At Apalachicola: Two 6-pounder field pieces, brass.
At Tallahassee: Two 6-pounder field pieces, brass.
There are no other cannon in the State, save at Pensacola. With this artillery and with the aid of an engineer much may be done to fortify to such extent as to repel vessels of war or privateers. A system of small armed steamers to cruise upon the coast would be one very powerful element of defense, but in addition to these I propose to combine the local military material of the country. I estimate the entire rank and file of Florida at a little less than nine thousand men. This is very small for a State having a sea-coast of fifteen hundred miles in extent, and an area of fifty-two thousand square miles. The country is deficient in arms, but still more in military organization and drill.
To make the material more efficient, and at the same time to meet the present exigency of coast defense, I propose that to each of the following seaports, Saint Mark's, Apalachicola, Cedar Keys, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Fernandina, there shall be sent an officer of the Confederate Army, of the rank of first lieutenant or captain, of military ability, charged with the duty to recruit from the vicinity a company each, of not less than sixty-four nor more than one hundred men, who when recruited shall belong to the Confederate Army, and be put upon pay and rations, the said company to serve for the time being as a garrison, and to be drilled as well for infantry as artillery, subject on any emergency to be transferred elsewhere at the order of the President; the officers to superintend any constructions which require an engineer. This garrison to act in concert with the steamers of the coast-guard, and in case of attempted invasion to be backed by the militia of the country, around whom in action they would serve as a portion d'appui.
I cannot too much press the importance of the policy that while the material of the country be made as efficient as possible in its own defense, at the same time the industrial pursuits of the country should be interrupted as little as may be by distant marches and countermarches. It is of the last importance that the corps now planted should not be disturbed nor the negroes withdrawn. Money is the sinews of war. If the plantations belonging to our Gulf coast are ravaged or deserted, to avoid the plunder of the negroes (not to speak of insurrection), the capacity of the country to contribute to the war is at the end. If the corn crop should fail a large mass of starving populations will be thrown back upon the higher country, itself a buyer from the Northwest, that refuses to sell its food. I have spoken particularly of the Florida coast. It will be remembered that the coast of Florida is at once the coast of Georgia and Alabama. Macon is as near to Saint Mark's on the Gulf as to Savannah on the Atlantic. The Sea Islands and coast of South Carolina and Georgia are equally exposed to predatory warfare; but while they have each, say, two hundred miles of sea-coast only, they reach back into the mountains into a farming country, where the slave element does not predominate, and from which aid may be drawn to the lower country of the coast.
This was will not be determined by a single pitched battle of two large armies. There will be the line of the Ohio, the line of the Potomac, the line of the Atlantic States, and the line of the Gulf States. Until we can take the ocean with a navy on equal terms with the enemy-a distant day-the conflict on these two last must be at the water's edge.
France, under Napoleon I, had the Army of the Rhine, the Army of Italy, the Army of Spain, and the Army of England, which was so dexterously transferred to Austerlitz. It will probably result that the Confederacy will have its Army of the Ohio, its Army of the Potomac, its