reception and distribution of the whole command. It is unnecessary for me to state that such arrangements cannot be made by Lieutenant Slemmer, nor can I for one moment consent to his dispensing of either myself or my command. Besides which, until Lieutenant Slemmer declined sending me the return, I had no idea that he disputed my right to command, and I had made arrangements with Captain Admas, commanding the naval forces on this station, to land a force of marines and sailors, which, with my company and the troops now in the fort, will raise the command to five hundred men. This force, in my opinion, will be sufficient to hold Fort Pickens against any force that may attempt to carry it by escalate. There is, however, a great deficiency both of ammunition and supplies for so large a command. The medical supplies are very limited. There are no bunks either for the hospital nor for the men. The casemates are open, and have only brick floors. At present the men are in the officers' quarters, but these will be required for the officers, and would besides be entirely inadequate to accommodate so large a command. To expose the men to sleep on the damp brick floors, exposed as they would be to the inclemency of the weather, would soon place most of them on the sick-report.
It is important that requisitions should be made for medicines and quartermaster's supplies of lumber, bunks, and clothing for the command. I directed the attending surgeon and the acting assistant quartermaster to make the necessary requisitions, but whether they have done so or not I cannot say, as they have not been submitted to me.
I think that the above statement will satisfy you as to the importance of placing things upon such a footing as may settle at once the right to command. I have not deemed it judicious to take the course with Lieutenant Slemmer which I should have taken at any other time, but I think I have said sufficient to satisfy you that it is important that all ambiguity as to my right to command should be at once removed. I therefore ask that instructions may at once be given for me to at once take up my residence within the fort, which the authorities now seem to think is contrary to the agreement entered into.
I deem it important that the commissary and quartermaster's department at this post should be supplied with money, as it is impossible to obtain supplies without it.
Some batteries have been erected by the seceders between the navy-yard and fort Barrancas, on the shore. These may offer a very serious obstacle to the ships-of-war entering the harbor. The troops, however, I think can be safely landed on Saint Rose Island, and enter the fort without encountering any serious impediment. May I request that you will give your early attention to the above lease, and let me know your decision?
Captain, First Artillery.
FORT PICKENS, FLA., March 18, 1861.
Lieutenant Colonel L. THOMAS, Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Army:
SIR: I have the honor to report that since my last report nothing has happened to disturb the peaceable relations existing between the United States forces and those opposing us. I have placed the fort in condition for defense as well as the means in my power would permit.
The contractor has refused to furnish beef, alleging that he is