War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0402 OPERATIONS IN FLORIDA. Chapter IV.

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it if it were published, and as he has received no such notice he did not feel at liberty in any manner to alter the existing status. The next day I renewed the subject in a letter, a copy of which I send you (B) with his answer (C), in which he accedes to my wishes that vessels having articles contraband of war on board shall be stopped, and Captain Porter, with the Powhatan and a small schooner I let him have, is now boarding all vessels entering the harbor.

Major Arnold reports all well at Fort Jefferson; that he is busily engaged in strengthening his post, and that he considers himself capable of repelling any force that can be brought by the rebels against him.

At Key West the secession feeling fomented by the Confederate Secretary of the Navy still prevails among some influential citizens. Major French's policy has been, I fear, too tampering, and he has not taken sufficiently active measures in strengthening the Union party and fostering the Union feeling. I have therefore given him peremptory orders (letter D) on the subject. I do not consider Key West to be sufficiently garrisoned, and have therefore ordered Major French, in case of the arrival of troops there on their way north, to detain two full companies (letter E). Should no troops be expected to touch there, I respectfully recommend that two companies of regulars or four of volunteers be immediately sent to that place. A small steamer or steam-tug-one that is fast and of light draught of water-would render us very great service. I have chartered a small schooner, but have had to let the Navy have here for overhauling vessels attempting to enter the harbor, and besides a sail vessel is not suitable for our purposes.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major, Second Artillery, Colonel Commanding.

[Inclosure A.]

U. S. STEAM-SLOOP POWHATAN, April 28, 1861.

Colonel HARVEY BROWN, Commanding Fort Pickens, Fla.:

DEAR SIR: The inclosed letter will give you a pretty good idea of our "spy". He tore it up and threw the pieces into a spit-box. I had them collected and put together. All his movements are watched. He wrote another yesterday, which I shall get hold of before long. Please save the inclosed for me. I shall probably be pulling about the channel and harbor to-night or to-morrow night. Will you direct your guard-boat to keep clear of me? I shall be in a black double-banked boat, and the enemy have none such. If the guard-boat gets close to us, the watchword is "Bragg."

A little pilot-boat schooner chartered by the Army arrived here yesterday. She would be a great acquisition to us for certain purposes, while here doing nothing. I am to act as guard-ship hereafter, and prevent the inside people from receiving munitions of war. The schooner would be a great assistance in enabling me to cut off fast sailing vessels. If you have the authority, do you not think that it would be well to keep her here? I will mount a rifle gun on here. Captain Adams has appointed the Wyandotte to assist me, but she draws fifteen feet of water, and could not chase those fellows over the shoal spots, and here machinery is defective. I could do more with the schooner, particularly with a breeze.

I am, very truly and respectfully, yours,


Lieutenant, Commanding.