The sloops have been duly turned over to the prize commissioner as legal prizes to the Confederate States, and the prisoners are detained in safe custody for your disposal; and, in consequence of the inconvenience and difficulty of subsisting troops at this post, I hope you will order the prisoners to be sent to some other place, or disposed of in some other manner as soon as practicable.
With a deep regret for your ill-health, and with due regard to your orders, I am, sir, most respectfully, yours, &c.,
W. L. L. BOWEN,
Major, Commanding Military Forces, Tampa Bay.
The sloops William Batty and Lyman Dudley are, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the property of William H. Wall & Co., of Key West. They have been seized at Tampa Bay by the military for sailing under the Federal colors and with papers from Key West. Having been in the employment of Messrs. William H. Wall & Co. for several years, I know them to be true Southern men, and have largely aided the Confederate cause.
William Pinkney, one of the firm, has taken the United States oath under duress on the island, but signed the ordinance of secession. The permission for their vessels to sail under the Federal flag is only to keep him from seizure and imprisonment.
RICHMOND, October 23, 1861.
Gov. JOHN MILTON,
General Kirby Smith has been assigned to duty with Army of the Potomac. General Trapier, of South Carolina, has been assigned to your State, and Mr. Yulee leaves to-morrow morning with his instructions. General Trapier will go first to Fernandina, and you can address him there.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Acting Secretary of War.
Tallahassee, October 24, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War:
Well pleased that General Trapier has been assigned to the Military Department of Middle and East Florida. Would respectfully suggest that the Military Department of the State be so arranged as to embrace the State, distinguishing the departments to which General Bragg and General Trapier have been assigned. The reason of the suggestion is that Apalachicola and Saint Andrew's, two important points, are not embraced in a general order. We have at Saint Mark's howitzers and empty shells. No powder or fuse to prepare them. We need guns of large caliber and ammunition.
Governor of Florida.