War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0340 OPERATIONS IN FLORIDA. Chapter IV.

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Colonel Chase not being present at the yard, Captain Randolph, commandant, ordered my mail matter to be taken to his office. On the 26th I received the following communications:

HEADQUARTERS NAVY YARD, January 26, 1861.

Lieutenant A. J. SLEMMER,

U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Pickens:

SIR: I have this moment received your communication of the 24th instant. I have been absent at Montgomery, which will immediately inquire at the post-office about your mail matter, and attend to your request. I would also inform you that you may be supplied with fresh provisions daily if you desire. I will communicate with you again.

In haste, respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. H. CHASE,

Colonel, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS NAVY YARD, January 26, 1861.

Lieutenant A. J. SLEMMER,

U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Pickens:

SIR: I have given strict orders this morning that no citizen or soldier should be permitted to pass from this side towards Fort Pickens, or to land on Santa Rosa Island, and I now inform you of the fact and also that I shall use every effort to have my orders executed. I have just been informed that some four or five men started on a fishing excursion on the island, and as they must have been ignorant of my orders jus issued, I would request that if they have landed on the island they may be sent back.

Any collision growing out of persons going over to the island or near Fort Pickens would be most unfortunate in the present state of affairs, and I would request you to join me in preventing it; and to this effect I would also request that persons in boats may be warned off, and if any should land, they should be ordered to re-embark. This should be done in a way to prevent angry feelings between the parties.

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

WM. H. CHASE,

Colonel, Commanding Forces.

To which I replied as follows:

FORT PICKENS, FLA., January 26, 1861.

Colonel W. H. CHASE,

Commanding Forces:

SIR: Your communication in answer to mine of the 24th instant is before me. I have directed Lieutenant Gilman to proceed to the navy-yard and consult with you with reference to supplies of fresh provisions and the mail facilities of my command.

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

A. J. SLEMMER,

First Lieutenant, First Artillery, Commanding.

FORT PICKENS, FLA., January 26, 1861.

Colonel W. H. CHASE,

Commanding Forces of Florida:

SIR: It gives me much pleasure to learn of your order with reference to the passage of boats and men ot Fort Pickens and Santa Rosa Island from the yards and vicinity. I have given strict orders to allow no boats to land, and in all cases of boats approaching the island I am notified of the fact.

This morning I was informed by my sentinels that a boat with four men was approaching the island above the fort the navy yard. I immediately sent and had them apprehended, saw the men myself, and directed that they re-embarked for the navy-yard, which was done, I believe, without any ill feelings being engendered. I will, rest assured, do all in my power to prevent any collision growing out of boats landing on the island, and sincerely hope that your orders and vigilance may prevent any from coming over without your permission and flag.

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

A. J. SLEMMER,

First Lieutenant, First Artillery, Commanding Fort Pickens.

Later in the day the mail for myself and command was brought over from the yard with the following note:

HEADQUARTERS PENSACOLA DISTRICT, January 26, 1861.

Lieutenant A. J. SLEMMER,

Commanding Fort Pickens:

SIR: I send over your mail. The mail will be delivered to you in future without delay.

Respectfully, &c.,

W. H. CHASE,

Colonel, Commanding Forces, &C.

I cannot close this report without saying a few words with reference to my command. From the first day they day nobly vindicated