will enable me to receive early notice, and, by using the rolling stock of the Pontchartrain road, to send down 4,000 men in four hours.
It is this arrangement that I do not wish to be interfered with by what I consider a "rail speculation." The only order I have given in the case is o say that the road shall not be torn up so as to prevent the passage of troops. I have told them they may take up the present rail and put down the T-rail, but they decline. Of one thing I am sure, the Government has no prospective benefit in what the company proposes to do.
To avoid, however, the exercise of military authority, if possible, I sought other means of obtaining the end in view, by ordinary process of law. Learning that the State has mortgages upon the road, I consulted with the attorney-general, who is now taking the necessary steps to prevent, by an injunction, any damage being done to it, so as to preserve it intact for the better security of the claims that the State has upon it. I consider it, therefore, hardly necessary to discuss the propriety of military interference as long as the matter is, or forthwith will be, with the civil authorities, but have merely mentioned the foregoing facts to give you the correct data in the premises.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF PENSACOLA, Near Pensacola, Fla., December 17, 1861.
SIR: On the 14th instant the enemy landed about 1,000 men on Santa Rosa Island, and they are now encamped near the fort. No movement of any sort on their part indicated a renewal of the attack. Should their ships again attempt to take position against McRee, they will be received by a masked battery of five heavy shell and three rifled guns, but abandoned after an examination of the Coast Survey charts. It seems the depth of water has increased or the charts. It seems the depth of water has increased or the chart was wrong.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
NAVY DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., December 17, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War:
SIR: This Department is unable to obtain any powder for the naval service at New Orleans, and Flag-Officer Hollins reports that he is without a grain. The daily produce of the mills at New Orleans, I am informed, may be sufficient for its naval as well as for its military defenses; and I have the honor to request, if you can possibly do so, that you will be pleased to instruct General Lovell to supply Flag-Officer Hollins with cannon powder upon his requisitions as it may be required for the public service.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.