General Bragg consents to the removal of Major Lovel to service here. I have two armed boats which he could use to material advantage on the coast of Mississippi, where, I am sorry to say, there are many disaffected persons, who will communicate with the enemy at every opportunity.
I receive every assistance here, except from some of the speculators, who endeavor to secure materials that the Government must have. The first operation I can fix upon them I shall publish their names to the community.
I am inclined to think that the attack on this coast will be on Mobile from East Pascagoula by land, with as strong demonstration by water. Is that city defended by entrenchments on the land side?
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
O'BANNONVILLE, October 31, 1861.
General S. COOPER,
Does my command include General Walker's brigade at Huntsville? In an emergency I might use a part of it with the arms of my sick and wounded. The measles at Mobile has disabled many.
RICHMOND, October 31, 1861.
You are authorized to take two of the Alabama regiments from Huntsville, to be armed with the spare arms at Mobile and Pensacola. If the expedition should make its attack elsewhere you must not expect to retain them with you.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Acting Secretary of War.
BOWLING GREEN, October 31, 1861.
J. P. BENJAMIN:
By special messenger General Lovell writes from New Orleans, October 24:
There is na absolute, immediate necessity for powder or saltpeter for the defense of New Orleans, and the ordnance officer at Nashville reports 15 or 20 tons of saltpeter at each of the mills, and 20 tons on the way from Georgia; also, 1,500 pounds of cannot powder on hand now, being prepared for General Zollicoffer. Twenty-four hundred pounds will yet be required by General Polk from the first manufactured. Great as seems the pressure at New Orleans, I don not feel authorized to make demands on the ordnance department at Nashville except for the wants of my own department, and therefore give you information of the call and the supply.
The messenger of General Lovell is waiting, and I wish for instructions. Can the 20 tons of saltpeter from Georgia expected be sent to New Orleans?
A. S. JOHNSTON,