War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0424 OPERATIONS IN FLORIDA. Chapter IV.

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charter of the necessary steam vessels, and will consult and co-operate with the Navy officers at Brooklyn and Portsmouth in shipping certain naval supplies of guns and ammunition.



Secretary of War.


Fort Pickens, May 30, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: Since my letter of the 27th instant the steamer Suwannee has arrived from Key West with the Company F, First Artillery, under command of Lieutenant Closson, and by the same vessel the Engineer Department received 12,000 gunny-boats, which I think will be as many as will required.

I inclose you documents A to C, by which it will be perceived that the principal seceders have left Key West, and that, through the wise system of conciliation and firmness combined, a strong Union feeling now prevails on that island, and it may be reasonably expected that all the inhabitants of the island will return to their allegiance. I received also assurance from the commanders of Forts Taylor and Jefferson that their respective posts are in good fighting order, and entirely safe from any force that can be brought against them by the rebels.

I have to report that Paymaster Albert J. Smith deserted the service of the United States from Key West on the 22nd instant. He turned over to Captain Hunt, of the Engineers, about $2,000 previous to his desertion. I have advertised him as a deserter, and offered a reward for his apprehension.

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


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure A.]


May 16, 1861.

Captain G. L. HARTSUFF,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Department Florida:

CAPTAIN: Since my communication of the 12th instant, the regular time for opening the session of the district court arrived, viz, the second Monday in May (13th). No court has, however, been held. My order refusing to permit judicial or magisterial functions to be exercised, except by persons who will swear allegiance to the United States, has been carried out, and for the last three days there has been no court for the usual civil routine of a town. I prepared certain rules and instructions to meet this want, intending to have all cases referred to Captain Brannan, to be appointed civil lieutenant-governor of the town, but I ascertained that a citizen (Mr. P. Jister) had been elected a magistrate by the people a year ago, and had declined to serve when Florida passed the ordinance of secession. I sent for him, but he was averse to serving, until I showed him that it would be obligatory to use the martial code unless some loyal citizen would act. He has concluded to do so, and I sent for the district attorney, who has proffered his aid and advice.