prepared by Colonel Keyes and by myself, or the greater part of them were so prepared, and the more important papers were signed by the President.
I left all my notes of these instructions with Hartsuff, that he might make up a complete record of the orders and instructions for the headquarters of the Department of Florida, of which Colonel Brown was placed in command. As he left Fort Pickens before they were engrossed, he left my papers in the office of the commander of the department.
The department having been broken up, it is probable that the records are still at Fort Pickens or Pensacola. I believe that the records of a department, when it is discontinued, should, by military rule, be sent to the Adjutant-General's Office at the War Department for safe keeping.
Would it not be well to send out orders for the transmission of the early records of headquarters of the Department of Florida to your office, so as to insure their preservation?
Inquiry at the Navy Department, and at the Executive Mansion and at the State Department, has failed to discover any copies of the orders.
It was an Executive act, unknown at the time to any but those engaged therein, including General Scott, the Secretary of State, and the President.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General, Brevet Major-General, Chief Engineer of the Expedition to Relieve Fort Pickens in April, 1861.
CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.
WASHINGTON, January 5, 1861.
JOSEPH FINEGAN, Esq., or Colonel GEO. W. CALL [Tallahassee, Fla.]:
MY DEAR SIR: The immediately important thing to be done is the occupation of the forts and arsenal in Florida. The naval station and forts at Pensacola are first in consequence. For this a force is necessary. I have conversed with Mr. Toombs upon the subject. He will start this week for Georgia, and says if the convention of sov'y [sovereignty] will ask Governor Brown, of Georgia, for a force he will immediately send on sufficient force and take the navy-yard and forts. The occupation of the navy-yard will give us a good supply of ordnance and make the capture of the forts easier. Major Chase built the forts and will know all about them. Lose no time, for, my opinion is, troops will be very soon dispatched to re-enforce and strengthen the forts in Florida. The arsenal at Chattahoochee should be looked to, and that at once, to prevent removal of arms.
I think that by 4th March all the Southern States will be out, except perhaps Kentucky and Missouri, and they will soon have to follow.
What is advisable is the earliest possible organization of a Southern Confederacy and of a Southern Army. The North is rapidly consolidating against us upon the plan of force. A strong Government, as eight States will make, promptly organized, and a strong Army, with Jeff. Davis for General-in-Chief, will bring them to a reasonable sense of the gravity of the crisis.