War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0746 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., AND LA.

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that of Fort Morgan. The latter place, though insufficiently supplied for the exigencies of war, can well spare more largely to the other. Most likely General Withers, now in command, has corrected the unequal ratio of distribution. At Fort Gaines the guns are supplied with friction-primes. There are six 32-pounders bearing favorably on the land. The Fort Gaines channel is from 9 to 10 feet deep.


Major Engineers, Acting Chief of Bureau.

NEW ORLEANS, September 26, 1861.


We are ready to make powder at once if we get saltpeter.



RICHMOND, VA., September 26, 1861.



SIR: Yours of the 20th instant, containing a copy of a resolution which you informed me was adopted by the generals and some of the subordinates of the militia of Louisiana, has been received. I concur in your objection to a proposition for a board of defense; and in relation to the other point would say that long since one of the best officers in the Engineer Corps, and of superior rank (Major M. L. Smith), was sent to Louisiana to perform the duties of chief engineer there. If from any cause he has been found incompetent, I regret that the evidence was not laid before me, so that he might have been removed.

General Van Dorn has not communicated to me the views which you instructed to him to be orally delivered; but from various sources I have learned that General Twiggs has proven unequal to his command. As in his selection I yielded much to the solicitation of the people of New Orleans, I think they should sooner have informed me of the mistake they had made. Your own recent letter was the first information received by me. I have, however, directed Mansfield Lovell, who is no doubt known to you by reputation, to be appointed a brigadier-general, and assigned to duty in connection with the defenses of New Orleans and the adjacent coast. It is some weeks since I met a committed from your city, charged with propositions for the defenses of New Orleans, and had hoped the needful works for defense were under construction and repair. In the mean time I have endeavored to provide the necessary armament and munitions.

Should your worst apprehensions be realized-which I cannot bring myself to believe when I remember how much has been done for the defense of New Orleans sine 1815, both in the construction of works and facilities for transportation-I hope a discriminating public will acquit this Government of having neglected the defenses of your coast and approaches to New Orleans.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,