAR SIR: I desire to introduce to you Capt. John A. Stephenson. Captain S. is a commission merchant of New Orleans of high standing. He constructed and built the Manassas. He is a man of large river experience, having for many years had command of steamboats on the Mississippi. Great confidence is felt by our community in his skill, energy, and ability, so much so, that they are ready to advance the means to build, under his superintendence, another ram. This, however, they will not do without some assurance that the Government will not take the boat out of the possession and control of Captain S. The fact is that, while great confidence is felt here in Commodore Hollins as a naval officer, our people are convinced that he is led astray in his judgment of individuals, as he has no just means of forming a correct estimate of their character and ability. It is no disparagement to his ability as an officer to say this much of him, and it is said in the best and friendliest spirit. We all hope you will aid in carrying out the wishes of our people, and do all in your power to further the object in view. Captain Stephenson will communicate freely with you. You can rely upon him.

Very truly, yours,

THO. O. MOORE.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 2, 1861.

Maj. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Pensacola:

SIR: I am sorry to say that I was in error in supposing certain Mississippi regiments ordered to your command to be without organization. I supposed the companies to have been tendered to us independent companies under a call made by this Department, but it turns out that they were called into service by General A. S. Johnston, under an unlucky proclamation which he issued for twelve months’ men before he was fully aware of the policy of the Government on the subject.

I have, however, ordered to you one regiment of independent companies, which you will be able to organize and to provide with field officers, when the President will take pleasure in nominating on your recommendation.

I see no objection to your getting the men of the different twelve-months’ regiments in your command to re-enlist for the war, as suggested in your letter of the 19th ultimo.

In the precise case referred to in my letter of November 9 I did not see how it could be done without violating the rights of some of the parties, but in the way you propose no one is injured. We have a right to discharge any one whose services are no longer needed. The only modification I suggest is that when you muster in the new companies “for the war,” as they are formed, you make the muster to take effect at some future day, on which day you will discharge the men from their former contract.

I do not see why a man may not be mustered in to-day for service “for the war,” his term of service to commence on the 1st January next. He would then remain in his present organization until the 1st January, and on that day be discharged from his old obligation and become bound {p.774} by the new one. If you think this plan objectionable, pray point out the difficulty, as I am most anxious to effect the object, and I am sure Congress (now in session) would grant any legislation necessary for the purpose.

A law will, I doubt not, be passed in a day or two, offering a bounty for re-enlistment that will afford you great help in getting your volunteers to remain in service.

Let me congratulate you and your gallant command on the successful repulse of the recent attack. I await your official report for submission to Congress, and in hopes of hearing that their vessels were effectually crippled.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN.

P. S.-I never thought of asking whether General Withers had taken any measures to defend Mobile against a coup de main via Pascagoula. A few thousand men landed there could make a rapid night march and surprise the city, if I remember the distance aright. According to my recollection it is not more than 18 or 20 miles.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, C. S. A., New Orleans, La., December 5, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I avail myself of Colonel Davis’ trip to Richmond to send you a map and description, which will give you some definite idea of the existing condition of affairs in this department.

Commencing at Calcasieu Bay, we have one company with two 24-pounders, which are now being put up and will prevent foraging parties from reaching the cattle-grazing prairies around the head of that lake.

At Grand Chenier there is a company of militia that I am furnishing with one 6-pounder gun. In Saint Mary’s Parish there are two companies of infantry and one battery (at Franklin). I have also mustered one company of cavalry for local defense. These troops are also intended for moral effect in that densely slave-populated section.

Passing east to Atchafalaya Bay, I have placed there a regiment of 1,000 men (less two companies at Franklin), having one company each at Forts Berwick and Chène, at each of which forts are mounted one 32-pounder rifled gun and four 24-pounders. I have thus strengthened this point because the railroad which supplies us with Texas cattle here approaches very near to the coast and is accessible with 8 feet of water. I have also ordered the main channel of the Atchafalaya to be filled by sinking live-oak trees, leaving open an intricate channel 80 feet wide for the entrance of vessels running the blockade. Flats loaded with live-oak will be kept in readiness to sink in this channel at a moment’s warning. Rafts are also being prepared to obstruct the bayou under the guns of Forts Berwick and Chène. We can support this point in four hours, by the Opelousas road, by troops from the city.

There is no navigable bayou until we reach Grand Caillou, on which I have a work with two 32-pounders and two full companies. The other bayous are unnavigable except La Fourche, on which I have also located {p.775} a work with two 32s and two companies of men. These works extend from swamp to swamp on either side of the bayous.

At Fort Livingston are four companies (about 300 men), with one rifled 32, one 8-inch columbiad, seven 24s, and two flank howitzers (24s), with four 12-pounders on the land side. Should this work be passed, all the inlets converge at the Little Temple, where a work is just finished, where I shall put two 32s and 100 men.

On the Mississippi, Forts Jackson and Saint Philip are in good order and garrisoned by ten companies-nearly 1,000 men. They are armed as follows:

Fort Jackson: six 42-pounders, twenty-six 24-pounders, two 32-pounder rifles, sixteen 32-pounders, three 8-inch columbiads, one 10-inch columbiad, one 10-inch and two 8-inch mortars, with two 48-pounder and ten 24-pounder howitzers.

Fort Saint Philip: six 42-pounders, nine 32-pounders, twenty-two 24-pounders, four 8-inch columbiads, one 8-inch and one 10-inch mortar, and three field guns.

Between the forts the river is completely obstructed by a raft of logs securely chained to both banks and held by fifteen large anchors weighing from 2,500 to 4,000 pounds each, and laid in 25 fathoms of water with 60 fathoms of strong chain. This raft is a complete obstruction, and has an enfilading fire from Fort Jackson and a direct fire from Saint Philip.

On the Lake Borgne side we have, first, a work 1 mile back from Proctorsville, with six guns (two 32s and four 24s), with 100 men. They can be re-enforced from the city by the Mexican Gulf Railroad. I have contracted for a telegraph line from here to the work, to be paid for by the city.

At Tower Dupré there is one large company, with five 24-pounders. The adjoining bayou has been obstructed by piles. At Battery Bienvenue I have 100 men, with ten 24-pounders.

Fort Macomb is garrisoned by three companies (250 men), and armed with four 42s, one 8-inch columbiad, twenty-one 24-pounders, and four flank howitzers (24s). The live-oak grove, which grew within 300 yards of the fort and offered a secure approach for the enemy, I have had felled at a cost of $1,000, of which the State paid half and the city half.

Fort Pike has a garrison of 350 men, and the following armament:

Four 42s, one 9-inch and one 8-inch gun, two 32-pounder rifled guns, twenty 24-pounders, and five 24-pounder flank howitzers. I have had logs cut and chains and anchors bought, to obstruct the channel both at Forts Macomb and Pike. I have also contracted to shoal the months of West and East Pearl Rivers to 4 feet by sinking obstructions. I keep a regiment and a field battery in advance, at Bay Saint Louis and Pass Christian, and have made a depot of 15,000 rations at Gainesville, in case they are driven back suddenly from the coast by a large force of the enemy.

The foregoing comprises the exterior line, with which I am in communication by telegraph to Berwick Bay, Fort Jackson, Fort Macomb, and Fort Pike. Instructors have been sent to the various forts requiring it, and the garrisons are all quite proficient in the drill of the seacoast gun.

The interior line, as you will observe on the map, composes, with the intervening swamps, a complete continuous line around the city, including Algiers within its limits. It is almost entirely finished. Ten 32s are mounted on the line below the barracks, at its junction with the {p.776} river, and ten 42s will soon be up on the opposite side, giving a cross-fire of twenty guns at that point. The lines extend to the swamp on each side, and have flanking arrangements for 32-pounder carronades to sweep the whole point. Their development is 8 1/2 feet, with a wide ditch, which is filled with water. On the Gentilly Ridge the same kind of work, with four guns; on the Pontchartrain Railroad five guns, the canal four guns, the Bayou Saint John four, and the Jefferson Railroad two guns-all with flanking arrangements for infantry. The guns of these small works will all be mounted within ten days.

Above the city the line extends from the swamp to the river, with flanking arrangements for artillery, and terminates at the river with a powerful battery of fourteen 42-pounders. At this point Major Lovell is building an obstruction under the fire of this battery, which, I think, will prevent any vessel from passing down the river. On the Algiers side the line is just behind the Barataria Canal, and runs from the river to the swamp. It is all complete except the battery on the river, where it is intended to mount ten 32-pounders. The whole should be finished and mounted in two weeks, when New Orleans will be a citadel.

The exterior line is manned by about 4,500 men, and I have about 3,500 for the interior line, besides about 6,000 well-armed volunteers in the city, who are uniformed and drilled. With 15,000 men I can defend the city against any force that can be brought, unless we are attacked on all sides at once. I have also had two sham parapets made in the city and some guns mounted, as schools of practice for the volunteers. In enumerating the troops I do not reckon two regiments (1,600 men) that I sent up to Columbus last week to General Polk’s aid.

The two powder-mills are in running order, one at the barracks and one at the old Marine Hospital. Major Rains came down last week, and after a full inspection reports that they can easily turn out 2 tons of powder per day, and I am making a contract with responsible parties here for 200 tons of saltpeter. Sulphur and charcoal we have in abundance. The new marine hospital is being fitted up at a small cost, one-half for a hospital and the other for a laboratory and store-rooms for munitions of war, implements, arms, &c.

With a sufficiency of powder I should consider myself in a position to hold New Orleans for an indefinite length of time. The only point, then, for consideration would be provisions. I am endeavoring silently, through other parties, to induce holders to lay in not less than 60,000 barrels of flour, of which the city consumes about 800 per diem. This, with beef cattle from Texas and from Mississippi via Mandeville, would enable us to stand a siege of two or three months, if it should be necessary.

I have thus endeavored to give you a rough sketch of the progress that has been made in the work assigned me by the administration. There are a thousand minor matters which have taken up a great deal of time and given much trouble, but the heaviest part of the work is done. The amount of labor involved has been more than I anticipated, as matters were in a much worse condition than I could have supposed possible; but I have no hesitation in saying that I regard New Orleans at present as strong enough to withstand any attack that is likely to be made.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding Department No. 1.

{p.777}

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., December 10, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: The transfer of Colonel Wood’s regiment, Seventh Alabama, to East Tennessee leaves me little over 6,000 arms here. With this number and my present means of rapid re-enforcement from Mobile I have no apprehension, but it leaves me a large number of men, near 3,000, without arms, and renders it impossible for me to comply with the wish expressed in yours of the 4th November for a transfer of some of my oldest and best troops to more active service. Could I give an assurance of such a move to these men I am satisfied it would have a happy effect in causing many to re-enlist “for the war.” Without such assurance and a short furlough to visit their homes but few can be secured. It would be a great misfortune to lose them, for they are the best troops I have ever known, all inferior men having been culled out. The artillery will be an especial loss, for it takes time and much labor to teach the duties of that arm. As most of my artillery officers of the regular service have been transferred to other and higher duties, I shall have to ask of the Department to allow me in some way to retain some of the best of those in the volunteers here, when their men are discharged, to act as instructors. The time of some of the companies of one of my best regiments (the First Alabama) expires in January, six weeks from now, as they claim from the time they entered the State service, and not their transfer to the Confederacy in March.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., December 10, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army:

SIR: When I assumed command in this department I found that a number of independent companies, originally mustered into the State service, had been transferred to the Confederate service at the request of General Twiggs.

Some of these companies had very poor officers, and in some cases the ranks were filled in part with men wholly unfit for military service; and the sifting out of these companies has in some instances reduced them below the number required.

What I desire to know is, whether, in companies thus reduced, and when the officers are manifestly incompetent, I cannot have the authority to break them up or to transfer the good men and let the officers be turned over again to the State authorities. I could thus add much to the efficiency of the service, while materially diminishing the expense in getting rid of inefficient and supernumerary officers.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding Department.

{p.778}

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., December 10, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

SIR: After great delay and many blunders I have succeeded in getting up a return* of the troops in my department for the month of October. It is not as accurate as it should be, but will give you an approximate idea of the force here. I have sent the Thirteenth Louisiana and Third Mississippi Regiments to Columbus at the earnest instance of the generals in command there, but have called upon Governor Moore for two regiments to replace them, which I have ordered to be mustered. I do not know whether this exceeds my authority or not; if it does, please give me the necessary orders, as I want all the men I can arm. The November returns shall not be delayed so long.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding Department.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., December 11, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: Yours of the 2d only reached me yesterday. It will relieve some embarrassment with the two Mississippi regiments which had elected field officers. Upon a critical examination of all the new regiments recently received, they were found to contain many men utterly unfit for service. All such have been promptly discharged. It does not weaken our strength, and materially lightens our expenses, especially in the medical department.

The regiment of independent companies was on the eve of organization when your order for one company (Captain Coopwood’s) to join Colonel Dowd’s regiment at Savannah checked it. Some imposition has been practiced in this case. I shall apply to the governor of Mississippi to send me another company to fill the regiment. It is suffering much for want of organization.

Great difficulties are being encountered in reorganizing our old men for the war. I inclose a circular issued to them some three weeks since. It produced some effect for a while, but no result so far. Our fight, I fear, has injured the prospect. Men wish to go home and talk over their deeds with friends and families. I shall now try by liberal offer of furloughs. As they are to go anyhow, it will be as well to let them go on furlough, and they will not be able to stay. The women will not tolerate it. Many return who have gone off sick, and say it is impossible to stay at home. It is a mere indefinite fancy to get away, and be clear of the restraints of military control for a while. They will soon repent and rejoin the service, but the loss of organization and expense of getting them back will be great. Though my discipline has been rigid, I think I can safely say it has not driven a desirable man from the service, and most of them are now better men and better soldiers and more attached to me, than if they had been allowed liberty and license.

{p.779}

A letter from Colonel Chalmers Ninth Mississippi Regiment (a very good officer), who was requested by me to try and reorganize his admirable regiment, may throw some light on the points of difficulty. If we had arms for my new men the promise they desire could be made, but in the absence of Colonel Wood’s regiment we have only about 6,000 stand of guns. My reply to the colonel tries to combat the idea of going north now. Wood’s regiment is clamorous to return already. I shall not despair of success nor cease to strive, but the prospect is not very encouraging. Your plan of fixing a future date for discharge and commencement of new service will be tried.

The danger to Mobile which you suggest is provided for. Mounted men are stationed at the points where the enemy might land, with instructions to report any hostile demonstration, and all our infantry out of the forts and light artillery are in readiness for concentration on any point, and the telegraph could secure re-enforcements from here in ten hours. A thorough inspection by my staff officers is now going on in all the departments of General Withers’ command, and I shall soon pay him another visit myself. I inclose a copy of a letter just received from him, upon which I ordered the closing of Grant’s Pass effectually and unconditionally. The defenses of the sound have been sadly overlooked. As early as last May I called the attention of our friends in Louisiana to the subject. They replied the Navy Department had it in hand. If I may judge from what they have done here, but little has been accomplished. But this is a matter not within my province, though I can but lament results.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, Mobile, December 9, 1861.

Maj. GEORGE G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General, Pensacola, Fla.:

SIR: The coast guard between this place and New Orleans is not such as the policy and interest of the Confederate Government demands. Several schooners and steamers have been captured of late. The steamer Lewis, from New Orleans to this place, with cargo of sugar and molasses, was captured about ten days since, and a part of her crew have returned here. From the engineer of the boat, a Mr. Haley, who has the reputation of being entirely reliable, [learn that, besides the cargo of the Lewis, Ship Island was covered with barrels of sugar, turpentine, molasses, and resin, and with lumber and cattle. The character of the lumber and cattle was such as to preclude the thought of those articles having been brought out from the North. When taken on board the enemy’s vessel, he found the New Orleans papers of the preceding day’s date on the table in the cabin. During his detention expeditions were sent out nightly, and which he believes were intended to keep up communication with the shore. A steamer to carry off freight runs regularly between the island and New York. This report is corroborated by all the information I have been able to gather from other sources. To crush out this evil I would suggest the propriety of closing Grant’s Pass, as the most effectual way of removing all pretext for a coast trade so advantageous to the enemy. The battery there, removed to Cedar Point and strengthened, would command those waters, and not be subject to {p.780} the objections to Grant’s Pass, as Cedar Point is part of the main-land, with good road leading into the back country.

The idea of our caricature gunboats being a protection to the coast trade is to me simply ridiculous. In truth I should look on our Navy Department as an amusing fancy sketch but for the waste of money and corruption for which it is the excuse.

In that I am tormented by hourly applications from selfish boat-owners for permits through Grant’s Pass, you will oblige me by telegraphing me at the earliest moment the decision of the general as to this trade being stopped promptly and finally. The railroad communication and reduced charges prevent the necessity for all undue risks to keep the coast trade open. We cannot, therefore, afford to furnish the enemy the low-water transportation, which they can only get by taking our boats, as well as the produce of our country.

The coast being within General Lovell’s department, I have nothing to recommend for its being properly guarded.

Very respectfully, major, your obedient servant,

J. M. WITHERS, Brigadier-General, &c.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 264.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., December 12, 1861.

...

16. The command of Major-General Bragg is extended west, so as to include Pascagoula Bay and that portion of Mississippi east of the Pascagoula River.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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JACKSON, MISS., December 12, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:

Lincoln boats continually harassing our seacoast. Our people will be driven from their homes and their property destroyed. Third Regiment Mississippi Volunteers have been ordered from the coast to Kentucky; many of them sailors, and much needed. Please order them back to seaport and keep them there.

JOHN J. PETTUS.

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RICHMOND, VA., December 13, 1861.

Gov. JOHN J. PETTUS, Jackson, Miss.:

Keep the regiment to which you refer on the seacoast until further orders. There is a confusion in numbering the regiments, so that I cannot tell which one it is. We will endeavor to organize a force better adapted to seacoast defense than an infantry regiment, and duly inform you.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

{p.781}

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JACKSON, MISS., December 14, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President, Richmond:

DEAR SIR: I am earnestly requested by the people of the Mississippi Gulf coast and by Governor Pettus to ask the attention of the President and the Secretary of War to the defense of the coast by a military force on shore sufficient to protect property and repel invasion by the enemy. The governor requests me to ask that three regiments shall be accepted into the Confederate service under the act authorizing troops to be accepted for local defense, to be stationed on the coast; also a battalion which he has now organized and equipped, and which could be sent there immediately. It is also requested by him and by the Hon. R. Seale, Representative from the coast, that the Third Regiment, Colonel Deason’s, shall be one so accepted, and that it be ordered back to the coast, from which it was by recent order of General Johnston removed to Columbus, Ky., where it now is. The reason for this is that this regiment is composed mainly or in large part of men familiar with the coast, its bays and bayous, and accustomed to the management of watercraft. This is very important, and the governor authorizes me to say he will supply its place at Columbus with another regiment at the earliest practicable day. The legislature has made an appropriation of $250,000 to build gunboats on the coast, and force will be required to protect the points at which they are to be constructed. The necessity of a military force for our coast protection and defense is imperious, and I earnestly and respectfully urge it upon the President and Secretary of War.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN J. MCRAE.

The Seventh Regiment, Colonel Goode’s, is now upon the coast at Bay Saint Louis and in the Confederate service, under command of General Lovell. This to be one of three.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., December 16, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 7th instant, inclosing a letter from Dr. Cartwright to the President, relative to the Mexican Gulf Railroad. I am not aware that the Government or the parties who claim to have purchased the road have any intention of using the iron for ship-building purposes, nor do I believe that any such purpose exists. Had any plan of that railroad been laid before me, I should have weighed the respective advantages to the Government of using the iron on the road or on the ships and decided accordingly. I am well satisfied that the whole scheme is to make a grand speculation for private purposes, either by selling the iron in this market or by forcing the road upon the Government at an exorbitant price.

I have a work at Proctorsville, across the railroad, mounting six 32-pounders, and manned by 100 men, distant from the city 27 miles, which covers the valuable plantations along the left bank of the river. To re-enforce this work rapidly I have constructed a switch from the Pontchartrain to the Mexican Gulf road, at a cost of $1,600 and am putting up telegraph lines between the city and Proctorsville, which {p.782} will enable me to receive early notice, and, by using the rolling stock of the Pontchartrain road, to send down 4,000 men in four hours.

It is this arrangement that I do not wish to be interfered with by what I consider a “rail speculation.” The only order I have given in the case is to say that the road shall not be torn up so as to prevent the passage of troops. I have told them they may take up the present rail and put down the T-rail, but they decline. Of one thing I am sure, the Government has no prospective benefit in what the company proposes to do.

To avoid, however, the exercise of military authority, if possible, I sought other means of obtaining the end in view, by ordinary process of law. Learning that the State has mortgages upon the road, I consulted with the attorney-general, who is now taking the necessary steps to prevent, by an injunction, any damage being done to it, so as to preserve it intact for the better security of the claims that the State has upon it. I consider it, therefore, hardly necessary to discuss the propriety of military interference as long as the matter is, or forthwith will be, with the civil authorities, but have merely mentioned the foregoing facts to give you the correct data in the premises.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., December 17, 1861.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: On the 14th instant the enemy landed about 1,000 men on Santa Rosa Island, and they are now encamped near the fort. No movement of any sort on their part indicates a renewal of the attack. Should their ships again attempt to take position against McRee, they will be received by a masked battery of five heavy shell and three rifled guns, which will teach them a lesson. This battery was projected last spring, but abandoned after an examination of the Coast Survey charts. It seems the depth of water has increased or the chart was wrong.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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NAVY DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., December 17, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: This Department is unable to obtain any powder for the naval service at New Orleans, and Flag-Officer Hollins reports that he is without a grain. The daily produce of the mills at New Orleans, I am informed, may be sufficient for its naval as well as for its military defenses; and I have the honor to request, if you can possibly do so, that you will be pleased to instruct General Lovell to supply Flag-Officer Hollins with cannon powder upon his requisitions as it may be required for the public service.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. R. MALLORY, Secretary of the Navy.

{p.783}

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., December 18, 1861.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, Commanding Department, &c., New Orleans, La.:

SIR: In compliance with a request addressed to this Department by the Hon. Secretary of the Navy, you are instructed to do all in your power, consistent with the exigencies of the military service in your department, towards supplying Flag-Officer Hollins, C. S. Navy, with cannon powder, upon his requisition therefor.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., December 19, 1861.

Governor MOORE:

DEAR SIR: I return Colonel Fontaine’s letter. I do not disapprove of fortifying Vicksburg. I said in my previous letter we had no officer of Engineers and no guns to spare, and I thought it too late to commence a self-protecting work. If they wish to build it, however, let them do so, although I must adhere to my previous opinion, that it is better to concentrate the forts and obstructions at the points where the batteries already exist. If this cannot be done, I would grant permission to go to work on the Louisiana side, but I can give them no competent officer, no guns, and no powder.

Yours, very truly,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Ordnance Office, Jackson, Miss., December 18, 1861.

His Excellency THOMAS O. MOORE, Governor of Louisiana:

DEAR SIR: I hope you will pardon me for again calling your attention to the subject of the defense of New Orleans. I have entire confidence in your wisdom and patriotism and the ability of the officers to whom you have intrusted the safety of our great metropolis; but persons at a distance from an object can see its position, with all its bearings, more distinctly than those who are in close contact with it. The plans of the enemy are now clearly developed. They intend to attempt the descent of the Mississippi without attacking Columbus or Fulton at all. Their object will be to reach Memphis and Nashville by movements up the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers and from Bowling Green, so as to compel General Polk to fall back upon Memphis and General Johnston upon Nashville. I believe they will be whipped if they attempt it, but they may not, and we should not let our hopes lull us into supineness and a neglect of our security. As soon as their army moves upon Bowling Green and their flotilla commences the ascent of the Tennessee from Paducah, you may expect their gunboats to enter Lake Pontchartrain and attempt the capture of Manchac and the occupancy of all the positions on Lake Maurepas and above your city accessible to a land force put ashore from their transports. Unless every pass is fortified on both sides and obstructed the attempt may succeed, for {p.784} no batteries can stop the passage of steamers, unless their headway can be checked while they are held under fire. I shall go to Vicksburg tomorrow, to lay out our fortifications and to make an estimate of the number of negroes it will take to finish them. I feel confident that a large force will descend the Mississippi, if one is moved up the Tennessee River, as soon as the latter succeeds in reaching a proper point for debarking for Memphis. I will fortify Vicksburg and prevent its capture, but I cannot prevent the enemy from burning it and passing it. I can keep them from entering the corporation, but they can shell it from the river and from the Louisiana side. A fort constructed at the bend above would guard the railroad approach to Vicksburg and the interior of your State, and prevent them from cutting a canal and turning the river through the narrow neck between the bends, which a small army could do in a single day. I believe that their designs will be thwarted by a kind Providence. God seems to fight our battles for us and to turn our very blunders into advantages against our foes; but still I should feel more confident if the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers were closed on the military line between Generals Johnston and Polk; if a fort was opposite Columbus, two others opposite above Memphis, and two on the opposite banks of the bend above Vicksburg. This, with obstructions between Forts Saint Philip and Jackson, and all the approaches from the Mississippi Sound, east of the city and above it, similarly guarded, would insure the safety of New Orleans, if we had one strong brigade, with a thousand cavalry and two batteries of horse artillery, about the Bay of Saint Louis and the mouth of Pearl River. I think your greatest immediate danger threatens you from that direction.

With the highest regard for your excellency, and with the deepest regret that I have to differ in opinion with General Lovell, I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

EWD. FONTAINE, Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Ordnance, Mississippi Arms,.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., December 20, 1861.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL, RICHMOND, Va.:

SIR: We were getting on finely in re-enlisting the twelve-months’ men here, having some 450 in the Ninth Mississippi Regiment and a fair prospect in the First Alabama, a well-instructed body of artillery, when the unfortunate law of bounties and universal suffrage upset everything. Men who were perfectly willing to accept good and competent field officers, especially necessary in artillery, are now torn and tossed about by the intrigues of designing men, seeking their own advancement or revenge upon others who have made them do their duty. Discord now reigns where all was harmony, and our very best officers are sure to be sacrificed to this fell spirit. The men did not ask this privilege, did not desire it, and would not now claim to exercise it, but for these demagogues, who are misleading them from anything but pure motives. We shall still labor to overcome this evil, greater than all others combined, and hope yet to reorganize a part under the old law. In one month we should have secured 5,000 of the 6,000 twelve-months’ men here. Now if we get 2,000 we shall do well. Our best field officers are certainly sacrificed; a poor reward for past faithful services. They would have {p.785} cheerfully met this fate at the hands of the enemy, but from their own Government it is hard to bear.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 18.}

HDQRS. DEPT. OF ALA. AND WEST FLA., Near Pensacola, Fla., December 20, 1861.

The command of Brig. Gen. J. M. Withers is extended westward, so as to include Pascagoula Bay and that portion of Mississippi east of Pascagoula River.

By command of Major-General Bragg:

GEO. G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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WALL DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 23, 1861.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your two letters of 10th instant and one of 16th.

1. I entirely approve your forwarding the Thirteenth Louisiana and Third Mississippi Regiments to the aid of our commanders in Kentucky. While I do not feel at liberty, under present circumstances, to order unconditionally any troops to be sent from your department, I shall be most happy to learn that you can spare any for the aid of the generals in Kentucky, who are sadly outnumbered. Of course it is useless to call out any troops that you cannot arm, unless they are willing to enlist for the war, in which event the Government is willing to pay the expense of holding them in camp of instruction until armed. We want all the men that will enlist for the war and we want all armed men that will enlist for twelve months. I only require that you keep your returns up to date, so that I may be at all times advised of the entire resources at command of the Government in your department.

2. In relation to your question about the power to break up and reorganize companies, so as to get rid of incompetent officers, I have to say that under the acts of Congress company officers are always elective, and this right of the men must be kept steadily in view and always respected. Now you have done well to sift out the men unable to do duty and discharge them from the service. The companies thus reduced below the standard number may be disbanded at our pleasure if not filled up by other able men. We have no right to assign them to commanders whom they have not elected, but we have a right, with their consent, to consolidate them into new companies, and have new elections of officers. The best plan, it seems to me, is to get the men to agree to form new companies and re-enlist. On getting their agreement, muster the old companies out of service and new companies into service at the same time, and let the latter elect their new officers. With your advice and influence they could readily be induced to elect competent officers; but the whole matter must be managed by concert with the men, and not by exercise of authority, for we have none.

3. On the subject of the iron of the Mexican Gulf Railroad I will write you again in a day or two. Mr. Gordon is here, and it is possible an {p.786} arrangement may be made advantageous to the Government and satisfactory to the company.

4. I have now to ask your attention to the subject of the coast defense of Mississippi. The interception of your communication with that portion of your department has caused us to take into serious consideration the formation of a new district, extending from the mouth of Pearl River to East Pascagoula, and detaching it from your command, as it must be almost impracticable for you to give it any personal attention. In the mean time, however, our concern has been awakened by news that there is considerable communication kept up between our coast and the enemy by small traders running with slops and schooners out of the different streams that empty into the Mississippi Sound and supplying the enemy at Ship Island and the Chandeleurs with all the intelligence they can gather, as well as the daily papers of New Orleans. I inclose you for examination and reflection a paper on this subject, prepared by Hon. J. J. McCrae, who is intimately acquainted with the whole coast, and on which the President has written an indorsement that I also recommend to your attention.* We must, as far as possible, protect our people against marauders, and the proclamation issued by the Yankee general, as contained in the papers, is so open an invitation to the slaves to revolt, that they ought, in my opinion, at once be removed out of the reach of the incendiary gang, who are not simply our enemies, but the enemies of the human race. If you think you cannot communicate with the southern coast of Mississippi with sufficient facility to supervise efficiently defensive measures, you will be good enough so to inform me at once, and we must try to find a commander for it as a separate district.

Please inform me how the powder factory is getting on and what quantity of powder you have. Major Rains tells me that the mills thus far are not making over 1,500 pounds a day, although capable of making about twice that quantity.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* See McRae to Davis, p. 781; indorsement not found.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, C. S. A., New Orleans, La., December 24, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 18th instant relative to furnishing Commodore Hollins with cannon powder. I have made it a point, without instructions, to aid him to the extent of my ability, and he has already been furnished by us with nearly 4 tons of powder. I have collected materials at great trouble and expense and urged to completion a large mill for making powder for the purpose of supplying my own wants, and they are yet far from being in a satisfactory condition. I have already turned over to the Navy more powder than in justice to the Army I should have done, and it will require more than I have on hand to give a half allowance to the guns I have mounted. If I can be supplied with saltpeter in large quantities I can easily furnish Captain Hollins and myself, or if he will procure the saltpeter I will have it worked up. As matters now stand he cannot rely upon me for a pound. I must supply myself {p.787} first, and I feel satisfied that you will indorse my action when you are made acquainted with all the circumstances.

I beg leave to ask your attention to my recommendation in reference to Colonel Duncan. There are nearly 5,000 men in the works on the exterior line, without any competent brigade commander, who should be a thorough artillerist and understand well the nature of the coast. It is utterly impossible for me to visit these works while keeping up the affairs of the department in this city.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Mobile, December 24, 1861.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: The senior officer of the Navy here, having charge of such forces of that department as operate in Mobile Bay, declines to recognize any military authority. It is not my desire to encroach on the province of this department, but it occurs to me our service would be more efficient under one than two heads. At sea, beyond the range of my gun’s, no question would be raised of the supremacy of this department, but inside the bay harmony and efficiency are both sacrificed by this division of authority. At Pensacola a senior naval officer to the one here acknowledges my jurisdiction.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT NO. 1, C. S. A., New Orleans, La., December 25, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have received your letter stating that Major Lovell could not be put on duty here with rank of field officer except to command troops. I was led into mistake in the matter by having in mind the case of Colonel Duncan.

I cannot spare Major Lovell, whose services in obstructing the channels have proved invaluable, and the objection as to command can easily be obviated. There are in this department on duty twenty-one separate companies of volunteers, who cause as much office detail at department headquarters as twenty-one regiments would do. With your permission I will organize these troops into regiments and battalions, and assign field officers to them. I can thus place Major Lovell on duty here with troops as a field officer and his position with General Bragg’s army can be filled by another officer. Shall I thus assign him?

I have mustered in regiments in place of the troops that I sent to General Johnston, and have called upon Governor Moore for an additional regiment to man the guns on the interior line. If in this I have been in error, please let me know. In conversation with the President before leaving Richmond, I understood him to say that I could call for such troops as the case might require, taking care not to create more expense for maintaining men than was absolutely necessary.

{p.788}

As the enemy is congregating at Ship Island, I shall organize the forces here as rapidly as possible. The governor, at my request, has ordered all the independent volunteer companies to form into regiments and elect their field officers, which will give about 6,000 pretty well armed men in the city subject to call. Do they bring their general officers when called into service? A militia law has also been draughted and presented, which I think will make about one-third of the militia available at short notice.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., December 27, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

I have made into good powder all the saltpeter sent. Can you spare any more?

