War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0742 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., AND LA.

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York, is much desired here, or Captain Boggs, at Pensacola. I have fell considerable anxiety (but never have mentioned it except to Moise) about assistance here when it should be required. You are now in a situation not to send off a man from Virginia, Kentucky, or Missouri. What should we do in Louisiana if we should be attacked by even 30,000 men when all are gone and arms too? Our fortifications are very backward. We have but one engineer here (Major Smith), and he is not an active one, according to my judgment. I am not satisfied with our situation-not at all; and, should we be attacked by any strong force, I am fearful of the result. My arms have all been given out an all gone. We could get the men, but they would be of no use. I sent to Cuba for guns long since and made a failure. I have now 1,800 there if I could get them; besides I have sent a considerable amount to another point, but whether I shall ever get them or not I do not know, and as for our reliance on the assistance of any volunteers now in those States where hostilities exist, whether from our State or others, it is very poor.

It is high time ample provisions was made for the reception of our enemies. If they cannot raise soldiers rapidly, they can, it is said, raise any number of sailors and marines. Dr. Mackie writes from Nashville (just arrived there from the North) that gigantic measures are being adopted at the North for a move on Louisiana, and no secret in the matter, and that he believes it will be made soon. Now, my dear sir, do at once what may be necessary for our State. I can't say any more, as my office is filled with talkers.

I am anxious for saltpeter. I am alarmed to death for want of powder. Aid un in these materials, as we could fight but a short time with present supply.

By the very earnest solicitations of General Polk, General Twiggs has consented to send the Third Regiment to him, so you can, if agreeable, leave the Fourth here; but if it remains across the lake it would do no good for the defense of the city.

General Dahlgren is over the lake with 1,500 or 2,000 men. Is that force not sufficient? I desire to write you relative to the gentleman above and may do so. If I do not, another will.*

Yours, very truly,


NEW ORLEANS, LA., September 22, 1861.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,

Richmond, Va.:

Letters of the 16th received. Third Regiment ordered to Columbus. Cannot the Fourth remain? Send officers at once. I dispatched you for saltpeter. None yet received.


RICHMOND, VA., September 23, 1861.


New Orleans, La.:

I shall not move the Fourth Regiment from Louisiana without the most urgent necessity. Shall send one or two brigadier-generals to New


*Some matters of detail omitted.