War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0416 COASTS OF S.C., GA., AND MIDDLE AND EAST FLA. Chapter XV.

Search Civil War Official Records

greater powers upon me than they intended in the matter of the impressment of slaves for labor on fortifications. No new fortifications have been directed by me since the receipt of the resolution, nor do I at present contemplate any. Up to this date all my requisitions for labor have been for work previously under way. Lines of defense which I consider important had been suspended in their progress to completion for want of hands; the engineer in charge in this military district informing me that all but nine negroes had been withdrawn by their owners. As to voluntary labor being furnished, experience has taught me that it is not to be relied on at all, each owner of slaves judging apparently of the value of the work by what amount of protection his individual interest may seem to derive from it.

Where emergencies do not exist, I am of opinion that in a country where slave labor ought to be so abundant the soldiers can be more appropriately and profitably employed in attaining proficiency in drill, &c. You may rest assured, sir, that I will not call for labor under the authority of the resolution which in my opinion can be safely dispensed with.

Very respectfully,

J. C. PEMBERTON,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA, Pocotaligo, S. C., March 23, 1862.

Colonel W. S. WALKER,

Provisional Army, Adjutant and Inspector General:

COLONEL: The following telegraphic dispatch was received last night, and its tenor telegraphed to you at Camp McDonald. You are directed to proceed to Columbus, Ga., and impress the powder referred to. Take immediate measures to have it tested under your own supervision; report its quality to me, also to the Secretary of War direct, stating likewise the proportion of cannon powder. Report as promptly as possible:

RICHMOND, March 22, 1862.

To Major-General PEMBERTON:

The streamer Florida brought 64,000 pounds of powder, which the parties want to buy [sell] at $2 per pound, deliverable at Marianna, Fla., and the Government to take the risk of forwarding it to Columbus. This I have refused.

I have answered that I would pay the price for it when delivered at Columbus, if found to be of good quality. You are required to impress the powder, and have it tested by a competent officer, and report as promptly as possible of its quality. Let me know also what proportion of it is cannon powder. The arms on board are for the State of Louisiana, and cannot be impressed.

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Acting Secretary of War.

Very respectfully,

J. C. PEMBERTON,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA, Pocotaligo, S. C., March 24, 1862.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that I have taken the necessary steps to impress the 64,000 pounds of powder brought by the steamer