M. LOVELL.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 27, 1861.

Maj. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Pensacola:

MY DEAR SIR: When we sent General A. S. Johnston to take command of the Western Department it was believed that he would proceed at once to the west of the Mississippi and conduct the campaign in Arkansas and Missouri. The obtaining possession of the latter State is of such supreme importance, that I need not say to you a word on the subject. Before, however General Johnston reached the Mississippi the threatened invasion of Tennessee and the advance of the Federal forces into Kentucky rendered it necessary to detain him in this latter State, equally important as Missouri to the Confederacy, and threatening more immediate danger, especially when considered in connection with the menaced attack on our lines of communication by railroad through East Tennessee. At that time, too, the Department of Missouri was committed by the enemy to General Frémont, whose incompetency, well known to us, was a guarantee against immediate peril. All this is now changed. Missouri is under command of an able and well-instructed military commander. Dissensions exist between General Price and General McCulloch which prevent their cordial co-operation. We are threatened with grievous disaster. McCulloch has put his army (of about 9,000 excellent troops) into winter quarters in Northwestern Arkansas. Price has advanced alone, and we fear with fatal rashness, into a district of country where he is likely to be surrounded and cut off by overwhelming forces, and the Army of Missouri is represented to he a mere gathering of brave but undisciplined partisan troops, coming and going at pleasure, and needing a master mind to control and reduce it into order and to convert it into a real army.

After long and anxious consultation with the President we can find no one but yourself on whom we feel we could rely with confidence as commander-in-chief of the Trans-Mississippi Department; yet we do not know how to fill your place at Pensacola. Missouri however, must not be lost to us, even at some risk of misfortune at Pensacola. {p.789} You have so thoroughly and satisfactorily prepared the defenses at the latter point that we scarcely believe another attempt will be made on your defenses, and we hope that by sending Kirby Smith to take your place, if you should leave, that important point will be successfully defended.

You see already that my purpose is to ask you if you would consent to go to the West. In that event General Johnston’s command would be limited by the Mississippi River, giving him as much even then as he can efficiently attend to, and your command would embrace everything west of the Mississippi except the coast defenses. Your campaign would comprehend the States of Arkansas and Missouri, together with Northern Texas and the Indian Territory. General Price will probably be continued in the command of the Missouri troops when mustered into our service. Their number, of course, I cannot approximate, but we could scarcely have less than 20,000 or 25,000 men from that State. In Arkansas and the Indian Territory our forces amount to about 12,000. A number of other regiments are now nearly organized in Texas and Arkansas, and we would find means of arming two or three of the new regiments at Pensacola, and thus disengaging for your command the two best Mississippi regiments.

With all these resources, aided, of course, by our hearty and cordial co-operation, it seems to me that we may confidently look for brilliant results. If the tide of battle should turn towards the Mississippi River your operations would be conducted in concert with General Johnston’s, and of course, in that event, he would rank you; but, unless in case of joint operations on the river, your command would be entirely independent, and such joint operations would only be undertaken by special order of the President or by your own concert with General Johnston.

Will you undertake this work? I tell you frankly I believe you owe it to your country in this her hour of peril, but it will not be urged on you against your will. If we cannot now make available your name and reputation as a soldier, I confess I know not where else to look at this time. The President and myself have anxiously scanned every name on our army list, and under all the circumstances (many of which it is not possible to communicate in this letter) we invariably fell back on yours as the name. The circumstances are pressing. I could not say all that was important for your consideration by telegraph, but I must beg you, as soon as it is possible, to answer me by telegraph “I refuse,” if such be your conclusion. If you say in reply, “I refuse,” I must see what next best can be done.

I am, yours, very truly,

J. P. BENJAMIN.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Mobile, Ala., December 29, 1861.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: An occurrence of the 27th instant at Fort Morgan illustrates the absolute necessity of the military commander here having control of the guard boats in the harbor. On that morning a small vessel from Havana attempted to run the blockade with supplies for us. Pressed by the enemy, she was beached under the guns of Fort Morgan. The enemy attempted to cut her out or destroy her, and the guns of our fort had difficulty in keeping them off until a small unarmed steamer went {p.790} to her assistance, and under the fire of the enemy’s gunboats relieved and brought her in. She brought in 150 bags of coffee, with some sulphur and other small stores. During all this time the Florida, an armed steamer, is lying at the moorings of the city, unoccupied and independent. An armed schooner is also lying in the harbor here utterly useless. It would be economy to give her away and discharge the crew.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, C. S. A., New Orleans, La., December 29, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: At 12 o’clock last night Hobart & Foster’s powder-mill, in the old Marine Hospital, exploded. One charge of powder (4,000 pounds) was in the drying-room, and another of the same amount was in the cylinders, all of which was lost. I had taken out 4,000 pounds the same day. The mill was turning out this amount daily.

The mill that I brought over from Handsborough will be put up in twenty days, and this, together with the city mill, will enable us to turn out 2,500 or 3,000 pounds daily. Hobart & Foster will proceed immediately to rebuild their mill, and I shall drive it through with all the means at my control, and hope to have it in operation again in six weeks.

The total amount of saltpeter invoiced to this point since the middle of last September is 82,506 pounds gross, of which only 62,000 ever came to hand. The weight of the casks and sacks is to be deducted, besides which some of it was very impure. Hobart & Foster had three days’ supply on hand at the time of the explosion (10,000 pounds), which was not injured.

The enemy has now at Ship Island twenty-two vessels, large and small, and is landing troops in large numbers. They have been sounding and staking out the-channels leading towards the Rigolets and Chef Menteur Pass, but I think this is only a blind to draw our attention from Mobile, which I think is their object of attack. They cannot take New Orleans by a land attack with any force they can bring to bear.

I should much like to have for an inspector-general an officer of knowledge and experience. I am almost entirely deficient in the way of officers. General Ruggles and Colonel Duncan are the only two serving with troops who can render me aid. No other department is so deficient, and certainly none is more important.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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MOBILE, December 30, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:

The enemy’s vessels, some twenty, are below, landing supplies and large bodies of troops on Ship Island.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

{p.791}

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RICHMOND, VA., January 1, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

Can give you no more saltpeter, but expect large supply very soon. Send me return of your entire stock of ammunition.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary, of War.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., January 1, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

DEAR SIR: I must earnestly request that the Thirteenth Louisiana Regiment, as well as the Third Mississippi, be ordered back to New Orleans. The wretchedly-armed green troops sent here from Mississippi cannot supply the place of Gibson’s regiment, armed by me. We are here entitled to that regiment, and I should have urged that they should not have been permitted to leave if the implied promise of General Polk had not been given that they would be returned when needed. They are needed.

Yours, very truly,

THO. O. MOORE.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., January 1, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 23d ultimo with its inclosure, relative to the defense of the Mississippi coast. You have suggested the propriety of making a new department out of the district between Pearl River and Pascagoula, and have asked my views about it. I do not see the necessity of such a step, as Pearl River is of necessity a part of Department No. 1, and Pascagoula of General Bragg’s department. The country between (the piney woods district of Mississippi) is a sandy barren, running back 40 or 50 miles, with a poor, sparse population, and is utterly destitute of any supplies which might be necessary for troops. Nearly all that is of value is the line of fine summer residences just on the beach, and as long as the enemy has full command of the water he can at any time land under fire of his heavy guns and take possession of these houses at Biloxi, Mississippi City, &c. The companies of infantry to be stationed as suggested by Mr. McRae would be more than useless, as a couple of light-draught gunboats with a few 8-inch shells could at any time drive them back from the beach, leaving in the enemy’s possession all that is really of any value, viz, the fine houses, &c., on the shore, and the opposition, inefficient though it would be, would give the enemy, in their own judgment, good cause for committing excesses.

We can, however, station troops in such a manner as to prevent much communication with the enemy by our own people; but in this we should have the assistance of the Navy Department, as we have no armed vessels to use for that purpose.

I have telegraphed General Johnston to send me back the Third Mississippi Regiment from Columbus, so that I can again place them on the sound coast. I have a regiment of infantry and a battery of artillery at Bay Saint Louis and Pass Christian. The regiment that I removed {p.792} was stationed at Mississippi City and Handsborough, and when I sent them away I wrote to Governor Pettus to ask if he could furnish more men to replace them. I learn that he has ordered some cavalry down there, but if you will look on the map I sent you by Colonel Davis you will observe that this section of the country is so cut up with streams that it is very difficult for troops to move through it, and no use could be made of it by the enemy.

All that I ask is to give me some competent and experienced subordinate officers that I can place some reliance on, and the supervision and management of the affairs of the department between Pearl River and Pascagoula will be an easy matter; but I do not think that in any event it should be made a separate department. If you have a competent officer to spare to place over that section of the country let him report to me, and I will put him in position to do all that can be done there by infantry and light artillery, and can keep in hand here in New Orleans a force sufficient to throw upon the enemy should he presume to make a flank march towards Covington.

The coast is beyond a question untenable should the enemy land in considerable force, which I do not think he will do, east of Bay Saint Louis, unless it be with a view to Mobile. The part between that bay and Pascagoula is valueless in a military point of view except to use the houses on the coast for quarters, and this cannot be prevented without a naval force of some kind.

I will have the return of powder made up and send it as soon as possible. I wrote you fully about powder a few days since.

Respectfully, your most obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, C. S. Army.

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Abstract from field return of the Amy of Pensacola commanded by Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, on the lat day of January, 1862.

Troops.Present for duty.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.
Officers.Men.
1st (Gladden’s) Brigade1982,9703,8964,793
2d (Anderson’s) Brigade2013,0933,9474,103
Alabama Mounted Rifles8788894
Walton Guard.4566064
Grand total4066,1977,9919,054

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RICHMOND, VA., January 3, 1862.

Gov. JOHN J. PETTUS, Jackson, Miss.:

Orders were sent some time since to General Lovell for the defense of the coast of Mississippi, and I hope he has taken measures which it would now be too late for me to initiate. The movement no doubt is intended against Mobile or New Orleans, but I shall much regret if any successful raid be made against the villages on our coast.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

{p.793}

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Near Pensacola, Fla., January 4, 1862.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: After completing my inspections at Mobile I reached here on the morning of the 2d instant. Affairs in that part of my command are not in a very encouraging state, and I regret to say I see but little hope of improvement with the means at my command.

The question of rank between Colonels Powell and Maury was settled in favor of the former, and the latter, found off duty in Mobile, has returned to his post. Colonel Powell appears to be an intelligent, energetic, and faithful officer, but for want of experience in army service has great difficulties to contend with. The forts are in much better condition than when I visited them in October, and with ammunition would be in condition to prevent any entrance to Mobile Bay. The services of a good gunboat, in conjunction with Forts Morgan and Gaines, would be of great service; but they are utterly useless at the city of Mobile, where they are now kept. The health of the troops at the forts is very good, and everything indicates improving discipline and a close attention to duty.

The infantry brigade under Brig. Gen. L. P. Walker, encamped on the main-land, some 12 or 15 miles from Mobile, on the road to Pascagoula, I regret to report in a very bad condition. The commander had established himself in the city of Mobile with a large and useless staff at a heavy expense, whilst his troops were suffering in crowded tents and huts, without hospitals or any of those essentials for the comfort and health of raw men. There was no organization, no system, and no instruction. Each regimental and battalion commander was independent of all the rest. The necessary consequence is disease, demoralization, and great mortality, about one-third of the command being sick, with a great deficiency of hospital accommodation.

I ordered General Walker sent to his command before I left here; but under various pretexts he was still absent from his command on the 1st instant. Except as a matter of principle, I attach no importance to this absence of the general, as his want of knowledge and experience, and it appears to me an inaptitude for military command, render it impossible for him to supply the wants in that brigade. I consequently look for little improvement without a change.

The Department cannot but see the great importance of this position at the present time, and the necessity of having a well-organized, well-instructed, disciplined, and equipped command at such an exposed point. The recent movements of the enemy render it more important than ever. Had my former recommendations been adopted on’ strength would have been much greater; it may not be too late to retrieve a part of what is lost; but time is precious, and prompt and decided action necessary.

Cannon, powder, and small arms and accouterments are the great essentials for our strength, provided we can get proper commanders to have them used.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

{p.794}

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RICHMOND, January 5, 1862.

General BRAXTON BRAGG, O’Bannonville, Fla.:

My private letter to you [of December 27, 1861] was written before the enemy had landed at Ship Island and Biloxi, and it is not just that you should now be asked to accede to the proposal contained in my letter.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 5, 1862.

Maj. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Pensacola, Fla.:

SIR: I ought sooner to have replied to your several letters of the 10th, 11th, l7th, and 29th ultimo, but I was extremely anxious to give you definite information in relation to the subject of re-enlistment of twelve-months’ men; and after the act of Congress on the subject I was much engrossed, in concert with the President and Adjutant-General, in the attempt so to execute the law as to prevent the disorganization of the Army.

No one can deprecate more sincerely than I do the obvious consequences of what you well denominate the system of universal suffrage in the Army; but the lawgivers have spoken, and we must do the best we can. I send you herewith a circular copy of the regulations we have devised, which will appear in a few days in the shape of a general order from the bureau of the Adjutant-General.

I know in advance that, however contrary to your own ideas of a proper system, the Department can rely with confidence on your cordial co-operation, and at least one point is gained, viz, that after the first election all vacancies will be filled by promotion.

I regret the total impossibility of supplying you with arms for your unarmed regiments. We have a large cargo near at hand, but Heaven knows when we will receive it, if at all; and until we can get in some arms from abroad we cannot put another man in the field. It is a cruel necessity that forces this avowal, but it is due to you to state the facts. In the mean time our enemy, with free intercourse abroad and full control of the seacoast, augments his forces at pleasure, and leaves us a desperate struggle, to be maintained only by heroic effort and unconquerable will. Everywhere we are outnumbered, and while demagogues and newspaper squibblers are clamorous for offensive movements, we are scanning the horizon with anxious eyes and praying for no other succor than arms and powder-for nothing but weapons with which to fight in defense of our rights. If the winter closes upon the campaign without serious disaster all will be well, for it is impossible, with the varied efforts already made, with the large supplies already purchased, and with the numerous expedients now in progress, that some successful venture shall fail to occur, and thus put into our hands all that is wanted to wrest from the foe the admission that our subjugation is impossible.

The President has ordered the appointment of Major Jones to be colonel of the new regiment of Mississippians organized by you, which you will please to number as the Twenty-seventh Mississippi; but he does not seem entirely to concur in your recommendation of the lieutenant-colonel. As soon as he determines that point Lipscomb will be {p.795} appointed major, as you advise. In Colonel Bullock’s regiment the field officers are, if I am not mistaken, to be filled up under the laws of Alabama, the regiment being, I believe, one that was tendered by the State with its field officers already elected. Where regiments are formed by us out of separate companies we appoint the field officers, and vacancies are filled by promotion; but where the State organizes and tenders the regiment, the field officers are appointed by the State.

Your letters of the 24th and 29th, in relation to the right of commanding the naval forces in the harbor, have been submitted to the President, and he concurs in your opinion. As the matter, however, is somewhat delicate, and we all desire to avoid unpleasant conflicts of authority, I will converse with Mr. Mallory on the subject and write you again.

I am, yours, respectfully,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 5, 1862.

Major-General LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

SIR: Your letters of the 24th and 25th ultimo, have been received.

1st. My request in relation to the powder asked for by Commodore Hollins was of course subordinate to your discretion, but I am anxious to accommodate the Navy on all proper occasions and to keep up cordial relations in all branches of the service.

2d. I will call the President’s attention again to your recommendation in favor of Colonel Duncan.

3d. Your suggestion as to organization of independent companies into regiments and battalions is entirely approved. I had no idea that the condition of your forces was such as you represent. We never permit an accumulation of independent companies. We consult their wishes, however, in throwing them together, and you are requested, with this view, to organize two regiments out of these twenty-one companies, and to send to this Department a return of the organization, with muster rolls and a recommendation for appointment of field officers. In this way provision can be made for Major Lovell within your department.

4th. Your muster-in of other regiments in place of those sent to Kentucky is approved; indeed, until further orders, you are authorized to receive and muster into the Confederate service all companies, battalions, or regiments that tender themselves for the war, or three years; but bear in mind we will accept no men for a less term, unless they arm themselves at their own expense. In this event you may accept them for not less than twelve months.

5th. The militia, when called out as such, bring their generals with them.

6th. I hope soon to hear of your having been able to do something to check the enemy and encourage our people on the seacoast of Mississippi, though of course I cannot and do not expect you to weaken your command in New Orleans for the purpose of punishing marauders on the seacoast. If you could get up a small local organization, however, with a flying battery, equipped with good, reliable horses, for rapid movements, so as to prevent the landing of small parties of plunderers, it would have a happy effect and give pleasure and confidence to our people in Southern Mississippi.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

{p.796}

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 6, 1862.

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

SIR: I have the honor to inclose, for your perusal, two letters* from General Bragg, which I beg may be returned to me.

Without desiring for a moment that any authority should be assumed over the vessels and officers of the Navy by any military commander, it does seem to me that small craft in harbors and shore waters should to some extent be made subordinate to commanders of departments charged with the coast defenses, and I beg to call your attention to the subject and to ask for your views.

I may be permitted to add that General Withers on a former occasion represented the naval officers in command of the gunboats in Mobile Bay as being utterly inefficient and unreliable. I do not even know their names, and of course have no knowledge on the subject beyond the report of the military commanders; but as you cannot have chosen your best officers for such unimportant commands, I think it not improbable that there is ground for the complaints.

Yours, very respectfully,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* Probably those of December 29, 1861, and January 4, 1862, pp. 789, 793.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 6, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

SIR: Your letters of the 24th and 29th ultimo are received. I have to announce to you that the President has authorized the appointment of Colonel Duncan as brigadier-general, and his nomination will be sent to Congress to-morrow.

The President desires that you assign General Trimble to the command of the district stretching from the Rigolets to Pascagoula, and confide to him that part of your department, furnishing him one or two light batteries, well equipped, for active movement, and such number of troops as may be sufficient for checking marauding parties that may attempt plunder. It is not, of course, expected that he can resist an army; but you can furnish him with sufficient force to encourage and inspirit the people on the seashore, cut off communication of evil-disposed persons with the enemy, and check boating parties attempting to carry on a predatory warfare.

I am sorry to hear of the destruction of the powder-mill, with its contents, as we have not a pound to spare. You will be good enough to send me at once a statement by which I can discover which of the saltpeter shipments have failed to reach you, as you seem to be short at least 20,000 pounds by your letter of the 29th.

I will see if I can send you a good inspecting officer. I think Major Pickett is disposable, and the only one we have at present not in active and important service.

I have taken all the powder (said to be 45 tons) just arrived by the Vanderbilt and telegraphed you to that effect. Please have it inspected, so as to be sure that we are not paying such an enormous price as $2 per pound for damaged powder, and aid the owners in having it all brought {p.797} for distribution to New Orleans, except 5 tons of cannon and 1 of rifle powder, which I desire sent to Galveston.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., January 6, 1862.

Major-General LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

I have taken all the powder by the Vanderbilt. Arrange with the owners for bringing it all to New Orleans, except 5 tons of cannon powder and 1 ton of rifle powder, ordered to Galveston.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, January 6, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

MY DEAR SIR: Your private and confidential dispatch of the 27th ultimo reached me on the evening of the 4th instant, and has had my most earnest consideration. I could not reply yesterday by telegraph, but do so this morning, and shall anxiously await the President’s decision.

The aspect of affairs has so far changed within my present command that I feel greatly embarrassed by the alternative presented and the responsibility imposed. Had the President issued his order to me I should have promptly obeyed without a murmur; but the alternative requires that, while I make no objection, I should submit a few considerations which impress me and which the Department probably did not fully know at the date of the dispatch.

A portion of my command is now powerfully menaced by a large force, constantly increasing. Our force, at best, is very weak, and a part of it in very bad condition, so that I really cannot consider the city of Mobile perfectly safe. This place, to which you seem only to refer, is in no danger, unless from an incompetent commander; a danger we have just escaped. But it will take time, labor, and all the influence I can bring to bear to produce so good a result in the western part of my department. Much valuable time is already lost there, and but little progress is now being made, owing to the means I am compelled to use. This state of affairs is seen, felt, and deplored by those who have all at stake. A feverish state of excitement and much alarm exists in Mobile, where the danger is greatest, and it is no egotism in me to say I am looked to as their hope and support. The influence I have gained over the minds of the people in this section of the country, as well as over my troops, is considerable, and I do not believe any other could now fill my place to their satisfaction. You will readily see, then, my embarrassment.

The field to which you invite me is a most important one, but, under present aspects, not enticing. So much has been lost there, and so little done in organization and instruction that the prospect of retrieving our ground is most gloomy. Troops so tong accustomed to the freedom and license they have enjoyed will be more difficult to command than raw {p.798} men; and though I have succeeded to some extent in making soldiers here of raw levies of volunteers, and at the same time retaining their good will and confidence, I distrust my ability to accomplish the same in the new field offered me.

Without a base of operations, in a country poorly supplied at best, and now exhausted by being overrun by both armies in mid-winter, with an unclad, badly-fed, and badly-supplied mass of men, without instruction, arms, equipments, or officers, it is certainly a most unpromising field for operations. But should the President decide on it, after knowing the state of affairs here, I will bend all my energies and faculties to the task, and offer myself (as a sacrifice, if necessary) to the great cause in which we are engaged.

I shall need and must receive from the Department great assistance in the way of staff and general officers. Upon them depends as much as upon the commander, the success of all his efforts. Many of the volunteers here are now so well instructed that this may be granted without materially weakening this department.

Could you possibly send 3,000 stand of arms here? I should desire to take from this army Chalmers’ Ninth Mississippi, Adams’ Louisiana Regulars, and Jackson’s Fifth Georgia Regiments. These would give me a nucleus upon which to form, would set an example of discipline, and would give me the support of excellent officers, who know and trust me, and in whom I place unlimited confidence. I should desire Brigadier-General Gladden to command them; Colonel Chalmers might be made a brigadier, to remain here in place of Gladden, and Lieutenant-Colonel Autrey would make an excellent colonel for his regiment, now nearly reorganized for the war. Jackson I should desire to see advanced to the command of a brigade.

Major Slaughter, my acting inspector-general, is on a short official visit to Richmond. He possesses my entire confidence in every respect, and may be fully and freely consulted by the Department, as he knows my views in regard to matters here, and is as fully posted as I am.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, &c.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., January 7, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: After reading the letter of Mr. McRae, relative to the use of launches on the coast of Mississippi Sound, I suggested to Commodore Hollins to make some arrangements with that purpose in view. Nothing has been done, nor is it likely that anything will be done, by the Navy Department there unless under orders from Richmond. You will recollect our conversation the evening before I left Richmond, in which you took a different view from myself. I felt satisfied that if the protection of the navigable streams running up into the country was removed from my control it would in all probability not be properly arranged in connection with the land defenses, while the general commanding the department would be considered by the people at large as responsible for inroads into the territory of his command. This is just what has happened.

I should have had light-draught armed vessels or launches at numerous {p.799} points along the coast had I not kept in view your expressed wish that all clashing, even in appearance, should be avoided between the two arms of service. I have now on Lake Borgne a larger armed force than the Navy has, but it is kept up under the name of supplying our posts on the sound, it being necessary that the vessels should be armed for their own protection. I hope that, in connection with Mr. Mallory, you may be able to devise some plan by which either the entire matter may be placed under my control or the naval officer in command may have orders to afford such aid as I may officially require of him. The blame of want of protection will rest upon me in any event, and I should therefore have some power to say what should be done.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., January 8, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: Some six weeks since, at the urgent call of an officer in Kentucky, and believing that I would be safe from attack until January, I sent two regiments to Columbus, with the distinct understanding on my part, and so expressed both to Generals Johnston and Polk, that when the enemy appeared here they should be returned. General Polk now, in answer to my call, telegraphs me that he has asked you to send me other troops, and you have consented. I hope that this is not so. The troops I sent him are natives of this part of the country and cannot be replaced by others. The Third Mississippi Regiment is composed largely of the fishermen, oystermen, and sailors of Louis Bay, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, &c., and are well acquainted with all the inlets, bayous, and soundings of that intricate and difficult coast, and can be of more service there than any other body of men. I have therefore written to General Polk to insist that the Third Mississippi Regiment, at all events, shall be sent down. They can as well be replaced there as here by fresh troops, but none can supply their place to me on the Mississippi coast. The regiment was raised particularly for that service, about half of it being amphibious, and I shall want to put a number of them in boats. The country troops will not answer my purpose. I beg, therefore, that even if you permit General Polk to retain the Thirteenth Louisiana you will telegraph him to send me the Third Mississippi Regiment immediately. He does me great injustice by leaving me until this late hour under the impression that when I wanted these two regiments they should be returned, and I have so written him.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General Commanding.

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NAVY DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, January 9, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 6th instant, inclosing two communications from General Bragg.

{p.800}

When the vessel to which General Bragg refers crossed the Mobile bar the Confederate steamer Florida was at the city, 30 miles off, and of course could render no assistance.

The Florida had recently gone there from the lake after an engagement with a Federal steamer, and on observing her arrival in the public papers I directed Flag-Officer Hollins to prevent her from lying at the city a moment beyond what her necessities might require.

General Bragg complains that the little guard boat did not go out to the vessel’s assistance, which he says was pursued by the enemy’s gunboats. This is a small sailing schooner, mounting one gun, commanded by an active and zealous young naval officer, and I trust that he would have sailed out against the enemy’s gunboats could he have rendered any service. I will call upon him to explain his apparent neglect of duty.

I concur with you in the necessity of securing perfect harmony of action between the land and naval forces, and so soon as the steamers now nearly completed for service in the waters near Mobile shall go into commission I will give such instructions as will, I think, certainly secure it. At present there is but one small sailing schooner and two barges. The naval officer in charge, and who is reported by General Withers as “unreliable and inefficient,” Lieut. Jas. D. Johnston, is regarded by the service and the Department as one of the best officers of the old service. Perhaps the cause of General Withers’ report may be found in the letter of Lieutenant Johnston, a copy of which is inclosed.

General Bragg’s letters are herewith returned.

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

S. R. MALLORY, Secretary of the Navy.

[Inclosure.]

MOBILE, December 9, 1861.

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

SIR: On the morning of the 4th instant I was accosted by Brigadier-General Withers, commanding this military division, in the presence of Major Hessee and Lieutenant Holt, assistant quartermaster at this place, in these words: “Some of your marines have been overpowering one of my sentinels and taking coal from Hitchcock’s press.” I replied, “Yes, sir, I have heard something of that, and intend to reprimand Lieutenant Mills for it” To this General Withers replied, “Reprimand him, sir! You must arrest him, sir; my orders to you are to arrest him, sir, at once,” using a highly excited tone and manner. I then said, “That is a matter for me to attend to, general, and not you.” Whereupon he replied, “I don’t care, sir; my instructions to you are to investigate the matter and to arrest him, and if you don’t I’ll arrest the whole of you;” and then left me without waiting for a reply. He spoke throughout in an exceedingly angry and offensive tone, and did not seem disposed to listen to anything I had to say.

I immediately directed Lieutenant Mills to furnish me with a written explanation of his conduct in the case; and in the afternoon of the same day I addressed a communication, inclosing Lieutenant Mills’ statement, to General Withers, informing him that I had investigated the circumstances connected with the occurrence which had so seriously excited his displeasure, and that the charge made against Lieutenant Mills of having overpowered one of his sentinels was entirely groundless.

{p.801}

A copy of this letter is herewith inclosed;* and I have only to say, in addition to the explanation therein given, that Lieutenant Mills was entirely ignorant of the fact that the press referred to was under military rule, and that I had informed him before that coal was stored there belonging to the Navy Department, which he could obtain for use on board the receiving-ship under his charge when he required it, taking it for granted that with his knowledge of naval regulations he would understand the necessity of making a requisition upon me for the coal before sending for it. His conduct in going to the press with a dozen armed men, to take the coal by force if resisted, and in using a dray and bags belonging to the press without consent of the agent in charge, was certainly reprehensible and altogether unnecessary; but his offense was against naval and not military rule, as he encountered no sentinel, nor had any been placed over the coal, as I am confident the military authorities were not even aware of its being there.

I have made a report to Flag-Officer Hollins of the whole affair, sending copies of my letters to General Withers and Mr. Mills’ statement. No one can regret more sincerely than myself that any misunderstanding should occur between officers charged with the duties belonging to the separate branches of the public defense at this time; and I have always regarded the requests of General Withers as of equal force with his orders when it has been in my power to comply with them; but when he threatened to arrest me and the whole force under my command for an infraction of discipline on the part of one of my subordinates, and that without even giving me an opportunity to investigate the nature of this offense, I considered it my duty, not only to myself but to the service to which I belong, to inform him that I was not placed under his orders, especially as I received on the 9th ultimo an order from Flag-Officer Hollins to obey no orders but those coming from him, and to use my own judgment about complying with the requests of General Withers.

Under these circumstances I hope the Department will sustain me in having made what I intended as a respectful remonstrance against an unwarrantable assumption of authority and a gross violation of the rule of courtesy which should govern all officers in their official intercourse.

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

J. D. JOHNSTON, Lieutenant in Charge of Naval Station.

* Lieutenant Mills’ letter not found

MOBILE, December 4, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JONES M. WITHERS, Commanding Military District of Alabama:

SIR: I inclose herewith the statement of Lieut. T. B. Mills relative to the occurrence at Hitchcock’s press, of which you took occasion to speak to me this morning in the presence of two officers of the Army in a manner not only offensive to my feelings as an officer and a gentleman, but altogether unwarrantable between officers holding our relative positions.

You will perceive by Lieutenant Mills’ statement that the charge you made against him of having overpowered one of your sentinels and taken coal which was under his charge is entirely groundless, inasmuch as the coal in question belongs to the Navy Department, and is stored in a part of the warehouse not in use for army purposes and in which no sentinel is stationed. {p.802}

The only person with whom Mr. Mills came in collision was a watch man at the warehouse, appointed by the agent of the owners of the press.

The conduct of Lieutenant Mills in the taking of an armed force to procure the coal and making use of property belonging to the press without first obtaining the consent of the agent was highly reprehensible and altogether unnecessary.

I shall make an official report of the facts to the commandant of this naval station, located at New Orleans, under whose orders I am placed in charge of naval affairs here.

With regard to your threat to “arrest the whole of us” (meaning, I suppose, the entire naval force here), I take this occasion to inform you that, although you may be clothed with the military power to execute it, you certainly have not the authority; and that, while I shall always be happy to comply with any request you may make to me, I shall by no means hold myself amenable to your orders, as I am attached to a branch of the public service over which you have no command.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. D. JOHNSTON, Lieutenant, C. S. Navy, in Charge of Naval Station.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 9, 1862.

Maj. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Pensacola, Fla.:

SIR: Your several favors of the 3d* and 4th instants are before me. I regret very much to hear of the deficiencies in your means of defense at Mobile, and will do everything I can to aid you. I have ordered the Chief of Ordnance to forward you every musket he can gather together as fast as possible; but we are so sadly deficient, that I fear it will be two or three weeks before you receive a quantity sufficient to arm one or two regiments.

I bought all the powder that arrived per the Vanderbilt, and hope soon to have it in New Orleans, when you shall have enough of it to relieve your most pressing wants. I am in daily hopes of a large additional supply from another source. In the mean time, if the attack is made on you first, I shall telegraph General Lovell to send you a part of his stock, to be replaced when that by the Vanderbilt reaches the city.

We are sadly pressed for competent officers, and I am equally surprised and indignant to learn of the conduct of General Anderson, and heartily concur in your decision not to overlook it.

On consultation with the President, and after a survey of all our resources, we have detached General Samuel Jones from the Army of the Potomac, and shall order him at once to report to you for service at Pensacola. I think you will feel safe when compelled to absent yourself from Pensacola.

To aid you in Mobile we have nominated Colonel Jackson brigadier-general, as recommended by you; and, although he is ranked of course by General Walker, you will find means to give him such command as will enable him to relieve you of much anxiety in getting your troops in proper order.

{p.803}

The landing of the enemy in force in your neighborhood of course puts an end to all idea of assigning you to other duty, as equally unjust to the country and yourself; and in this connection I will remark that a petition is here from Mobile asking that your headquarters be changed to that city. As I consider you entirely at liberty to place your headquarters where you deem best in your own department, I make no answer to this petition.

I have ordered Lieutenant Slaughter to be appointed to temporary rank as colonel, to be assigned to duty by you.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* See p. 497.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 12, 1862.

Maj. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Pensacola, Fla.:

MY DEAR SIR: I have received yours of the 6th instant, and anticipated the answer a day or two ago. I merely write now to say that the President requests me to assure you of his appreciation of your readiness to serve your country wherever you could render yourself most useful and that neither he nor myself would have thought of making to you the proposal contained in my letter if we had anticipated that the enemy would land in any force within your department.

