Montgomery, March 7, 1861.
Brigadier General BRAXTON BRAGG,
Provisional Army, C. S. A., Commanding Troops near Pensacola, Fla.:
SIR: By the inclosed order you will perceive that you have been assigned to the command of the troops at and near Pensacola, Fla. It is of the greatest importance that the Government here should be accurately informed of the state of affairs in that quarter. The Secretary of War, therefore, desires that you will as soon as possible forward to this office and comprehensive report of whatever may come under your observation, especially in regard to affairs immediately connected with Fort Pickens. You will also be pleased to make reports to this Department as often as it may be convenient for you to do so. Very little information in respect to the nature of the service and its requirements at the station to which you have been assigned to command has reached this Government. The Department is anxious to know accurately the condition of things there and the necessities of the service, so that it can act with full intelligence, which is so much wanting at present.
A return of your command is required.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Montgomery, Ala., March 7, 1861.
1. Brigadier General Braxton Bragg, of the Provisional Army, Confederate States of America, is assigned to the command of the troops in and near Pensacola, Fla., to which station he will proceed without delay.
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By command of the Secretary of War:
CONVENTION HALL, MONTGOMERY, ALA.,
March 9, 1861.
Honorable L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, &c.:
SIR: As one of the delegates to the Alabama State Convention I have received a letter from General A. C. Gordon, on Henry County, in said State, from which I make the following extract:
Nothing doing at Apalachicola. No cotton is selling, nor can shipments be made from that port. Unless some of our companies are sent to Apalochicola it will be burned up and out cotton taken if war should be declared. There is now over one million (value) of cotton at Apalachicola at ten cents. Call the attention of our President to the situation of our peoples in that particular. No forts or guns at that place to defend it. Two companies of volunteers are there without balls or powder. Something should be done, and that very soon, for the protection of that place and property. Alabama will suffer more than Florida will if that place should fall into the hands of an enemy.
A large portion of the people of Southeastern Alabama ship their cotton to that port for market, and apprehend danger to their interests there, as you will see from the above extract. Will you do me the kindness to make such suggestions in relation to the matter as you may deem proper?
Your obedient servant,
H. E. OWENS.