ing great time and labor-be landed within range of the guns of Fort McRee, and the vital importance of getting these stores ashore, rendered, in my judgment, delay in encountering hostilities of the utmost importance, and any act of ours provoking, or I may say assuredly and certainly causing it, to be premature and unwise.
Time with us is everything, and I can see but little injury accrue from delay. I cannot and will not see the flag of my country fired on without returning the fire, and I am desirous not to be placed in this category until I am able efficiently to defent myself and assail the enemy, which now I cannot do.
I desire that my remakes on the condition of the fort may not be considered ad reflecting in the slightest degree on my predecessors in command. To Lieutenants Slemmer and Gilman too much praise cannot be awarded for their energy zeal, and perseverance in keeping this post-a truly forlorn hope-and I trust they will receive the reared their gallantry merits. To Brevet Major Tower, of the Engineers, and Lieutenant Whittemore very great praise is due of rassociationg themselves voluntarily with Slemmer in the day of his darkest hour, and for their efficiency in assisting the defense. Captain Vogdes had been in command but a few days, and had done everything during the time that his means permitted.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. TROOP-SHIP ATLANTIC, OFF SANT ROSA,
April 18, 1861-1 a. m.
Colonel H. BROWN, Commanding Expedition:
DEAR SIR: It is so quiet to-night that I think it quite important to make use of the opportunity to land all the men possible, and as I find that the boats carry more than we expected, and one-half of Mr. Hildt's company is already on shore, I have ventured to use some discretion and land the rest of his company with Major Hunt's. This leaves only the battery to be landed to-morrow with their horses. We will request the fleet to cover the landing of the horses and battery, and you can send a company of infantry to their assistance should it appear that it is best to place them east of the fort. This can only be determined after a reconnaissance of the island.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. C. MEIGS,
Captain, U. S. Engineers.
U. S. TROOPS-SHIP ATLANTIC, April 18, 1861.
Colonel HARVEY BROWN, Commanding Department of Florida:
DEAR SIR: I advise you to call upon Captain Admas to send a sailing ship to Key West to order up the Crusader with two companies of infantry and such stores as they can spare. The Wyandotte from long service, without time for repairs, is liable to break down at any moment, and the Crusader will be very useful in her place. The zeal and energy of her commander in this cause, too, will tend much to your advantage. The three companies left at Fort Taylor will be able to hold that place against all opposes. When relieved the Wyandotte might go to Key West to report, but at present, at any risk, she must be kept here. Let the carpenters make wagon-bodies as soon as possible. We will, by the