proceed with the least possible delay to that place, and you will assume command of all the land forces of the United States within the limits of the State of Florida. You will proceed to New York, where steam transportation for four companies will be engaged, and, putting on board such supplies as you can ship, without delay proceed at once to your destination. The engineer company of Sappers and Miners; Brevet Major Hunt's Company M, Second Artillery; Captain John's Company C, Third Infantry; Captain Clitz's Company E, Third Infantry, will embark with you in the first steamer. Other troops and full supplies will be sent after you as soon as possible.
Captain Meigs will accompany you as engineer, and will remain with you until you are established in Fort Pickens, when he will return to resume his duties in this city. The other members of your staff will be Asst. Surg. John Campbell, medical staff; Captain Ruffus Ingalls, assistant quartermaster; Captain Henry F. Clarke, assistant commissary of subsistence; Bvt. Captain George L. Hartsuff, assistant adjutant-general; and First Lieutenant George T. Balch, ordnance officer.
The object and destination of this expedition will be communicated to no one to whom lit is not already known. The naval officers in the Gulf will be instructed to co-operate with you, and to afford every facility in their power for the accomplishment of the object of the expedition, which is the security of Fort Pickens against all attack, foreign and domestic. Should a shot be fired at you, you will defend yourself and your expedition at whatever hazard, and, if needful for such defense, inflict upon the assailants all the damage in your power within the range of your guns.
Lieutenant-Colonel Keyes, military secretary, will be authorized to give all necessary orders, and to call upon the staff department for every requisite material and transportation, and other steamers will follow that on which you embark, to carry re-enforcements, supplies, and provisions for the garrison of Fort Pickens for six months. Captain Barry's battery will follow as soon as a vessel can be fitted for its transportation. Two or three foot companies will embark at the same time with the battery. All the companies will be filled up to the maximum standard, those to embark first from the recruits in the harbor of New York. The other companies will be filled, if practicable, with instructed soldiers.
You will make Fort Jefferson your main depot and base of operations. You will be careful not to reduce too much the means of the fortresses in the Florida Reef, as they are deemed of greater importance than even Fort Pickens. The naval officers in the Gulf will be instructed to co-operate with you in every way, in order to insure the safety of Fort Pickens, Fort Jefferson, and Fort Taylor. You will freely communicate with them for this end, and will exhibit to them the authority of the President herewith.
The President directs that you be assigned to duty from this date according to your brevet rank in the Army.
With great confidence in your judgment, zeal, and intelligence, I remain, respectfully,
APRIL 2, 1861.