ing the Virginia resolutions of compromise. The commissioners of different States are to meet here on Monday, the 4th February, and it is important that during their session a collision of arms should be avoided, unless an attack should be made or there should be preparation for such an attack. In either event the Brooklyn and the other vessels will act promptly.
Your right, and that of the other officers in command at Pensacola, freely to communicate with the Government by special messenger, and its right in the same manner to communicate with yourself and them, will remain intact as the basis on which the present instruction is given.
Secretary of War.
Secretary of the Navy.
FORT TAYLOR, FLA., January 31, 1861.
Colonel L. THOMAS, Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Army:
SIR: My company left Fortress Monroe, Va., on the 24th of the present month, and arrived at this place this morning. The Brooklyn will coal at this place, and then proceed to Fort Jefferson. As there was but a very small supply of fixed ammunition at Fort Monroe for field howitzers, I took only two 12-pounder field howitzers and four mountain howitzers. There was plenty of ammunition for these last, but I could only obtain about one hundred and fifty round for the 12-pounders.
I have communicated your instructions to Captain Brannan, in command at this place, and have been informed by him that Major Arnold arrived at Fort Jefferson on the 18th instant. Captain
Brannan furnished him with six 8-inch columbiads, ten 6-inch field guns, two 12-pounder field howitzers, 10,000 pounds of powder, 700 8-inch shells, and a small amount of ammunition for the field guns. Captain Brannan states that the supply of ammunition on hand is small and the quality bad. The citizens of this place are well disposed, and when the re-enforcements arrive it can be maintained against any force that the seceders may bring against it.
The desiccated vegetables for my command could not be had in Norfolk. Will you please have a supply sent me as soon as possible? I understand that it is impossible to obtain any fresh provisions at Pensacola.
A schooner arrived at this place yesterday, after five days from Pensacola. All of the forts except Fort Pickens were in the hands of the seceders. The strength of these forts was about 3,000 men. All was quiet when the schooner left, and the volunteers were not at all satisfied with their duties. I give you this report as it was given to me. It is probable that you may be in possession of later and more reliable information, but for fear that you may not, I here mention it in my communication.
The privates taken from the companies at Old Point to fill up my company were not regularly transferred. Will you be kind enough to order their regular transfer, as it will greatly simplify the company returns?
I am somewhat doubtful about being able to obtain a supply of fuel at Fort Pickens. However, I shall write to you as soon as I arrive, and give you all the information in my power.
Lieutenant Craven, U. S. Navy, leaves this place this evening for New York, and has kindly offered to take charge of this communica-