opposing such an invasion. We are informed that application has been made to the Secretary of War for a portion of the 6,000 stand of arms now in Florida, and that a response has been received that these arms and a large amount of ammunition are destined for places out of this State. We think we are entitled to some protection, and though we have a small amount of populaation and large extent of country to defend, every man of us is ready and anxious to meet the invader and drive him back or die in the attempt. But how can we, withutarms or ammunition? Florida gave up all the arms and munitions of war seized at the time she seceded to the Confederate States, and never received her quota of arms from the Government, while other States received theirs. The Second Florida Regiment, in Virginia, have the arms purchased by her. We understand that the authorities at Richmond look upon Fernandina as the most important place to be defended, while General Trapier and the officers of his staff are unanimousl; y of the opinion that this section offeers the gratest inducements to the enemy to take possession of. Fernandina is situated on an island, and the surrounding country is poor, containing but little to sustain and tempt its occupation. Yet nearly all the troops, cannon, and munitions of war east of the Apalachicola are there centered. We also beg that you will suggest to the War Department the propriety of sendig here the Second Florida Regiment, the officers of which are thoroughly acquainted with the topography of the country, which will enable them immediattely to occupy the points offering the best advantage for defense. Surely, when the sparseness of our population is kept in view and the interests at stake, this request might be complied with. We are informed and believe that this regiment, whose term of service expires in July next, would re-enlist for the war if permitted to come back and defend their homes. We present this communication to you under a firm conviction that you will make every effort to enable us to defend ourserves, and that we will not be compelled to abandon our homes and be dispossessed of our all without, at least, the satisfaction of defending ourselves. We are in great peril, and need immediate and prompt action. We have reasons for believing that an expedition is now preparing to take possession of this portionof our State.
C. E. DYKE.
J. B. CARLISLE.
J. B. GALBRAITH.
[AND 57 OTHERS.]
SAVANNAG, GA., March 2, 1862.
If possible, I will leave Tuesday morning; if prevented will inform you.*
R. E. LEE.
GAINESVILLE, FLA., March 8, 1862.
At a meeting of the citizens of Alachua and other counties, specially called together for the purpose of taking into consideration our present earnest and pressing dangers, Mr. Edward Hale, of Alachua County, was called to the chair, and J. M. Arnow, esq., was requested to act as secretary.
*This in reply to Davis, VOL. VI, p. 400.