War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0452 OPERATIONS IN FLORIDA. Chapter IV.

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Montgomery, Ala., March 19, 1861.

Honorable L. P. WALKER,

Secretary of War, Montgomery, Ala.:

SIR: From the most reliable information I have reasons to apprehend that difficulty will occur in regard to the transfer of the State troops now at Pensacola to the Government of the Confederate States unless some steps are taken to avoid it. The troops express fears that they are to be transferred without the privilege of electing their colonel and majors, and that they will be continued in service for twelve months, even if pending difficulties should be amicably arranged in a shorter time.

I have said to Captains Baker and Clark, who are here for the purpose of getting information on the subject, that I did not consider there were any reasonable grounds for such apprehension; that the ordinance under which they volunteered authorized the volunteers "when organized into regiments or battalions to elect their regimental field officers," and that I presumed this provision of the ordinance would not be disturbed. I further stated to them that said ordinance provided that "volunteers shall not be accepted for a less term of service than one year, unless sooner discharged by the governor," and that it had been my intention so soon as the three-years' recruits should be raised, organized, and stationed at the forts to relieve the volunteers, unless there was a necessity for their services. Captains Baker and Clark seem to have no doubt that if the Secretary of War concurs in the views above expressed by me all difficulties will be removed.

I regard it as a matter of the utmost importance that this question should be so understood that the troops will not hestite to be transferred at once. Should they decline, I fear the effect upon other troops and the public service.

In a few days companies enough will be at Pensacola to constitute a regiment, and officers can be elected. Nine companies will be there to-morrow. Will you say to me in reply to this whether or not this will be acceptable to the Confederate Government?

I take it as granted that the volunteers will be discharged so soon as by the establishment of peace the necessity for their services ceases. Let me assure you that the object of this letter is to secure the consent of the troops to their immediate transfer. Any doubt upon the subject of their consent gives me pain and trouble.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


AUGUSTA, March 20, 1861.

President DAVIS:

My always reliable Washington correspondent says evident Lincoln intends to re-enforce Pickens.


PENSACOLA, March 21, 1861.

General S. COOPER,


What is to be the organization of companies and regiments of volunteers received into service, and how are the officers to be chosen?