War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0740 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., AND LA. Chapter XVI.

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Richmond, Va., September 19, 1861.


Mobile, Ala.:

GENERAL: At the last moment the Ordnance Department has laid hands on our big rifled gun and sent it to Memphis. The programme is that we are to have the next one. We are able, therefore, to send only a 10-inch smooth bore, with its appurtenances, carriage, implements, and a few shot and shells. Our main reliance for the present must be the seven columbiads at the two forts and the rifled 32-pounders. I am satisfied that these last will prove to be formidable guns. They weigh 7,000 pounds each, I think, and with a shell of about 50 pounds weight each of those guns should be better (more effective) than a 10-inch columbiad. Sights should be adapted to them. I had hoped to send some friction-primes, but they are not ready, and must be sent by express.

Lieutenant Withers has a list of the articles which you have asked for, with a note of the establishment from which they have been ordered by the Ordnance Department. Lieutenant Withers has been very active in his efforts to promote the interests of the public service.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major Engineers, Acting Chief of Bureau.


New Orleans, September 20, 1861.


President Confederate States:

DEAR SIR: I am nw endeavoring to organize the militia of my State, in order that we may be in some state of preparation for an attack. The generals and some of their subordinates, at a recent meeting to concert measures to this end, adopted the following resolution, which at their request I forward to you:

Resolved, That the governor of this State be requested respectfully tow elite immediately to the President of the Confederate States and ask his excellency to appoint and send to New Orleans two competent superior officers, one of the Corps of Engineers and one of the Artillery, to form with General Twiggs a board of defense.

Without sanctioning the request contained in the last part of the resolution concerning the board of defense, which appears to me not consonant to military usage or propriety, I have already represented to you the necessity of having an officer here who, with youth, energy, and military ability, would infuse some activity in our preparations and some confidence in our people. I hope ere this General Van Dorn has acquainted you with my views, which from motives of delicacy I preferred to deliver to him verbally in a confidential conversation.

The generals of my militia have designated the corps from which the officers to be sent here should be selected. I leave that to your good judgment, asking only that this city, the most important to be preserved of any in the Confederacy, and coast, the most exposed of all the States, be no longer neglected.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,