War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0346 OPERATIONS IN FLORIDA. Chapter IV.

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N. McLaren, First Lieutenant Henry Benson, First Lieutenant M. M. Blunt, A. A. Q. M. and A. C. S.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. G. ARNOLD,

Brevet Major, U. S. Army, Commanding.

Lieutenant-Colonel THOMAS,

Asst. Adjt. General, U. S. Army, New York City.

HEADQUARTERS FORT JEFFERSON, TORTUGAS, January 18, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that I arrived at Fort Jefferson to day with my command; garrisoned and assumed command of the post, in accordance with the instructions of the General-in-Chief, dated Washington, January 5, 1861. Strength: four commissioned officers and sixty-two enlisted men, Bvt. Major L. G. Arnold, commanding; Surg. A. N. McLean, First Lieutenant Blunt. I would respectfully inquire if Fort Jefferson is a double-ration post? If not, I request that it be announced as such in orders from the War Department, from the 18th instant.

I am,very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. G. ARNOLD,

Brevet Major, U. S. Army, Commanding.

Colonel S. COOPER,

Adjt. General U. S. Army,

Washington City, D. C.

HEADQUARTERS FORT JEFFERSON, TORTUGAS, January 23, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report for the information of the General-in-Chief that I found on my arrival here, notwithstanding the energetic, well-directed, and highly-commendable efforts of Captain Meigs, the Engineer in charge, that Fort Jefferson could not be successfully defended from a judiciously-planned and concerted attack with a formidable force without having each front of the work and each bastion armed with artillery.

By the advice of Captain Meigs I dispatched the steamer Joseph Whitney, with Captain Meigs, Engineers, and Lieutenant Benson, Second Artillery, to Key West, where there is an abundance of guns and munitions, with a letter to Captain Meigs, and to send me such guns, &c., as Captain Meigs might deem necessary for the immediate defense of Fort Jefferson, in order that the honor of the Government and the defense of both forts might be maintained.

I am happy to report what Captain Meigs has returned from Key West in the steamer Joseph Whitney with six 8-inch columbiads and four field pieces and an ample supply of ammunition, which, with the two field pieces I brought from Fort Independence, will enable me as soon as they are in position to make a strong defense, most probably to hold this important-the key of the Gulf-against any force that is likely to be brought against it.

I herewith inclose a copy of Captain Meigs' report, and I will here