The people there would have every reason to complain of your withdrawal under such circumstances, and the dissatisfaction would be such as to produce a very bad state of feeling as regards their defense.

We have concluded to send Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn to the district west of the Mississippi.

Yours, very truly,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Montgomery, Ala., January 13, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have recently visited the forts and encampments of our troops at and near Mobile, and deem it my duty to the people of Alabama to report to your Department the great need of munitions for the defense of our coast, both guns for the fortifications and small-arms for the land forces. I hope to be able to specify at an early day the description and number of guns needed for the forts; the land forces there are now wanting several thousand muskets or rifles.

I beg to hand you inclosed a letter from Hon. P. Hamilton, chairman of the Executive Committee of Safety for the city of Mobile, in reference to certain arms in Havana, and to call your attention to the suggestions contained in it, and respectfully to ask your compliance with the same. In our opinion I am sorry to say that, in view of the increasing armaments and numbers of the enemy in the Gulf and his threatening attitude towards our coast, we are perhaps as unprepared, for want of guns and arms, for his reception as any point in the Confederacy.

I hope I may be pardoned for reminding the Department of the many {p.804} thousand arms which Alabama promptly and cheerfully contributed and sent into distant States in the hands of her own volunteers for the common defense, and for further advising that, under the recent requisition of General A. S. Johnston, we have forwarded over two regiments of armed troops to Tennessee and Kentucky. We make no boast of these achievements; on the contrary, we profoundly regret that we had it not in our power to do far more than has been accomplished. While, however, the enemy is now seriously threatening our own soil, which has thus far been spared the pollution of his foot-print, and in view of our own destitution by reason of a surrender of arms for the defense of other prior exposed localities, I am sure you will most favorably consider the sincere and urgent appeal I here make. I have the means with which to procure additional arms and am making contracts for their manufacture within the State, but the emergency is now so pressing that we are unwilling to await the delays of delivery months hence, and have no other alternative but to appeal to your Department to afford us prompt and timely relief.

Awaiting, I trust, your early and favorable response, I am, with high regard, your obedient servant,

JNO. GILL SHORTER.

[Inclosure.]

MOBILE, January 9, 1862.

To His Excellency J. G. SHORTER, Governor of Alabama:

SIR: I learn from Mr. Murrell, who derived his information from the master of a schooner recently from Havana, that there are 2,500 stand of arms at that place awaiting shipment to the Confederate States, They are the property of the Government, and might have reached this place before now by some of the schooners recently in this port from Havana. In the present condition of things here may it not be in your power to procure an order for said arms being shipped to Mobile for the use of troops here?

I respectfully suggest that a representation of the matter from you to the Secretary of War might secure these arms for this point.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. HAMILTON, Chairman Executive Committee of Safety.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., January 13, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to state, in reply to your telegram, that the amount of powder in this department, in round numbers of pounds, is as follows:

Pounds.
At Forts Jackson and Saint Philip55,000
At Fort Pike11,500
At Fort Macomb6,900
At Fort Proctorsville750
At Bienvenue2,200
At Tower Dupré500
At Fort Livingston4,500
At Grand Caillou1,350 {p.805}
At Fort Berwick1,100
At Fort Chène1,100
At Fort Guyon or Bayou La Fourche1,000
At Calcasieu Pass850
In magazine in and around New Orleans30,000
Total116,750

The quarterly returns are coming in slowly, and when received will enable me to report exactly the quantity of powder on hand; but I have caused the above estimate to be made out carefully, and am convinced that it will not vary materially from the aggregate of the official returns.

Considering New Orleans to be in a condition to resist an attack, I am turning my attention particularly to the coast of Mississippi. I had received no notice of the assignment of General Trimble to my command. If the Third Mississippi Regiment, which was raised mainly on that coast, be returned to me from Columbus, I can easily provide him with a force sufficient to prevent communication with the enemy and repel predatory parties.

The water communication between here and the eastern portion of this department being somewhat precarious. I have organized trains for supplying the troops to be located in that section by land.

I have ordered an accurate reconnaissance and topographical map to be made of the country between the Jackson Railroad and Mississippi City, which will enable me to select the most defensible positions for General Trimble’s command to hold the enemy in check should he attempt to push up to the Jackson Railroad. Meanwhile I have in hand a well-organized movable column (General Ruggles’ brigade), of about 5,000 men, including artillery, which I can throw over Lake Pontchartrain at a few hours’ notice, to operate against his column should he be foolish enough to attempt such a flank movement.

If, however, he should attempt to land at Pascagoula and strike for Mobile, I could move Trimble’s brigade, re-enforced by Ruggles’, against his base of operations at Pascagoula, and thus, perhaps, compel an abandonment of the attack. These movements will, of course, depend upon my ability to transport troops and supplies through that section of country by land.

I shall probably have on that coast two batteries, of four guns each, and two mounted companies-all from this city; and if the naval department will give me half a dozen launches to place in Biloxi Bay, Bay Saint Louis, and Pearl River, I think we can obtain all necessary results on that coast. We cannot, of course, prevent an army from landing under cover of their gunboats.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., January 13, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

A party will contract to deliver here 75 tons of powder, if we advance the money, under bonds satisfactory to me, at 84 cents per pound, specie, or $1.14 in Confederate notes. If approved, notify and enable me to raise the money.

M. LOVELL.

{p.806}

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Near Pensacola, Fla., January 14, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have to acknowledge yours of the 5th instant, covering a copy of your circular regulations based on the law for encouraging re-enlistments.

The subject shall have my earliest attention, none the less cordial because I doubt the policy of parts of the law. And I will add, that though my opinions will be freely expressed at all times, as due to us both, it is only necessary for me to know the policy of the Government to secure my efforts in carrying it out. In no other way can military operations be successfully conducted.

From what I can see and learn there seems to be a prospect of reaction taking place, and our success may yet be greater than anticipated when I last wrote. The governor of Alabama is giving me cordial assistance, and the people at home, as a general rule, are prompting their neighbors and friends to remain in the service. Many who had gone on furlough are back before their times are up, bringing their comrades; the strongest assurances that they cannot stay at home.

We confidently rely, then, on securing eventually a very large proportion of all we have had. The great question now is to keep up their organization, for one of our well organized and instructed regiments, under good officers, is worth any two which could be made up of a heterogeneous mass fresh from the country, and they require but half the number of arms.

The circumstances in which we are placed in regard to arms impose upon us a sacred duty of preserving to the greatest extent those we have. New troops are particularly destructive, and the closest attention from officers of all grades is necessary to preserve what we possess. The officer or man who by neglect or inattention destroys an efficient weapon now does the cause more harm than if he abandoned it in battle. With what we have I cannot but regard our cause as safe, though a larger supply would render its vindication less tedious.

In nominating the lieutenant-colonel of the Twenty-seventh Mississippi, I was influenced solely by the reputation that officer has established here in his nine months’ service. He was assigned temporarily to these companies on their arrival here, and has done much already towards putting them in shape. He is an excellent disciplinarian, a very good drill officer, and has no superior, if an equal, of his grade, in this army. Of his antecedents I know nothing, and it may be the President there finds cause to object. I intended assigning this regiment, thus admirably officered, to Fort McRee and adjacent batteries, to replace Colonel Villepigue’s regiment, which will not be reorganized as such, the companies being from three different States.

I strongly desire to retain the colonel, with his present rank, as chief of artillery and engineers on my staff, in place of Captain Boggs, resigned.

You are mistaken in regard to Colonel Bullock’s regiment. It was organized, and the field officers appointed by the President, or the vacancy would at once have been filled, as in other cases, under the State law. The lieutenant-colonel (Shorter) is a gentleman and man of character, and will faithfully apply himself to learn and discharge his duties.

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

BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

{p.807}

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Near Pensacola, Fla., January 14, 1862.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: By information from Ship Island to the 11th instant we learn the enemy are quiet and making no attempt yet at a location on the main-land. But few vessels remained there, and the number of troops was not as large as had been supposed. Their gunboats are hovering about Pascagoula, Bayou Labatre, and Grant’s Pass, probably to cut off our water communication with the troops at the former place.

Should they make a lodgment anywhere between Pascagoula and the Rigolets, it can only be for the mere name of the thing, as no movement could be made thence against any assailable point.

Should he land at Pascagoula or east of it, whatever numbers, I shall fight him at the earliest possible moment, and with confidence in the result.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., January 15, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your two letters of the 5th and 6th instant.

I sent you on December 5, by Col. J. Davis, aide to the President, a map, with a descriptive letter, giving a summary of the defenses of the department as arranged at that date. I hope it reached you safely, as it has important information.

In my letter of the 13th instant the powder in this department was placed, in round numbers, at 115,000 pounds. A considerable quantity of this is not cannon powder, and, by reference to the letter of the 5th ultimo, you will see that there are more than 300 heavy guns in this department, scattered from Calcasieu to Pearl River. I mention this in reference to the distribution of the powder by the Vanderbilt.

There is not a single 10-inch gun in this department. I can have some cast here in a few days, provided machinery can be had to bore them. The Belleville Foundery has two lathes large enough to bore 12 inches, but the foundery is shut up, and the parties will neither sell, hire, nor lend the lathes, hoping to compel the Government to purchase the works. In case I fail to negotiate for them, shall I take them, appraise, and pay for them?

Through Mr. Dunn and other sources I have collected (by purchase mainly) about 900 small-arms, half of which are double-barreled shotguns. After perfecting as far as possible the arming of the war men, I should propose to exchange the shotguns for some miserable muskets and carbines in the hands of twelve-months’ troops. It would look badly to go into action with poor guns, while better ones were in our possession, merely because the men were not enlisted for the war. Besides, the war men generally are an inferior class of shots, while the twelve-months’ men are nearly all well skilled in the use of arms, and should be intrusted with the best weapons. The rifles that I have collected {p.808} have been cut off to equal lengths and bored out to the caliber of the old United States rifle (54th of an inch). [.54.]

It was reported yesterday that Lieutenant Foster, of the United States Navy, had been in the city as a spy some days since. Should I arrest a Federal officer under such circumstances is he to be punished with death? I ask, having in view Tyler’s case, of our Army, who was arrested in Cincinnati last summer, but has never been tried as a spy.

When our large powder-mill blew up we got to work upon the machinery of the mill that I ordered to be removed from Handsborough, and yesterday a charge was put in. This mill turned out on its old site about 1,200 or 1,500 pounds per day. The city mill has had a 20-horsepower engine placed in it, which will increase its capacity considerably. I sent Mr. Thomas B. Lee, of this city, agent to Texas, to bring over the Vanderbilt powder as soon as I got your dispatch.

Feeling satisfied some time since that letters were being sent to the United States conveying intelligence by the private expresses carrying mails via Havana and Mexico, I ordered all such letters to be examined, and appointed Messrs. Greenwood and Benochi, two gentlemen of high standing here, as an examining committee.

In addition to the defenses stated in my letter of the 5th ultimo, we are now erecting eight small batteries at Manchac and on the lake shore where the Jackson Railroad skirts the water, so as to prevent interruptions of that line of communication by the enemy. These batteries are for two guns each-sixteen in all.

Major Rains took on a proposition from me about the steamer Tennessee. He telegraphed that you approved the plan; but I have had no official authority to guarantee half the value of the ship or to raise funds for the purchase of our half of the return cargo.

I am engaged in organizing the independent companies into two regiments, and will send on the names of the officers in a few days. It is difficult to find good officers who will take the positions for the short time (six months) that these troops will have to serve.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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RICHMOND, January 15, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans:

I have ordered back the Third Mississippi Regiment, but cannot take the Louisiana regiment away from Columbus at this moment.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., January 15, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

Will take the powder if delivered at an early day. Will let you know to-morrow whether we will send you specie or notes.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

{p.809}

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RICHMOND, VA., January 16, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

One hundred and ninety-five thousand dollars will be placed to your credit to-morrow in Treasury notes for completing the contract for the 75 tons of powder. Make the contract for delivery as soon as possible, and let it be all cannon powder.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., January 16, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: In compliance with your telegram, I took possession yesterday the following steamers, viz: Mexico, Texas, Orizaba, Charles Morgan, Florida, Arizona, William Heines, Atlantic, Austin, Magnolia, Matagorda, William H. Webb, Anglo Saxon, and Anglo Norman-fourteen in all. Captain Huger, of the Navy, who accompanied the party that took possession of the ships, thinks the Atlantic will hardly answer as a war vessel, and I telegraphed yesterday to know whether I should substitute the Galveston for her. After the ships were seized I asked Commodore Hollins to take charge of them until further orders.

In this connection permit me to call attention to Captain Higgins, who lately resigned with a view of fitting out some of these vessels for war purposes under State authority. This seizure puts an end to his business. He is an officer of the old Navy, of experience, skill, and high reputation as a bold and efficient officer. His services would be of great value in assisting to fit out a fleet here and in fighting it afterwards.

I see various reports about the occupation of Biloxi by the enemy. This is a mistake. Some 60 men landed there last week, remained for a few hours, doing no damage, and returned to the fleet. They have no footing on the main shore as yet.

We have here about 500 prisoners of war, who are a serious nuisance. Is there a prospect of exchanging them?

Respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Near Pensacola, January 17, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I inclose you a copy of a letter from an agent in Mobile, who is keeping up pretty constant communication with Ship Island.

No doubt the enemy gain information from our employés, but as they get the same anyhow in spite of us, we lose nothing by employing even doubtful agents.

The first report of the enemy’s strength was no doubt exaggerated, and it may be a portion of their force is on some marauding expedition.

Should Burnside’s force join them a demonstration may be made {p.810} against us, but none which I can now look upon as formidable, unless they are willing to run greater risks than heretofore, by passing our forts and batteries. Such an attempt is hardly probable, and any move upon Mobile or this point by land is scarcely within the bounds of Yankee enterprise.

Affairs about Mobile are improving, and the information you give me in yours of the 9th, received yesterday, is cheering. With the cheerful and cordial aid of Governor Shorter we shall probably get out at least 1,000 armed militiamen who have held back, but will come out rather than give up their army.

On the arrival of General Jones I propose turning over to him the immediate command here, so as to give my entire time to the affairs of the department. But I shall be much here, not intending to change my headquarters, but to be more free to move and to be more at Mobile.

General Walker’s superior rank to General Jackson will embarrass the use of the latter somewhat, but I will try to arrange them so as to make both as serviceable as possible. Jackson is a man of great nerve and energy, and with a good staff, which I hope to give him, will soon make his mark on any raw command.

I am happy to report a decided improvement in our prospects of re-enlisting the twelve-months’ men. So far as I have been able to visit and address the regiments orally, they are doing finely. It will be continued until I see them all. One thousand will be allowed to be absent at a time, and their arms are being reserved for them-to be used, of course, in case of emergency by the unarmed men here. This seems to be a sine qua non, and has more effect than all else in securing them. So great is the disposition for change that but few would remain if they felt confidence in getting arms elsewhere.

The question of transferring the regiment, Louisiana infantry, Colonel Adams, for the balance of their three years, from the State to the Confederate service, is exciting much interest with the officers. I trust it may soon be settled. The twelve-months’ men, about half the regiment, are freely re-enlisting.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

MOBILE, January 14, 1862.

MY DEAR GENERAL: I wrote you on the 11th instant, since when the first two men we sent off for information have returned and confirmed the report made by telegraph from Ocean Springs, particulars of which I gave you in my last, and they further state that on their way from Ocean Springs they landed last Saturday on Ship Island, some 6 miles to the eastward of the Ship Island anchorage, and on Sunday were within 4 miles of the west end of Ship Island; that but four vessels were there; these were war steamers; that from information they obtained from the sailors of the launch of the French war steamer Milan, with 18 men and 4 officers, which landed at Pass Christian, but about 5,000 troops were then on the island, as far as they could judge from the masthead of their vessel, and that the sailors understood that much sickness prevailed among the Yankee troops. Our men speaking French fluently, the Frenchmen communicated freely with them. They are much exasperated against the Yankees for firing into their ship, the ball passing through both wheel-houses, causing much damage, which they are repairing at Ship Island anchorage.

{p.811}

The object of the French launch making a landing at Pass Christian was to communicate with the French consul at New Orleans.

The officers inform our men that some twenty-two war vessels, English and French, were in the Gulf and on our coast.

The Yankee transports (large sailing ships) being towed out while the wind was blowing from the westward would seem to indicate an eastward destination.

While on this cruise our men purchased 12,000 pounds of lead back of Biloxi, at 8 cents per pound, which they will have here in a few days. They return to-day for this lead and to make further reconnaissance about the enemy’s headquarters on Ship Island.

The man Frederic, of Pascagoula, failed in his first trip to Ship Island (could not get there) to obtain information; but he returned this morning to the island with two old ladies of Pascagoula, who go over for their runaway slaves. He expected to be allowed to land at the fort, and will be back in a day or two with information which I will report to you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

[No signature.]

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., January 19, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

SIR: A few days ago I sent you a telegram requesting the seizure for account of the Government of fourteen steamships, and received your reply informing me that the request had been complied with.

These instructions were sent you in consequence of the passage by Congress of two laws, Nos. 344 and 350, herewith forwarded, providing $1,000,000 for application to floating defenses for the Western rivers, to be expended at the discretion of the President by the Secretary of War or Secretary of the Navy, as he shall direct, and authorizing a corps of not more than 6,000 men to be raised for temporary and special service on the Western waters.

The terms of the acts will at once suggest to you that the force intended is a peculiar one. It is not to be part of the Navy, for it is intended for service on the rivers, and will be composed of the steamboat men of the Western waters.

It will be subject to the general command of the military chief of the department where it may be ordered to operate, but the boats will be commanded by steamboat captains and manned by steamboat crews, who will be armed with such weapons as the captains may choose, and the boats will be fitted out as the respective captains may desire. The intention and design are to strengthen the vessels with iron casing at the bows, and to use them at high speed to run down or run over and sink, if possible, the gunboats and mortar rafts prepared by the enemy for attack at our river defenses. These gunboats and mortar rafts have been so far protected by iron plates and by their peculiar construction as to offer, in the judgment of the President and of Congress, but small chance of our being able to arrest their descent of the river by shot or shell, while at the same time their weight, their unwieldy construction, and their slow movement, together with the fact that they show very little surface above the water line, render them peculiarly liable to the mode of attack devised by the enterprising captains who have undertaken {p.812} to effect their destruction by running them down, if provided with swift and heavy steamers, so strengthened and protected at the bows as to allow them to rush on the descending boats without being sunk by the first fire.

Captains Montgomery and Townsend have been selected by the President as two of those who are to command these boats. Twelve other captains will be found by them and recommended to the President for appointment. Each captain will ship his own crew, fit up his own boat, and get ready within the shortest possible delay. It is not proposed to rely on cannon, which these men are not skilled in using, nor on firearms. The men will be armed with cutlasses. On each boat, however, there will be one heavy gun, to be used in case the stern of any of the gunboats should be exposed to fire, for they are entirely unprotected behind, and if attempting to escape by flight would be very vulnerable by shot from a pursuing vessel.

I give you these details as furnishing a mere outline of the general plan to be worked out by the brave and energetic men who have undertaken it. Prompt and vigorous preparation is indispensable. The Department relies confidently on your co-operation in rendering effective this plan, which may, perhaps, not only be of vast importance for the peculiar service now hoped for on the Upper Mississippi, but may prove very formidable aids to your future operations in the lower part of the valley.

I shall at once place to your credit $300,000, to be expended for the purpose of preparing and outfitting these vessels as rapidly as possible, and shall renew the remittances as far as required while the appropriation will permit. It is expected that you will allow a very wide latitude to the captains in the preparation of these vessels, merely exercising such general supervision as to prevent the throwing away of money in purely chimerical experiments and checking any profligate expenditure.

Your chief quartermaster can keep the accounts, so as to relieve you of the responsibility of a disbursing officer, and you can discharge yourself any money liability by simply taking his receipt as your voucher for turning over this money.

To a commander of your intelligence and capacity it is deemed sufficient thus generally to sketch the outline of a scheme of defense, without attempting to lay down any minute rules or details for carrying out what is necessarily a novel experiment, yet one from which much is hoped by the Government.

This letter will be delivered to you by Captain Townsend in person, he being one of the two already elected by the President for the command of boats.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

[Inclosures.]

CHAP. XXXIV.-AN ACT making appropriations for certain floating defenses.

Be it enacted by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the sum of one million of dollars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated for floating defenses for the Western rivers, to be expended, at the discretion of the President, by the Secretary of War or Secretary of the Navy, as he shall direct.

Approved January 9, 1862.

{p.813}

CHAP. XLIII.-AN ACT supplementary to an act entitled “An act to authorize the appointment of additional officers of the Navy,” approved December twenty-fourth, eighteen hundred and sixty-one.

The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the President is authorized to appoint officers of the Regular Navy to any higher grade under the act above mentioned, without prejudice to their position under their original appointment.

Approved January 16, 1862.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., January 20, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your “unofficial” of the 12th instant, and this evening, by Captain Montgomery, your note of the 13th. I fear I have gone almost too far with the Tennessee matter to withdraw.

On December 17 Major Rains wrote me that the plan proposed was acceptable to the President and yourself, and I authorized the parties to go to work at once, notifying you by telegraph and also by letter. The Tennessee was bought for $100,000, of which we are to guarantee one-half in case of capture. Saltpeter in Europe is 10 cents per pound, here 40 cents, and in case she brought us only 100 tons, we should save not less than $60,000; but by the terms of the proposed agreement we are to have half of her storage on the return voyage, which, in case of success, will net us a large amount. If it is impossible to obtain the necessary credit abroad, I may be able to make arrangements with parties here to make the purchases, we to pay them at such rate as, in case of success, to reimburse the $50,000 which we risk by way of guarantee. I inclose you a copy of a letter received from Major Rains tonight, which confirms me in my favorable view of the proposed plan. Please telegraph me on receipt of this, and say whether I shall make the best terms I can, taking it for granted that it will be impossible to obtain the necessary credits abroad. The party who offered to bring in 75 tons of powder, if we advance the money, under bonds, offers E. Gautherin & Co., of New Orleans, as bondsmen. I objected to the security, but he says their status is well known to you and to the President, and wished me to advise with you.

Mr. Lee, whom I sent to Texas for the Vanderbilt powder, reports that General Hébert had taken half of it without examination. Acting under orders from me, he examined 135 boxes of the remainder, rejecting 30 boxes as being some wet, some damp, and others lumpy. When he gets through with half, he will go to General Hébert to carry out your instructions with reference to the balance of the cargo. The part that passed inspection was shipped to me on the 13th instant from Beaumont, Tex., via New Iberia.

I was in Mississippi Sound yesterday; made a close reconnaissance of the enemy’s fleet, and found twenty-four vessels at the island. Two of their steamers got under way and drove us back to Pass Christian. Biloxi is not and never has been occupied by the enemy. They came ashore with 60 men, staid for a few hours, and left. The reports about outrages and communications with the enemy are grossly exaggerated. With the Third Mississippi Regiment and a few launches I can do all that we propose; i.e., prevent marauding parties from landing, negroes from escaping, or any communication with the enemy.

{p.814}

Governor Pettus, under authority from Richmond, is mustering in and sending here some companies rather poorly armed and equipped. I shall have to complete them from the Government stores in such manner as to make them effective. I have sent one of my staff to Jackson, to endeavor to make such arrangements with the governor as will conduce to some more systematic concert of action. Some of the State organizations allow more officers to a company than the Confederate law permits, and where the companies are first mustered into the State service and then transferred we are compelled to drop one or more of the officers. I had much rather send an officer from here to muster in the companies, as it saves trouble in the end.

If I do not need the $195,000 placed to my credit I will advise you at once.

I have to thank you for your prompt and considerate attention and assistance in my duties here. It gives me unbounded satisfaction.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, C. S. Army.

[Inclosure.]

NASHVILLE, TENN., January 17, 1862.

MY DEAR L.: I feel very anxious about a certain matter. The amounts received now are less than what they were two months since. It is absolutely necessary that we should receive supplies from other sources, and I trust the arrangements to that effect will be speedily put into operation. I am in a better position to know the situation of the Confederacy in the matter in question than any other person, and you will understand me when I urge the absolute necessity of increasing our store. It is in vain for one portion of the country to be placed in a secure state of defense and broad openings left at the other places. The safety of each part depends at last on the security of the whole. You may feel entirely safe from successful attack, but other vital points have not your resources, and their necessities must be looked after without delay. The Secretary gave me full powers to make and authorize any contract I might deem necessary in my department, but I have seen no prospect so promising wherever I have been as the one we spoke of. I trust you will bring your energy to assist in the matter. It is more vital to the country than anything else at this period.

[Indorsement.]

The “certain matter” referred to in the beginning of the above extract was the proposed plan for obtaining saltpeter, which I submitted to you, through Major Rains, in December.

M. L.

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NEW ORLEANS ARSENAL, LA., January 24, 1862.

Lieut. Col. J. GORGAS, Chief of Ordnance C. S. Army, Richmond:

COLONEL: I am instructed by Maj. Gen. M. Lovell to request that you please order from Nashville, Tenn., 10,000,000, or such a number as you can spare, of percussion musket caps, which are absolutely needed here, there being none on hand to complete the cartridges already made.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

RICHARD LAMBERT, Military Storekeeper, Commanding.

{p.815}

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 27, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

SIR: The overwhelming pressure of business in this Department causes some unavoidable delay in correspondence. I now acknowledge the receipt of your letters of 13th, 15th, 16th, and 17th instant.

1st. Your letter of the 13th instant disclosed to me the fact that, by some unaccountable hallucination, I used the name of General Trimble instead of that of General Ruggles in my letter of the 6th instant. My intention was to say that the President desired you to place General Ruggles in command of the Mississippi coast, and I congratulate myself that this strange error of mine has not produced any disastrous result. I have read in the same letter with great interest your plans for the defense of your department, and am rejoiced to find that your vigilance leaves no exposed point without protection. Your powder returns show less supply than I had hoped, but still sufficient, I think, to relieve us of apprehension till some of the supplies daily expected shall reach us from some quarter.

2d. You are authorized to use your own discretion in relation to the planing machine and lathe in the Belleville Iron Works. If the owners are unwilling to part with them by sale or hire, they must be impressed, if necessary for the public service, and on impressment you should give the owners the choice whether the impressment shall be by hire or purchase. If the owners wish, however, to use these machines themselves, I do not think the impressment would be justifiable.

3d. The map and letter by Colonel Davis were duly received, and I thought I had acknowledged their receipt some time since.

4th. In relation to the distribution of arms between war men and twelve-months’ men, although as a general rule we desire the best arms given to the former, we do not intend to preclude you from the exercise of a sound discretion in any exceptional cases, such as you suggest.

5th. If you arrest a Federal officer as a spy he is to be put to death without the slightest hesitation, in accordance with the Articles of War. Tyler’s case, to which you refer, was not that of a spy; he did not go to a city threatened with attack, nor for any hostile purpose; he went simply to see and bring away his wife, and it would have been a barbarous outrage to have considered or treated him as a spy.

6th. I have instructed General Joseph E. Johnston to open negotiations with McClellan, by flag of truce, for a general exchange of prisoners. As soon as I know the result I will try to relieve you of your prisoners.

7th-I have organized the two regiments, and made the nominations as proposed in your letter of the 17th instant.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 23.}

HDQRS. DEPT. ALA. AND WEST FLA., Near Pensacola, Fla., January 27, 1862.

I. The command of Brig. Gen. J. M. Withers will in future be known as the Army of Mobile, to include all troops in and about that city and south of it. Brigadier-General Withers is specially charged with the defense of the coast from Perdido to Pascagoula Rivers.

II. Brig. Gen. L. P. Walker, P. A., is relieved from his present duties {p.816} near Mobile, and is assigned to the command of all troops at and near Montgomery, where he will select a proper location and establish a depot for the instruction of new troops. In the selection of a site, the general will consult convenience for transportation, health, and economy.

III. Brig. Gen. A. H. Gladden, P. A., is relieved from duty with the Army of Pensacola, and will proceed to Mobile, Ala., and report to Brig. Gen. J. M. Withers, commanding Army of Mobile, for duty.

IV. Col. J. B. Villepigue, Thirty-sixth Regiment Georgia Volunteers, is announced as chief of artillery and engineers on the staff of the commanding general, in place of Capt. Wm. R. Boggs, C. S. Engineers, resigned.

By command of Major-General Bragg:

GEO. G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 5.}

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., January 27, 1862.

...

III. Brig. Gen. J. K. Jackson is assigned to the command of the First Brigade, and will immediately relieve Brigadier-General Gladden.

IV. Brig. Gen. Samuel Jones, Provisional Army, having reported for duty, is assigned to the command of the Army of Pensacola. The regret of the major-general at yielding the immediate command of this army, which he has exercised with so much pleasure and pride, is lessened by a knowledge that he devolves it on a tried veteran, every way worthy of confidence.

By command of Major-General Bragg:

GEO. G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., January 28, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 19th instant, by Captain Townsend, relative to the plan for floating defenses on the Western waters.

The fourteen vessels named in your telegram were seized and appraised by a board consisting of Messrs. Bogart, Stephenson, Frost, Grinnel, Milliken, and the naval constructor, Porter. Several of the vessels were costly and could be replaced by others equally well adapted to the contemplated service at much less expense. I have therefore caused those changes to be made, reducing the value of the seizures from $900,000 to $620,000, and the ships we have are as good, or better, for what we want, than those named. The parties owning these ships are anxious to be paid at once, as in some instances agreements had been made for their sale. Are these appraised values to be paid out of the appropriation of $1,000,000 made by act of January 9, 1862, or is that money to be expended for altering, fitting up, payment, and subsistence of officers and men? If the latter, how shall I pay the owners, who are clamorous for their money? If the former, $1,000,000 is not enough. The fourteen vessels named in your telegram would alone have cost nearly that sum.

I think it advisable that the captains should recommend to the President some competent person to have general control of the fleet in fitting {p.817} it out, and making general rules and orders for its control and management. Fourteen Mississippi River captains and pilots will never agree about anything after they once get under way. Moreover, as each ship will carry one gun, there will be some necessary arrangements for munitions of war, signals, &c.

They have already got to work upon some of the ships. I will send you a list of their names, with valuations, as soon as I receive the official report of the appraisers.

I sent Mr. Lee to Texas for the Vanderbilt powder. General Hébert, acting, as he says, under necessity, had taken half the powder, and, taking into consideration all the circumstances, of their distance, their want of local means, and other facilities, I think it is about as well that he has done so. The other half is en route for this point, and will arrive in a week or ten days. Some forty boxes are wet, but these can be worked over at our mills.

The securities proposed by Mr. Angoman (Charles Koch & Co.) have withdrawn their names, as they consider it impossible for him to bring in the 75 tons of powder.

The steamer Calhoun, on her way here from Havana, with 50,000 pounds of powder, 400 bags of coffee, &c., was abandoned last week near the mouth of the river most unnecessarily and timidly, and fell into the hands of the enemy. She will prove a great pest on the coast, as she is very fast and of light draught. Her crew tried to set her on fire, but in their fright and haste they failed to do so effectively It was an unfortunate piece of business.

I sent General Johnston, after the defeat of Crittenden, 200,000 cartridges, 400 double-barreled shotguns, and 16 tons of lead, as he telegraphed me that he was out of that article. I will also send up to him the five Mississippi companies that Governor Pettus sent me for coast defense when it was understood that General Polk had declined to send back the Third Mississippi Regiment as soon as I can have them put through the measles; a process which they are now undergoing, one-half of them now being sick.

In your letter of the 6th instant you indicated particularly the duties which it was proposed to assign to General Trimble, but he has never made his appearance here as yet. The nature of the proposed duty requires a young and active man, but I will gladly receive any assistance that you can spare. General Cooper telegraphs in reply to my question, that no order has been issued transferring General Trimble to this department. There must be some mistake about it.

I beg that you will advise me at your early convenience as to the time and means of paying for the steamers seized here, as the parties annoy me considerably.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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RICHMOND, VA., January 28, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

Your letter of the 20th received. Make the best arrangements you can for the Tennessee. It is impossible to put credits abroad, but we can make any proper advances on this side.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

{p.818}

NEW ORLEANS, LA., January 30, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Can the Navy Department give us any cutlasses and pistols for river flotilla; if so, how many?

M. LOVELL.

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RICHMOND, VA., January 30, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

Remittance of $195,000 is now on the way to you to pay for powder. I write to-day.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., January 30, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

SIR: I have your letters of the 20th and 22d instant.* I sent you a dispatch in relation to the Tennessee and now repeat the authority to make the best bargain you can with the owners for sharing in the adventure, so that we may have half of the return tonnage for saltpeter. Let me, however, caution you on one point. If they have all the profits of an outward cargo of cotton, we ought not to be expected to bear any of the risk of going out; if we take half of the risk, we must have half of the profits. If we are to share only in the return cargo, we must only share the return risk.

