Immediately on its reception, accompanied by Lieutenant Gilman, I called on Commodore Armstrong to consult with him. He hands received orders to co-operate with me. We decided that with our limited means of defense we could hold but one fort, and that should be Fort Pickens, as it commanded completely the harbor and the forts, and also the navy-yard, and, in case of necessity, could be more readily re-enforced than either of the others, and presented the best means of defense. In order to act on this decision, the commodore premised to send the U. S. steamer Wyandotte at 1 o'clock p. m. to take us over, to give us all them men he could possibly spare, and to allow the steamer Wyandotte and the steamer Wyandotte and the store ship Supply to anchor under the guns of the fort, in order to protect the land approach.
At 10 o'clock a. m. I came with the greater part of my command, Company G, First Artillery, to Fort Pickens to mount guns and make necessary preparations for defense, leaving Lieutenant Gilman at Barrancas Barracks with the remainder to make the necessary arrangements for removal. At 1 p. m. Lieutenant Gilman, seeing no signs of the promised assistance, called to see the commodore, and was informed by him that the only assistance he could afford would be to furnish some provisions and take the command over, which fact Lieutenant Gilman reported to me at Fort Pickens. I immediately stopped all work, sent the men back, and with Lieutenant Gilman went to see the commodore. I scanted that I had been deceived by him; that he had promised me men and the co-operation of the two vessels of war, besides the mere fact of giving us provisions and taking us over; that with my command, only 46 strong, I should never dream of defending so large a work, calculated for upwards of 1,200 men; that I had been at work on that promise, and had thus lost a day's time in the preparation of Fort Barrancas for defense; that he had distinctly promised me what I asseverated. The commodore then sent for Commander Ferrand, Lieutenant Renshaw, and Lieutenant-Commander Berryman, and gave instructions for carrying out the original design.
Captain Berryman, of the steamer Wyandotte, promised to be ready to leave his wharf at 5 p. m., at which time all should bed in readiness at the Barrancas wharf for removal. I immediately returned to Barrancas Barracks to make preparations. As time was very limited all means were used to place the public property on the wharf for removal. Night came, and yet no signs of assistance. The company labored until 12 m., when a heavy fog coming in rendered it highly improbable that the steamer would come that night. At 8 a. m. on the 10th a flatboat was sent to the wharf, which was loaded, as well as all the small boats which could be had. We were landed at Fort Pickens at about 10 a. m. On the way over, Captain Berryman turned over to me thirty ordinary seamen from the yard, without arms or equipments of any kind. We labored all day until night carrying up the stores to the fort, and arranging for its defense. I directed that all the powder in Fort Barrancas should be taken out and rolled to the beach, for transportation if possible; if not, for destruction. Nearly all the powder and all the fixed ammunition for the field battery was brought over that day. All the guns bearing on the bay were spiked by my orders, in position, as I had neither means nor time to dismount them. The provisions required were, by agreement with the commodore, to be drawn from the Supply as they were wanted, instead of sending them from the yards; yet, almost the instant we landed the master of the yard came with some small stores in a barge, bringing with him an order from Commodore Armstrong to land the stores immediately and proceed to anchor off the