lence of our ship and the vigilant care of the officers. Only two died during the gale, and the rest are doing well. My command are all healthy and in good spirits.
I have directed Lieutenant Balch, ordnance officer, to make on the proper offices requisitions for various articles which were not to be procured at our departure. I respectfully urge that they be sent immediately.
I ordered the purchase of two 6-pounder rifled guns, which are said to be at Fort Columbus, and that a 42-pounder rifled gun, also at that post, be sent, with all the necessary implements and projectiles, by the first vessel. I have also directed Lieutenant Balch to make a special estimate of guns for Fort Jefferson, which may be of vital importance, and which should be furnished without delay.
I would respectfully and earnestly urge that six 42-pounder rifled guns, with implements complete, and one thousand rounds of ammunition to each guns, as specified in the requisition of Lieutenant Balch, be immediately prepared and sent by steamer to Fort pickens. Their value will be inestimable. With them we shall be able to act, if need be, with great efficiency against Fort McRee, Barrancas, and the navy-yard, and place our opponents from an offensive to a defensive position. I earnestly solicit the approbation of the General-in-Chief on this subject, and that the guns may be prepared and sent by steam without a moment's delay. James' apparatus for rifling guns is at Fort Columbus, and the guns, if diligence be exercised, may be prepared for shipment in a week.
We got into Key West for two or three hours on important duty enjoined by the General-in-Chief, and from thence to Fort Jefferson for some indispensable articles, where we shall be delayed only a short time, and shall then proceed to our estimation.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA,
Key West, April 13, 1861.
Lieutenant Colonel E. D. KEYES,
Secretary to the General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: We arrived at this place this afternoon. Captain Meigs and I have had an interview with Judge Marvin which has been entirely satisfactory. He, though anxious to leave the place, will remain, having now the assurance of support from the military authority. I have found great industry, intelligence and enterprise in putting forward the works at the fort, and consider it quite secure against any force that can at this time be brought against it. Brevet Major French, the commanding officer, has been untiring in his labors, assisted ably by Captain Hunt, of the Engineers, and the officers of the garrison. He and all his officers are, I am happy to say, entirely devoted to the Union and the country, under any and all contingencies. I have issued General Orders in relation to the posts, copies of which will be forwarded by the first opportunity. Finding here some 10-inch mortars, I have taken three of them with the necessary ammunition, and also, there being here two 6-pounder field batteries, I have directed one of them to be put on board the Atlantic.