Your proposal of Charles Koch & Co. for sureties for the contract for powder is quite satisfactory. Before getting your letter I had drawn in your favor for $195,000 to cover cost of 75 tons of powder, and the money must now be in your hands. As, however, your advance is only $125,000, you will have a surplus of $70,000, most of which you will require for settlement for powder per Vanderbilt.

I got a letter from Mr. Sumner, proposing to receive in part payment of the powder per Vanderbilt $120,000 in 8 per cent. bonds. This suits us much, better than issuing Treasury notes. I accordingly drew a warrant on the Treasury in your favor for $127,500, of which $120,000 in 8 per cent, bonds and $7,500 in Treasury notes. In settling with the owners of the Vanderbilt powder, therefore, you will give them the bonds, and the balance only in Treasury notes.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* That of 22d not feud.

{p.819}

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Abstract from return of Department No. 1, commanded by Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lowell, for January, 1862.

Troops.Present for duty.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.Artillery.
Officers.Men.Heavy.Light.
Forts Jackson and Saint Philip266828388921125
Fort Pike, La.819324527732
Fort Livingston, La.9248275294124
Fort at Little Temple, La.3808396
Camp Benjamin, New Orleans2043,2314,0604,5206
Arsenal, New Orleans2707981
Battalion Mississippi Volunteers, New Orleans11124260291
Baton Rouge Barracks1455
Fort Guion8931101402
District of Lake Borgne17398484513
District of Berwick428079431,040
Fort Quitman5137150157
Bay Saint Louis, Miss345947501,003
Handsborough, Miss24386532890
Calcasieu Pass, La.2688391
Total3967,1158,89710,29615815

Abstract from field return of the Department of Alabama and West Florida, commanded by Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, February 1, 1862.

Troops.Present for duty.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.
Officers.Men.
Army of Pensacola, Brig. Gen. Sam. Jones, commanding3775,2546,7908,150
Army of Mobile, Brig. Gen. J. M. Withers, commanding4406,7779,27810,058
Grand total81712,03116,06818,206

-Organization of troops in the Department of Alabama and West Florida, commanded by Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, February 1, 1862.-

  • Army of Pensacola.
    Brig. Gen. SAM. JONES, commanding.
    • 1st Alabama.
    • 17th Alabama.
    • 1st Florida,
    • 5th Georgia.
    • 36th Georgia.
    • 1st Louisiana.
    • 5th Mississippi.
    • 8th Mississippi.
    • 9th Mississippi.
    • 10th Mississippi.
    • 27th Mississippi.
    • Independent Alabama mounted companies (2).
    • Independent Florida mounted company.
    • Company Alabama State artillery.
    • Robertson’s company Light artillery.
    • Detachment C. S. Marines.
  • Army of Mobile.
    Brig. Gen. J. M. WITHERS, commanding.
    • 2d Alabama.
    • 18th Alabama.
    • 19th Alabama.
    • 20th Alabama.
    • 21st Alabama.
    • 22d Alabama.
    • 23d Alabama.
    • 24th Alabama.
    • 25th Alabama.
    • 2d Alabama (Battalion).
    • Alabama infantry (1 company).
    • Battalion Mississippi volunteers.
    • Mississippi infantry (1 company).
    • Alabama Mounted volunteers (6 companies).
    • First Battalion Alabama Artillery.
    • Second Battalion Alabama Light Artillery.
{p.820}

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., February 1, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I received a telegram from you yesterday stating that $195,000 was now on the way here for me to pay for powder. The fact that this is the exact amount placed to my credit already, in answer to my request for money to carry out the arrangement with the steamer Tennessee for arms and powder, induces me to write and say that I have already entered into the arrangement with the Tennessee, and that this sum is not available to pay for the powder by the Vanderbilt. It may be that the coincidence is accidental; but I think it safest to advise you. I will send on a copy of my agreement with the owners of the Tennessee in a few days, by which you will see that we got $200,000 in Havre by depositing $100,000 here and insuring half of the ship ($50,000) in case of capture. On the return cargo we take the risk of first cost and half the value of the ship in case of capture, the powder to be delivered at 100 per cent. and the arms at 50 per cent, above invoice price. As a money transaction I have calculated that it results in our favor largely more than in risk.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Near Pensacola, Fla., February 1, 1862.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: As you will perceive by my orders [February 27], on the arrival of Brigadier-General Jones, delayed some days on the route by sickness, the immediate command of the troops here was transferred to him. This will enable me to devote more time to other parts of my command, which, I regret to say, sadly need supervision. From General Jones’ high character as an officer and his experience as an artillerist there is every reason to hope for entire success in his new command, which is in fine order, though somewhat disorganized at present by re-enlistments and furloughs.

Brigadier-General Anderson having been relieved, another to command his brigade is necessary here. My previous recommendations of Cols. J. E. Slaughter, and J. B. Villepigue, P. A., and J. Patton Anderson, First Regiment Florida Volunteers, are brought to your notice. The promotion of Col. S. A. M. Wood, Seventh Regiment Alabama Volunteers, over Colonel Anderson, his senior, and much his superior as a soldier, has been very mortifying to the latter. Colonel Wood, for his opportunities, is a very good soldier, and no doubt made a very favorable impression in Kentucky with his well-drilled and well-equipped regiments; but Colonel Anderson was more deserving of the honor. To enable me to progress at all in my labors at Mobile it was necessary to dispose of Brigadier-General Walker, whose rank rendered him an incumbrance. You will see he was sent to Montgomery, to command the unarmed men concentrated near that, place. I have no idea he will be of any service; but he can do less harm there. To command his important brigade at Mobile Brigadier-General Gladden was ordered to report to General Withers. From his energy, zeal, great efficiency as a {p.821} disciplinarian and infantry instructor, an indomitable will to execute what he knows to be my purpose, I hope for the happiest results. Brig. Gen. J. K. Jackson, at whose prompt appointment I felt greatly gratified, replaces General Gladden here, and will fill his place with credit.

I shall in a few days go over to Mobile, to remain some two or three weeks, with a view of putting things in a better condition there; and if necessary shall assume the immediate command, though not with a view of making it my permanent headquarters. Such action might look like a violation of the right of rank in case of General Withers; but, as in the case of General Walker, if the public good, which must be paramount to all other considerations now, demands it, my action will be prompt and decided. I trust, however, that my presence, and the services of Brigadier-General Gladden, with the excellent staff he carried from here, strengthened by the approval the Department has so far extended to my exertions, will fully accomplish the desired object.

Recent advices from Ship Island represent the enemy as having some 8,000 or 10,000 men, but making no preparations for a descent on us at this time. Expeditions are apparently sent from there to other points, and probably the one to Cedar Keys was of the number. Should no move against us take place in the next four weeks, I shall look upon their force as merely intended to hold us in check by threatening our positions, and would recommend the withdrawal of a portion of the oldest and best forces in this department for service elsewhere. Could such an assurance be given, re-enlistments in our twelve-months’ men would be greatly stimulated.

We continue to receive supplies from Havana by small vessels running the blockade, both here and at Mobile. A good invoice of some very essential medicines was obtained last week by an arrival here.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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[FEBRUARY 2, 1862.-Requisition made by the Confederate Government upon the State of Louisiana for five and a half “war regiments.” Requisition appears in Series IV, Vol. I.]

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., February 4, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: On the 30th ultimo your telegram stated that $195,000 was on its way to me to pay for powder. When the drafts arrived one was for $120,000 and the other for $7,500, instead of $75,000, the sum necessary to make up the total stated by you. I have no doubt that it was the intention to make it the latter sum, as the estimated value of the cargo of the Vanderbilt was more than $180,000, which, with the transportation to this point, would bring it up to the sum named by you. As General Hébert has taken half of the powder, I shall not pay for the whole until I hear from him what part of his half was damaged. In the part received by me there were forty boxes more or less damaged.

The draft for $120,000 was drawn upon the Treasurer at Richmond, {p.822} and Mr. Guirot will not, of course, pay it here. I return it to Mr. Elmore to-day.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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O’BANNONVILLE, February 6, 1862.

General SAMUEL JONES:

SIR: A large naval expedition left Hampton Roads on 4th with additional land forces for the Gulf; supposed destination Mobile and Pensacola. Suspend all furloughs, and prepare to receive them.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., February 6, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letters of the 27th and 30th ultimo.

1st. With regard to General Ruggles’ assignment to the duty of caring for the Mississippi coast, I think it would be exceedingly unadvisable. His services in organizing a brigade of five regiments as a movable force to any point of the department are more valuable than they would be on the coast. Neither his age nor his rank are exactly in conformity with outpost duty in command of two regiments. He would feel mortified, I am sure, at such an assignment. I can manage matters better by leaving them as at present. With 10,000 men in this department, and a long extent of coast to guard, I would recommend the appointment of a brigadier-general from Mississippi for duty on that part of the line. I have but two here, while in the Department of Mobile (General Bragg’s) I learn there are not less than five or six officers of that grade.

2d. I have just received the first installment of powder by the Vanderbilt, and on testing it I found it much below range. In justice to the service it should be worked over again. I will probably reject it; certainly at $2 per pound.

3d. The Federal prisoners, 493 in number, will leave to-day for Salisbury, N. C., pursuant to telegraphic order from General Cooper.

4th. I look daily for appointments of officers in the new regiments. Major Lovell’s resignation has been accepted, but not his new appointment. As he is constantly on important duty, giving orders, &c., it is a little awkward, but he continues at work. At the written, request of Captains Montgomery and Townsend I have placed him in charge of the ordnance and disbursements of their expedition.

5th. After careful search and inquiry we can find nothing of Capt. W. F. McLean, alluded to in your letter of January 27. When found I will act as advised by you.

6th. Your impressions about the arrangement with the steamer Tennessee are not quite correct. We take no risk on the cotton at all, but guarantee $50,000 on the ship in case of capture on outward voyage; and in case she arrives in Havre (the chances of which are largely in our favor) we receive $50,000 in the shape of exchange, as the parties buy for us there $200,000 worth of arms and munitions. We thus {p.823} risk the loss of $50,000 for the certain receipt of that amount in case of success, as it would cost us that sum to get a credit of $200,000 in France. On the return we take a risk of $50,000 on the ship and $200,000 on the cargo; but the prices, if delivered, are so arranged that in case of success we should save more than $300,000 on present prices of arms and powder.

7th. I had no knowledge of the arrangement with Mr. Sumner about the bonds, and therefore got the draft for $120,000 cashed here. No bonds came to me, nothing but two drafts; one for $7,500, on the Assistant Treasurer here, the other for $120,000, on the Treasurer at Richmond. There must have been a mistake on his part in carrying out your views.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, February 8, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans:

SIR: The President desires that as soon as possible on receipt of this letter you dispatch 5,000 men to Columbus to re-enforce that point, sorely threatened by largely superior forces. The menacing aspect of affairs in Kentucky has induced the withdrawal from points, not in immediate danger, of every man that can be spared to prevent the enemy from penetrating into Tennessee or passing Columbus. A draft has been made on General Bragg; four regiments have been ordered from Virginia, together with several batteries, and with the number now required from your command we hope to stem the tide till the new levies called out from the State shall be in condition to take the field.

New Orleans is to be defended from above by defeating the enemy at Columbus; the forces now withdrawn from you are for the defense of your own command, and the exigencies of the public defense allow us no alternative.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., February 8, 1862.

Maj. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Mobile, Ala.:

SIR: The President desires that you will as soon as possible send to Knoxville all the troops you can spare from your command without immediate danger, and he hopes that the number will be at least four regiments. The condition of affairs in Kentucky and Tennessee demands from us the most vigorous effort for defense, and General A. S. Johnston is so heavily outnumbered, that it is scarcely possible for him to maintain his whole line without large additional re-enforcements. We have ordered to his aid four regiments from Virginia and 5,000 men from New Orleans, and by thus subtracting something from other points, where the pressure is not so great, we hope to enable him to defend his lines until the new levies ordered from all the States shall be in condition to take the field.

{p.824}

I am happy to inform you that the President has ordered the nomination of J. Patton Anderson to be brigadier-general, as well as that of Colonel Chalmers. There was no reason for any sensitiveness on the part of Colonel Anderson, as the nomination of Col. S. A. M. Wood was not made with any reference to the comparative merits of these gentlemen but solely from the portentous circumstances that the services of a brigadier were urgently needed at the point where Colonel Wood was serving and not so with you. The President and myself have both a very high opinion of the merits and soldierly qualities of Colonel Anderson.

We got in a small cargo the other day on the Southern coast with 6,000 rifles and 50,000 pounds of powder, together with other valuable munitions. I mention this, as the supply of powder will enable us to furnish Generals Lee and Huger without drawing on any that may be received in New Orleans or made in Nashville. I hope ere this you have had your supply replenished from New Orleans.

Please telegraph me what troops and what number you will dispatch to Knoxville as soon as you receive this letter.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., February 8, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

I have written you to-day, by the President’s direction, to send immediately 5,000 of your best-equipped men to Columbus, to re-enforce General Beauregard.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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MOBILE, February 10, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

SIR: I send a regiment to-day to Decatur, Ala., to save our railroad bridge.

If Farragut and Butler are destined for this point my force is too weak to spare more.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

[Confidential.]

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Mobile, February 12, 1862.

General SAMUEL JONES, Commanding Army of Pensacola:

Our necessities are so great that we have been compelled to make large drafts on your command and may have to reduce you still more. The President has called on me for four regiments for Tennessee, and, though I am not yet decided to send them, you must be prepared to spare one more, the Ninth Mississippi, in case I do.

To prepare you for this, and also to secure you from danger by too great a dispersion of your command, I deem it prudent to withdraw from Deer Point all the force there except, say, two companies, to act as a mere picket, in conjunction with your gunboats. A small detachment {p.825} of mounted men, too, would be well there. Your largest gunboat (Bradford) should be at or near this position every night, to bring off this small force in case of a heavy attack. Withdraw the two guns, one 8-inch and one 10-inch, and send both to this place, with carriages and implements, at once.

I have information, considered perfectly reliable, that the enemy will attack this place by a large fleet of gunboats in a very short time. Forts Gaines and Morgan, 3 miles apart, cannot prevent their entrance of a dark night, and the whole width is open to them-9 feet water from fort to fort. We are erecting some batteries around the city and one at Blakely, to keep them off in case they enter, and preserve our railroad connection with you. I would abandon the hospital at Deer Point and send the sick daily to the hospital in Pensacola, putting Surgeon Gamble, Florida regiment, in charge. Surgeon Flewellen, Fifth Georgia, should go on and join his regiment, which will go to East Tennessee as soon as the people of the country in North Alabama can be rallied to the defense of their own homes.

General A. S. Johnston, from whom I heard yesterday, feels confident of holding Fort Donelson and driving the enemy from the Tennessee soon. Our disaster at Roanoke Island is much more serious.

Yours, respectfully and truly,

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., February 12, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I received yesterday your dispatch directing me to send 5,000 men to Columbus. I have already sent one (the Thirteenth), and shall move five more regiments in two days (Ruggles’ entire brigade) with a field battery. I shall order General Ruggles to go on in command of them, and shall go to work at once to endeavor to organize a force for the defense of the interior lines from the volunteers and militia of this city and State. Unfortunately, the legislature passed a law at its late session reorganizing the whole militia, which has to be done at a very inconvenient moment, but I am in hopes that most of the volunteers will elect their company and field officers on the instant, so that we shall soon have a force on hand. I regret the necessity of sending away my only force at this particular juncture, and feel sure that it will create a great panic here, but will do my best to restore confidence by a show of strength.

You have never sent me any orders about the distribution of the Vanderbilt’s powder. General Hébert has one-half, and a part of the remainder arrived here lately. On proof, it was found to lack 15 per cent. of saltpeter; but I can work it all over in twelve days and make it into good powder. We shall have about 40,000 pounds. I gave Commodore Hollins 3,500 pounds of my own stock to go up the river, and General Bragg has sent to me for some of that by the Vanderbilt. I shall make it go as far as I can.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

P. S.-I borrowed from the Navy two launches, armed with one gun each, which I manned with crews from the Third Mississippi Regiment, {p.826} and stationed one in Bay Saint Louis and one in Biloxi Bay. The Secretary of the Navy requires that they be returned to Mobile, whence they came. Such accessories are very necessary on that coast, and I should like to have authority to use any funds that may be in my hands to construct two more, to replace those I have. I can get no assistance from the Navy, as they have no funds.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Mobile, Ala., February 15, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: You will excuse me, at this time of great danger to our cause, for presuming to depart from my usual course and to offer a few suggestions on our future military policy.

1. Our means and resources are too much scattered. The protection of persons and property, as such, should be abandoned, and all our means applied to the Government and the cause. Important strategic points only should be held. All means not necessary to secure these should be concentrated for a heavy blow upon the enemy where we can best assail him. Kentucky is now that point. On the Gulf we should only hold New Orleans, Mobile, and Pensacola; all other points, the whole of Texas and Florida, should be abandoned, and our means there made available for other service. A small loss of property would result from their occupation by the enemy; but our military strength would not be lessened thereby, whilst the enemy would be weakened by dispersion. We could then beat him in detail, instead of the reverse. The same remark applies to our Atlantic seaboard. In Missouri the same rule can be applied to a great extent. Deploring the misfortunes of that gallant people, I can but think their relief must reach them through Kentucky.

2. The want of success with our artillery everywhere is deplorable; but I believe it can be explained and remedied. This arm requires knowledge, which nothing but study and experience combined can give. Unfortunately, many of our higher officers and a larger proportion of our men consider there is no duty to be done in this contest but to fight. Gallant to a fault, they ignore preparation, and exhaust their energies and time in clamoring for this fight. Calamitous results teach them too late the unfortunate error.

The enemy’s light-draught gunboats require of us different defenses for our assailable points. An old-fashioned artillery will not answer. We must have long range guns to reach them, and they must be properly mounted, supplied and served. Our 8 and 10 inch shell guns have my preference. The rifle gun I consider yet an experiment, not a success, except the light field piece-bronze; still I use them as an auxiliary. Whenever the enemy has brought his shell guns against our lighter metal, we have had to yield. But at Pensacola we crippled and drove off two of his largest and heaviest armed ships with only two 8-inch guns in an open sand battery, served, it is true, by brave men, thoroughly instructed and directed by a competent artillery officer.

We must then oppose the enemy’s heavy metal by the same and put competent men to mount, supply, and serve our own guns. If we have not the guns, it is better to yield the positions than to sacrifice our men and means in a futile attempt at defense. And when you have the guns, {p.827} it is equally futile if they are handled by incompetent troops. From reports which reach us it would appear that at least half our guns are rendered useless after the first hour, from different accidents, not attributable to the enemy, but to a want of knowledge, skill, or attention on our own part.

We have the right men, and the crisis upon us demands they should be in the right places. Our little army at Pensacola could furnish you hundreds of instructors competent to build batteries, mount guns, and teach the use of them. Our commanders are learning by bitter experience the necessity of teaching their troops; but a want of instructors is sadly felt.

Pardon me if I have been too free in the expression of my feelings and opinions, and attribute any error to an overzeal in the great cause we all have at heart.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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RICHMOND, VA., February 16, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans:

Your letter of the 6th instant received. Your course in relation to General Ruggles approved. If you have not yet sent the troops to Columbus, as advised by my dispatch, let them stop at Memphis, and send telegram so informing General A. S. Johnston. The great line of attack by the Cumberland River may make it necessary to send the troops eastward from Memphis instead of sending them to Columbus.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., February 16, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans:

Send every musket by the Victoria at once to Grand Junction, subject to orders of General A. S. Johnston. Send an agent with them to force them forward by express. Inform General Johnston of what you have done and of the kind of arms and such details as will enable him to prepare ammunition for them in advance. Inform me of what you do and the number of arms sent.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., February 18, 1862.

General BRAXTON BRAGG, Mobile:

Your dispatch just received.* Commence immediately the movement you suggest for aiding General Johnston. I will send you our views and plans by messenger to-morrow.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* See p. 894.

{p.828}

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., February 18, 1862.

Maj. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Mobile, Ala.:

SIR: The heavy blow which has been inflicted on us by the recent operations in Kentucky and Tennessee renders necessary a change in our whole plan of campaign, as suggested in your dispatch of this date, just received.

We had had in contemplation the necessity of abandoning the seaboard in order to defend the Tennessee line, which is vital to our safety; but I am still without any satisfactory information from General A. S. Johnston. I know not the nature nor extent of the disaster at Fort Donelson, nor the disposition of his troops, nor his plans, and am only aware of the very large loss we have suffered in prisoners through the dispatches in the Northern papers.

However, all this is beside the question. The decision is made, and the President desires that you proceed as promptly as possible to withdraw your forces from Pensacola and Mobile and hasten to the defense of the Tennessee line In doing this, of course the first care will be to save, as far as possible, all our artillery and munitions of war. It is not feasible, perhaps, to save all the artillery, but the munitions are invaluable to us.

It is not proposed to leave any force at all at Pensacola weak garrison would inevitably be captured-but it is deemed advisable to leave an effective garrison in the forts in Mobile Harbor and provide an ample supply of food for them. The continuance of the occupation of the forts would probably defer for some time a movement against Mobile, and it is possible might prevent the capture of that city; but the risk of its capture must be run by us.

All the Confederate forces in Mobile, as well as those in Pensacola, are to be moved as rapidly as possible to the Tennessee line, and by the time you can reach the Memphis and Charleston Railroad we will be able to determine towards what point they are to move.

We suppose it will be necessary to abandon Columbus and fall back to Island No. 10, or possibly to Memphis. Five thousand men have been ordered from New Orleans to the latter point. Until we hear from General Johnston, however, it will not be possible to determine upon this retrograde movement from Columbus. It is almost certain that he has agreed with General Beauregard upon the movements now to be made; but we grope in the dark here, and this uncertainty renders our own counsels undecided and prevents that promptness of action which the emergency requires. Enough, however, is known to satisfy us that without additional supplies of arms we cannot hold our entire exposed coast and frontier, and we must withdraw from the defense of the whole Gulf coast except New Orleans. I shall order all troops from Eastern Florida also to Tennessee. At Savannah an immediate attack is anticipated, and it is perhaps best to endeavor to give the enemy a decisive repulse there before withdrawing the troops at that point.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., February 21, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

There are but 150 guns and 20,000 pounds of powder on the Victoria. Have sent four regiments to Corinth.

M. LOVELL.

{p.829}

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., February 21, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

The steamer Miramon has arrived, with 20,000 pounds of powder and 400 guns.

M. LOVELL.

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MOBILE, ALA., February 22, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Dispatch 18th received this evening. Railroads washed away. Prompt movement impossible.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

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RICHMOND, VA., February 23, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

Seize all the powder on the Victoria and Miramon, paying for it $2 per pound, if of full proof, and making a ratable deduction if not proof. Send 20,000 pounds of cannon powder here by special agent, with instructions to force it through without an hour’s delay.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., February 23, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

SIR: I am in arrears with my correspondence, but the pressure on this Department is so intense that I cannot always be punctual. I have your letters of the 28th ultimo and 6th and 12th instant. I await your returns of the list and appraisement of the steamers prepared for the defense of the Mississippi River. I will then take immediate measures for payment. Pray let me know immediately on receipt of this, and by telegraph, if necessary, when the boats will be ready, and if they have full crews and their armament; also the names of commanders, &c.

2d. The change you have made in regard to General Ruggles is fully approved. The orders for the defense of the Mississippi coast were issued against my judgment, but the urgency of the members from that State on the President was so great that it was not politic to refuse at the time to gratify their wish. Events have shown how unreasonable was their demand, and we must dismiss all idea of scattering our forces in defense of unimportant points and concentrate them at vital lines.

3d. The appointments of the officers in the new regiments are ail complete, but the number submitted to Congress and confirmed at the last session was so great that I am not yet able to send them all. They are confirmed, however, and you can assign to them their commands.

4th. I am very much pleased with your arrangement about the Tennessee, and hope she has got out safely.

5th. You are authorized to use any funds in your hands for the construction of two launches, to replace those borrowed from the Navy, for guarding the Mississippi coast.

6th. I dispatched to-day to impress all powder by Miramon and Victoria. {p.830} I do not want you to let an ounce of powder, any arms, or munitions of war escape you at any time. They are a matter of life and death to us, and scarcely any price is too much to pay till our people are armed, although, of course, I desire to save every dollar we can.

I inclose you a letter for General Hébert, which you will please forward by special express. I leave it open, that you may understand the policy of the Government.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

[Inclosure.]

WAR DEPARTMENT C. S. A., Richmond, Va., February 23, 1862.

Brig. Gen. P. O. HÉBERT, Galveston, Tex.:

SIR: Our recent disaster in Tennessee has greatly exposed our line of communication with the West, and the importance of this line is so great, that it must be held at any sacrifice You are therefore instructed at once to send forward to Little Rock, there to report to Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn, all the troops in your command, for the defense of the coast, except such as are necessary to man your batteries.

No invasion of Texas is deemed probable, but if any occurs its effects must be hazarded, and our entire forces must be thrown towards the Mississippi, for the defense of that river and of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.

I do not desire that you withdraw such troops as you may have on the Rio Grande or western frontier, but only the troops you may have gathered for defending the Gulf coast. If at any point where you have batteries you deem there is danger of losing the guns by the withdrawal of the land forces, you will remove the guns; but the troops are to be pushed forward with all possible rapidity to Little Rock by such routes as you deem best.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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NEW ORLEANS, February 26, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Raising war troops is extremely difficult and slow. If Beauregard’s need of re-enforcements be as great as we here consider it, and you will accept volunteers for that special service for a few months, I can send him relief immediately. Answer quickly,* and state shortest time.

THO. O. MOORE.

* Answered March 1, p. 837.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICE, New Orleans, La., February 26, 1862.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Confederate States, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: This letter will be delivered to you by Mr. William Henderson, a citizen of this place, and a gentleman of probity, integrity, and excellent {p.831} standing. I have deputed him as a special messenger to place in your hands a memorial from the Executive Sub-committee of a Committee of Safety appointed by the city council to render such aid as it may be able to the State and Confederate authorities in this department. I refer you to the memorial itself for its design and to Mr. Henderson for any explanations you may desire not embodied in the memorial.

I cannot suppose that your excellency has been fully apprised of the evils which the memorial presents to your attention and consideration, and I most earnestly recommend it to you. Your excellency will no doubt appreciate the necessity for immediate action to preserve not only the dignity and credit of the Navy Department, but also to provide such defenses as we are in absolute and immediate need of.

Citizens as well as the incorporated banks of the city are generous in their support of the Government, and I have no fears that this generosity will be abused.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

THO. O. MOORE, Governor of Louisiana.

[Inclosure.]

NEW ORLEANS, LA., February 26, 1862.

To the PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES:

SIR: In the present disturbed condition of our country it has been deemed expedient by our city council to appoint a committee of some sixty persons, to be styled the Committee of Safety.

The object of said committee is to aid and co-operate with the State and Government authorities in rendering this department as complete and effectual as possible. The committee is composed of gentlemen of standing and influence, and who have appointed the undersigned their executive committee, and who are not insensible of the labors and responsibilities placed upon them. They feel that your excellency will not be offended at their desire to co-operate with the constitutional authorities in this our struggle for liberty and independence.

They find, from investigation, that the naval department at this station, as far as finances are concerned, is in a most deplorable condition, retarding by this course manufactures of all kinds for that department; also preventing the enlisting of men for that branch of the public service.

The undersigned committee have been led to believe that your excellency could not be aware of the extent to which the naval department at this station has been reduced.

They therefore beg leave respectfully to represent some of the bad effects which will naturally and certainly follow in case this defect is not promptly remedied, by placing an adequate amount of funds at the disposal of that department to liquidate its present indebtedness and provide for future contingencies.

The present outstanding indebtedness,judging from facts placed before this committee, cannot be less than $600,000 or $800,000. A large portion of this is owing to the founderies for shells, fuses, &c., to the machine-shops, draymen, &c. Many of the bills have been approved by the proper officers, and still no means provided for their payment, although some of them have stood over for four or six months. It has come to the positive knowledge of this committee that some of these establishments (so much needed in the present emergency) have given {p.832} notice that, for want of the requisite means, they are forced to decline any further orders from the Government.

It has also come to the knowledge of this committee that private citizens have repeatedly been forced to raise funds for this department in order to prevent the mechanics in the employ of the Government from stopping work. Indeed, so low has the credit of that particular department sunk, that draymen, whose bills are yet unpaid, have refused to do further work.

Your excellency will doubtless agree with the committee that this is a deplorable state of things. The committee have been careful to investigate the facts, so as not to place before your excellency anything which cannot be substantiated.

For months and months a sign has been hanging over the paymaster’s officer of that department, “No funds.” The committee feel confident that, unless the proper remedy is at once supplied, workmen cannot longer be had.

The committee most respectfully submit this statement of facts to your consideration, and for the interest of our common cause and the safety of our city would respectfully request that you will give our citizens, through this committee, some assurance that the present state of affairs in that department will be changed for the better.

S. L. JAMES. S. O. NELSON. J. P. HARRISON. R. C. CUMMINGS. T. GREENFIELD.

[Indorsement.]

Secretary of the Navy, for prompt attention and report.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., February 27, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

I have the honor to report that since my last letter I have sent forward to Tennessee Ruggles’ brigade, of four regiments, with a battery of six field guns; also a new company of artillery (Vaiden’s), with six guns and their harness and equipments. Yesterday the Fourth Louisiana and to-day the Seventh Mississippi moved to the same destination. The Twentieth Louisiana Regiment was mustered for State service, but, not wishing to remain behind, eight companies have reorganized for the war, and I shall send that regiment on in a few days. This will make a total of eight regiments and two batteries from the department, besides a quantity of shot-guns (500) and 1,000,000 cartridges. People are beginning to complain that I have stripped the department so completely, but I have called upon Governor Moore for 10,000 volunteers and militia for State service. Raw troops, with double-barreled shot-guns, are amply sufficient to hold our intrenchments against such troops as the enemy can send to attack them. Besides, I regard Butler’s Ship Island expedition as a harmless menace so far as New Orleans is concerned. A black Republican dynasty will never give an old Breckinridge Democrat like Butler command of any expedition which they had any idea would result in such a glorious success as the capture of New Orleans. {p.833} He will not have 10,000 men for a demonstration by land upon any of the Gulf cities.

2d. Bowling Green has been turned by the Cumberland River, as I predicted, in the plan which I submitted to you early in October, although at that time they had no such men there as Buell and Halleck to command such an operation.

3d. I transmitted to you in January a letter of Captain Buchel in reference to a draft that he had drawn in Texas for supplies to subsist troops, and asked your instructions. Since then the draft was presented, and I paid it in specie out of the funds in my hands. Had it been protested, our troops on the Rio Grande could not have received provisions. I hope it meets your approval.

4th. The river defense expedition is progressing favorably, but considerable dissatisfaction has been expressed here at some of the appointments made by Montgomery and Townsend. The matter will be put before you by some citizens of this place. I have disbursed about half of the $300,000 placed to my credit on that appropriation, and large amounts are due. I trust that there will be no delay from want of funds to keep the works from being driven forward with all dispatch. Time is an important element at this juncture.

5th. In view of the constant demands from all points upon me for munitions, repairs of arms, &c., and the defenseless condition of our workshops and machinery at Nashville and Baton Rouge, I ordered preparations at the new Marine Hospital to be made for carrying on all such operations on a considerable scale, and directed an estimate for funds to be made by Captain Lambert, which was returned by Colonel Gorgas, with the remark that he did not contemplate having a laboratory here. The necessities of the public service, in my judgment, demand all and much more than I have done to keep pace with the requisitions daily made. I have fifteen gunsmiths at work putting in order the old weapons of all kinds collected from the country, and am preparing ammunition and implements for artillery, which I cannot get elsewhere; indeed, I have furnished Generals Johnston and Polk with large supplies, and hope that nothing will be permitted to interfere with operations so necessary to our salvation. If I cannot get the funds from Richmond I must throw myself upon the generosity of the people of the city. The work must go on unless you order it to be suspended. Knowing the immense pressure upon your time, and trusting that you had confidence in my judgment, I have assumed a good deal of responsibility and gone on with matters which I conceived to be important for the public good without referring every trifle to you for consideration. If you wish me to pursue a different course please indicate your view. Whatever has been done has been upon principles of a sound and wise economy, and has thus far produced beneficial results.

6th. The Tennessee has been unable as yet to get out of the river. The Magnolia, Florida, Whitmore, and Vanderbilt got to sea last week, but one of them (supposed to be the Magnolia) has been captured and taken to Ship Island. The powder by the Victoria turns out to be musket powder, although it seems to be of good quality. That by the Miramon, which came in at the Grand Caillou, has not yet reached the city. As soon as I work over 20,000 pounds of the Vanderbilt powder I will dispatch it to Richmond, as ordered by you in a telegram.

