War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0362 OPERATIONS IN FLORIDA. Chapter IV.

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without funds for purchasing cattle. The United States is indebted to him for three months' supply.

If the intention of the Department is to place re-enforcements in the fort, I would recommend that subsistence stores be sent immediately.

On the morning of the 12th instant four negroes (runaways) came to the fort, entertaining the idea that we were placed here to protect them and grant them their freedom. I did what I could to teach them the contrary. In the afternoon I took them to Pensacola and delivered them to the city marshal, to be returned to their owners. That same night four more made their appearance. They were also turned over to the authorities next morning.

On the evening of the 12th I received this communication:

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS OF CONFEDERATE STATES,

Near Pensacola, Fla., March 13, 1861.

To the U. S. OFFICER, commanding Fort Pickens, Fla.:

SIR: The bearer of this communication, Captain R. C. Wood, Army of the Confederate States, waits upon you in my behalf with the purpose of obtaining information necessary to enable me to understand our relative positions. He will communicate to you my views, and receive such reply as you may be pleased to make.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

BRAXTON BRAGG,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

As I was absent at Pensacola delivering up the negroes, I did not see Captain Wood. I made the following answer, accompanying it with copies of the agreement entered into by Colonel Chase and the War Department, with copies of such other papers as would enable the general to understand our positions:

FORT PICKENS, FLA., March 13, 1861.

General BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding the forces, &c., near Pensacola, Fla.:

SIR: Your communication of this date reached this post during my absence. I have the honor to send you a copy of the agreement entered into between Colonel Chase, Senator Mallory, and the War and Navy Departments, with such other communications as may enable you to understand our relative positions. Please let me know as soon as convenient whether you will consider the agreement binding on your part or not.

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

A. J. SLEMMER,

First Lieutenant, First Artillery, Commanding.

To which I received the following reply:

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS OF CONFEDERATE STATES,

Near Pensacola, Fla., March 13, 1861.

Lieutenant A. J. SLEMMER, Commanding Fort Pickens:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your communication of this date with its inclosure. In announcing to you my intention to conform strictly to the spirit of the agreement entered into by colonel Chase, I beg to suggest to you that the erection of a battery on Saint Roas Island bearing directly on our navy-yard is, in my view, directly in conflict with the spirit of the agreement. The erection of the works on this side bearing on the channel cannot, I conceive, be taken as a menace against Fort Pickens, and the act seems to me fully justified as a means of defense, and especially so under the threats of the new administration.

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

BRAXTON BRAGG,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

The battery which the general mentions has no reality, and I so requested his aid, Lieutenant Gaines, to inform him.

On the 15th I made the following answer:

FORT PICKENS, FLA., March 15, 1861.

Brigadier General BRAXTON BRAGG, Commanding Forces C. S., near Pensacola, Fla.:

SIR: I placed yesterday your communication of the 13th instant before the commander of the squadron off the labor. This will account for the delay in announcing