War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0667 Chapter XVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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commerce besides our general interest in success, and suppose such intimations as the present, based upon distinct information which may not be so open to you, are what you wish to make.

In behalf of underwriters, yours, very respectfully,


[OCTOBER 6, 1861.-For General Butler's assuming command of the Department of New England, see Series III, Vol. I, p. 511.]

FORT PICKENS, October 12, 1861.

Brigadier-General MEIGS,


MY DEAR GENERAL: The prediction contained in my letter to you of the 15th July* has been sooner fulfilled than I expected. If Barry's battery had been here not one hundred of the enemy would have left the island alive on the morning of the 9th instant.

If the companies of Barry, Hunt, and Duane had not been with so little ceremony taken from me I should have had a much better account to render than I now have; and if I had sat down and grieved over what I considered great wrongs in being so inconsiderately weakened and done nothing, instead of exerting every nerve and taking responsibilities that few under existing circumstances would have taken in sending three Zouave companies away and replacing them by two regular companies, what would now be our condition? We would have been disgracefully whipped and this fort at this moment would be closely beleaguered by the rebels-all our batteries being lost-for I could not then have had the means of sending a man from the fort to sustain and support the batteries and to repel the invaders; and Billy Wilson's Zouaves, I am sorry to say, disgracefully ran and took shelter under our batteries.

I do not say this, my dear general, in a spirit of self-laudation, but as re-expressing to the fullest extent the opinions and fears I so fully and freely expressed at the time and for which I was so much condemned. I must also add that in the time and for which the defense of the honor of our insulted flag imposes on me, if I had these companies of which I have been depraved, and especially the officers, I should probably be able to give a better account of my stewardship than I can now hope for; but my command is in good condition and good spirits.

We have a just and noble cause, and may humbly hope for the blessing of God, which I daily fervently invoke.

I am, my dear Meigs, your truly,



Fort Pickens, October 12, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: All my letters, all my suggestions, and all my requests, written and made since I have been in command of this post, having

See p. 438, Vol. I.