7th. Some of the parties who met with heavy losses on the Calhoun, J. L. Day, and Magnolia owned several of the boats seized by us for Montgomery’s fleet, and are very anxious, in their straitened circumstances, to be paid for the vessels that we took. Can funds be placed {p.834} at my disposal for that purpose? The total value of the steamers seized is about $600,000. I will inclose a schedule of the appraisements, with the remark that some of the owners have protested that the amounts allowed are not a fair price. Those objected to I had reappraised, and the board adhered to its first decision. No more should be allowed.

8th. I turned over to the Navy ten 42-pounders to arm their two gunboats for lake service, and hope that they will get them out pretty soon; but whether from want of funds or lack of systematic expenditures the credit of that branch of the public service here is so bad that it is almost impossible for them to get anything done. A few days since I wanted a crew for a boat to work on the lower rafts, but could not get a man until they were satisfied that it was not intended for service in the naval department. This is a serious embarrassment to them in their work.

9th. With some funds that I got from the city I bought, and am fitting up as launches, with one light gun each, twelve luggers, for a coast guard, to watch the enemy and prevent communication with the shore.

10th. I am a good deal delayed by the want of competent officers to assist me in the laborious details of this department. We want an ordnance officer here badly. Many things are necessarily kept back by having Major Smith perform the duties of engineer and ordnance officer, either one of which would tax a competent man to the utmost. It is neither justice to him nor to the service to make him responsible for such an immense and varied amount of detailed work.

With much respect, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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MOBILE, February 27, 1862.

J. P. BENJAMIN:

SIR: My troops are pressing forward. I leave to-morrow to join General Beauregard. There is the great danger.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Mobile, February 27, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: Your written dispatch of the 18th, by the hands of Major Lewis, only reached me this morning, four days at least behind its time, and as much behind others who left Richmond on that day. The major tells me he did not start till the 21st, and as he is at best a very slow man, perhaps he has done his best. Heavy movements of troops had already been made as far as our damaged roads would permit; but as your telegram did not indicate the extent to which we were to go, no arrangements had been made for abandoning any point.

Instructions to General Jones, commanding at Pensacola, go over to-day, and he will be urged to a hasty execution of the orders. Everything, public and private, is ordered to be destroyed which he is unable to remove and which might prove useful to the enemy; and the railroad as far as the junction to this city is to be destroyed, and the iron sent to Montgomery. By this means we may hold the enemy in check for some weeks at least.

Last week I sent a messenger to confer with General A. S. Johnston, {p.835} that I might be able to act with some knowledge of the state of affairs. He has returned this morning, and I regret to hear the deplorable state of affairs. As he is an officer of great prudence, caution, and good judgment, I am the more concerned at his report. Officers of rank and standing having already gone on to lay before the Department this information, it is unnecessary, perhaps improper, that I should enter upon the subject.

The past we cannot recall, but it will be a cruel sacrifice to expose what is left of our gallant men to the same fate. Confidence is lost on all hands, from the private to the major-general, and nothing but a change can restore it.

It were futile to waste our time inquiring whether this is deserved. We must deal with facts as we find them, promptly and energetically, or we are lost.

I propose sending my heavy guns from Pensacola to General Beauregard, to enable us to hold the Mississippi, reserving only such as may be necessary to enable me to give some confidence to the people here and in the interior should the enemy pass our forts.

Very respectfully your obedient servant,

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

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MOBILE, February 27, 1862.

Brig. Gen. SAMUEL JONES, Commanding at Pensacola:

SIR: In the great strait to which we are reduced it has become necessary to concentrate our resources even at the cost of giving up some of our important positions.

You will make all dispositions at the earliest moment, working day and night, to abandon Pensacola. Send to this place all the heavy shell guns, rifle guns, and carriages, &c., complete, with the ammunition for them; all other supplies to Montgomery to be located a few miles this side, for safety, in case the enemy should reach there by gunboats.

This movement should be made with all the secrecy possible; removing your guns at night, and masking the positions, taking the most advanced first. Keep sufficient troops in position to deceive the enemy until all is ready.

As you can do so, send forward all bodies which can be spared, only reserving enough to do the work, and hold your positions until the last, when one regiment can wind up all, and leave by the railroad.

I desire you particularly to leave nothing the enemy can use; burn all from Fort McRee to the junction with the Mobile road. Save the guns, and if necessary destroy your gunboats and all other boats. They might be used against us. Destroy all machinery, &c., public and private, which could be useful to the enemy; especially disable the sawmills in and around the bay and burn the lumber. Break up the railroad from Pensacola to the Junction, carrying the iron up to a safe point.

Your troops, except Captain Amos’ mounted company, and the six companies First Confederate Regiment, ordered here, will move as rapidly as you can spare them to Chattanooga, Tenn., and await orders. All that you can spare should go at once. The enemy is not in condition to assail you at this point.

Much depends, general, on active and prompt measures. Our armies in Tennessee, are fearfully outnumbered, and I regret to say, from information {p.836} just received, utterly demoralized, having no confidence. A timely arrival and intermixture of our troops may tend to restore confidence.

Very respectfully and truly,

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

Report as you progress. Seize all transportation on railroads. Captain Oladowski comes to your aid in ordnance department.

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MOBILE, February 27, 1862.

General BEAUREGARD:

MY DEAR GENERAL: Hearing by telegraph from the governor of this State that you had called on him for re-enforcements to be sent to Corinth, Miss., I directed a portion of those I was sending to General A. S. Johnston, and inclose you a copy of my order directing them to rendezvous at Corinth. I trust they will be of timely assistance and prove worthy of your command. The Louisiana infantry is one of our regiments of regulars, and is finely equipped and instructed. Brigadier-General Ruggles has assumed command, at my request, of the troops of my command in North Alabama, one regiment mounted men and three companies infantry. These I have requested him to call into Corinth and hold subject to your order. The people of the country will guard our bridges.

I am acting on my own responsibility, and doing what it seems to us ought to have been done long ago-concentrating our limited means at some important point to resist a vital blow. We should cease our policy of protecting persons and property, by which we are being defeated in detail.

Wishing you all success, I am, without occupation, restless and sad, but hopeful.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

[Inclosure.]

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 62.}

HDQRS. DEPT. ALA. AND WEST FLA., Mobile, Ala., February 26, 1862.

...

II. The regiment of Louisiana infantry, Colonel Adams; the Eighteenth and Twenty-second Regiments of Alabama Volunteers, Colonels Shorter and Deas, will immediately proceed to Corinth, Miss, there to receive further orders.

...

By command of Major-General Bragg:

GEO. G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 38.}

HDQRS. DEPT. ALA. AND WEST FLA., Mobile, Ala., February 28, 1862.

Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg relinquishes the command of this department to Brig. Gen. Samuel Jones. *

By command of Major-General Bragg:

GEO. G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

* Brig. Gen. Samuel Jones seems to have assumed command, under this order, March 3, 1862.

{p.837}

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RICHMOND, VA., March 1, 1862.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE, New Orleans:

You may accept all armed men that will go to re-enforce General Beauregard for a term of six months, under the law for local defense and special service.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, New Orleans, March 1, 1862.

Major-General LEWIS, Commanding Louisiana State Troops:

GENERAL: The following troops are out under my command this day in obedience to your order, No. 19:

Continental Regiment, Colonel Clark, 320 men.

Jeff. Davis Regiment, Colonel Smith, 150 men.

Beauregard Regiment, Colonel Bartlett, 400 men.

Sumter Regiment, Colonel Breaux, 200 men.

Lewis Battalion, Major Tenbrink, 80 men.

Washington Artillery, Captain Hodgson, 140 men.

Wilson Cavalry, Captain Moore, 50 men.

The Crescent Regiment has been excused from parade.

Colonel Clark has five companies without arms, Colonel Smith has nine companies without arms, Colonel Bartlett has six companies without arms, Major Tenbrink has two companies without arms, Colonel Breaux has three companies without arms.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

E. L. TRACY, Brigadier-General. THOS. F. WALKER, Brigade Inspector.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Mobile, Ala., [March 1?.]

General SAMUEL JONES:

SIR: Such is the pressing necessity in West Tennessee that I have concluded, at the request of General Beauregard, to proceed immediately to his assistance. Brigadier-General Withers having been relieved here, you will assume command of the department, remaining, however, at Pensacola to complete the work there. Press forward the troops and heavy guns. We must have them to hold the Mississippi. Should you find yourself unable to accomplish your work in ten days, destroy your smooth-bore guns and send me your troops. I would not thus press you, but our fate may depend on two weeks in the valley of the Mississippi.

Colonel Villepigue remains to complete the defenses here. Send him to me as soon as you come over, and if you can relieve Major Hallonquist from Fort Gaines I shall be much pleased to have him.

With every confidence in your zeal, industry, and ability, I part with you with great regret, well knowing all will be done your limited means will allow.

I am, general, very respectfully and truly, yours,

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.

{p.838}

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., March 4, 1862.

Mr. C. L. LE BARRON, Pensacola, Fla.:

SIR: You are aware that a number of troops have been recently detached from this army. It is important that I should have the services of every available soldier on this side of Bayou Grande. It is also important that I should keep a good and efficient guard in Pensacola. I have a battalion of volunteers now on that duty in Pensacola. I am convinced that the people of Pensacola are fully able to guard their own town quite as well as it is now guarded if the men will organize and volunteer for that service. I desire that you confer with the mayor and such citizens as you may think proper, and endeavor to organize a sufficient guard for the town. If that can be done, I can then avail myself of the services of the Fourth Battalion Alabama Volunteers here to defend the most important point.

Communicate to me with as little delay as possible what you can do to carry out the foregoing suggestion.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General.

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[MARCH 4, 1862.-Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, at Jackson, Tenn., issues an order resuming command of the Department of Alabama and West Florida, and assuming, in addition thereto, command of the troops in North Mississippi and south of Jackson in West Tennessee. See operations, November 19, 1861-March 4, 1862, in Kentucky, Tennessee, &c. Vol. VII, p. 920.]

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Pensacola, Fla., March 5, 1862.

[General BRAGG:]

GENERAL: My movements here to carry out your orders have been greatly retarded-more, I presume, than you apprehended-by the want of transportation and the necessary facilities for moving guns.

The first train of cars from Pensacola to Mobile since the damage to the road started yesterday, and both the road to Mobile and that to Montgomery are in such bad condition that cars are not permitted to run on them at night. The president and superintendent of the Montgomery road, who came here this morning at my request to confer with me, promised to do all in their power to expedite the public business. I have directed that the superintendent of the Mobile road shall remain at Pollard, to direct the movements on all the roads meeting at that point. I sin establishing a depot there, and will after to-day have a special train twice a day from Pensacola to that place, to carry such stores as cannot be immediately sent to Montgomery and Mobile. I have directed some supplies to be sent to Greenville, and will deposit others at Evergreen and Brewton, where I can procure storage temporarily, with a view of collecting them at the most suitable point as soon as practicable. The First Alabama Regiment is now in Pensacola, and will leave for Memphis via Mobile this evening. I will send forward the troops ordered to Corinth as rapidly as possible, and I am making and will continue to {p.839} make every preparation to carry out fully your orders respecting this place.

I telegraphed you to-day that I had sent 96 mules by wagon road to Hall’s Landing, thence via Mobile to Corinth. I had no harness or wagons for them. I also asked to be allowed to retain Colonel Jones and the Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiment a few days beyond the time you have allowed me to accomplish the work in hand, and I trust that you will allow me to do so. My reason for asking this I will explain more fully in another letter, probably to-night. The mail will close before I could give my reasons in this. In your telegram of yesterday for 32-pounder barbette carriages to be sent to Memphis you did not say if you wanted the guns and ammunition with them.

Your telegram (the only one I have received since you left Mobile) I received late last night, and of course have not yet forwarded the carriages, as it was necessary to dismount the guns at night.

I shall look most anxiously for news from West Tennessee, and hope you will keep me advised of your movements in that quarter.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General.

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O’BANNONVILLE, FLA., March 5, 1862.

General BRAXTON BRAGG, Jackson, Tenn.:

Shall I send with the 32-pounder barbette carriages the guns and ammunition pertaining to them?

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General.

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O’BANNONVILLE, FLA., March 5, 1862.

General BRAXTON BRAGG, Jackson, Tenn.:

Your telegram of yesterday received. Barbette carriages and all ordnance and stores called for will be forwarded as rapidly as possible. No railroad communication with Mobile until yesterday. First Alabama started to-day for Memphis. Ninety-six mules left yesterday for Corinth, Miss. Negro laborers arrived last night and this morning. Do let me keep Colonel Jones and his regiment a few days at least beyond the time you have allowed me. My movements here have been greatly retarded by want of transportation and laborers.

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., March 5, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Vanderbilt powder had to be reworked. Victoria powder was all musket, and Miramon powder not arrived. Shall I send musket powder?

M. LOVELL.

{p.840}

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RICHMOND, VA., March 5, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

Your dispatch of the 5th received. Send 10,000 pounds of musket powder and 10,000 pounds of cannon powder, with an agent, to force it on by express.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., March 6, 1862.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE, New Orleans, La.:

The Nashville brought no arms.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Near Pensacola, Fla., March 6, 1862.

Maj. Gen. BRAXTON BRAGG, Jackson, Tenn.:

GENERAL: I telegraphed you yesterday asking that I might be allowed to retain the Twenty-seventh Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, Colonel Jones, a few days beyond the time you fixed for the evacuation of this post, and mentioned the same in my letter of yesterday, but had not time to give my reasons. I am convinced that the enemy on Santa Rosa Island is not prepared to attack this place at present. I have never believed the force as large as reported, and I have reason to believe it has been recently reduced. A large transport steamer came in some days since and left the next day. A large sailing vessel left the same day, and between the arrival and departure of the steamer a large number of the tents on the island were struck. I have watched the island carefully, and see very few men there.

I believe if we keep up even the appearance of being prepared to defend the place the enemy will not attack it. The governor of Alabama informs me that by the end of this week he can send me 1000 men engaged to serve for thirty days, and by the middle of next week more, engaged for the same period, and before their time expires he can replace them by more than double the number of war troops. Under these circumstances I believe that Colonel Jones, with his regiment and the men who can be collected here before I can possibly send off all the troops you have called for, can keep up such an appearance of preparation to defend the place as to deter the enemy from attacking. The importance of holding this point is so great that it will I think, justify the risk of allowing the navy-yard in its present dilapidated condition and a few 24, 32, and 42 pounder smooth-bore guns to fall uninjured into the hands of the enemy.

Your instructions are, that I shall destroy the guns, except the shell and rifled guns, and burn everything from Fort McRee to the Junction that can be of service to the enemy. These guns would be of but little value to an enemy who has an abundance of much better guns, and the houses could only contribute a little to their comfort, and you know how readily they can make thousands comfortable at this place. But there is no reason why the guns and houses should fall uninjured into their {p.841} hands. I am making every preparation to destroy them, so that whenever an attack is made, and it becomes necessary to retire, a few men can disable the guns, apply the torches, do the work of destruction, and escape unhurt. The enemy has no mounted troops on the island. If they had, it would take time to land them, and if the men left here, nearly all unarmed, could not escape, I think their capture would not be a very serious loss to the country.

My plan only differs from your instructions to me in this, that I shall withhold from you Colonel Jones and the 350 armed men he has for duty, and leave the work of destruction to be done when an overpowering attack is made, instead of before and when there is no indication of an attack. I have explained my views fully to General Anderson and Colonel Jones, and they approve them. Colonel Jones is willing to undertake the task I propose to assign him, and believes he can manage it successfully. I submit it for your consideration.

The people of Pensacola and Mobile and all Alabama and West Florida, I hear, are greatly alarmed at the report that this place is to be abandoned to the enemy. I am sorry to say that the report of the intended evacuation reached Pensacola before your first instructions in the matter reached me. It seems impossible to keep any military secrets in this country.

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

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., March 6, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letters of the 23d, 24th, and 26th ultimo, which reached me yesterday.

1st. The river expedition is progressing well. Seven of the boats will be ready, except the gun, on Saturday, the 8th, and the remainder in a week from that time. We are working under many disadvantages, but no time is being lost. I shall be out of funds for that purpose in a few days. The appraisement of the ships was forwarded in my letter of the 27th ultimo.

2d. I received your telegram directing 20,000 pounds of cannon powder to be sent to Richmond. All the powder that came in the Vanderbilt, Victoria, and Miramon is small-grained, not cannon powder, and that by the first and last of those vessels requires to be reworked, with an addition of 15 per cent. of saltpeter. This department is being completely drained of everything, and I trust that the arrival of the Nashville will enable you to leave here all the powder that we have on hand. We have filled requisitions for arms, men, and munitions until New Orleans is about defenseless. In return we get nothing. Mobile and Pensacola-even Galveston-are defended by 10-inch columbiads, while this city has nothing above an 8-inch, and but few of them. The fortified line about the city is complete, but I have taken ten of the guns for the Navy and sixteen for the vessels that we are fitting up for the river expedition. My reliance to defend these lines will be upon militia, with double-barreled guns and 32-pounder carronades. If now you take the powder from me we shall be in no condition to resist. The only thing to provide is a sufficiency of powder to enable us to resist a prolonged attack by ships and mortar boats upon two points-Forts Pike {p.842} and Macomb and Forts Jackson and Saint Philip. If the first are passed we still have a land defense to make; if the last, a fleet can proceed at once to the city.

3d. I shall send up this week the Crescent Regiment, the Twentieth Regiment, two batteries of artillery, four companies of Mississippi volunteers, besides several separate companies, which will make eight regiments, four batteries of field artillery, and several companies, armed, equipped, and provided with a good supply of ammunition. I cannot organize the militia left here without the assistance of a general officer of experience and detailed knowledge. The circumstances of the case render it imperative. You will see by the letter accompanying this that I have urged upon the President the appointment of Major Smith as the proper person to fill that position. His engineer duties are drawing towards a condition which will enable him to be of great service in command of troops. He knows the whole country from personal observation, and, moreover, is fairly entitled, from his great and faithful labors, to be put more nearly on a par with his classmates at the Military Academy, all of whom are in high position-mostly general officers. He is willing to act as the engineer officer of the department in connection with a command in the line My desire is to place him in charge of the troops intended for the defenses of the interior lines, which as an engineer he has constructed, and as ordnance officer armed and provided. His appointment would be acknowledged by the community here as a just tribute to faithful merit and valuable services rendered. They feel much indebted to him for their present condition of defense. Major Smith is a classmate of Smith, Van Dorn, Longstreet, Anderson, McLaws, D. H. Hill, A. P. Stewart, myself, and others high in rank. He alone, one of the first in the field, has been left in a position of inferior rank. The absence of General Ruggles demands a brigadier here, and there is every reason, public as well as private, that Major Smith should receive the appointment. I hope you will urge it upon the President, and let me know by telegraph his answer. I want the services of a general officer at once.

4th. Several persons here are refusing to take Confederate notes. They do not come under military supervision or I would put an end to it in short order. What do you think should be done? I am almost daily urged by prominent citizens to declare martial law here. It would, however, only remedy a few evils, while causing much inconvenience. I think that every desirable end could be attained by a military police and a registry of all comers. I would like to have your views about the propriety of having martial law here. Thus far I have steadily declined to do so.

5th. After the disasters in Tennessee, and when I became satisfied that Columbus could not be held, I ordered all the stores on hand at Baton Rouge to be sent here, as that city could be taken and all the public property there destroyed by half a dozen gunboats at a dash. Meanwhile I am enlarging the laboratory and arsenal here, so as to be prepared, in some small measure, in case the Baton Rouge works should be destroyed. It does not seem to meet with the approval of Colonel Gorgas, who regards it rather with the eye of the head of a bureau than as a military commander. Meanwhile I must go ahead with preparations which I consider to be of vital importance until you put a stop to them. I have at the Marine Hospital a steam-engine and a large number of hands employed in repairing arms, making ammunition, &c., and had it not been for this we never could have forwarded eight regiments {p.843} and four batteries to aid them in Tennessee, for nothing of any description has been sent here except some saltpeter.

6th. I am hunting all over the Confederacy to procure saltpeter to rework the powder lately arrived from Cuba. They are sending it from Memphis to Augusta. I have, however, sent an agent to Texas to get some that I heard was at Houston, and there is a lot of 6,000 pounds en route here from Georgia. Until I get some the powder must remain in statu quo.

7th. Permit me again to urge upon you the necessity of sending here an officer of ordnance to attend to the numerous requisitions constantly made upon this department from all quarters. Much delay and difficulty have arisen from the want of such a person here. This duty has been performed by Major Smith, in addition to his other duties; but by this arrangement injustice is done both to him and to the public service.

8th. I am somewhat fearful that a little too much latitude has been given to the steamboat captains and pilots in charge of the river expedition. If the current of opinion here should set against them they will be unable to get crews, and I would recommend a responsible head to the expedition when it is ready to move, otherwise there will be discussion, confusion and consequent inaction.

9th. The Caillou runs up the river below the forts, and we have nothing to keep her back. I hope the Secretary of the Navy will keep at least one vessel here to prevent the enemy from making reconnaissances under our very guns.

10th. I allow no arms or powder arriving to escape me, but have no need to impress, as I will not give a permit to go out until I have the promise of the refusal of the cargo. The arrangement works smoothly.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

[Confidential.]

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Pensacola, March 7, 1862.

Lieutenant-Colonel BEARD, First Florida Regiment, Commanding Deer Point:

COLONEL: The brigadier-general commanding directs me to say that the steamer Tom Murray has been chartered and will be placed under your orders at Deer Point. You will hold your battalion in readiness to move at a moment’s warning. Send your tents and heavy baggage, in charge of a commissioned officer and 3 men, to Brewton, there to await further orders from you. You will keep constantly on the alert, and if attacked by an overpowering force, or if you should discover two or more buildings in the navy-yard to be on fire, you will take your men on the steamer, first firing the buildings, if possible, and proceed immediately to Bagdad and Milton, and there burn every foot of lumber, the saw-mills, and boats, including the steamer Tom Murray, and everything that can be of any service to the enemy. If the saws and machinery can be moved to the interior, it may be done; otherwise the saws and machinery must be broken and destroyed. Having accomplished the work assigned you, you will march your command to Brewton and there await further orders. You will keep your battalion supplied {p.844} with forty rounds of ammunition and five days’ rations, three of which should be cooked.

The general expects that you will not hesitate or falter an instant in carrying out thoroughly and effectually the foregoing instructions, in order that, if we are forced to abandon this place, nothing of value, except the position itself, will fall into the hands of the enemy.

It is presumed that you have already moved the 8-inch columbiad with carriage, ammunition, and implements, to Pensacola, as directed some days since. If not, you will lose no time in so doing.

This communication you will regard as strictly confidential.

I am, colonel, yours, very respectfully,

CHARLES S. STRINGFELLOW, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Pensacola, March 7, 1862.

Lieutenant-Colonel CONOLEY, Fourth Alabama Battalion, Commanding at Pensacola:

COLONEL: The brigadier-general commanding directs that you hold your battalion in readiness to move at the shortest notice out of Pensacola, either by railroad or marching on the Mill road towards Pollard, as circumstances may require. You will send your heavy baggage to Pollard as soon as you can do so without retarding the transportation of troops and ordnance stores ordered to Mobile and Montgomery. On receiving an order from the general or officer commanding here to retire, whether such order may be in writing or through a staff officer, you will immediately destroy and burn all public buildings, including the railroad depot, and all factories, machine-shops, machinery, boats, and lumber, whether public or private, and then retire, destroying the railroad, and removing the iron to the interior. A sufficient number of laborers and an engine and platform cars will be placed at your disposal to do this latter work. The destruction of property in Pensacola must be done by your own men.

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

CHARLES S. STRINGFELLOW, Assistant Adjutant-General.

(These instructions were given in compliance with orders from General Bragg.)

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NAVY DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., March 8, 1862.

To the PRESIDENT:

SIR: For your information I have the honor to make the following statement in reference to the communication of the Committee of Safety of New Orleans,* submitted to me this day:

The credit of the Government has doubtless suffered in New Orleans from the failure of the Treasury to meet the requisitions of the Department, and this has been a constant source of embarrassment to the Department and of annoyance to its creditors and disbursing agents in that city. I have repeatedly brought the subject to the attention of the Secretary of the Treasury and invoked prompt payment, though I {p.845} have felt that with his limited power to produce Treasury notes and under the rule adopted giving priority to certain disbursements for the. Army he was powerless to correct the evil. Here is my last letter to him upon the subject. (Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury, dated February 22, 1862.)

The requisitions of this Department upon the Treasury for money to meet payments in New Orleans have usually been made immediately upon hearing from its disbursing officers the amount required, and always, I think, within twenty-four hours thereafter; but the delay of the Treasury in paying them has been from twenty-five to forty days. In some cases the Treasury Department has, after long delay, instead of sending notes for which our creditors were waiting, sent drafts for Confederate bonds payable in Richmond, and which drafts were useless to our agents and creditors there, and which therefore had to be returned to Richmond for payment and then sent to New Orleans, thus still further protracting payment.

This has been a source of great embarrassment to this Department and complaint of its creditors. In one of these cases a requisition for $42,000 was dated December 24, 1861, payable to Navy Agent William B. Howell on February 6, 1862. He received a draft-one-half in notes and one-half in bonds-at Richmond. His letter of advice was received February 15, and on February 17 I called upon the Treasurer for the requisition-forty-eight days afterwards.

When the Department draws its requisition in favor of its creditors upon an existing appropriation its duty and its power are alike exhausted, and though the Department has endured the embarrassment consequent upon these delays, and which it had not the power to avert, it has felt that the condition of the Treasury rendered them inevitable, and that the responsibility for them was with that Department. Our agents are instructed to make all contracts they can payable partly in bonds, and they do so, and in such cases our requisition calls for the amount of bonds to be sent; but the Treasury, as you will see by the Secretary’s letter, deems it proper to send bonds when not required and when we cannot use them, and embarrassment to the Department and losses to creditors inevitably follow. Our agents, from the nature of their disbursement, can dispose of bonds only to a very limited extent.

The following telegram from our Navy agent and the Treasury comments thereon will thus show the character of these transactions:

[Telegram.]

Ordnance money received; one-half in drafts on Richmond, payable in bonds, which I cannot use. Shall I pay for what stores received, as advised you in my letter of February 5?

ANSWER OF SECRETARY.

I return you the telegram of Navy Agent Howell. If you will examine the acts of Congress you will find that a large amount of the means furnished by Congress to pay the expenditures consists of bonds. These must be distributed among these expenditures, for which alone they can be used, and I see no remedy but to require your agents to make their contracts accordingly. It is not possible to supply the means, except in the form provided by Congress, and if the agents, instead of complaining, would set themselves to aid the Government by disposing of the bonds there would be no difficulty.

Similar cases are constantly occurring, and this day I am notified by telegram that upon a requisition to pay a debt due in notes drawn by me one month ago one-third of the amount was sent to New Orleans in bonds, which of course the creditor declines to receive.

{p.846}

Embarrassment to creditors has also arisen in New Orleans from the following circumstances: Captain Hollins, without the knowledge or authority of the Department, without acquainting it with his actions, and when no appropriation existed for meeting the payment, made contracts for ordnance and ordnance stores amounting to about $500,000. The amount of these contracts was for a long time unknown to the Department, and information of their extent was first acquired through the contractors themselves. The navy agent and an officer sent especially for the purpose were instructed to ascertain their amount, and an estimate was submitted to Congress and an appropriation obtained to pay them at the earliest possible moment thereafter, and on the very day I received the act of Congress I made a requisition for the funds, and they have been placed in New Orleans to meet all demands which have come to hand.

The statement of the Committee of Safety as to the amount of indebtedness is totally incorrect. No such amount as from $600,000 to $800,000 has been outstanding, and if the Treasury Department has sent to the disbursing agents of this Department the money for its requisition of March 1 for $300,000, they have funds in hand more than sufficient to meet every cent due by the Department and of which it has any knowledge. I annex copies of my letters to the Treasury Department,** and herewith return the communication of the Committee of Safety.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. R. MALLORY, Secretary of the Navy.

* Of February 26. See p. 831.

** Not found.

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RICHMOND, VA., March 6, 1862.

A copy of the foregoing report was forwarded to the Committee of Safety, by the President’s direction, by his private secretary, as soon as received.

BURTON N. HARRISON, Private Secretary.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Pensacola, Fla., March 8, 1862.

Capt. THOMAS W. BRENT, C. S. N., Pensacola, Fla.:

SIR: The naval storekeeper in Pensacola was informed on the 4th instant, by my direction, that the naval stores in Pensacola should be removed to the interior and those now 15 miles out of town could remain where they are for the present. All the transportation at my disposal has been for some days and is now required to move troops and military stores to points where they are needed. I suggest, therefore, that you put such naval stores now in Pensacola as you can on the steamer Time. They can be placed on her while she is at the wharf in Pensacola, and continue to perform the service she is now engaged in. If it becomes necessary to evacuate this place (and I trust no such necessity will arrive), the captain of the Time has been ordered to run his boat as far up the Escambia as possible. At present and for some weeks it is believed that he can run her to within a few miles of the State line, to a point within a mile or two of the railroad. From that point the naval stores could be moved to the railroad for transportation elsewhere if necessary. The stores 15 miles from Pensacola should be moved {p.847} farther to the interior as soon as transportation by railroad can be provided.

I hear that an officer of the Navy has been for some time engaged in building two gunboats at or near Milton, and that they are now nearly ready for service. He should be immediately informed of the condition of things as you know them to be here, and warned to be constantly on the alert, to prevent them falling into the hands of the enemy. If he cannot take them up the Escambia or place them beyond the reach of the enemy, he should burn them as soon as he hears that this place has fallen into the hands of the enemy, and measures should be taken to give him the earliest possible information on the subject.

It is probable that an attempt will be made to run the Bradford and Nelms into Mobile Bay, and it may be that they could tow the two gunboats on a dark night into Mobile Bay. You are better able to judge of that than I can. Under no circumstances should they be allowed to fall into the hands of the enemy.

No time should be lost in carrying out the foregoing suggestions. The quartermaster in Pensacola will give you all the aid he can in moving the naval stores.

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

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General, Commending.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., March 9, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: In obedience to your orders, I have sent forward to Tennessee, besides the Thirteenth Louisiana, already detached, the following regiments, viz: the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Fourth Louisiana, and the Seventh Mississippi Regiments. The Twentieth will leave on Tuesday. Gibson’s and Vaiden’s field batteries have also gone forward. In addition, Governor Moore has sent the Crescent Regiment and Fifth Company Washington Artillery, and the Orleans Guard Battery, with three companies of that battalion, will go in a few days, all nominally for ninety days; but there is every reason to believe that once in the field they will remain. These troops have all been fitted out completely by the State. I have only furnished ammunition, subsistence, and transportation. One or two independent companies will probably join Beauregard in the same manner.

The four Mississippi companies of Hardcastle’s battalion which were here 1 have ordered to join their own corps, now with General A. S. Johnston.

You will thus perceive that this department has been completely stripped of every organized body of troops. To replace them I have called upon Governor Moore for 10,000 volunteers and militia for the defense of the lines about New Orleans, which call, I hope, will meet with the approval of the Government. Persons are found here who assert that I am sending away all troops so that the city may fall an easy prey to the enemy.

All requisitions for ammunition have been filled until I have none left except what is in the hands of troops; neither have I funds placed at my disposal to create supplies in place of those sent off.

If the enemy intends an attack here he will make it soon, and I trust {p.848} no further calls will be made until we are placed in a defensible condition.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Pensacola, Fla., March 9, 1862.

Col. THOMAS M. JONES:

SIR: You will receive with this an order assigning you to the command of the troops remaining here. You are aware that by instructions from Major-General Bragg preparations have been made to evacuate this post.

I have ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Conoley, commanding Fourth Battalion Alabama Volunteers in Pensacola, on receiving an order from the commanding officer here, or if attacked by an overpowering force, or on discovering buildings of the navy-yard to be on fire, immediately to burn and destroy all public buildings, including the railroad depot all machinery and machine-shops, cotton, lumber, the wharves, and all boats of every description in Pensacola, then retire to Pollard, destroying as far as possible the railroad, and moving the iron to the interior. An engine and sufficient number of platform cars will be placed at his command for this service.

