O'BANNONVILLE, October 29, 1861.
General S. COOPER,
In view of the heavy expedition now on its way South, we should develop all our resources. One regiment here and one at Mobile can be armed by using arms of the sick and disabled. Can they be sen from Huntsville? We have efficient light artillery. For want of supplies we have less than 2,000 effective men at Mobile outside of the forts.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, October 29, 1861.
Major General MANSFIELD LOVELL,
SIR: Your letter of 18th instant was not received till yesterday, 28th. I telegraphed you to-day that we have no power to receive troops for less than twelve months, but where troops offer themselves specially for local defense they may be accepted in any proportion and for any term, as they are a mere improvised military, not enlisted to pay or subsistence except during actual service. (See act of 21st August, Numbers 229, of third session.)
I cannot restrain the heads of bureaus from purchasing or forwarding supplies from New Orleans. This interference with commerce exceeds my power except in case of extreme urgency. I much refer that you should make requisitions for everything in the way of supply that you need, and have your purchases made in New Orleans, and thus it is easy to prevent the removal from the icy of what is required for its defense without infringing on the rights of any one.
I anxiously await your letter about the supply of powder and saltpeter. I cannot conceive what has become of the quantity recently sent to New Orleans, say within the last six weeks. I hope your demand for supply was based on erroneous information from persons who did not know the facts.
I have ordered a young officer, said to be of high merit as an engineer, to report to you-First Lieutenant Cunningham, just appointed in artillery, with a view to assign him to Engineer Corps if he proves as competent as represented.
I am much gratified to learn from different sources that you have succeeded in inspiring general confidence in New Orleans, thereby justifying the confidence reposed by the Government in yourself.
Your obedient servant,
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Acting Secretary of War.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Near pensacola, Fla., October 30, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
Acting Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: On the receipt of your letter of the 6th instant a short reply was made to the first point and a further one promised on the main subject.
Though very grateful to my wounded feelings, yours was not entirely satisfactory to me, to those on whose behalf I had presumed to com-