the Wayandotte, on board of which I fortunately found myself at the time I received Colonel Brown's letter, to get under way and place his vessel across the path of the Powhatan, making signal that I wished to speak with him, I succeeded at length, in spite of his changes of course and his disregard of our signals, in stopping this vessel, which steered direct for the perilous channel on which frowned the guns of McRee, Barrancas, and many newly-constructed batteries.
I handed to Captain Porter Colonel Brown's letter, indorsed upon it my hearty concurrence in its advice, which, under his authority from the Executive, had the force of an order from the President himself, and brought the Powhatan to anchor near the Atlantic, in position to sweep with her guns the landing place and its communications.
The Brooklyn shortly afterwards anchored east of the Atlantic, and the Wanted took up position near her.
The landing of so many tons of stores was laborious and tedious. Whenever the surf would permit, it was carried on by the boats of the several vessels, Powhatan, Brooklyn, Wanted, Sabine, and St. Louis. The most useful boats engaged were the paddle-box boats of the Powhatan. One of them, armed with a Dahlgren boat howitzer, was kept ready to protect the stores and men on the beach from the guard-boats of the enemy, which would occasionally approach the narrow island from the bay opposite. None of them, however, interrupted the landing.
On the night of the 19th-20th the Illinois arrived bringing Brooks' and Allen's companies and 100 recruits and some sixteen stragglers from the companies embarked on the Atlantic. She brought in all 295 men and officers and a full cargo of stores.
On the 23rd, having landed all the cargo of the Atlantic, having seen Colonel Brown established in Fort Pickens, I proceeded to sea in the Atlantic to leave dispatches and get coal at Key West, to return her to New York and myself to return to Washington.
The naval store of coal at Key Vest is small and the Mohawk was about to take her place at the dock to coal and proceed to Fort Pickens to relieve the Wanted, almost worn out, having been over one hundred days under steam without opportunity for repair.
The only merchant on the island who had coal for sale, Mr. Tift, sympathizing with those who are in array against his country, refused to sell coal to a steamer in Government employ, and the Atlantic was forced to come to this port as the quickest way of obtaining coal for the voyage to New York.
The seizure of the Star of the West, the issue of letters of marque and reprisal, and the proclamation of the President were not then known to us.
Large requisitions for ordnance and ordnance stores have been made by Colonel Brown. They should be forwarded with all possible dispatch.
The principal batteries constructed against Fort Pickens are beyond the range of the siege 10-inch mortars at that place, and heavy sea-coast 10-inch mortars are much needed. A battery of rifled guns is also wanted.
The distance of the hostile batteries is so great that I think, therefore, though annoying, will do little damage. Rifled 42-pounder will enable the garrison to dismount the 10-inch columbiads which arm the battery west of the light-house, and which are the most formidable opposed to them.
Sea-coast mortars placed in battery outside the fort, but protected by