I have ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Beard, commanding battalion Florida regiment at Deer Point, if attacked in force, or if he should discover two or more buildings in the navy-yard to be on fire, immediately to fire his huts, take his men on the steamer Tom Murray, which is placed at his disposal and ordered to remain at Deer Point constantly subject to his orders, proceed to Crigler, Bagdad, and Milton, burn the Tom Murray and all boats of every description, every foot of lumber and the saw-mills, breaking and destroying the machinery, then to march across the country to Brewton, 7 miles above Pollard, on the railroad, and there await further orders. Preparations have been made for burning all the buildings of any value from Fort McRee to Pensacola, and for disabling all the guns and their carriages. You will keep constantly on the alert, and, if attacked in such force as to render it impossible in your judgment to defend the place, you will immediately cause the guns remaining in the batteries to be disabled and all the buildings fired; then retire with all your troops, and proceed as rapidly as possible to Mobile. Florida Railroad and rolling-stock are at your command. In the mean time you will continue with all possible dispatch to dismount the remaining shell and rifled guns, and send them, with the carriages, ammunition, and implements, to Pensacola, for transportation to Mobile, and all other guns and supplies to Montgomery.

You are aware that I still have some hope of being able to hold this place. The governor of Alabama has promised to send here by the middle or end of this week about 1,500 men. Five hundred are expected to arrive to-night. As they arrive they will report to you. By distributing them judiciously at the different batteries you may prevent the enemy from discovering that other troops have been withdrawn.

The Eighth Regiment of Mississippi Volunteers has been ordered to proceed on Tuesday next, the 11th instant, to Corinth, Miss. As soon thereafter as transportation can be provided you will send first the Mississippi Battalion, then the Florida Battalion, then the Fourth Alabama {p.849} Battalion to Corinth, Miss., to report to the commanding officer at that place. If the Florida Battalion moves before it becomes necessary to evacuate this place, Lieutenant-Colonel Beard will hand over his written instructions in regard to the destruction of property at Milton and other places to Lieutenant-Colonel Conoley, who will assign that duty to two companies of his battalion.

If, as I trust will not be the case, you are forced to evacuate the place, you will proceed with your command as rapidly as possible to Mobile, and thence to Corinth, Miss., and report to the commanding officer at that place.

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

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General.

[Inclosure.]

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 62.}

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., March 8, 1862.

...

II. Col. Thos. M. Jones, Twenty-seventh Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, is assigned to the command of the First Brigade. Staff officers will report to him accordingly.

By command of Brig Gen. S. Jones:

CHAS. S. STRINGFELLOW, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY or PENSACOLA, Pensacola, Fla., March 10, 1862.

Lieutenant-Colonel BEARD, First Florida Regiment, Deer Point:

SIR: You will proceed to-night to execute the orders given you in my letter of instructions a few days since.* You will take only 100 men, the best and most reliable you have, with three officers. You will start in time to reach the Point, where your work is to begin, by daylight tomorrow morning, and will not commence the work of destruction until it is light, lest some injury might result to persons not aware of your mission. You will burn every saw-mill, planing-mill, sash factory, every foot of lumber, and all boats of every description. If there is any cotton at any of the places you will not fail to destroy it.

You will communicate with the officer or agent having charge of the gunboats, and deliver a letter which I will send you. If those can be towed up the Escambia, you will, after having completed thoroughly the destruction of the property I have mentioned, give such assistance in towing them out of danger up the Escambia as you can. If that cannot be done you will destroy the gunboats also.

Instead of burning the Tom Murray, as directed in my former letter, you will, after having burned all the property I have mentioned, proceed with your command in the Tom Murray up the Escambia as near to Pollard as you can approach, leave the steamer, and go to Pollard, to act as a guard temporarily of the public property at that place.

Take four days’ rations, and as many more as you may have on hand, and 40 rounds of ammunition. It is not supposed that you will meet with any opposition, but should there be, you will carry out your orders by force of arms. I rely upon you so to execute your orders that nothing of material value to the enemy shall be left in that vicinity. {p.850} The following is a list of the mills as far as I can ascertain them: **

...

The remainder of your force you will leave at Deer Point for to-night, with orders, if attacked in force, to burn the hut and come to this side in the Bradford, which will be near the Point all night.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General.

* See p. 843, Stringfellow to Beard, March 7.

** List omitted, as well se an accompanying “estimate” of the value ($764,500) of the property to be destroyed.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., March 10, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: The steamer Tennessee has been unable to get out of the river so far. When she went down to make the attempt, it was understood that she would be assisted to the extent of calling off the attention of the blockaders by one of our gunboats. These, however, have all been ordered up the river, and she still remains at the lower forts.

Since the river expedition (Montgomery’s) was set on foot circumstances have so materially changed as to require, in my judgment, at least a temporary change in the programme. The evacuation of Columbus puts an end to any attack upon the enemy’s fleet at Cairo. Still, I should have sent the whole number, fourteen, up as soon as they were ready, notwithstanding the Secretary of the Navy had ordered every gun afloat up the river, had not the heavy drift and current broken up, in a great measure, the river obstructions at Fort Jackson. Under these circumstances, with the enemy’s fleet collecting and beginning to enter the months of the river with boldness, and having an open passage to New Orleans if the batteries below are passed, I have written to General Polk that I could put no guns on the boats of the expedition, and that until I could replace some obstructions in the river I should feel compelled to keep here six of the steamers. The fleet threatening us below is much more formidable than that above, and I object strongly to sending every armed vessel away from New Orleans at this time. This city has been already too much weakened by the detachments of all kinds. Loud complaints are made on all hands, and until we are placed in security below I do not think it advisable to draw anything further from this point except the eight ships, strengthened and prepared for their guns, which can be furnished above as well as here.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. ELEVENTH BRIGADE, M. L. T. [ L. M. T. ?], Bastrop, La., March 10, 1862.

Major-General LEWIS, New Orleans:

GENERAL: I am in receipt of your General Orders No. 14, referring to Order 191 of the governor and commander-in-chief, exempting from militia duty one white man on each plantation in the parish where there are slaves.

{p.851}

I shall endeavor to organize the militia in this brigade and give due effect to the exemption therein prescribed, but permit me most respectfully to suggest that I fear the task will prove a fruitless one, and for these reasons: The population subject under the law to militia duty (male between the ages of 18 and 45), in the parishes composing this brigade, with the exception of the two parishes lying west of the Ouachita River, consists chiefly of planters who are slave-owners, their sons, and the overseers on the larger plantations; the non-slave-owners (not including overseers), comprising but a small class of the population. All these parishes have contributed most liberally in volunteers for the war, and the number subject to militia duty is now greatly reduced.

The volunteers have been drawn from all classes of our citizens, but the non-slaveholders are most largely represented in the Army. The young or single men of all classes have nearly all gone, and such has been the drain on our population, that you can now rarely find any one plantation with two able-bodied men upon it.

Under these circumstances I apprehend that the exemption referred to would cover a large majority of those otherwise subject to duty, and its enforcement would, I fear, defeat anything like a general or efficient organization of the militia. In some parishes of the brigade I doubt whether a single company could be raised of persons not entitled to the exemption, and in only two of them could a sufficient number be enrolled to form a regiment.

The planters and their overseers would in a large majority of instances be exempt, and the burden of militia duty would fall almost exclusively upon the non-slaveholders; a class least able to bear the sacrifice of time and labor required, and whose numbers are already greatly reduced by their patriotic contributions of soldiers for the war. Should such be the effect of it, this class might be impressed with the inequality if not injustice of its operation, and this might tend to defeat that harmony and cordial co-operation for the public defense among all classes so very necessary in the present great emergency. This I deem an important consideration. I have, besides, some practical experience in regard to the working of this exemption. Up to the time of my recent appointment as brigadier-general I was colonel of the Morehouse Regiment of Militia. Notwithstanding the defects in the law of 1853, I had succeeded in effecting a thorough organization of the regiment, and was progressing rapidly in perfecting the militia of the parish both in the company and battalion drill. After the order of the governor referred to was issued I could never secure a sufficient “turn-out” for a battalion drill, and in several of the company beats the companies were completely broken up, owing entirely to the number of persons claiming exemption under this order. In short, the regiment was disorganized. Such, I fear, would be the practical effect of the exemption in nearly every other parish in the brigade.

I hope these considerations may lead to a rescinding of the order. I am duly sensible that the order was prompted by a desire to secure the slave-holding communities from the dangers arising from insubordination among the slaves, and the apprehension lest the absence of the owner or overseer from the plantation on militia duty might tend to produce such insubordination. This consideration would, perhaps, make some provision of the kind necessary, in case the militia is called into active service, but even in such a case I do not think the exemption need be as broad as that provided by the order. Many plantations are very small and have but few slaves upon them, and in many instances one man could conveniently take charge of several of them; but until {p.852} the contingency referred to arises I am fully satisfied, from actual observation, that the mustering and drilling of the entire militia force, notwithstanding the temporary absence of the owners and overseers from the plantations it would involve, so far from having a tendency to encourage a spirit of insubordination among the slaves, would have the contrary effect, to keep them in awe and subjection; and to these military displays and the drilling of volunteer and militia troops I attribute in a great measure that remarkable state of discipline and subordination that has been observed among the slave population in this section since the commencement of the war.

Military rule of implicit obedience to the orders of superiors debars, perhaps, the privilege of in any manner questioning the propriety of those orders, and if I have seemingly departed from it in this instance, I trust I shall be pardoned for the motive that prompts it; which is the extreme anxiety felt to see the proper strength and efficiency imparted to the militia system, now so important an arm of the public defense.

Your communication of the 3d instant, with the accompanying order, was also received, and shall be promptly attended to.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. B. TODD.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., March 11, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Quartermaster, commissary, river defense, engineer, and medical funds exhausted. Time is important. Cannot move rapidly without money.

M. LOVELL.

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JACKSON, March 11, 1862.

General JONES:

Relieve Colonel Villepigue and send him here as soon as possible.

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General.

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PENSACOLA, FLA., March 11, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General, C. S. Army:

SIR: You know, I presume, General Bragg’s instructions to me. There is a large quantity of most valuable war material here yet, including several rifled and shell guns, and machinery in the navy-yard, which can be moved and used in making guns. I am convinced the enemy’s force on Santa Rosa Island is much smaller than has been supposed All seems quiet there. I believe Col. T. M. Jones, with from 700 to 1,000 armed men, with the volunteers who are coining in, can hold the place long enough to move all that is particularly worth moving, and perhaps much longer. He agrees with me, and desires to undertake it. May I make the necessary arrangements and try it? If not, our loss of material will be heavy.

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General.

{p.853}

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Pensacola, Fla., March 12, 1862.

Col. THOMAS M. JONES:

SIR: I have just received the following telegram from the Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army:

RICHMOND, March 12, 1862.

Your dispatch of yesterday just received. You are fully authorized to use your own discretion, making all necessary arrangements for the safety of material referred to by you.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

Let me know by Lieutenant Noble, who will hand you this, the number of armed men, as shown by your morning report of this morning. Do not include any of the Fourth Alabama Battalion. The few arms they have belong to the Florida regiment, and the lieutenant-colonel is ordered to turn them over. You will keep the battalion as so many over and above the number of armed men left you. The governor of Alabama has just telegraphed me that five companies will leave Montgomery for Pensacola to-morrow, and he will send 1,000 here.

Make your arrangements as we agreed on last evening. Encourage your men; tell them they are engaged in most important service. If they can hold Pensacola even long enough to save the public property and move it to a place of security they will have rendered most valuable service, which will not fail to be properly noticed and appreciated. If they can hold it permanently they will immortalize themselves.

Put some men with axes to cutting up all the masts and spars of the Fulton and all such. They are in one of the store-houses of the navy-yard, and some of them are piled against the wall near the officers’ quarters. In arranging for the destruction of machinery, do not forget to overlook that used for drawing vessels into the dock.

General Bragg telegraphed me last night again to relieve Villepigue and send him to him. I must therefore go to Mobile. Will leave to-morrow if the road is practicable. I leave most important and responsible duties to you, and have full faith in your ability and will to perform them if they can be performed.

Do all you can to quiet and reassure your officers and men. Represent to them-what is really the case, I believe-that from the apparent condition of things on Santa Rosa the enemy is not prepared to make a serious attack; that from reports which they may have heard of the movements here they may attempt to feel us to ascertain our true condition, and if met boldly and repelled all will be quiet, at least until they are strongly re-enforced.

In haste, respectfully, &c.,

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., March 12, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

SIR: I have your letter of the 27th ultimo, together with its inclosures. I have also received several communications in relation to the command of the river steamer defenses, and both the President and myself have felt much embarrassed by them. The expedition was planned and gotten up by Captains Montgomery and Townsend, recommended by the whole Mississippi delegation and General Polk, and the objections {p.854} made to them now appear to us of the most vague and inconclusive character.

The President has great confidence in Capt. T. P. Leathers, and if he can be induced to go as commander of the expedition you are requested to put him in command of the whole, Captain Montgomery second Captain Townsend third, and the remainder in such order as may be fixed by Captain Montgomery.

The list of captains recommended by Montgomery and Townsend is as follows, viz:

January 15, Capt. John A. Stephenson.

January 26, Isaac Hooper.

January 27, Burdett Paris.

January 28, John H. Burke.*

January 29, James Beverly Smith.

January 30, James C. Delancy.

January 31, Joseph Davis McCoy.

February 1, William H. H. Leonard.*

February 2, James Henry Hurt.

February 3, George Willholland Phillips.

February 4, William W. Lamb.

February 5, Joseph A. Sturtevant.*

The three against whose names stars (*) have been placed are said by some of the citizens of New Orleans to be unreliable. If you could replace them (the last especially) by some captains acceptable to our people, with the consent of Montgomery and Townsend, it would be well. I do not myself find sufficient reason for distrusting the parties, but public opinion ought to be satisfied if possible. In relation to these three parties you will use your own discretion.

The expedition ought to go as promptly as possible, subject to the orders of General Beauregard as regards the service required of it (but of course without any interference in their organization), and the relative rank of each officer settled in a general order, which you are hereby authorized and requested to issue to them in conformity with the foregoing instructions.

I have sent you $300,000 on account of the expenses of this expedition, and will send you further remittances very promptly. As soon as I can get one moment I will answer the rest of your letter; but I conclude by saying that your whole conduct of your department justifies the confidence reposed in you, and that I have not yet found a single act of yours which I disapprove in the smallest degree.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

P. S.-If Captain Leathers will not go then give the command to Montgomery. If you can get Captain Holmes to take charge of one of the boats I would be gratified. He is an excellent officer. The expedition is in no event to be put under control of officers of the Navy.

HDQRS. SECOND GRAND DIVISION, ARMY OF TEE MISS., Jackson, Tenn., March 12, 1862.

Brig. Gen. SAMUEL JONES, Comdg. Dept. Ala. and West Fla., near Pensacola, Fla.:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 5th instant was not received until this morning. Owing to a heavy pressure of business the general has instructed me to reply.

{p.855}

He feels confident everything has been done by you to carry out his instructions. He is aware of the many difficulties under which you are laboring. With the utmost confidence in your ability, zeal, and industry, the general knows nothing will be neglected by you which can possibly be performed.

He directs that by all means the large shell guns, ammunition, and implements, with the most important stores, be collected and saved. Abandon nothing that can possibly be secured.

Also that you relieve Colonel Villepigue, Captain Gibbs, and Lieut. W. F. Johnson, C. S. Marine Corps, as soon as you can spare them, and direct them to report here. The services of Colonel Villepigue are much needed. Would it not be well to relieve him immediately, and assign Col. W. L. Powell, at present commanding Second Brigade, to the temporary command of the Army of Mobile?

You can retain such forces as you deem necessary to carry out instructions.

The general has the pleasure of knowing that you have been nominated for a major-general. As soon as the appointment is received you will be assigned to the command of one of the divisions of this army.

We shall endeavor to keep you advised of important events transpiring in this quarter.

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

GEO. G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Pensacola, Fla., March 12, 1862.

Capt. F. J. MYERS, First Florida Regiment, Commanding at Deer Point:

CAPTAIN: You must not suppose that you and the companies with you are left at Deer Point merely to let the enemy see that the Point is still held, and to retreat on the first demonstration of an attack. A much smaller guard would better serve that purpose.

I am convinced that the enemy on Santa Rosa is by no means so strong as has been supposed, and I do not believe they are prepared to make a serious attack on us. It is not improbable that they have received reports of our movements here which will induce them to reconnoiter and perhaps feel you, without any intention of attacking seriously, but only to ascertain the condition of things. If they are met boldly and driven off they will let you alone, at least until they are strongly re-enforced. You must not give up your position unless attacked by overpowering numbers. Your position is such that the enemy can only approach you by boats or by crossing high up and coming down the beach, which is so narrow that a few men judiciously placed, sheltered by sand hills and trees, can drive off five times their numbers if they will keep cool and fight bravely. Extend your sentinels 3 or 4 miles up the beach, as far as Live Oak Plantation if practicable, so as to give you timely warning of the approach of the enemy if he presents himself, and be sure they are too many for you before you retreat.

The Floridians at Deer Point have an important duty to perform, and I expect them so to perform it as to reflect credit upon themselves and their State. You will be withdrawn and your places supplied in a day or two.

Very respectfully, &c.,

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General.

{p.856}

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RICHMOND, VA., March 13, 1862.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE, New Orleans, La.:

You are requested to proclaim martial law in my name over the parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, Saint Bernard, and Plaquemine.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

[Repeated March 15.]

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FORT MORGAN, March 14, 1862.

General SAMUEL JONES:

The temporary command of the Army of Mobile having been turned over to me by Colonel Villepigue by telegraph, I respectfully report the same and await your instructions.

W. L. POWELL Colonel, &c.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF MOBILE, Mobile, Ala., March 15, 1862.

General BRAXTON BRAGG, Jackson, Tenn.:

GENERAL: On the receipt of your telegram ordering me to relieve Colonel Villepigue and send him to you as soon as possible I left Pensacola on the morning of the 13th, and arrived here about midnight. Colonel Villepigue, to whom I telegraphed my intention of starting on the 13th, left here en route for your headquarters a few hours before I arrived.

I left Col. Thomas M. Jones at Pensacola to carry out your instructions, ordering him to hold the place, if possible, until all the public property is removed. The damage to the railroads, and the panic produced in the community by the report that the place was to be evacuated, which got abroad before your instructions reached me, greatly retarded my operations. I trust that Colonel Jones will be able to move all the most valuable stores remaining there when I left. Besides the ordnance and other stores that you directed to be first moved there was in Pensacola and about 15 miles out of town a quantity of very valuable navy stores, the loss of which could probably not be supplied, which I thought it proper to remove; also a quantity of valuable machinery in the navy-yard, which, if moved to a place of security, might be used in the manufacture of guns, which I was removing. As the railroad could not furnish sufficient transportation, the steamer Time was loaded and sent up the Escambia, which was so unusually high as to enable the steamer to reach Bluff Springs on the 13th in about forty hours from Pensacola. She would return and carry up another load. All necessary preparations were made before I left to disable the guns, burn all the buildings, and carry out fully the work of destruction you directed. On the night of the 10th I ordered Lieutenant Colonel Beard, of the First Florida Regiment, to take with him 100 men of his regiment and proceed by steamboat up to East Bay, Blackwater, and the Escambia, and burn and destroy all saw-mills, lumber, and boats that he could find. I directed him not to commence burning the mills until after daylight on the 11th. He was ordered to communicate with the officer having charge of the two gunboats nearly completed at or near Milton, and, if practicable, tow them up the Escambia, but if that could not be {p.857} done, and the officer having charge of them had any doubt of his ability to destroy the boats if necessary to prevent them falling into the hands of the enemy, then to burn them also. Having performed this duty, Colonel Beard was ordered to take his command to Brewton, on the railroad, about 7 miles above Pollard, where his regiment would be concentrated and then ordered to Corinth.

You are aware that a very small number of the men of the First Florida Regiment were with the army when you left. The interruption to travel and excessive rains retarded the Floridians somewhat in rejoining the regiment. Most of them had returned the day before I left, and as soon as they could collect their arms, which had been issued to other troops, they would go to Brewton and Pollard. As only about 320 of the Twenty-seventh and 450 of the Eighth Mississippi Regiments were present for duty, it was necessary to leave the latter with Colonel Jones or give up all idea of moving the remaining stores. They will be ordered to you as soon as possible. The telegraphic communication with Pensacola is interrupted by the storm of last night, or I would order them to start immediately. Failing to hear from you in reply to my letter of the 6th, and as your telegrams were very long on the way, I took the liberty of telegraphing the Adjutant-General, presuming, of course, that he was informed of the instructions under which I was acting, and asked if I could be permitted to leave from 700 to 1,000 armed men with Colonel Jones, to hold the place as long as possible and move as far as practicable, all the remaining war material. He replied promptly, telling me to use my discretion, and make the necessary arrangements for saving the war material remaining at Pensacola.

I write in great haste to get this off by a special express, which starts with a part only of the small ammunition, all I could furnish, called for by Colonel Slaughter’s telegram of the 13th, which I received about 12 o’clock to-day.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General.

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JACKSON, March 15, 1862.

General SAMUEL JONES:

Your letter of 6th received. Suggestions approved. Carry them out. Where is Florida regiment and Eighth Mississippi?

BRAXTON BRAGG.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 10.}

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., March 15, 1862.

By authority of the President of the Confederate States, and in his name, martial law is hereby declared in the parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, Saint Bernard, and Plaquemine.

All grown white males in the aforesaid parishes, except unnaturalized foreigners, will be required to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States, and all persons, whether foreigners or not, who are unfriendly to our cause, are notified to leave the district embraced by this order without delay.

A system of registry and passport will be established, and no one will be permitted to sojourn in the above-mentioned parishes without satisfying the provost-marshals of their loyalty; and all good citizens are {p.858} requested to report to those officers all who are suspected, of hostility to the Government.

All places for the sale of liquor will be closed by 8 o’clock p.m. Any found open after that hour will be closed permanently and the liquor seized.

A number of persons who have no ostensible business, nor any interests in the city or State, have recently arrived in New Orleans. They must satisfy the provost-marshals of their good intentions and objects here or leave immediately.

The following-named persons are appointed provost-marshals for Orleans Parish:

William Freret, first district; Cyprian Dufour, second district; Hon. Pierre Soulé, third district; Col. H. D. Ogden, fourth district. For Algiers, Capt. Norbert Trepagnier; for Jefferson Parish, Judge Victor Burthe;-who will enter upon the discharge of the duties of their offices immediately.

The provost-marshals for the parishes of Plaquemine and Saint Bernard will be announced in a few days.

By command of Major-General Lovell:

J. G. PICKETT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF MOBILE, Mobile, March 16, 1862.

Col. THOMAS M. JONES, Commanding, Pensacola:

COLONEL: Before leaving Pensacola I directed Captain Bird and a sergeant of Captain McDowell’s company, First Florida Regiment, to take the men of their respective companies, which had just arrived, to Brewton, and report to Lieutenant-Colonel Beard, commanding the regiment, who I supposed would have arrived there with 100 men of his regiment, which he had taken with him on special service, by the 14th instant. I had intended to order the eight organized companies of that regiment to assemble at Brewton or Pollard as soon as they had collected their arms which had been issued to other troops, but in the pressure of business on me I omitted to give the order. Send the four companies of that regiment (two at Deer Point and Captains Gee’s and Cropps’) to report to Lieutenant-Colonel. Beard as soon as possible, and order him as soon as his companies are together to proceed to Corinth, Miss., and report to the commanding officer there.

It will not do as yet to leave Deer Point entirely unguarded. Direct Lieutenant-Colonel Conoley to keep a guard of about 30 men of his battalion there, having a steamer always ready near at hand to bring them off if attacked in such force that they cannot hold the Point. The guard can be relieved as often as you think proper, only be sure to have a guard always there. They should keep up camp-fires enough to indicate 300 or 400 men were in the camp, and they should use the material of which the huts are built as fuel, pulling the huts down for the purpose, but they must not make anything like a conflagration.

Continue to send forward as rapidly as you can the guns you do not absolutely need to keep up appearances. If there are any more rifled or shell guns, send them here; also the 10-inch mortars. The smoothbore guns, send to Montgomery. Do not suppose that I have given up or wish you to give up the idea of holding the place permanently. I {p.859} hope we may be able to hold it. But you will not want the 10-inch mortars or the guns in the redoubt. After all the columbiads, rifled guns, and seacoast howitzers are moved move the mortars, then the smooth-bore guns.

Captain Merchant says there are several bars of lead at the store house by the magazine, and some more about the quartermaster’s office or store-house; if so, send it all here by the first train; it is greatly needed; and have the roofs of the houses in the navy-yard and hospital examined, and if any lead can be found send it here.

Telegraphic communication with Pensacola and Montgomery has been cut off for two days, and I therefore do not know how many volunteers you have received. If you want more, telegraph Governor Shorter, and ask him to send them. There are reports here of fighting in West Tennessee, but nothing positive.

Very respectfully and truly, &c.,

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General.

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PENSACOLA, March 16, 1862.

Capt. C. S. STRINGFELLOW, Assistant Adjutant-General:

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders from you by letters dated respectively the 7th and 10th instant,* I proceeded with two companies (Captains Means’ and Baker’s) of the First Regiment Florida Volunteers, in the steamer Tom Murray, from Deer Point, at 8 o’clock p.m. on the 10th, arriving at Miller’s Mills, in East Bay, at 11 o’clock. I called at once on Colonel Miller, but not finding him at home, I advised Mrs. Miller of the object of my mission. At daylight I commenced the execution of your orders by firing the mills and other property, boats, &c.

Having finished here, I proceeded without delay up the Blackwater River, destroying everything in my route embraced in my instructions until I reached Milton. There, at the earnest solicitation of the citizens, I deferred burning anything until my return from General Jackson Morton’s, at the head of Blackwater, they thinking that they could destroy one of the mills, the burning of which at that time would have endangered a large portion of the city, and it making no material, if any, difference whether destroyed then or on my return. Returning, I destroyed everything at Milton embraced in your order.

I reached the mouth of the Escambia about 11 o’clock a.m. on Wednesday, and proceeded up the river, burning as I went all that could be burned. A large amount of square (ship) timber which could not be burned was turned adrift. I found it necessary to burn the gunboats at Bagdad and Milton, it being impracticable to tow them up the Escambia, as they could not pass the bar; in fact, only one of them was launched.

I reached Bluff Springs at about 10 o’clock a.m. on Saturday, after a fatiguing and unremitting labor in the performance of my duties. At this point I received your note from Pollard, dated the 13th. The duties had required so much longer time than had been anticipated that our provisions were entirely out on reaching the Springs; indeed, they gave out on Tuesday evening, and it became necessary to purchase supplies, which I did at Milton. But these again gave out, and I had to {p.860} get some at another point on the river, but was only able to procure a small quantity. Being entirely out of provisions, I marched my men to Pollard, and on arriving there could obtain none, so was forced to go on to Brewton. I took to-day 10 men and a sergeant, under a lieutenant, and placed them on the steamer Murray at Bluff Springs, with order to proceed immediately to Deer Point, to await further orders.

For particulars of the property destroyed I beg to refer you to the accompanying paper, marked Exhibit A.** This, of course, could not be perfect, as much of my work was done after night, and again so hurriedly that a correct statement could not be made. It will afford you some idea of the extent of my operations, and account for the time consumed in the execution of your orders.

I cannot close this report without remarking upon the sacrificing patriotism of those whose property-in many cases all they had-was destroyed. While they regretted the necessity none shrank from the sacrifice, and in many cases were prepared themselves to apply the torch to all they possessed. A more loyal and spirited people I have not met during our troubles. I am happy in being able to state that no dwelling or property other than that embraced in your order was destroyed,-except at Bagdad, where the proximity of the dwellings to the mills caused three houses-Overman’s, Simpson’s, and Bushnell’s-to be burned. The furniture, I believe, was saved, as I had a detail from my command to aid in removing it, though of course damaged to some extent.

My command conducted themselves with marked decorum, being sensible of the delicate and unpleasant duty in which they were engaged. I am much indebted to Mr. A. McVoy, who accompanied me throughout, and without whose assistance I could not have carried out my orders, being unacquainted with the topography of the country and the location of the mills. He was otherwise of great assistance to me.

I am, captain, your obedient servant,

W. K. BEARD, Lieutenant-Colonel First Fla. Regt., Commanding Expedition.

* Letter of the 7th not found.

** Exhibit omitted. Among its more important items are two gunboats, four other steamboats, and a number of sailing vessels.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 11.}

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT No. 1, C. S. A., New Orleans, La., March 18, 1862.

In order to carry into effective operations the requirements of General Orders, No. 10, current series, from these headquarters, the provost-marshals will each establish an office in their respective districts for the transaction of business. Due notice of the localities will be given in the public prints.

Each office will be provided with such assistants and clerks as may be necessary for the transaction of business.

Every white male above the age of sixteen years, residing temporarily or otherwise in the parishes of Orleans and Jefferson, whether he be a citizen of the Confederate States or an alien, shall, within six days from the publication of this order, present himself before the provost-marshal of this district, to have his name registered and to furnish as far as able such information as may be required.

Those who claim to be citizens of the Confederate States, by birth or otherwise, shall be required to subscribe an unconditional oath of allegiance {p.861} to said States, and such as claim to be aliens shall be sworn to the effect that they will abide by the laws of this State and of the Confederate States as long as they are permitted to reside therein, and that they will, under no circumstances, convey to our enemies any information relative to the military or political affairs of the country.

Persons who came to this city or State since the 21st of May, 1861, from any of the States at war with the Confederate States, shall be subject to arrest and imprisonment, unless they procure within six days from the date hereof a permit to remains signed by the commanding general or the provost-marshal of the district in which they reside, which permit will be renewed from time to time by an indorsement setting forth the time of extension.

The foregoing requirements will go into effect as above in the parishes of Saint Bernard and Plaquemine within six days after the appointment of the provost-marshals of those parishes. Every person who desires to go beyond the limits of the aforesaid districts or parishes shall provide himself with a passport signed by the commanding general or the provost-marshals of the district or parish in which said person resides.

All orders issued by provost-marshals in the execution of their offices will be promptly obeyed, and any disobedience of summons emanating from any of them will be dealt with summarily, and all officers in command of troops are hereby directed to comply promptly with any requisitions made on them by the provost-marshals, and to furnish them such aid and assistance as they may require. The police of the city will in like manner, render every assistance in their power when called on.

The commanding general confidently expects that the friends of order, all those who have at heart the success of our glorious cause, will cordially co-operate with the provost-marshals and furnish them every possible assistance in the performance of the onerous duties devolved upon them for the general welfare. Circumstances have rendered these measures necessary for our safety and success, and it becomes each and every good citizen to contribute all in his power to the promotion of such desirable ends.

Martial law has not been declared for the purpose of annoying unnecessarily the true and loyal citizens. No greater restrictions will be imposed upon the community than are deemed absolutely necessary by those in authority to attain the objects in view, which are mainly to ascertain and remove from among us those who, acting under the instigation of the enemy, are endeavoring by word and deed to impede our onward progress towards independence and self-government, and to rid ourselves of able-bodied loyal men liable to military duty, who have fled to New Orleans from the presence of the enemy, leaving others to perform the duty which they are seeking to avoid.

By command of Major-General Lovell:

E. A. PALFREY, Major, and Assistant Adjutant-General.

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CORINTH, March 18, 1862.

General SAMUEL JONES:

Your letters of 6th and 15th received. All dispositions approved. Transportation coming back for all stores. Send forward medicines and hospital property and heavy guns.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

{p.862}

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF MOBILE, Mobile, March 21, 1862.

General BRAXTON BRAGG:

GENERAL: Colonel Jones has not yet informed me if all the rifled and shell guns at Pensacola have been dismounted and forwarded as you directed, but I presume it has all been done by this time. The bad condition of the roads, and the fact that I was obliged to send a few of the guns you want up the Escambia and land them a mile or two from the railroad, have caused some delay in the delivery of the guns and ammunition at Corinth. I have made every effort to forward with the least possible delay all ordnance and ordnance stores called for by you. I am glad to learn by your telegram received yesterday that my suggestions and operations communicated to you in my letters of the 6th and 15th instant met with your approbation. I have never been entirely without hope of holding Pensacola, even with the very limited means left me, until some favorable change in our affairs should enable us to gather a sufficient force there to hold it permanently. The governor of Alabama has sent there something over a thousand volunteers, and will send more. Colonel Jones wrote me on the 16th instant that all was going on well; that the new troops, though unarmed, were full of energy and zeal, and he adds, “With the army I now have, had I arms, I could defy the attempt of the enemy to dislodge me.” The colonel, you see, enters upon his work with spirit. Since he wrote, the governor of Alabama has sent him 300 arms, and I have strong hope of being able to send him a sufficient number to arm nearly all the new troops. I am more and more convinced that the enemy’s force in the Gulf, and especially on Santa Rosa, has been greatly overestimated. When I left Pensacola only 96 tents could be seen on the island. The season for operations on a large scale on the Gulf is fast passing away, and if we can hold our ground a month or two longer all may yet be well on the Gulf coast.

