one time, when the administration then in power seemed to be allowing things to take their own course, and the Government seemed to be falling to pieces, the officers and men might have been inclined to look around for some refuge, but the first act of vigor satisfied them that they yet have a Government, and to it they will be true.
We yet have some 10-inch mortars which will be of use; some artillery for the land fronts, and a few other things which were needed to increase our strength.
The Brooklyn is supposed to have reached Pensacola about the 1st or 2nd, and there is little doubt that as she carried the orders to the troops to land, they landed immediately upon her arrival.
Captain Craven, U. S. Navy, of the Crusader, informs me that Captain Adams had told off marines and sailors enough, in addition to Captain Vogdes' company, to make the landing party five hundred strong; so that apparently it will be left for us only to strengthen the garrison, supply it with ammunition, artillery, and stores, and to put it in position to stand a long siege. This occupation of this stronghold, within one hundred miles of Montgomery, must have a great effect upon the rebellion.
As in instance of the spirit of the soldiers, Captain Brannan was directed to detail seven of his men to fill vacancies in the command on the Atlantic, and telling them that he wanted seven men for the purpose, and that, as they were to go where there would certainly be fighting, he would prefer volunteers, the whole company stepped forward.
The administration will find I trust elsewhere that as here Union men enough will appear as soon as supported and protected by their Government they can speak with safety and effect.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. C. MEIGS,
Captain of Engineers.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA,
April 13, 1861.
Bvt. Major W. H. FRENCH,
Commanding Fort Taylor, Key West:
SIR: You will use the forces of your command, if need be, for the protection of the officers and citizens of the United States on this island in the discharge of their public duties, and the pursuit of their legitimate private occupations. You will not permit on the island any person to exercise any office or authority inconsistent with the laws and Constitution of the United States, and will, if necessary, prevent any such exercise by force of arms. If unhappily rebellion or insurrection should actually exist at any time, you will then publish a proclamation, with which you will be furnished, suspending the writ of habeas corpus, and will immediately remove from the island all dangerous or suspected persons. You will before publishing this proclamation take the advice of the United States judge and attorney on its necessity and expediency (its legality has been determined by higher authority), and receive with deference their opinion, giving them that consideration and weight to which their patriotism and legal knowledge entitle them. In exercising the authority here vested in you the greatest conciliation and forbearance mush be observed, that while the duty be rigidly performed it may always be done in a spirit of conciliation and kindness.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,