wide and deep channel across Saint George's Island between the two points and entirely beyond the reach of any guns that can be put in battery at Saint Vincent. The approaches to our town by land, as also from the East Pass, are entirely unguarded, and it would not require a large number of such boats as are now being constructed by the enemy to capture the city before any intelligence of an attack could reach Saint Vincent or assistance be rendered by the forces there. The capture of the city would invest Saint Vicent on the main-land side, their supplies would be cut off, and their entire force easily reduced to the alternatives of death or capture without even a show of defense, as no possible outlet of escape would be open to them. The armament at Saint Vincent consists of four ship-mounted and two long 32-pounders, and recent events at Hatteras have demonstrated the insufficiency of such ordnance against the heavy and long-range guns of the enemy. It is believed by military and scientific men that an abandonment of that position would not leave the city exposed to large vessels, and that by removal of the guns and troops, erecting batteries with long-range guns to command approaches by water, causing earthworks to be thrown up at assailable points around the city, with a battery of light artillery to furnish our present company, our town would be more secure than it could possibly be made in any other manner.
Lieutenant McLaughlin, of the Navy, left here a few days since for Richmond, and to him, as an officer qualified by experience and examination of our position, we refer to present these matters more fully before you.
Insecurity and apprehension are predominant feelings now, yet these will in nowise lessen the determination of our people to perish beneath the ruins of their city rather than ignobly desert or suffer it to become the prey of the vandal hordes who threaten to assail it. We would speak modestly and respectfully of the officers who have been furnished by the Confederate Government to conduct military operations in our State and the announcement of General Grayson's appointment, from his long-tried and acknowledge capability, gave general satisfaction, but a recent visit from him such an enfeebled state of health and constitution as almost to forbid hope of amendment, and we must necessarily be deprived, if not altogether to a great extent, of his valuable aid and counted in our necessity.
We have the honor to be, very respectfully your obedient servant,
H. T. TAYLOR et al.
MARIANNA, October 2, 1861.
Honorable S. R. MALLORY:
DEAR SIR: I returned from Tallahassee on yesterday and received yours of the 15th ultimo. I expected to have received a letter from you at Tallahassee, but was disappointed. Having heard that Governor Perry had received one from you informing him that two rifled cannon, &c., had been ordered to Apalachicola, I inquired of him if it were true. He said it was, and read the part of the letter only which referred to the rifled cannon and powder being sent. I regret that Lieutenant McLaughlin was ordered back to Richmond by Colonel Hopkins and the consequent excitement among the citizens, but I know nothing of the particulars. The fact is, our State is in a most deplorable condition. The regiment at Fernandina is said to be demoralized by habitual intemperance of the colonel and lieutenant-colonel, and I am informed even the cannon have not been mounted, and dissipation, and disorder