In view of all the circumstances I respectfully suggest and urge upon you to permit all the smooth-bore guns and the troops now at Pensacola to remain there, hold the place as long as possible, and never give it up without a fight. If forced to abandon it, the guns, which would be of little value to the enemy, can be first disabled, and the other work of destruction carried out as directed by you. I feel so deeply the importance of this matter that I venture to urge it upon your consideration, notwithstanding the pressure of business immediately around you.

Most respectfully, &c.,

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General.

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MOBILE, ALA., March 22, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

Your telegram of yesterday received. The powder delivered to Flag-Officer Randolph. Would like much to have it replaced. Supply here very inadequate; only a small quantity remaining at Pensacola. Railroad communication with Pensacola will not be open sooner than eight or ten days. I believe enemy’s force in the Gulf, especially on Santa Rosa, greatly overestimated. Governor Shorter has sent about 2,000 volunteers to Pensacola and can send more. If permitted to keep the troops and ordnance now there, we may be able to hold the place permanently. Colonel Jones says he can hold it if 700 or 800 muskets or rifles are sent him. I have some hope of getting them for him. Have ordered {p.863} him not to abandon the place unless forced. Shall we go on dismounting all smooth-bore guns and sending them to Montgomery and then abandon the place, or shall we hold it as long as possible? Beg you to excuse my telegraphing you directly. It is difficult and takes time to communicate through General Bragg. Will inform him that I have telegraphed you. Telegraph.

SAM. JONES, Brigadier-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., March 22, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

SIR: Before turning over the affairs of this Department to my successor I am anxious to give you full replies to your letters of the 6th, 9th, and 10th instant, as well as those remaining unanswered in your letter of the 27th ultimo.

1st. I send you a remittance of $350,000, which will enable you to pay 60 per cent. of the value of the fourteen steamers seized for the public use. I applied to Congress for a further appropriation of $500,000, which will, it is hoped, suffice to complete all payments for these vessels.

2d. I have seen Colonel Gorgas on the subject of the works at the Marine Hospital. Your action in this matter is fully approved, and nothing is more gratifying than the zeal and activity you have so intelligently applied to remedying the deficiency under which we labor in the conduct of this war. Exercise your discretion in concentrating all our resources for the public defense, and feel assured of executive support and approval.

3d. The nomination of Colonel Smith as brigadier-general was sent to the Senate more than a week ago, but from some cause it has not yet been confirmed. I shall inquire into the difficulty immediately.

4th. No more calls will be made on you for any supplies. Your assistance to the army in Tennessee has been most timely and valuable, and exceeded what I had hoped. I informed you by telegraph this morning that I had ordered 44,000 pounds of powder from Columbus to you. This is part of the cargo of the Florida, which brought 64,000 pounds. The remaining 20,000 pounds have been sent to Mobile, so that the whole cargo goes to the Gulf. My main purpose in sending it was to enable you to supply the new iron-clad steamers just about to be completed. From the recent experiment of the Virginia and what I hear of the steamers at New Orleans I feel confident that, if even one of them can be got ready before you are attacked, she will disperse and destroy any fleet the enemy can gather in the river above or below. The naval officers say that Tift’s steamer is far superior to the Virginia, and the Virginia’s performances were more extraordinary than the printed reports exhibit. If she had only drawn 5 feet less water she would certainly have captured the Minnesota. She is in perfect order and will soon make another dash, and our officers are confident of taking or sinking the Monitor.

5th. We have received from the Gladiator and Economist altogether 190,000 pounds of powder. The Florida’s I send to New Orleans and Mobile. A large quantity of powder, nearly 100,000 pounds, was lost in our disasters at Forts Henry and Donelson and the evacuation of Nashville. If with the powder from the Florida, you are still short, I must try and have part of that received from England forwarded to you; but I hope this will not be necessary. We have contracts out for several {p.864} thousand tons of saltpeter, and ought now very soon to receive one or two cargoes. This would put us on our legs completely. There is saltpeter in Mexico, and Mr. Oliver came here to make contracts with me, but I could do nothing with him. He wanted large advances and to bind himself to nothing. He was so fearful of responsibilities, that it was impossible to agree on anything. See his agents, Messrs. Avendain Brothers, in New Orleans. They may, perhaps, procure you promptly a saltpeter supply.

6th. I ought to have mentioned, in regard to powder by the Florida, that the parties telegraphed that they required for it $2 a pound, cash, delivered in Marianna, Fla., the Department to take the risk and expense of getting it to Columbus. I consider this extortionate, in view of the fact that they had called on the Government for help to save it and get it to Columbus. I ordered General Pemberton to impress it at that rate. I advise you of these facts for information. The parties complain that they have only received $120,000 on account of the powder per Vanderbilt. Pray settle up with them for that cargo.

7th. Your call on Governor Moore for troops to replace those sent to Tennessee is approved.

8th. In view of the great extent to which you have been weakened by sending aid up the river you are right in retaining some of the steamboat fleet below. I hope, however, that the iron-clad boats will soon be under way and relieve you from all fear of a river attack.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., March 22, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Please order General Jones, at Mobile, to send me some 10-inch columbiads and seacoast mortars promptly.

M. LOVELL.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., March 22, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

Seven vessels of the enemy inside of the mouth of the river. All naval ships at Memphis. I will have to retain six of Montgomery’s fleet for service below.

M. LOVELL.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., March 22, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 12th relative to Montgomery’s expedition. The evacuation of Columbus overturns his original intentions of destroying the enemy’s fleet at Cairo, and in my judgment they can now be used only as assistants to the land and naval forces in defending our own positions. The people of New Orleans thought it strange that all the vessels of the Navy should be sent up the river, and were disposed to find fault with sending in addition fourteen steamers, leaving this city without a single {p.865} vessel for protection against the enemy who was collecting heavy fleets near the mouth of the river. Within the past few days they have had thirteen ships near the mouth, and have succeeded in towing inside several large steamers, which in my opinion only await the arrival of the mortar fleet to attempt to come up the river to New Orleans and operate as a diversion for the column descending from Cairo. Under these circumstances I shall retain here six of Montgomery’s ships to assist in repelling any attack upon the forts below.

At my request Governor Moore is also fitting up with bulkheads of cotton two vessels, which will give us eight here. This will be of material service and will quiet the people, who think that they have been too much neglected. In guns of large caliber we are greatly deficient, as I have mentioned before. It was to be hoped that in the evacuation of Pensacola some 10-inch columbiads would be sent here, but I have only succeeded in getting one, and that by sending a persevering officer after it.

I inclose you two orders on the subject of martial law.* Affairs here have reached a crisis (which Mr. Yancey will explain to the President) and it became necessary for some one to seize the helm with a strong hand, or we should have had trouble, perhaps bloodshed, between men who were all friendly to the cause. A city composed of such heterogeneous elements as this, with an excitable population, who are easily led into excesses, is difficult to govern, as there are so many interests to consult, each jealous of the other. This rendered the appointment of provost-marshals a matter of great difficulty, more especially as I knew that there were large and influential associations in existence whose leaders were desirous to take control. The universal approval of my appointments throughout the city and the satisfaction and quiet so apparent to all lead me to infer that the difficulty has been entirely solved, and everything seems to have settled back into its proper channel. We shall encourage our friends, root out our enemies, guard the public interests, and keep the speculators well in hand. No movement has been made since martial law was proclaimed that has not been received with approval by the people at large. I feel sure that the administration and our cause have been saved from a terrible embarrassment here in New Orleans.

We are called upon here from all quarters to furnish everything-powder, food, equipments, and ordnance stores of all kinds-and it is utterly impossible to make any estimate which will suit the requirements of the bureaus. We must have money here in large quantities, for we know not what urgent requisition may come upon us by telegraph at a moment’s notice. Bragg telegraphed to-day for 500,000 pounds of hard bread, yet the estimate of my commissary, approved by me, has been returned from Richmond for details of what we would require. Such red tape will kill us. We had to borrow money to keep troops from suffering. This point being recognized as a great source of supply I hope you will see the importance of placing large amounts of money here for all the bureaus-commissary ordnance, quartermaster and medical purveyors. It is utterly impossible to foresee what we will require. Money will have to be borrowed to keep our troops in Tennessee from wanting bread. This certainly could not have been foreseen by the assistant commissary of this department.

I thank you very warmly for the confidence expressed in the last paragraph of your letter, and trust that nothing will occur to abate it. My position here is one of labor and difficulty, without much chance for {p.866} glory; but I shall do my duty as I understand it, without “partiality, favor, or affection.”

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

* Nos. 10 and 11, March 15 and 18, pp. 857, 860.

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RICHMOND, VA., March 23, 1862.

Major General LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

I have ordered 44,000 pounds of cannon powder sent to you from Columbus, to enable you to supply gunboats. Have also sent orders for heavy guns, as requested in your dispatch of yesterday.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., March 23, 1862.

Maj. Gen. SAMUEL JONES, Mobile:

Send to General Lovell as promptly as possible some 10-inch columbiads and seacoast mortars.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., March 23, 1862.

Maj. Gen. SAMUEL JONES, Mobile:

The President desires that you proclaim martial law in his name over Mobile and the surrounding country.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, March 23, 1862.

Major General JONES:

Your dispatch of yesterday received. Reserve the guns, forces, and ammunition necessary, as suggested by you, to hold the place against the small force you believe the enemy to have. Communicate further, if necessary. You will be further advised.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary, of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., March 27, 1862.

C. J. MCRAE, Mobile, Ala.:

I understood the purpose of the governor. General Jones was in tended to remain in command, and orders have been given accordingly

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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HDQRS. SECOND GRAND DIVISION, ARMY OF THE MISS., Corinth, Miss., March 28, 1862.

Maj. Gen. SAMUEL JONES, Commanding Department Alabama and West Florida:

GENERAL: Your dispatch of 19th instant, from Mobile,* reached the major-general commanding after some delay, owing to his change of {p.867} position, who directs me to say that the dispositions you have made under the orders of the War Department appear to be judicious and he has no doubt the position at Pensacola may be held by Colonel Jones without danger, especially as we may expect no active operations from the enemy in the Gulf during the approaching summer season.

As his instructions for the destruction of property were based entirely on the orders of the War Department to “abandon Pensacola,” he is gratified to find you exercised a proper discretion in that matter, though rumors have reached here that the order had been executed in part on private property.

The breaking of the railroad again is very unfortunate. Our defenses on the Mississippi are very imperfect, and require all the guns we can command. Will you please hurry forward those behind. There were in all at least twenty heavy shell guns, besides 8-inch howitzers and rifle guns. Half were ordered via Memphis and the other half to New Orleans. But seven have yet reached Memphis. Please urge them forward, sending everything complete with each one.

The general directs that you will change the destination of those to New Orleans, too, and send them to Jackson, Miss., to be used on the river near Vicksburg.

As soon as you can ascertain how many can be sent in each direction please advise us.

It is perfectly useless to send guns to New Orleans. If we lose the river, New Orleans must fall; no defenses can save it; the railroads would be cut immediately, and starvation would do its work.

In resuming his old command, in addition to the one here, the general did not intend to interfere with your command of the department, and requests you to resume it. His command is a larger, and only includes the smaller one. The object was to give us control of means.

It is a subject of regret that the Department should have interfered to prevent your coming here. The most important command in this army was assigned you, and the one on which the general considers the safety of our cause depends.

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

GEO. G. GARNER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* Not found, but see that of March 21, p. 862

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., March 29, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

I cannot get heavy guns from Mobile. The enemy is in large force at the mouth of the river. Please order commanding officer at Mobile to send immediately.

M. LOVELL.

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RICHMOND, VA., March 29, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

What guns do you mean; guns in batteries or guns on their way to you?

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

{p.868}

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., March 31, 1862.

Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH:

A part of the 10-inch columbiads and seacoast mortars which were at Pensacola. New Orleans has only one of the former and none of the latter.

M. LOVELL.

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HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, March 31, 1862.

General SAMUEL JONES, Commanding at Pensacola:

GENERAL: In answer to certain inquiries made in behalf of Col. Thomas M. Jones, as the commanding officer at Pensacola, by Capt. John B. Sale, I have the honor to state that you are desired to hold Pensacola, the navy-yard, &c., provided you have the ability to do so, and to save all the public property of value. Should you be opposed by an irresistible force, you are expected to bring off your command in good order, with their arms, &c. It is therefore suggested that you at once make arrangements for sending to places of security all property not necessary for your purpose, to mobilize your troops, and be prepared for any emergency.

All the arms that are available have been sent to the governor of Florida. Nine hundred will be sent to you by him. Possibly he may supply you with more. The commanding officer at Tallahassee has been written to to send you a company of cavalry and a company of light artillery, if he can procure them. As regards the field officers of the Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiment, I learn from the Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office that Thomas M. Jones has been appointed colonel, James L. Autrey lieutenant-colonel, and George H. Lipscomb major.

Very respectfully,

R. E. LEE, General.

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Abstract from field return of the Army of Mobile, commanded by Maj. Gen. Samuel Jones, for March, 1862.

Troops.Present for duty.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.
Officers.Men.
2d Brigade781,5481,9452,104
9th Brigade Alabama Militia535997351,041
1st Confederate Regiment13196235270
Gracie’s regiment14282296296
Ketchum’s regiment9157166166
McKinstry’s regiment16579616638
Smith’s regiment21398419419
Boyle’s company Mobile Dragoons394107131
Semple’s company light artillery5104119121
Waters’ company light artillery4113129141
Total2164,0704,7675,327
{p.869}

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 1, 1862.

President DAVIS, Richmond, Va.:

I purchased eight months ago 1,880 rifles and 30,000 cartridges, and have just succeeded, after infinite trouble and over $60,000 of outlay in having them landed on the Florida coast. They were at once seized by Governor Milton, and I telegraphed they must be sent to me. I have received his reply, in which he coolly informs me he has taken one-half and your Secretary of War the other. This unpardonable and unparalleled outrage is nothing less than robbery and just as bad. I cannot use Louisiana’s money to buy arms when they are to be seized by the first freebooter that meets them. I have given out all the arms I had, expecting that these would be in the hands of my own troops. Now that thirty-seven sail of the enemy are in the river, in God’s name, in the name of my State, I ask you to order them to be sent to me immediately.

THO. O. MOORE.

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RICHMOND, VA., April 2, 1862.

Governor MOORE, New Orleans, La.:

I was not aware that the arms in the hands of Governor Milton belonged to the State of Louisiana. One-half of them, sent to Pensacola, have been ordered to be placed subject to your order and I have requested Governor Milton to make the same disposition of the remainder. He took them supposing that they were arms given him by Mr. Benjamin when in fact they were part of a different cargo. I did not know until Mr. Benjamin informed me of it that the arms held by Governor Milton were a part of the cargo of the Florida, Col. T. M. Jones, commanding at Pensacola, will communicate to you the arrival of the arms at that place.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

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MOBILE, April 2, 1862.

Col. THOMAS M. JONES, Pensacola:

I have resumed command of this department. Nine hundred rifles on the way to you for war troops*

...

SAM. JONES.

* Some matters of detail omitted.

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O’BANNONVILLE, April 2, 1862.

General SAMUEL JONES:

Ten 10-inch, seven 8-inch columbiads, nine seacoast howitzers, four rifle guns, and two 8-inch seacoast howitzers have been shipped. Lieutenant Aldrich is absent at East Pass, and there may be more; when he returns I’ll let you know. The enemy shelled Captain McPherson’s camp, in order, I think, to enable him to land re-enforcements behind the island, which I think was done yesterday, as 160 cavalry were seen on island to-day. I think there is mischief intended. They have been {p.870} re-enforced. More than 225 men seen landed near Pickens. I think they will make an attack.

The negro is in prison; he has implicated a white man with his evidence and corroborative circumstances.

TUBS. M. JOKES, Colonel, Commanding.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 3, 1862.

General GEORGE W. RANDOLPH:

The seizure of Governor Moore’s guns by the War Department leaves me in a precarious condition. We sent off all our men, relying upon those guns to arm others. Please order them here.

M. LOVELL.

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RICHMOND, VA., April 4, 1862.

General LOVELL, New Orleans:

I have already ordered Colonel T. M. Jones at Pensacola and requested Governor Milton, of Florida, to hold the arms subject to Governor Moore’s order, and have notified him of the fact. I have also endeavored to get columbiads and seacoast mortars for you from Pensacola, but find that all have been sent to Mobile that could be spared.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

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PENSACOLA, April 4, 1862.

General JONES:

I am confident that the enemy now know my true condition, two men having escaped to Fort Pickens.

THOS. M. JONES.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Montgomery, Ala., April 5, 1862.

General GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War, C. S. A., Richmond:

DEAR SIR: I consider the maintenance of the possession of Pensacola a matter of such prime importance, not only to Alabama and Florida, but to the cause at large, that I must claim your attention to a few thoughts and suggestions upon the subject.

Pensacola is, next to Norfolk, the most important point on our entire seaboard to hold at this time. To us as a possession it may not be of any great importance, but to the Yankee Government its importance, in view of their manifest designs, is incalculable. They want a spacious and safe harbor far South for their vast naval armament. Here they have it. It is the only one in the Gulf to which their large ships can find access. When they get it, there is the spacious bay to ride in, the navy-yard to repair at, the fine hospital, and other appointments, which cost the old Government millions of dollars, the extensive fortifications, all ready to their hands.

But, again, they cannot summer at New Orleans, nor Mobile, nor Savannah, nor Charleston. The yellow fever will be a terror to them and repel them; but at Pensacola they can make safe and pleasant {p.871} summer quarters. The healthfulness of the place has been tested by time and experience and is established, and the Yankees who have already spent one summer at Pickens will feel every confidence in making Pensacola summer quarters. No other place on the Southern coast with a roadstead for ships can compare with it for such a purpose.

Put these two great facts together, and it is needless to elaborate an argument. They speak for themselves. I will not weary you nor myself in amplifying.

This great and important point can be securely held with 5,000 men, properly armed and trained, against any force the Yankee Government can detach for its capture; perhaps by less, but certainly by 5,000 men.

But we are now ill provided, and if provision be not made, and that soon, our comparatively naked condition will be known to the invaders, and they will make a stroke at us and take us, as I fear, almost without a show of resistance.

Let me state to you plainly what is needed to put the place in condition of defense:

1st. We want a good brigadier-general-some man who will inspire confidence and effect speedy organization. The gallant and worthy colonel who now commands the post himself feels this want.

2d. We want small-arms for nearly half the troops; now have about 3,200, and we need permanently at the post 5,000 small-arms.

3d. We want now one or two artillery companies and several companies of cavalry.

Alabama is doing all she can, and she will readily furnish the men if she can have the effective co-operation of the C. S. A.

I have this suggestion to make both for present and future operations in respect to Pensacola. Being a point of so great importance, a healthy location, and accessible for stores and provisions, let it be made a camp of instruction for the Confederate service. Send new regiments or companies, as they are formed, to Pensacola for drill; when sufficiently trained, retire them where they may be needed and bring in others, keeping the complement at 4,000 or 5,000 men. In this way the post can be maintained and the new levies of Alabama and adjoining States furnished with a most eligible camp of instruction.

I do not wish to seem importunate, but feeling persuaded, as I do, that 50,000 men will not be able to repair the loss of a post which 5,000 could now hold safely, I hope I will be excused for any seeming importunity. From Pensacola in the hands of the enemy, the whole great producing country of Middle Alabama can be so menaced as to put a serious check to ordinary agricultural labor at little or no cost to the invader. With Kentucky, Tennessee, and parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia lost to us, what are we to do for food if Middle Alabama is seriously disturbed?

I remain, with very great respect,

JNO. GILL SHORTER.

P. S.-If the Secretary will furnish arms, I will furnish 5,000 more troops for the post without delay, with the troops already there included.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 10, 1862.

General GEORGE W. RANDOLPH:

Can you possibly order here 4,000 or 5,000 small-arms? I have sent all my troops to Corinth, but have several unarmed war regiments.

M. LOVELL.

{p.872}

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RICHMOND, VA., April 10, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

Are the cotton-lined boats ready, and where are they?

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., April 10, 1862.

To the GOVERNORS OF MISSISSIPPI, LOUISIANA, SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND ALABAMA:

General Beauregard must have re-enforcements to meet the vast accumulation of the enemy before him. The necessity is imminent; the case of vital importance. Send forward to Corinth all the armed men you can furnish.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 11, 1862.

JEFFERSON DAVIS:

Can troops be armed if I send them? I have no arms here except those General Lovell thinks we should keep-those just received from Pensacola.

TUG. O. MOORE.

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RICHMOND, VA., April 11, 1862.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE:

No arms to furnish. You will not fail to appreciate the necessity which caused the application to you. If you could spare armed troops for a few weeks they might then be returned to you

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 11, 1862.

Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

Governor Milton will not forward my guns. John Leeds, my agent, has been waiting at Columbus, Ga., one week. Order them sent. I am greatly annoyed.

THO. O. MOORE, Governor of Louisiana.

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RICHMOND, VA., April 11, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

We have just had a call for arms from Corinth, which we cannot supply, but hope soon to be able to do so and to send you some. Did you receive my telegram yesterday asking where the cotton-lined boats are?

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

{p.873}

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 11, 1862.

General RANDOLPH, Secretary of War:

Five cotton boats have gone up; three more will go to-night. The other six are to go below-four being ready.

M. LOVELL.

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NEW ORLEANS, April 11, 1862. (Received April 12.)

Hon. S. R. MALLORY:

I am here and will leave soon. The Louisiana will be ready in three days. My boats are not able to meet the enemy without losing them. Enemy march down the banks and erect fortifications, trying to cut off our boats. Island 10 was given up the 8th, losing all the guns. Our boats brought off 500 of the army. The floating battery was sunk by a shell from a mortar.

GEO. N. HOLLINS, Flag-Officer.

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RICHMOND, VA., April 11, 1862.

Major-General LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

The Louisiana was ordered up the river to meet three iron-clad boats which have succeeded in passing Island No. 10, and her presence there is deemed very important to the defense of New Orleans. The guns were intended expressly for her, and the Secretary of the Navy is unwilling to give them up.*

You have not answered my two telegrams asking where the cotton-lined boats were.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

* This was in answer to dispatch printed se document No. 13, in record of the Court of Inquiry. See p. 646.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., April 12, 1862.

His Excellency J. G. SHORTER, Governor of Alabama, Montgomery, Ala.:

SIR: I beg to tender you my thanks for the valuable suggestions contained in your letter of the 5th instant, and to inform you, in reply, that the Department fully appreciates the importance of Pensacola, and has been making every possible effort to arm troops for its defense.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., April 14, 1862.

Maj. Gen. SAMUEL JONES, Commanding Department of Alabama and West Florida:

GENERAL: Your letter to the Adjutant-General of the 5th instant has been referred to me, and I have the honor to inform you that there {p.874} is no general prohibition of the exportation of produce from the ports of the Confederate States. Whenever a military commander thinks that it will fall into the hands of the enemy he may stop it, and even destroy it if necessary, such authority having been expressly granted by Congress; or where he thinks that the exportation is a violation or evasion of the law against trading with the enemy, he may prohibit it; but he should bear in mind that it is good policy to exchange produce for arms and munitions of war with any one willing to make such exchange.

Persons suspected of disloyalty, and yet suffered to go at large for the want of evidence against them, should not be allowed to export cotton or other produce, of which the enemy stand in need, unless you are satisfied that it will not be carried directly or indirectly to the enemy’s ports.

After exported produce gets into circulation you cannot, of course, prevent its going to the ports of the United States; but if you have reason to think that it is exported for that purpose, you would be justified in stopping it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., April 14, 1862.

Governor MOORE, New Orleans, La.:

I have telegraphed to Governor Milton to deliver the arms to your agent on his exhibiting his authority from you and identifying the arms as the property of Louisiana. If, however, the arms were originally taken by the agents of the governor of Florida and not by our own, we have no control over them. Under the circumstances of the landing it was impossible to distribute the cargo at the time.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Mobile, Ala., April 15, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army:

GENERAL: Before relinquishing command of this department, as I have been ordered by General Lee to do, I desire to place on file in your office copies of the principal instructions I received and gave in regard to Pensacola. The copies will be inclosed with this.*

The damaged condition of the railroads and other causes made it impracticable to move the shell and rifled guns and other property specified as rapidly as General Bragg supposed it could be; and when I undertook to hold Pensacola beyond the time appointed for its evacuation {p.875} it was not alone for the purpose of saving much valuable public property, but I hoped whilst doing so to gather a sufficient force to repel any attack I believed the enemy capable of making at that time, and to hold the place until the men I hoped to collect could be armed, organized, and instructed, and put in condition to hold it against any attack the enemy might be induced to make after ascertaining that nearly all the troops that had so long held it securely had been withdrawn. About 1,000 armed and 500 unarmed men were retained. Of these only about 330 had any experience or instruction in the use of heavy artillery. The governor of Alabama has sent to Pensacola about 2,000 unarmed and unorganized men. Other unarmed men might have been and may now be sent there, but I have not thought it advisable to do so without some assurance that I could procure arms for them. One hundred very inferior old Spanish muskets, brought in by a schooner that ran the blockade, and 200 or 300 shot-guns and rifles furnished by Governor Shorter, are the only arms I have yet been able to procure. Col. T. M. Jones, commanding at Pensacola, has now about 3,500 men, including one cavalry company. More than half of them are unarmed, and he has no field artillery. If the Government can furnish arms, this force can, I believe, be very soon increased to 5,000 or 6,000 men, and if to that is added the two companies (one of artillery and one of cavalry) which General Lee informs me, by letter of the 31st October, the commanding officer at Tallahassee had been ordered to send to Pensacola, if they could be procured, Colonel Jones would, I think, be able to defend his post successfully against a formidable attack. The effectiveness of his force would be increased beyond the mere addition of numbers by the encouragement and confidence it would inspire in the officers and men. Heretofore they have been greatly discouraged and depressed, regarding themselves as detained at their post only to keep up the appearance of holding it, but in reality to offer but a feeble resistance if attacked, and then to escape or fall into the hands of the enemy, whilst their more fortunate companions were sent to Tennessee to meet the enemy. But unless the garrison can be increased to near 5,000 infantry, and one or two companies each of light artillery and cavalry added, the place is constantly in imminent danger of falling into the hands of the enemy.

It is for the Department to judge whether it is better to hold it by so uncertain and insecure a tenure, or to move to a place of security the large armament of heavy guns remaining there and then abandon the place. Colonel Jones undertook the task I assigned him in the best possible spirit, and has had many difficulties to contend with. He has held his post more than a month beyond the time appointed for its evacuation, and has thus saved a large amount of valuable Government property. He has performed the duty assigned him so far in a manner deserving high commendation.

This place is but little, if at all, more secure than Pensacola. When the Army of Mobile was withdrawn garrisons were left in Forts Morgan and Gaines, and two companies with the battery at Cedar Point; two cavalry companies, one patrolling from Fort Morgan to the Perdido, the other, near Old Portersville on Bayou Labatre, patrolling the coast’ one light artillery company, just organized and ready for service, and another with field guns, but no horses. A battalion of the First Confederate Regiment, now reduced to two companies, was sent over from Pensacola to man the batteries near this city, the total present for duty being about 2,360. Of this force, one regiment-the Twenty-fourth {p.876} Alabama, aggregate present 680-is now under orders from Fort Morgan to Corinth.

There are here now about 1,500 unarmed and unorganized war troops. I have ordered a portion of them to Fort Morgan, to take the place of the Twenty-fourth Alabama. Besides these I have about 1,000 ninety-day volunteers from the country, armed with shot-guns, and about the same number of armed militia can be turned out in this city on an emergency. I do not speak accurately as to numbers, because the returns are exceedingly inaccurate, and we have no blank forms.

While the garrisons of Forts Morgan and Gaines may be able to repel any attack likely to be made on them soon, there is little or nothing to resist a land attack on the city if made in force.

You will see, general, from the foregoing statement that not only Pensacola, but this city and bay and the large and valuable armaments of Forts Gaines and Morgan, and the batteries at Cedar Point and nearer the city, are very much at the mercy of the enemy. From what the governor of this State tells me, I believe that if arms can be procured the force here can easily be so increased as to defend this place against any attack the enemy is likely to make soon.

A few weeks more and the climate will probably deter the enemy from undertaking extensive operations on the Gulf coast. In the mean time a few thousand arms here and at Pensacola might be of incalculable service to us. I have not received a gun of any sort from the Government since I have commanded this department.

You will not, I am sure, general, understand me as writing this in any spirit of complaint. This is not at all my intention. The Department knows its own resources and the best way of applying them far better than I do. I only desire before turning over my command to state the condition of things here and at Pensacola.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAM. JONES, Major-General.

* For documents referred to see Bragg to Jones, February 27 and Murch 1, pp. 835, 837; Jones to Le Barron, March 4, p. 838; Jones to Bragg, March 5 and 6, pp. 838, 840; Jones to Brent, March 8, p. 846; Jones to Jones, March 9, p. 848; Jones to Beard, March 10, p. 849; Bragg to Jones, March 11, p. 852; Jones to Cooper, March 11, p. 852; Jones to Jones and Myers, March 12, pp. 853, 855; Jones to Bragg and Bragg to Jones, March 15, pp. 856, 857; Jones to Jones, March 16, p. 858; Beard to Stringfellow, March 16, p. 859; Bragg to Jones, March 18, p. 861; Jones to Bragg, March 21, p. 862; Jones to Benjamin, March 22, p. 862; Benjamin to Jones, March 23, p. 866; and Lee to Jones, March 31, p. 868.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, C. S. A., New Orleans, La., April 15, 1862.

General GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War:

SIR: I beg leave to report that the funds for the river-defense fleet which were sent me are nearly exhausted. The enormous price of every kind of materials has made the preparation very expensive, in addition to which the river pilots (Montgomery and Townsend), who are at the head of the fleet, are men of limited ideas-no system and no administrative capacity whatever. I very much fear, too, that their powers of execution will prove much less than has been anticipated. In short, unless some competent person, of education, system, and brains, is put over each division of this fleet, it will, in my judgment, prove an utter failure. No code of laws or penalties has been established, and it is difficult to decide how deserters from the fleet are to be tried and punished. There is little or no discipline or subordination, too much “steamboat,” and too little of the “man-of-war,” to be very effective. The expenses of fitting up, provisioning, coaling, and paying advances so far on the fourteen ships are about $800,000. I have received $950,000, but have paid nothing as yet towards the $563,000, at which sum the vessels {p.877} seized were appraised. The original appropriation was $1,000,000. Captain Montgomery informs me that half a million more has been voted; if so, it should be sent on at once, so as to pay off the liabilities on the vessels.

I trust that the results to be derived from this fleet will compensate for the outlay, but unless some good head is placed in charge of it I fear such will not be the case. The expenses of outfit, payment for ships, and months’ wages will consume one and a half millions. It is due, however, to Montgomery to say that for everything he has been compelled to pay nearly 300 per cent. over current piece prices. Eight of these vessels are up the river and four below; the remaining two will go below in a few days.

I telegraphed General Beauregard some time since about fortifying at Vicksburg, although we have no guns to put up there, but in case we fall back from the Corinth and Memphis line we might make a fair stand on a line running from Vicksburg through Jackson and Meridian. I have no officer of engineers to send there, but think the subject of importance.

The enemy has forty vessels just below Fort Jackson, and has been firing occasionally for two days past. I think they will locate their mortar ships, shell the forts for several days or weeks, and then try to dash by with their steamers. They have four ships of the class of the Hartford, and twelve or fifteen gunboats, besides twenty-one mortar schooners. If we can manage to obstruct the river so as to retain them thirty minutes under our fire I think we can cripple the fleet.

We have several regiments here which have enlisted for the war, but are entirely destitute of small-arms, I having sent all I had to Corinth with Ruggles’ brigade.

Heavy requisitions, entirely unforeseen, are constantly made on this department for supplies of all kinds, and when they come are generally very urgent. To meet such calls large amounts of funds should be kept here, either in the hands of the different disbursing officers or placed at my disposition. It is too late after the requisition is received to make estimates; neither can we give details in advance.

I received a telegram from the President that the Secretary of War had, in answer to my dispatches about the necessity of martial law in some of the adjoining parishes, written me fully on the subject. I have not received his letter. The good citizens in many of the neighboring parishes are sending petitions constantly to have martial law extended over them. It should be done, in order to make it effective in those parishes where it exists. Please inform me on this point, as also how are the expenses of provost-marshals to be paid hereabouts.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 15, 1862.

General RANDOLPH:

The enemy is preparing for a formidable attack on the forts below. He shelled them a little for the past two days; no harm done. Twenty-seven vessels in sight from forts.

M. LOVELL.

{p.878}

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RICHMOND, VA, April 17, 1862.

Governor MILTON, Tallahassee:

I wish 1,500 arms sent to Pensacola or 1,500 armed troops. The rest of the arms will receive such destination as General Lee may think proper after returning to the governor of Georgia what were taken from him. I will submit your dispatch to General Lee, and request him to telegraph you.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 17, 1862.

