War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0378 COAST OF S. C., GA., AND MIDDLE AND EAST FLA. Chapter XV.

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RICHMOND, February 9, 1862.

General LEE,

Savannah:

Send 10,000 pounds cannon powder to Norfolk immediately, and you will receive 20,000 pounds of the powder just received by the Kate. Send it from Charleston, if possible. Urgent.

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War.

APALACHICOLA, FLA., February 10, 1862.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War:

SIR: The foregoing [following] copy of a letter addressed to me by General Floyd, commanding post, is respectfully commended by your consideration.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

JOHN MILTON,

Governor of Florida.

[Inclosure.]

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS,

Apalachicola, February 9, 1862.

His Excellency Governor MILTON,

Commander-in-Chief, at Apalachicola, Fla.:

SIR: Your suggestion this morning, that I should freely express my views to you respecting the future action to be taken for the defense of this place, I beg here respectfully to submit them.

If, in accordance with a decree of the late Convention, the State troops here are to be disbanded by the 10th of March ensuing, unless in the mean time they should enlist in the Confederate service, the defense of this place seems at present to rest entirely upon that contingency.

My opinion is that the companies will not enlist in the Confederate service until they shall have been discharged in March, and even if they will then do so, an entirely new organization will have to be effected. This, in my opinion, will not be done until they have enjoyed the privilege of going home, which seems to have been accorded; and even though they should enlist before doing so, they will still consider a thirty-days' furlough as their right. Unless in the mean time other troops are sent here to fill their place, the absence of even half of the present force would leave the place comparatively defenseless.

Supposing that the 10th of March arrives, and that other troops are not sent here to supply the place of those who will be mustered out of service on that day, it would be highly improper to l eave the cannon and ordnance stores here at the disposal of any gunboat and crew which the enemy might send here to capture them.

If such a state of things as I have supposed should occur, in the absence of orders relating to them I should feel it incumbent upon me to dismantle the batteries and remove the guns and ordnance stores to a place of security up the river before the men were disbanded or by that time, as I think it questionable, under the circumstances, whether I could detain them after that date.

Taking the above view of this matter, I would respectfully suggest to your excellency, that every effort be made to get a force here for the defense of the place before the 10th of March, and not to depend upon a reorganization of the force now here until after that time.