War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0379 Chapter XV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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It would seem that General Trapier, upon an application to him, would send a regiment of Confederate troops perhaps from Fernandina or the Secretary of War might be induced to do so in case General Trapier does not possess the authority; that at least the property of the Confederate Government might be protected, obviating the necessity of removing it from this post.

From all I can discover, it is my firm impression that but comparatively few of the troops now here will enlist in the service of the Confederacy; and even though the majority of them were disposed to do so, I fear there would be much confusion in their reorganization into companies, owing to the ambition of officers to get higher rank than they now enjoy.

I know of nothing more that I could now say on this subject, and have the honor to remain, your very obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Savannah, Ga., February 10, 1862.

Honorable JOSEPH E. BROWN,

Governor of Georgia, Milledgeville, Ga.:

SIR: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 8th instant in reference to the withdrawal of the batteries from Saint Simon's and Jekyl Island. No one can regret the apparent necessity of such a measure more than I do, and so great is my repugnance to yield any point of our territory to our enemies, that I have endeavored from the time of my arrival to give strength to the defenses of Brunswick. I find it impossible to obtain guns to secure it as I desire, and now everything is required to fortify this city. I have therefore given General Mercer discretionary authority to withdraw the troops and guns from the island to the main [land], should he, upon a reconsideration of the subject, hold to his opinion as to the inability of the batteries to contend with the enemy's fleet.

I have sent Major Edward C. Anderson to assist in removing the guns, &c., and as soon as I know his determination will inform you. With the exception of the fact of opening another harbor on the coast to the enemy and receding from a point we have occupied, I do not know that any material interest is sacrificed. As the inhabitants of the island and of Brunswick have removed their families and property, there is no trade or commerce with Brunswick, and no immediate back country to be injuriously affected.

I am, &c.,

R. E. LEE,

General, Commanding.


Savannah, Ga., February 10, 1862.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: From the reports of General Mercer as to the inability of the batteries on Saint Simon's and Jekyl Islands to withstand the attack of the enemy's fleet, the isolated condition of those islands, and the impossibility of my re-enforcing him with guns or men, I have given him authority, should he retain that opinion upon a calm review of the whole