Major Tower and Captain Vogdes. Having now establishing something like system, I hope very soon to have it in fighting order. Guns are now being mounted, and traverses for the protection of the works and men being made; but there is an immense work to do. Our prospects are daily brightening, and I hope very soon to be in a situation to act both offensively and defensively. My command is in excellent health, and the men cheerful and in fine spirits. With such officers and such men I have nothing to fear from any number of rebels. Although most of my stores have been landed in full view and within range of the guns of Fort McRee, yet no hostile demonstration has bee made; all has been quiet. I cannot at all account for their not taking possession of the island during the term of Lieutenant Slemmer's command, its importance being so great and so evident; nor can I account for their abstaining to take the fort, their number rendering its success almost certain, unless from reluctance on their part to commence hostilities, or their not being prepared for it. I think their present peaceful attitude arises from a consciousness of our ability to greatly distress them by destroying the navy-yard and by closing the port, while they can only hope to do us partial injury by a long and fruitless bombardment.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA,
Fort Pickens, April 22, 1861.
Lieutenant Colonel E. D. KEYES,
Secretary to the General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: Since writing my dispatches, I have seen newspaper extracts announcing the secession of Virginia, the taking Fort Sumter and Gosport navy-yard. Should this news be true the security of Key West and Tortugas might be jeopardized. I have therefore countermanded my order for bringing two companies from Key West here, and I shall urge Captain Adams to keep a ship at Tortugas and one at Key West, in position to protect the works at these places.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. TROOP-SHIP ATLANTIC, SANTA ROSA,
April 22, 1861.
Colonel H. BROWN,
Commanding Military Department of Florida, Fort Pickens:
DEAR SIR: If the news sent to Major Hunt by Colonel Bragg be correct as reported to me by Captain Porter, it becomes necessary to look for means to guard your communications and the most important posts of Key West and Tortugas against a naval enterprise. If the State of Virginia has really rebelled, and surprised the Gosport navy-yard, she has some good vessels and she will very soon have officers to fight them, as Virginians will follow the fortunes of their native State. I do not think, then, that the two companies ordered up from Key West should now be withdrawn from that place. I think that the Sabine and St. Louis, useless here, should go, one to Key West and one to Tortugas, and be moored in position to aid in the occupation and defense