J. C. MORRIS, Esq.:
DEAR SIR: I wrote you from Atlanta. Was my note received and attended to? Please telegraph my friends that I spend a couple of days at Pensacola previous to me departure for Texas. I want to see a besieged fortress once in a life-time. Everything goes on finely here. Hope to hear of surrender of Fort Sumter to-day; next Pickens, and then Washington.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA,
Fort Pickens, April 26, 1861.
Captain H. A. ADAMS, Commanding Naval Forces off Pensacola:
CAPTAIN: I received yesterday the lanterns and your order, for which I am much obliged. We are sadly deficient in 8-inch shell for one sea-coast howitzer, to act against the navy-yard. I am told that you have some. If you have and can spare a part of them it will greatly relieve me. I am also told that the Brooklyn has an abundance of 9-inch shell guns, and I would submit to your consideration the expediency of establishing a naval battery near the fort of, say, there of those guns, to be manned and fought exclusively be the Navy. Their co-operation in this manner would be of the most essential importance, and the Navy associated with the Army in the defense of this fort would cause a generous emulation between the two services primitive of the best feeling. I am told that a vessel is now on here way from Charleston to this place, loaded with an Armstrong gun, ammunition, and projectiles. It is of vital importance to us that such a gun should not be used against us, and I cannot but think that with the information we now have of hostilities having actually commenced, you will be warranted in detaining here, or any other vessel having articles contraband of war, and I would suggest whether your not doing so might not be unfavorably received at home. I do not, under present existing circumstances, propose capturing the vessel, but only that entrance to this harbor should be prohibited.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. FRIGATE SABINE,
Off Pensacola, April 28, 1861.
Colonel H. BROWN, Commanding Department of Florida, Fort Pickens:
SIR: I fully concur with you in the propriety of preventing munitions of war from being carried into Pensacola, and have given the necessary orders to that effect. The establishment of a naval battery on shore seems to me at this time almost impracticable. Our men are exhausted by hard work, which is still accumulating, and diminished by sickness and detachments. The remainder are necessary for the care and defense of the ships, and for landing parties to co-operate with you. Officers we have none. I am hourly looking for the arrival of Flag Officer Stringham, to whom I will refer your proposal immediately. He will have a fresh crew and officers to spare. In the mean time I would suggest that a place for the battery be selected and prepared for the guns by laying platforms, &c. They are very heavy, and will require solid foundations.