first, and I feel satisfied that you will indorse my action when you are made acquainted with all the circumstances.
I beg leave to ask your attention to my recommendation in reference to Colonel Duncan. There are nearly 5,000 men in the works on the exterior line, without any competent brigade commander, who should be a thorough artillerist and understand well the nature of the coast. It is utterly impossible for me to visit these works while keeping up the affairs of the department in this city.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA, Mobile, December 24, 1861.
ADJUTANT-GENERAL C. S. ARMY,
SIR: The senior officer of the Navy here, having charge of such forces of that department as operate in Mobile Bay, declines to recognize any military authority. It is not my desire to encroach on the province of this department, but it occurs to me our service would be more efficient under one than two heads. At sea, beyond the range of my guns, no question would be raise of the supremacy of this department, but inside the bay harmony and efficiency are both sacrificed by this division of authority. At Pensacola a senior naval officer to the one here acknowledges my jurisdiction.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT Numbers 1, C. S. A., New Orleans, La., December 25, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have received your letter stating that Major Lovell could not be put on duty here with rank of field officer except to command troops. I was led into mistake in the matter by having in mind the case of Colonel Duncan.
I cannot spare Major Lovell, whose services in obstructing the channels have proved invaluable, and the objection as to command can easily be obviated. There are in this department on duty twenty-one separate companies of volunteers, who cause as much office detail at department headquarters as twenty-one regiments would do. With your permission I will organize these troops into regiments and battalions, and assign field officer to them. I can thus p;ace Major Lovell on duty here with troops as a field officer, and his position with General Bragg's army can be filled by another officer. Shall I thus assign him?
I have mustered in regiments in place of the troops that I sent to General Johnston, and have called upon Governor Moore for an additional regiment to man the guns on the interior line. If in this I have been in error, please let me know. In conversation with the President before leaving Richmond, I understood him to say that I could call for such troops as the case might require, taking care not to create more expense for maintaining men than was absolutely necessary.