War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0668 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., AND LA. Chapter XVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

met with so mortifying, and I must add such undeserved neglect, not once having received the slightest notice, that I now only write you at any time from a sense of duty. I do so now to report that this fort, with its appendant batteries, is now as ready for service as it probably will at any future time be, and that the enemy are still relative erecting batteries and arming them with guns of heavy caliber, so that the relative strength is constantly chaining to our loss. If I had not been confined by positive orders to defensive operations, and which I have in vain tried to have rescinded, I would open my batteries on the enemy, believing that at this time true policy and the best interest of the service and of the country demand it.

I fired the dry-dock with the hope and expectation that the enemy would open on me, but he has not yet thought proper to do so. I can therefore only patiently wait the course of events, while the strength of my command is constantly and rapidly diminishing by disease and orders.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HARVEY BROWN,

Colonel, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

Washington, October 14, 1861.

Brigadier General HARVEY BROWN,

Fort Pickens, Pensacola, Fla.:

SIR: The General-in Chief directs me to say that your several communications from the time of your assuming command of Fort Pickens have been duly read to him, and such as required such reference have been laid before the War Department.

Your operations have been approved and your zeal and energy appreciated.

The usual punctuality in acknowledging your letters has been unavoidably departed from because of the incessant pressure of matters which demanded immediate attention and left no time for anything else. The circumstances which prevented offensive operations on your part changed with ability to assume them, the cause of the probation having been evidently removed by the stated of active and open war which now exists.

More regular troops as well as officers would have been gladly sent you if they were to be had, but the pressing need of regulars can hardly be appreciated except by the authorities, on whom urgent requisitions are made for them from all quarters. At some posts there is not one officer to a company. The General could not give you leave of absence when you asked it or since, because he had no one to relieve you to whom he could confide your responsible command.

The Commissary-General reports that a vessel left New York loaded with beef and ice in September, and one is now preparing with live cattle, stores, and vegetables. The subject of pay for your command has been brought to the attention of the Paymaster-General.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.