by the governor to this coast. Pardon me for using the vehicle of a private note to convey some facts which I did not wish to communicate more formally. Governor Brown has suddenly shown a disposition to exercise a good deal of authority over, and claim much credit for, the coast defense, and his desire now is to make such appointments as will secure the control to him in case of an attack. He was anxious to appoint Colonel Mercer major-general, so as to secure it through him; but Colonel Mercer would not lend himself to the arrangement. Hence my urgent dispatch in reference to his appointment in the Confederate service, and I was much gratified to find by your reply that the appointment was made. It is now well understood that Governor Brown will at once appoint General W. H. T. Walker a major-general, and his commission will no doubt bear date before the time that this not will reach you. General Walker is an old friend of mine, and under other circumstances I would have no objections whatever to serving under him, as he is several years my senior, but I fear that the feelings with which he had now left the Confederate service, fomented by the temper which Governor Brown has (in the past at least) exhibited towards the War Department, might cause great embarrassment here, if he is permitted to assume command under State authority. Besides, after passing through the labor, the anxiety, the alarms, and complaints of the people on the coast, I would regret to see the exults pass from my control, when we are comparatively in a condition to receive the enemy. It is must pass into other hands, I would gladly receive an order for service in some other department.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. R. LAWTON.
CHARLESTON, November 1, 1861.
His Excellency Governor MILTON,
SIR: You have, I presume, been officially informed from the War Department of my appointment to the command of the Military Department of East and Middle Florida. I accordingly write to put myself in correspondence with your excellency, and to advise the adoption of such preliminary measures for the defense of that portion of the State as may very well be commenced in anticipation of my arrival to take command in person. I am not accurately informed as to the number of troops now in the field in that portion of Florida. The force which, in my judgement, with the lights now before me, will be required cannot fall short of 7,000 men, of all arms, and I would respectfully request the propriety of at once calling for a sufficient number of regiments to make up that force.
Fernandina (or Amelia Island) is obviously the point most likely to become the object of the enemy's first attack, and I have accordingly already taken steps for its better protection. An engineer officer of the corps of this State, a gentleman of skill and experience, kindly put at my service by Governor Pickens, is now under orders for that place and my service by Governor Pickens, is now under orders for that place and on his way there, with instructions from me for his quidance, and authority to make such alternations and additions to the batteries already erected there as may seem to be immediately called for for their greater strength and security.
I am organizing my staff, and hope to be able to proceed to Florida by the 10th of this month. Meanwhile I shall be glad to hear from