War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0760 OPERATIONS IN W.FLA., S.ALA., S. MISS., AND LA. Chapter XVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

content has reached the rank and file intelligent enough to read and digest these things, and where I expected to re-enlist hundreds for the war tens cannot be found. They will not abandon the cause, but will try and find a service less obscure and more appreciated-one in which their commanders possess sufficiently the confidence of the Government to justify them in expecting more consideration.

The result of all your deliberations has not been to preserve the morale of this army. Soldiers who have confidence in and respect for their commanders are never demoralized by seeing them advanced in rank or command or by seeing their sphere of usefulness increased, nor will you encourage the zeal of those commanders y making known to them that success in their arduous labors of organization and instruction is to consign them to inferior positions,a s mere drill-masters.

Feeling so deeply it was due to myself, to you, and the President that I should give free expression to my sentiments, it is done in no spirit of insubordination. All that I have, all that I am, shall remain in this cause whenever and wherever it may please the Government to employ me.

I am, sir, very respectfully and truly, yours,

BRAXTON BRAGG,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT Numbers 1, New Orleans, La., October 31, 1861.

His Excellency President DAVIS:

DEAR SIR: The works for the defense of this city are progressing rapidly, and I think in a couple of weeks we can defeat any force that shall attempt invasion, if we can provide ourselves with powder. I have now one mill in operation which will turn out 1,200 pounds per day, another which can make 1,500, and in two weeks hope to have a third in full blast which will make 3,000 or 3,500 pounds per day. I have your dispatch about saltpeter and am looking for it daily; but we ought to have to-day 50 tons of cannon powder on hand besides what we can make.

My letter to Mr. Benjamin of the 25th instant will give you an idea of what we require to serve our guns.

I think we can fix the raft between Forts Jackson and Saint Philip so as to make a complete obstruction under the fire of those works. I send you inclosed a sketch of the works and raft.* The dotted back lines above the latter, running diagonally to Saint Philip, represent an arrangement which I propose to shed the drift over towards the opening in the raft on the Fort Jackson shore.

With your permission I will urge strongly upon you the appointment of Colonel J. K. Duncan as a brigadier-general; he is worth a dozen of Ruggles, and has rendered most efficient service, with a zeal, untiring industry, and ability which entitle him to your high consideration. Had he more rank he could be of great assistance to me in organizing and giving directions, and I can assure you that help would not be unacceptable, as I have to keep driving all day and frequently the larger part of the night. If you have serious objections I will not press it, but the public service would be advanced by giving him rank enough to direct, and if necessary order, the colonels of volunteer regiments in this department, who require a great deal of dry-nursing.

---------------

*Not found.

---------------