plished engineers, who have devoted all their energy to the work. But I receive no orders, no instructions. My officers and companies are taken from me, and I am left helpless. But where there's a will there's a way, and I have the will, but am still under orders to act only on the defensive. I have had two companies and fifteen officers, including all my staff, taken from me. A regular officer of your department here is indispensably necessary, and he ought to be a man of business. Whether you did or not, it has been of the most essential service, not for anything it actually did, but for reasons that will be apparent to you; but if you did commit a blunder in bringing it here, a far greater one was committed in taking it away, and this will be seen in the fall.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA,
Fort Pickens, July 23, 1861.
Brigadier General L. THOMAS,
Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: If, as is surmised, it is the intention of the Government to send the Fifth Artillery here in the fall, I would respectfully suggest, for the consideration of the General-in-Chief, the benefit to be derived to the regiment and to the service by obtaining one-half the companies required by transfer from the other artillery regiments; that four of the companies now in this department and two at Old Point Comfort be transferred to it, thus rendering it immediately fit for service on this organization, and saving the expense of the transportation of four companies from the North here.
All of the following companies, which I think may advantageously be transferred, are now and will be without captains: A, First Artillery, Vogdes'; F, Firts Artillery, Chalfin's, and H, Second Artillery, late Brooks', now at Fort Pickens; C, Second Artillery, Arnold's, Fort Jefferson; F or H, Third Artillery, Reynolds' or Burton's, and E, Fourth Artillery, Getty's, Fort Monroe.
Captain Chalfin is now here with his company, and one of the subalterns of Vogdes' company, transferred to the Fifth, is also here.
I suggest that Captain Getty keep his old company, and that Captain De Hart be assigned to the Third Artillery, Company F or H, now at Old Point; that Chalfin keep his own (F, First); that Seymour be assigned to the command of A, First (Vogdes'); Griffin to H, Second (late Brooks'), and Smead to C, Second (Arnold's), the subalterns to be assigned at Washington and ordered immediately here, as also the captains, and that the regimental staff and two of the majors with Getty's and De Hart's companies, fully officered, be sent as early as possible, and the other companies as last as they are recruited and organized. These suggestions are made under the supposition of the regiment's coming here, and also that it is not, as it is also rumored, a light artillery regiment.
I have not the slightest desire to remain in this country, having already served in Florida fourteen years and upwards, and would much prefer serving in the North; but I desire distinctly to state that in the present contest I wish to serve anywhere and in any capacity suitable to my rank that may be considered most conductive to the interest of the country, without any regard to my personal predilections.