HUNTSVILLE, ALA., February 3, 1861.
Honorable L. P. WALKER, Montgomery:
MY DEAR SIR: There is at Pensacola an immense quantity of powder, shot, and shells, which ought to be removed to the interior at the earliest possible moment. Where they now are they are constantly exposed to the danger of recapture, and if they are permitted to remain, one of Lincoln's first movements will be to concentrate a sufficient force at that point to retake them.
In my judgment there is no hope of peaceful settlement of our difficulties with the Government of the United States, and all our calculations should be made with reference to the breaking out of a war of vast magnitude and almost unparalleled ferocity. We had the subject of these munitions before the military committee of our Convention, but as they were on the soil the Florida, and beyond our jurisdiction, we could do nothing. Your convention will have more extensive powers.
There is still much discontent here at the passage of the ordinance of secession, but it is growing weaker daily, and unless something is done to stir it up anew will soon die away.
Last Week Yancey was burned in effigy in Limestone, but I suppose it was rather a frolic of the "b'hoys" than a manifestation of serious feeling on the part of the older citizens.
I shall be glad to hear from you from time to time during the session of the Convention.
Very truly and respectfully, your friend and obedient servant,
Montgomery, Ala., February 22, 1861.
His Excellency Governor PERRY:
SIR: The subjoined resolution was passed by Congress, in secret session, and the injunction of secrecy, you will perceive, has been removed only so far as to authorize me to communicate in the manner deemed expedient, and I must, therefore, ask that you consider it as confidentially done.* The resolution suggests two methods by which possession of the forts may be had. It was not intended, however, that the progress of the one should retard or effect the preparations for the other; while, therefore, steps are being taken for negotiation, earnest efforts have been made ot procure men of military science and experience, and to seek for munitions and machinery suitable to remedy the supposed or known deficiencies in the existing supplies. Congress, probably, did not design to interfere with the progress of constructions which had been commenced by State authority, the instruction of troops, or other preparation, which will be useful in further operations, and I hope you will continue thus to prepare for whatever exigency may arise. As soon as a skillful engineer is available he will be sent to make an examination of the fort within your State and to aid in the works needful to the execution of the resolution of Congress, should force be the means to which we must resort.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
*See resolution approved February 22, 1861, in Fort Sumter correspondence, p. 258.