stict sobriety; but the colonel, W. S. Dilworth, is improving, and will. I think, make an efficient officer.
With regard to what is called the Fourth Regiment, commanded by Colonel Edward Hopkins, there were but eight imperfect companies when he was elected, and I shall not consent that another may be added to it, for reasons you will appreciate. Of two companies ordered to vote, one was never attached to it, but was under the command of General Bragg, and did not vote. The other was in State service for six months, commanded by a nephew of Colonel Hopkins, voted for him for colonel, was in three weeks afterwards mustered out of service, and has never had a moment's connection with the regiment. The time of election was only known a day or two before it occurred, and was intended to secure the command to D. P. Holland, who happened to be a pet of Governor Perry, and whose character was so odious that he was beaten by Hopkins - the only man, perhaps, in the State that, if the election has been properly advertised, Hopkins could have defeated; and the reason assigned by Governor Perry to the attorney-general of the State, to myself, and perhaps others, why he commissioned Hopkins, was that he apprehended that if he refused to do so he would be charged with having refused because he defeated Holland. For the character of Mr. Holland I refer you to Mr. Mallory, Judge Hawkins, or any other gentleman in West or Middle Florida, where he is known. In East Florida, where his true character is not yet ascertained, he is figuring in command of four companies, by the illegal appointment of Governor Perry as lieutenant-colonel of an artillery battalion, to which I have, in a precious letter, invited your attention.
Governor Perry is, I reckon, as you have perceived, a man of strong prejudices, without very extraordinary intellectual abilities.
The eight companies said to compose the Fourth Regiment are some of them in a deplorable condition, and scattered as follows: Three of the companies are on Saint Vincent's Island, 12 miles from Apalachicola, relative to which you will find papers inclosed; one company at Saint Mark's, commanded by Captain Dial, an efficient officer; one at the light-house, 12 miles off, commanded by Captain Law, a well disposed but ignorant man, and his men, that would have made fine soldiers if property commanded, are much demoralized; one company is at Tampa, and an effort making there to get another, commanded by a major of no military education, and, if I am informed rightly, on an accidental visit to Florida; the other two companies at Cedar Keys, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel M. Whit. Smith, who is said to drink to great excess.
Hopkins, whom I now believe most honestly to be too irritable, involved himself in difficulties at Apalachicola, and was ordered by General Grayson to remain on Saint Vincent's Island, with his three companies, but left without permission and came to Tallahassee. General Grayson was very sick and would not see him, but I have reason to relieve if he had lived he would have had him dismissed from the service.
General Grayson requested me to direct all military movements. We were personal acquaintances thirty years ago. To discourage young officers form coming in conflict with officers claiming to be in Confederate service, I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel James, in command of Spate troops at Apalachicola, to report to and obey the orders of Colonel Hopkins, and for a few days instructed the defense of the place to him; but his conduct has been so extraordinary that I have revoked the order, and thrown him back upon General Gryson's order - to confine himself to Saint Vincent's Island and its defenses.