NEW ORLEANS, LA., January 28, 1861.
Captain C. L. KILBURN,
C. S., U. S. Army, New Orleans:
CAPTAIN: I have your communication addressed to me as assistant quartermaster, U. S. A., New Orleans, La., inclosing me a copy of an order from the War Department, dated Washington, January 9, 1861, directing you to resume your duties in New Orleans; also making requisition on me for an office, a warehouse for packing stores, and for your allowance of fuel and quarters as allowed by Army Regulations, or the communication thereof. In reply, I have to inform you that I cannot comply with your requisitions. My duties as an officer of the U. S. Army cease this day by the act of the sovereign State of Louisiana in taking possession of all property under my control belonging to the United States of America.
I am your obedient servant,
A. C. MYERS,
Lieutenant-Colonel. A. Q. M.
NEW ORLEANS, February 2, 1861.
General JOS. G. TOTTEN,
Chief Engineer, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of instructions of the 16th ultimo. This delay is due to the fact that at the time of its arrival, and for several days afterward, I was absent at the forts. The State has employed one former overseer and several hands, and in a day or so the river revetment and levee at Fort Saint Philip will be ready for the rise of the river. The materials, however, which we had collected at Fort Jackson for the construction of the lower battery are being wasted as fast as raw troops know how.
I have also to inform you that I have this morning had served upon me a paper signed by the governor of the State of Louisiana, demanding possession of all United States property under my charge, and offering receipts for the same, a copy of which is herewith transmitted. As I have no authority for entering into any such transaction with the State of Louisiana, nor the power to retain possession of this property in opposition to the will of the State, I have refused to accept such receipts, leaving to the State the responsibility of forcible seizure of such property.
The mint and custom-house were yesterday seized by the State. As I learned the day before that such was to be the case, and that thereafter money could be drawn from the former only under authority of the governor, I removed therefrom the unexpended balance of $543.57 of the appreciation for the harbor on Lake Pontchartrain, which has been lying there idle for years, and have applied it to the payment of the clerk and hired men employed upon the forts, to whom the Government was indebted, and whose wants were pressing in the extreme. Such an application I know to be unauthorized, but the emergency of the case will, I trust, be my justification. I acted upon the supposition that the Government would prefer having its money go into the hands of those who were justly entitled to it rather than into the State treasury.
I should like to hear the opinion of the Department in reference to this matter.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brevet Second Lieutenant, Engineers.