all other property under his control and in his possession, belonging to the United States," were seized, and are now held under your authority.
The little of the United States to the stores, &c., thus taken is not controverted, they having been purchased with its funds, much of which was received by citizens of Louisiana. Their presence within your State, however it might excite the cupidity of wicked men, was in every respect lawful and harmless, and could in no degree, I should suppose, compromise the public safety. Their seizure, under the circumstances, was an act of flagrant and atrocious spoliation, which I can scarcely believe had the sanction of a government professing to be organized for the maintenance of law and order, and to be regulated by those principles of justice and morality which are inseparable from the civilization of the age.
I invite your excellency's attention to the matter as one which, you must perceive, much more deeply concerns the honor and fair fame of Louisiana than it does the pecuniary interests of the United States, and I await your reply in the confident expectation that you will disavow this discreditable act of your subordinate, and order a restoration of the property to the United States.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Secretary of War.
NEW ORLEANS, February 9, 1861.
General JOS. G. TOTTEN,
Chief Engineer, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of January 28, relieving me from duty at this post, and ordering me to Key West. In reference to so much of it as relates to transfer of property and funds to Major Beauregard, who was arrived, I have to state that there is nothing to transfer, all money having been paid out and all property seized upon by the State authorities. The monthly papers have already been forwarded, and the quarterly papers will be transmitted also as soon as ready. I shall leave by the first opportunity for my new destination.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brevet Second Lieutenant, Engineers.
NEW ORLEANS, LA., February 13, 1861.
To the MILITARY BOARD OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA,
New Orleans, La.:
GENTLEMEN: As time presses, and it may soon become urgent to prepare for the worst, permit me to make a few suggestions, which may lead towards that desirable end. In the first place, we must look to our most vulnerable point, the Mississippi River; for one single steamer, with only two or three heavy guns, coming into the port of New Orleans, would in a few hours destroy millions' worth of property of lay the city under a forced contribution of millions of dollars.
It is an undeniable fact that in the present condition of Forts Jackson
*See Moore to Buchanan, February 16, 1861, p.501.