War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0434 OPERATIONS IN FLORIDA. Chapter IV.

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Fort Pickens, Fla., June 26, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: I have received your letters of the 30th ultimo and 7th instant ordering me to send Barry's and Hunt's companies to New York and informing me that a regiment of New York Volunteers had been ordered to re-enforce Fort Pickens. When, in the face of repeated applications and urgent entreaties for more regular officers, and of strong representations, repeatedly urged, of the necessity of more regular companies, and of my declaration that at this time volunteers would very much embarrass me, and the expression of a hope that none would be sent, nine of my officers, one-third my whole number, and two artillery companies are taken from me, and a regiment of undrilled New York City Volunteers, entirely undisciplined, are sent me, I can only attribute it to a want of confidence in my judgment, or of disbelief in, and disregard to, my urgent and repeated representations of the wants and necessities of this fort.

I respectfully submit to the consideration of the General-in-Chief the accompanying table A, showing that I am left with thirty-one officers and two hundred and ninety enlisted men less than are necessary for a vigorous defense during such a bombardment as we shall probably have.

I desire earnestly in the discharge of my duties to put self aside, and to act only for what I consider to be the best interests of the country. I cannot, under the existing state of affairs, being in the face of an enemy six or eight times superior to me in number, with batteries and forts quadrupling mine, ask to be relieved, but, as there will probably be a large force ordered here in the fall, if not sooner, I would respectfully suggest that an officer having more rank, and in whom the general will place more confidence, be sent to command this department. My ambition will be fully satisfied with the consciousness of having faithfully performed an important duty in re-enforcing and holding this fort, and in putting it in a condition to defy the whole congregated nation of rebels.

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


Colonel, Commanding.

P. S.- Several officers have, I perceive, been promoted to companies here. Not one has joined, although there have been two or three appointments.

H. B.


A.- Table of armament of Fort Pickens and its batteries, the number of officers and enlisted men required to perform its duties, and the number for duty at the post.

Guns. Officers Officers Enlisted men.

. .

Fort Pickens. Maximum. Minimum. Three reliefs.

Five 10-inch colubmiads. --- --- 105

Two 42-pounder guns, --- --- 42


Seven 42-pounder, rifled. 25 15 141

Four 32-pounder guns, --- --- 84


Two 8-inch howitzers. --- --- 42

Battery Scott.

Two 10-inch sea-coast 2 1 30


Two 10-inch columbiads. 3 2 48

One 42-pounder rifled gun. 2 1 25