MOBILE, ALA., February 8, 1862.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War:
Not a gun to spare here or at Pensacola, and we need eight or ten heavy shell guns here now. See my requisition on Ordnance Office.
Milledgeville, February 8, 1862.
General R. E. LEE:
GENERAL: I have learned from General Wayne the substance of the conversation in your interview with him relative to the removal of the troops from Brunswick to Savannah. I have a great desire to see Brunswick remain in the possession of our troops, and should be very reluctant to see it abandoned to the enemy. If, however, it is not reasonably certain that you can with the force at your command, including the State troops, hold both Brunswick and Savannah, I do not hesitate to say that it is important that the whole force be at once concentrated at Savannah. It is the keep to the State, and if it falls into the hands of the enemy Brunswick and the balance of the coast must of course be under their control.
All this indications are that Savannah is to be the point of attack, and we must repel the attack at any cost and at every hazard. If my home were in the city I would fight for it as long as possible, and if driven from it by overpowering force, I would never permit its roof to shelter the enemy, but would leave it in smoking ruins when driven from it.
The troops at Brunswick are under your command, and you are the best judge of the military necessities by which we are surrounded. Exercise your own judgment, in which I have the highest confidence, and I shall be content with and shall do all in my power to sustain your action, as I have no doubt you will so act as will best promote the highest interest of the people of the whole State.
Should you determine to withdraw the troops from Brunswick, I wish all the assistance afforded the inhabitants which is in your power for the removal of such property as they wish to carry into the interior; to this end you are at liberty to use the Brunswick Railroad, now in the military possession of the State. When all is removed that can be, let the engines and cars be brought to the junction of that road with the Savannah, Albany and Gulf road. I have directed General Jackson to call out such of the militia force of Savannah as he can arm for immediate service in addition to the State troops now in the field, and hope the order will meet your approval.
JOSEPH E. BROWN.
RICHMOND, February 9, 1962
General R. E. LEE,
General Bragg says he has not a gun to spare. I will send you this week five 8-inch columbiads and one 24-pounder howitzer. I have ordered 1,000 Enfield rifles sent to you and 20,000 pounds of cannon powder, besides the fixed ammunition for the rifles.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.