teries Lincoln and Cameron (one each), and only two at Battery Scott, and, exclusively of the staff, four at Fort Pickens, when the minimum should be four the each company, making twenty-eight. Now, is this right? Is it just to place an officer in such a situation when surrounded by an enemy ten times his own number, with an armament four times as may as his? Officers are prompted to the companies here, but not one comes. They are promoted from here as their chief wants them, and all go. Companies C and E, Third Infantry, have but one officer. Company A, Second Artillery, is commanded by a second lieutenant, its captain and first lieutenant being at one point. Company K, Second, has a captain and first lieutenant, who is entitled to promotion. Company F, First, has a captain under orders and a first lieutenant, the former captain. Company A, First, has a captain and first lieutenant, the former entitled to promotion; so that if these officers receive their promotion and are ordered away, I shall be left without an officer. However, if the worst comes to the worst, I have made up my mind never to surrender this fort, and I leave this letter as a testimony of the reasons why it was not gloriously victorious.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA,
Fort Pickens, July 15, 1861.
General M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
DEAR GENERAL: I wrote the Adjutant-General by the last steamer on the subject of a steam-tug for this place. It seems to me that strange ideas are entertained of the kind of vessels required to town boats, as a large propeller of 500 or 600 tons burden, and drawing when light fifteen feet water, was sent; the bar over which she would be required to tow the boats having on it only some ten feet, and near the shore, where she is not wanted, there being only some eight feet. I want a powerful, swift boat, of some seventy-five to one hundred tons, neatly fitted up, and that does not draw more than seven feet water. I suppose such a boat can be purchased for $10,000 or $12,000, or can be hired for some $1,000 or $1,200 per month, and without the slightest exaggeration I am confident such a boat would have twice paid for itself in unloading the Vanderbilt alone. If troops are to be sent here in the fall to act offensively, two or three of these boats should be here for towing and for landing troops and stores. The one I now require is also wanted to run as a mail-boat to Havana and Key West. She should be sent here loaded with coal (in bags) for her own consumption. Afterwards arrangements must be made for her coaling at Key West. If one is sent, let her have a good new boiler and be in all respects in good order, there being no means of repairing here. With such a boat I can, on an average, unload a ship in half the time I now can, and if you calculate the daily charter of the steamers coming here you can very easily see the saving to the Government by having one.
Before this reaches you this fort will be in complete readiness, and I presume no fort in the United States was ever better prepared for offensive or defensive operations (if manned, which it is not halt), so far as the efficiency of service and security and protection and safety of the men go, my object having been to attain the greatest possible efficiency with the last possible expense of life of my garrison, and I have spared no labor in effecting it, and I have had most efficient and accom-