President DAVIS:

Forts bombarded an hour and a half yesterday. General Duncan telegraphs none of our guns will reach them. Commodore Whittle has orders from the Secretary of the Navy to send the Louisiana to Tennessee. Duncan and Higgins both telegraph she is absolutely a necessity at the forts for the safety of New Orleans, and that it is suicidal to send her elsewhere. With the enemy’s plan of attack our safety may depend upon her timely arrival there. I earnestly beg her destination may be changed and protest against her being sent up the river. Excitement among the people great on the subject.

THO. O. MOORE, Governor of Louisiana.

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RICHMOND, VA., April 17, 1862.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE:

A dispatch was sent yesterday to General Lovell on the subject of the attack on the forts below. His answer was required in connection with the question proposed by you. The wooden vessels are below; the iron gunboats are above. The forts should destroy the former if they attempt to ascend. The Louisiana may be indispensable to check the descent of the iron boats. The purpose is to defend the city and valley. The only question is as to the best mode of effecting the object. Military men must decide, and to-day their discretionary power has been enlarged.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No 1, New Orleans, La., April 17, 1862.

General GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War:

SIR: The occupation of Tennessee by the enemy, the low water in Red River, the interruption of the railroads at Decatur, and the want of communication by rail with Texas, all combined, have brought about a scarcity of provisions here. Mr. E. Salomon goes hence to Richmond as special agent, to endeavor to remedy this evil, if possible. I beg that you will cause all necessary orders to be given to facilitate his mission, as you will perceive at once it is one of vital importance. He {p.879} takes letters from Governor Moore and several of our most prominent citizens.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, New Orleans, La., April 17, 1862.

General SAMUEL JONES, Commanding Department of Alabama:

DEAR SIR: We are threatened here with a scarcity of flour and other provisions. Mr. Salomon goes from here as a special agent to Richmond to endeavor to procure supplies. Please give him every facility in his business and endeavor to push forward by every possible means any provisions that he may succeed in obtaining. It is a matter of vital importance, and there is no time to be lost. I wish you would give the requisite orders in your department to enable Mr. Salomon to succeed in his mission.

The great importance of this matter will strike you at once.

Yours, truly,

M. LOVELL, Major-General, C. S. Army.

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Mobile, Ala., April 20, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjt. and Insp. Gen. C. S. A., Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: The occupation by the enemy of points on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad enhances so much the importance of holding this place, that I deem it my duty to bring it prominently to your notice.

As I am at present informed, the only railroad and telegraphic communication between the Atlantic States and those bordering on the Mississippi, between the Army of the Valley of the Mississippi and the seat of Government, passes through this city. The supply of flour and grain in New Orleans is so reduced, that the general commanding and the governor of Louisiana regard that city as in more danger from famine than from the guns and troops of the enemy.

Special messengers are sent from Louisiana to procure flour from the Atlantic States, whilst those States are in great want of the molasses and sugar of Louisiana.

If this place is occupied by the enemy steam and telegraphic communication between the Atlantic and Western States is cut off, and there is little or nothing to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy, as I have stated in my letter to you of the 15th instant, if it is attacked in force by land and water.

The governor and people of Alabama are fully alive to the importance of holding Mobile. If arms can be procured, the men can be found to use them here; if additional arms cannot be procured, it becomes a question for the Government to decide whether the interest of the service does not demand that some armed troops be sent here from some other point.

So far as I am informed, the enemy’s land force in the Gulf is not such as to indicate any intention on their part of undertaking extensive {p.880} operations by land in this quarter, but I believe it to be large enough, if the commander is active and energetic, to enable them to seize Mobile. So important do I regard this place that I would now carry out my instructions to abandon Pensacola, if by so doing I could so increase the force here as to afford any security for its defense against a formidable attack. If the troops here and at Pensacola were all armed and organized this place might be rendered comparatively secure for a time by combining the armies of Pensacola and Mobile, but under existing circumstances that combination would not add more than about 1,500 muskets and shot-guns to the force here. I have therefore preferred to continue the occupation of Pensacola, trusting that our affairs in Tennessee would take such a turn as to enable the Government to transfer a part of the force now there to the Gulf coast.

This place has labored under other embarrassments than the want of men and arms; one of these has been the frequent change of commanders. Until about the 5th of February General Withers was in command. During the last three weeks of February General Bragg was here in person. On the 28th of February he assigned me to the command of this department, directing me to carry out certain instructions at Pensacola and then come here. In the mean time Colonel (now Brigadier-General) Villepigue was left in command. On the 4th of March General Bragg issued an order resuming his former command of this department, but subsequently explained that he did not intend thereby to take the command from me but only to attach the department to his command in Tennessee and Mississippi.

I arrived here and assumed command on the 14th March. Ten days later General Bragg ordered me to turn over my command and report to him in person at Corinth. I did so, and on the 31st March was ordered to return here and resume command of this department. Ten days after my return (on the 11th April) I received a telegram from General Lee, ordering me to turn over the command of the department to Brigadier-General Forney, who had been ordered to report to me, and to report myself in person to General Beauregard.

Forney arrived, but with his wound and general health such that he could not enter on duty, but applied for and obtained leave of absence on surgeon’s certificate. I so telegraphed General Lee, who replied that I could not leave here until relieved by General Forney. In the mean time General Bragg telegraphed me that if I could not go immediately to Corinth and report to General Beauregard I need not go at all. So the matter now stands.

I am under orders from General Lee to report to General Beauregard when Forney is able to relieve me, and from General Bragg not to do so unless I can do it immediately. This state of uncertainty is embarrassing, and prevents me from carrying out some plans which I thought would add to the security of this place.

I am at present the only general officer of the Confederate Army on duty in the department, and I, as you see, am under rather uncertain orders. I respectfully suggest that there should be at least two; one here and one in Pensacola. It would be desirable that another should command the department if one can be spared for that service.

I shall be glad if you will lay the substance of this letter before the Secretary, and communicate to me such instructions as may be thought proper.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAM. JONES, Major-General.

{p.881}

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HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Mobile, April 21, 1862.

General R. E. LEE, C. S. A., Richmond Va.:

GENERAL: I am under somewhat conflicting orders at present.

By your telegram of the 9th instant, received on the 11th, I am ordered to turn over this department to Brigadier-General Forney and report in person as soon as practicable to General Beauregard. General Forney arrived and reported to me, but with his wound and general health such that he could not enter on duty, but on surgeon’s certificate applied for and obtained a leave of absence-sick leave. I so telegraphed you, and you replied on the 17th that I could not leave here until relieved by Forney. An hour or so before I received this last telegram of yours I received one from General Bragg, this department being attached to his command, saying if I could not go immediately to Corinth not to go at all; from which I inferred that if I could not go on to Corinth immediately, it was intended to assign some other officer to the command to which it had been intended to assign me, and I presume that has been done, as I have since received various telegrams from Generals Bragg and Beauregard, and no allusion is made to my leaving here. One just now received from General Bragg directs me to do certain things in this department which he would not direct me to do if he contemplated my going to Corinth.

But as matters now stand I am under orders from you to go to Corinth and report to General Beauregard when General Forney can relieve me, and from General Bragg not to do so, and both orders were received within a few hours of each other.

Under the circumstances I shall await further orders from you, and I shall be glad if you will give them as soon as you can conveniently do so. It is not probable that General Forney will be well enough to enter on duty before I can hear from you, particularly if you reply to this by telegraph, and I shall be glad if you will do so; and if before answering you will have the kindness to read a letter of yesterday’s date which I addressed to General Cooper I shall be obliged. It contains some suggestions which I desire you to see. It is rather long and I have not time now to recapitulate it.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient se want,

SAM. JONES, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., April 22, 1862.

General SAMUEL JONES, Commanding, &c., Mobile, Ala.:

GENERAL: It is represented by General Lovell that he needs heavy guns for the defenses of the city of New Orleans. He states that but three of those removed from Pensacola were sent him, while fourteen 10-inch columbiads were kept at Mobile. I desire to know if you cannot spare him some of those in your command, and, if so, request that you will cause them to be forwarded to New Orleans without delay. It is all the more important that he should have them, because, when in position, he will be able to send the iron-clad steamers up the river, where they would render most efficient service. You will therefore please send {p.882} such as are not positively necessary for the defense of your department.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General.

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NEW ORLEANS, April 22, 1862.

General JONES:

Bombardment still goes on day and night; casualties few, but forts much cut up. Can you send two 10-inch columbiads in haste, or spare any powder?

M. LOVELL.

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HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., April 22, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, Commanding Department No. 1, New Orleans, La.:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 12th instant to the Hon. Secretary of War has been referred to General Lee, who directs me to say that he has ordered that such heavy guns as are here available be sent you. The Chief of Ordnance Bureau informs him that he can send four or five; in addition, General Samuel Jones has been written to and instructed to send you some of the guns taken from Pensacola, if they can possibly be spared from the defense of Mobile. As regards the small-arms you desire, he regrets there are none on hand for issue. The demand is great from all sides and the supply inadequate. There are some afloat, however, and it is hoped they will soon arrive, when, as far as practicable your wants in this respect will be supplied.

The nomination of Brig. Gen. M. L. Smith has been confirmed, of which fact you are perhaps already aware.

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

W. H. TAYLOR, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 22, 1862.

General RANDOLPH:

In case the city should be occupied, should the cotton and tobacco belonging to foreigners be destroyed? I require funds for river-defense fleet immediately or cannot keep it up.

M. LOVELL.

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RICHMOND, VA., April 23, 1862.

Major General LOVELL, New Orleans:

You will not destroy foreign property unless it is necessary to insure the destruction of our cotton and tobacco. Your telegram about funds is not intelligible and had better be repeated, but in case of necessity, before receiving further instructions, you may borrow such funds as are necessary for the defense of the city.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

{p.883}

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RICHMOND, VA., April 23, 1862.

General LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

Confine the functions of your provost-marshals to subjects proper to military police. Revoke orders to banks to issue notes in conformity with views of provost-marshals, and leave all State institutions as far as possible undisturbed by military power.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA., April 23, 1862.

General S. COOPER:

Bombardment continues with unabated vigor; now five days and nights. We still hold out, with 4 casualties, but Fort Jackson much cut up. Want more powder, if it can be had.

M. LOVELL.

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NEW ORLEANS, April 24, 1862.

General SAMUEL JONES:

The enemy has passed our forts. It is too late to send any guns here; they had better go to Vicksburg.

M. LOVELL.

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RICHMOND, VA., April 24, 1862.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE, New Orleans, La.:

I sent dispatch to General Lovell on receipt of yours in relation to the banks. From his reply find that orders were revoked.

Your dispatch in relation to enemy’s ships this day received. I am hopeful that, whilst the forts divide the fleet, the Louisiana will not lose the opportunity. In painful anxiety wait further intelligence.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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RICHMOND, VA., April 24, 1862.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE, New Orleans, La.:

We will take the coin of the banks and be responsible for it. The Secretary of the Treasury will take action immediately.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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RICHMOND, VA., April 25, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, New Orleans, La.:

It has been determined to burn all the cotton and tobacco, whether foreign or our own, to prevent it from falling into the hands of the enemy. You will therefore destroy it all, if necessary, to prevent them from getting it.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

{p.884}

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HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., April 27, 1862.

General SAMUEL JONES, Commanding, &c., Mobile, Ala.:

GENERAL: In reply to that portion of your letter to the Department of the 15th instant which relates to the public property and defenses at Pensacola I would state that it is deemed expedient to remove at once all Government property, including guns, munitions of war, &c., not necessary for present service, to some place of security, and to make every preparation for concentrating the whole available force of your command at Mobile, should occasion require it.

Such of the heavy guns as are not needed in your department could be sent to Montgomery or other safe point and a portion of them assigned to defense of the interior of Florida. General Joseph Finegan, commanding the Department of Florida, can inform you what may be required for the defense of the Saint John’s, Chattahoochie, and other rivers.

Everything of value that it is possible to remove should be sent away, and what cannot be secured should be destroyed when you withdraw from the position, to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy. As much as in your power deceive the enemy as to your real intent, keeping a bold front and doing the work of the removal with all the secrecy possible.

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

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

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CAMP MOORE, LA., [April] 27, 1862.

General SAMUEL JONES:

I evacuated New Orleans, the fleet having anchored opposite the city. Send all heavy guns you can to Vicksburg with great dispatch.

M. LOVELL.

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RICHMOND, VA., April 28, 1862.

Mayor MONROE, of New Orleans, La.:

I deeply sympathize with your situation, and recognize with pride the patriotism of the citizens of New Orleans.

Your answer to Commander Farragut leaves to you all the chances and rights of war. General Duncan may prevent re-enforcements to the enemy, and General Beauregard has been informed of your condition, and will aid you as he may.

My prayers are with you. There is no personal sacrifice I would not willingly make for your defense. Maintain firmly the position you took in your reply, and let us hope for a successful issue.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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TANGIPAHOA, LA., April 30, 1862.

General VAN DORN:

Just returned from New Orleans. The men at forts refused to hold out longer, and Duncan had to surrender. The enemy will therefore occupy the city under his guns. All seems quiet and orderly, and I {p.885} think there will be no trouble for citizens and families. The only fear is a scarcity of provisions.

I shall occupy Vicksburg, and support Beauregard with all the men I can organize and arm.

M. LOVELL.

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CAMP MOORE, LA., May 1, 1862.

General RANDOLPH, Secretary of War:

Have received no instructions about destruction of cotton. Shall I destroy all that can be reached by the enemy leaving each planter a portion for supplies; if so, what percentage shall be left? Shall I burn the barracks and arsenal at Baton Rouge?

M. LOVELL.

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CAMP MOORE, LA., May 2, 1862.

General RANDOLPH:

Butler occupied New Orleans to-day. Cannot enroll men there. What is to be done about destroying cotton?

M. LOVELL.

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RICHMOND, VA., May 2, 1862.

General LOVELL:

The following dispatch was sent to you on the 25th ultimo:

It has been determined to burn all the cotton and tobacco, whether foreign or our own, to prevent it from failing into the hands of the enemy. You will therefore destroy it all, if necessary, to prevent them from getting it.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

A. T. BLEDSOE, Assistant Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., May 3, 1862.

Major-General LOVELL, Camp Moore, La., via Mobile, Ala.:

This is the third telegram which has been sent to you about burning cotton-the last two copies from the first. It is this:

It has been determined to burn all the cotton and tobacco, whether foreign or our own, to prevent it from falling into the hands of the enemy. You will therefore destroy it all, if necessary, to prevent them from getting it.

Acknowledge receipt of this at once.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

–––

CAMP MOORE, LA., May 4, 1862.

General RANDOLPH:

Dispatch about cotton received. Immediate steps taken to carry out the instructions of yesterday. Want copy of law to organize guerrilla parties, with authority to act. This is the only available force in the swamps of South Louisiana.

M. LOVELL.

{p.886}

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RICHMOND, VA., May 5, 1862.

Governor MOORE, Camp Moore, La.:

Notice that you were going to Monroe caused my failure to reply to your former dispatch. With regret I afterwards learned that the enemy had occupied New Orleans. Concur with you as to the changes necessary because of that event. I had previously concluded to form a department west of the Mississippi. It is now a necessity, but we must further delay action, because the troops and higher officers are concentrated for a battle in Tennessee.

My present opinion is that it will be better to have one of your camps on each side of the river.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

(Repeated May 7.)

–––

MONTGOMERY, May 5, 1862.

Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War:

Have furnished General Forney with all the arms I have. If he can get 500 of those at Charleston, brought by Nashville and Cecilia, he believes he can defend Mobile successfully. Its fall involves the arsenal at Mount Vernon, perhaps this place, and cuts off communication with Corinth. Shall send immediately an agent to Charleston to bring them, and most earnestly urge they be supplied. Alabama, in addition to turning over 21,000 stand taken at Mount Vernon, has armed over 18,000 troops now in other States. She asks but for 500.

JNO. GILL SHORTER, Governor of Alabama.

[Indorsement.]

I have only heard of 3,000 arms having been brought to Charleston by the Cecilia; 2,000 were ordered to General Pemberton for Georgia troops and 1000 to Chattanooga for the Alabama troops.

So far as I know there are no arms in Charleston.

R. E. LEE.

–––

RICHMOND, VA., May 5, 1862.

General JOHN H. FORNEY, Mobile:

Governor Shorter suggests that in case of an attack upon Mobile the prisoners at Montgomery should be removed to Columbus or Macon, Ga. As you may be too much occupied in case of attack to attend to their removal, I have requested the governor to advise with and assist you in the matter. You had better communicate with him.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

–––

RICHMOND, VA., May 6, 1862.

Col. THOMAS M. JONES, Commanding at Pensacola:

In case you have to evacuate Pensacola, destroy cotton, tobacco, and military and naval stores, but avoid the destruction of buildings and {p.887} other private property as much as possible. Only such things as could be used by the enemy in the prosecution of the war are required by the act of Congress to be destroyed.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

–––

RICHMOND, VA., May 6, 1862.

Maj. Gen. MANSFIELD LOVELL, Camp Moore, La.:

I see no reason for the destruction of the barracks and arsenal at Baton Rouge. You will therefore preserve them, unless, in your opinion, there is some urgent reason for their destruction.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

–––

NEW ORLEANS, May 8, 1862.

[The SECRETARY OF WAR:]

In the perilous and entirely isolated position in which we find ourselves in this once glorious city of New Orleans, and under the pressure of the calamities which have befallen us, bearing, as it were, by common consent, the burden and responsibility of a trust so complex and arduous as that which it imposed upon me, I feel authorized, in the absence and during the flight of all our State authorities, to address myself to Major-General Lovell, commanding at Camp Moore, and to Major-General Beauregard, commanding at Corinth, and, through the latter, to the President of the Confederate States, for the purpose of obtaining some information concerning the ulterior designs of the Government with reference to this doomed city, that the good citizens, in whose breast still lingers not only hope, but faith in the success of the great struggle in which we are engaged, may have some direction to guide them in the course which coming events may command them to adopt and in the efforts which they may be disposed to make in vindication of their independence.

The city has been deserted by all such as had moneys or other resources of the Government under their control, and is left without official direction and without means for supplying the necessities which that desertion has left unprovided for.

Vast amounts of property, such as coal, guns, small-arms, and ammunitions of every shape and form, have been abandoned without any steps having been taken to protect them from the grasp of the invader and secure their possession to the Confederate Government. They still lie in the places where they had been stored up, at the mercy of the enemy, without a word of instruction from any quarter as to what should have been done with them, and without a single cent being left anywhere to provide security for the same.

The entire crew of the McRae, 108 in number, and the scattered remnants of the soldiers that retreated from Camps Lovell and Chalmette, and from the forts below and around New Orleans, are dispersed throughout the city, prowling about in the streets asking for their pay, and having no bread to put in their months or to give to their families, and exposed to the temptations which the enemy fails not to hold out to them, to entice them into the Federal ranks.

We are threatened with measures on the part of the Federal commander {p.888} which look to a servile insurrection as the means of crushing the indomitable energy supposed still to exist in many hearts, and if the threat be carried out we will have to encounter a much harder question than that of a bombardment: the sack of our houses and the slaughter of our women and children by the hand of our own slaves will be the next issue we may have to face. We do know what this supreme contingency will exact from us, and we will, I hope, be prepared for the dire dilemma which may arise out of it.

But are we not to be remembered by those who have assumed charge of our destinies? Shall we be left without assistance, nay, without a word of comfort and encouragement, to the tender mercy of our infuriated negroes, and will not the hand of the Government manifest itself in some form or shape, if it were but to protest that they have not yet given us up to the enemy?

I repeat again that we are left entirely to ourselves with a State government in shameless flight, and with the supreme government in an apparent state of torpescence and forgetfulness!

The messenger who takes charge of this communication is recommended to me as an intelligent, skillful, and reliable medium of intercourse. His name is James D. Brylan. He may be freely trusted. I send him at the earnest instance of our friends here, that my message may be carried safely, and that he may be the means of bringing back to us, either from General Beauregard or the Government at Richmond, such intelligence and instructions as will relieve our minds from doubt and perplexity as to what best should be done.

PIERRE SOULÉ.

[Indorsement.]

MAY 22, 1862.

Read and returned to Secretary of War for assurance to the citizens of New Orleans that the Confederate States Government has not been unmindful of their condition, and had its power but been equal to its will, would have long since rescued the city from the brutal invader. On both the east and west side of the river efforts are being made to organize forces, &c.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

–––

RICHMOND, VA., May 8, 1862.

Governor MOORE, Camp Moore, La.:

Dispatch received. Concur in your wish for prompt organization west of river, and gladly accept your offer to proceed at once in enrollment. Let the first camp be at Opelousas, if you so choose; how would Camp Moore do for the other? I have no authority to appoint, but only to detail, officers to command the encampments. General Beauregard has been called on to name officers for encampments in the West. A general to command department will be sent as soon as practicable.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

–––

RICHMOND, VA., May 12, 1862.

Governor MOORE, Camp Moore, La.:

Dispatches of 10th received. Let a third camp be located at Monroe. Martial law, if declared by me, can be administered only by Confederate {p.889} officers or agents. It is not intended to interfere with your powers as executive of the State.

I will wait for further communication from you.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

–––

RICHMOND, May 12, 1862.

General JOHN H. FORNEY, Mobile, Ala.:

Your dispatch of yesterday received. In the contingency referred to, burn all the cotton of foreign subjects except in cases where exemption has been granted by our Government. Where the consul applies for exemption on cotton the property of foreign government, immediately advise this office by telegraph for action here.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT No. 1, Camp Moore, May 12, 1862.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Corinth:

DEAR GENERAL: I received your dispatch asking for my regiments here, which I declined sending. In my judgment the most energetic steps should be taken to confine the enemy to New Orleans, where he must suffer more from sickness than in the country adjoining Besides it would have a very bad moral effect upon the State to abandon it entirely, and might operate to prevent the burning of the cotton, which act will show the world that we are in earnest, and put an effectual stopper on the promises of the Federals “to send out the cotton in thirty days.” If it is destroyed, it certainly cannot be delivered in Europe, even though they should hold every seaport in the Confederacy. The troops in New Orleans are already suffering much from sickness, and they will, beyond a question, endeavor to occupy Baton Rouge, the lake shore, or this railroad. To prevent this, I propose to have a considerable number of partisan rangers, with 5,000 or 6,000 men well armed and provided, in some central position, who can prevent their troops from leaving New Orleans except in very large force.

I was raising and arming five regiments here under the last call of the President, and by the aid of Governor Moore was getting along very well, when I learned that 800 guns, for which I had an order from the governor, were seized and carried to Corinth, thus depriving me of the means of arming a fine regiment. I must protest against this method of procedure. Everything intended for the defense of New Orleans for the past six months has been stopped and seized in every direction until it was left literally defenseless.

If the enemy occupies Baton Rouge I shall attempt to dispossess him, but cannot do it without guns.

I beg you will do me the favor to say to persons who ask where General Lovell and his army were when New Orleans fell, that all the troops that I had organized and prepared were sent to Corinth in March, and took a prominent part in the battle of Shiloh, leaving me with the heterogeneous militia of the city, armed mostly with shot-guns, against 9 and 11 inch Dahlgrens. Not that 20,000 well-armed infantry would {p.890} have made any difference against ships of war, but the people, not understanding this, cast censure upon me.

The city fell from three causes:

1st. The carrying away of the river obstructions at the forts by the storm and flood a few nights before the attack.

2d. The want of a sufficiency of heavy guns, which I tried in vain to procure from Mobile and Pensacola.

3d. From inefficiency and want of proper co-operation on the part of those who were building and those who were to use the naval defenses when ready.

I have asked for an official investigation. My conscience is clear.

Yours, truly,

M. LOVELL, Major-General.

–––

RICHMOND, VA, May 13, 1862.

Col. THOMAS M. JONES, Pensacola, Fla.:

In case you evacuate the navy-yard, destroy such machinery as cannot be removed, but do not destroy the dwelling-houses.

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

–––

BROOKSVILLE, MISS., June 20, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I send with this a letter in reply to one addressed to me by the Secretary of War, calling on me to report the facts regarding the burning of two unfinished gunboats by my order in Pensacola Bay, on the 11th of March last. When I wrote the letter I was preparing to leave Mobile and go to Corinth in obedience to an order from General Lee, and in the press of business on me just then in turning over the command of the department and other matters I omitted to forward the letter to its address. It was sent in my valise to the rear a short time after I reached Corinth, and I now avail myself of the first opportunity to forward it with this explanation of the delay, which I have to ask you to make known to the Secretary.

Events which have transpired since my letter was written show, I think, that if the destruction of the unfinished gunboats was uncalled for on the 11th of March, it would have been called for a little later, and that by destroying them when I did I at least saved the Government the additional expense which would have been incurred by longer work on the boats, which could not have been completed before Pensacola was in the hands of the enemy.

I have been detained here a week by an attack of sickness, but expect to rejoin my division in a few days.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAM. JONES, Major-General.

{p.891}

[Inclosure No. 1.]

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Mobile, April 25, 1862.

Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 17th instant, inclosing copies of two letters, one from Commander Farrand, C. S. Navy, to the Secretary of the Navy, and one from the latter to the President.

Commodore Farrand reports correctly to the Secretary of the Navy that two unfinished gunboats were burned in Pensacola Bay on the 11th ultimo by my order, and adds that when he was at Pensacola he could not discover the necessity for the destruction of the gunboats. The Secretary of the Navy communicates this report to the President, and adds that, so far as he is advised, “the destruction of these vessels was uncalled for,” and asks that the officer under whose authority they were burned may be called upon to report why it was done.

You request me to make a report of the facts of the case. They are these:

On the 1st of March I received from Major-General Bragg, commanding this department, a letter dated 27th February last, in which he says:

You will make dispositions at the earliest moment, working day and night, to abandon Pensacola.” And after giving certain directions he adds: “I desire you particularly to leave nothing the enemy can use; burn all from Fort McRee to the junction with the Mobile road. Save the guns, and, if necessary, destroy your gunboats and all other boats; they might be used against us, &c.

On the 2d or 3d of March I received another letter from Major-General Bragg. It has no date, but could not have been written later than the 1st of March, as it was written in this city and he left here on that day.

He says:

Press forward your troops and heavy guns; we must have them to hold the Mississippi. Should you find yourself unable to accomplish your work in ten days, destroy your smooth-bore guns and send me your troops. I would not thus press you, but our fate may depend on two weeks in the valley of the Mississippi.

On the evening of the 10th of March I considered that the time appointed by Major-General Bragg for the evacuation of Pensacola had arrived. My force had by that time been so reduced by sending off troops to Corinth that I could not have held my post if attacked in force.

I had reason, too, to believe that the enemy was informed of the reduction of my force and the preparations to abandon the place. The report that it was to be abandoned was known in Pensacola before the first instructions on the subject reached me and caused a great panic. The inhabitants were flying from the town, and some persons had succeeded in escaping to Fort Pickens, and no doubt informed the enemy of the condition of things; and though I determined, for reasons not now necessary to state, to hold the place as long as possible, I thought it incumbent upon me to carry out the work of destruction ordered by General Bragg as far as it could be done without attracting the attention of the enemy to what I was doing. I therefore directed Lieutenant-Colonel Beard to proceed up the bay and the next morning to commence {p.892} the work of destruction. In my instructions to him I said in regard to those unfinished gunboats:

You will communicate with the officer or agent having charge of the gunboats and deliver a letter which I will send you. If they can be towed up the Escambia, you will, after having completed thoroughly the destruction of the property I have mentioned give such assistance as you can in towing them out of danger up the Escambia. If that cannot be done, you will destroy the gunboats also.

Lieutenant-Colonel Beard reported to me that it was found impracticable to tow the gunboats up the Escambia or put them out of reach of the enemy, and he therefore burnt them.

I was reluctant to give any orders for the destruction of these unfinished gunboats, and would have much preferred leaving them to the naval officers. But I was informed there was no naval officer present in charge of them. Commander Farrand, who had charge of them, was, by his own statement, in Jacksonville, Fla., and did not return to Pensacola until a week after they were destroyed. I was informed that there were no engines or machinery ready for the boats; that they had been commenced early the previous autumn, and it was supposed would be ready to receive the machinery, if it could be procured, some time in May; that they were at that time in the hands of contractors and ship-carpenters, and that the mechanics and laborers employed about them could not be relied on to destroy them to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy. Under all the circumstances of the case, therefore, I thought it my duty to prevent the enemy from profiting by the results of so many months of labor bestowed on those unfinished gunboats, and accordingly ordered their destruction.

The Secretary of the Navy, in his letter of the 12th of April to the President, says: “So far as I am advised, the destruction of those vessels was uncalled for.” I entertained at the time no doubt that the Secretary of the Navy knew that I was ordered to abandon Pensacola, and that the unfinished gunboats must either be destroyed or fall into the hands of the enemy; for I supposed that Major-General Bragg had ordered the abandonment of Pensacola under instructions from the War Department, or that he had communicated to the Department his instructions to me, and that the evacuation of so important a place as Pensacola would necessarily be known to the Secretary of the Navy. It not only contained much valuable naval property, but was the place of the Secretary’s private residence, where much of his property was located. A number of his slaves were hired by my quartermaster, and a day or two after I received the order to prepare for the evacuation, and while I was calling upon the governor of Alabama for slaves to aid in removing public property, the Secretary’s agent called upon me for his slaves, to be removed, as I was informed, with his furniture, to a place of security.

From all of these circumstances I was convinced that the Secretary was advised of the order for the evacuation of the place, and the consequent necessity of destroying the unfinished gunboats, to prevent them from falling into the hands of the enemy. I regret that I did not know at the time that the Secretary was not advised of the orders in the case, that I might have brought the matter to his notice.

I am, respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

SAM. JONES, Major-General.

{p.893}

[Inclosure No. 2.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, April 17, 1862.

Maj. Gen. SAMUEL JONES, Commanding Dept. Alabama and West Florida, Mobile, Ala.:

SIR: The inclosed copies of a report from Commander E. Farrand, C. S. Navy, and a letter from Secretary of the Navy to the President in reference to the destruction of two unfinished gunboats at the head of Pensacola Bay by your order, have been referred to me by the President, and you are requested to make a report of the facts of the case.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War.

[Inclosure No. 3.]

NAVY DEPARTMENT, C. S., Richmond, April 12, 1862.

The PRESIDENT:

SIR: I have the honor to submit for your information the report of Commander Farrand. He was charged with the duty of constructing naval vessels on the inland waters of Florida, and he details the destruction, under the orders of the military commandant at Pensacola, of two fine gunboats on the bay of Escambia.

So far as I am advised the destruction of these vessels was uncalled for, and I have the honor to request that the officer under whose authority they were burned may be called upon to report why it was done.

The Government loses the entire value of the vessels; but apart from this, they were built with express reference to service in the waters near Pensacola and Mobile, and would have been of important service.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

S. R. MALLORY, Secretary of Navy.

[Inclosure No. 4.]

NAVY DEPARTMENT, C. S., Richmond, April 11, 1862.

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

SIR: Upon my return from Jacksonville to Pensacola, on the 17th ultimo, I found that the two gunboats that were being constructed at the head of Pensacola Bay, under my superintendence, had been burned by military authority on the 11th of March. It was done by an armed force of 100 men, under the command of Lieut. Col. W. K. Beard, of the First Regiment Florida Volunteers, and, as Colonel Beard informed me, by order of Brig. [Maj.] Gen. Samuel Jones, commanding the Confederate forces at Pensacola.

The progress and condition of the gunboats at the time they were destroyed were as follows:

The one that was being built by F. G. Howard was yet on the stocks, but might have been, if necessary, put into the water at the moment, and would, in her regular course of progress, have been ready to launch in six or eight days, and, with the exception of machinery, would have been ready for her armament in twenty or twenty-five days, and would have carried two 10-inch guns of 9,000 pounds.

{p.894}

The one building by Ollinger & Bruce had been in the water about ten days, and, with the exception of machinery, would have been ready for her guns in ten days; she would have carried one 10-inch and one rifled 32-pounder.

These gunboats [were] well, strongly, and thoroughly built, and for sails or steam, and would, in my opinion, have rendered important service in case of an attack by the enemy upon Pensacola. These vessels were being constructed about 35 miles from Fort Pickens, and in case of an attack upon Pensacola were in a condition to have been, and might have been, removed up the Escambia River, out of reach of the enemy’s gunboats.

When I was at Pensacola I saw no unusual number of enemy’s ships off the port, nor could I discover the necessity for the destruction of the gunboats.

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

EBEN FARRAND, Commander, C. S. Navy.

–––

MOBILE, February 18, 1862.*

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Yours of the 8th just received. Fifth Georgia, Ninth Mississippi, Twentieth and Twenty-third Alabama Regiments on way to Knoxville. Should we not give up the seaboard now and concentrate all our means on the vital point?

BRAXTON BRAGG.

* Found too late for insertion in regular sequence.

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