RICHMOND, VA., January 1, 1861.
General MANSFIELD LOVELL,
New Orleans, La.:
Can give you no more saltpeter, but expect large supply very soon. Send me return of your entire stock of ammunition.
J. B. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
NEW ORLEANS, LA., January 1, 1862.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN:
DEAR SIR: I must earnestly request that the Thirteenth Louisiana Regiment, as well as the Third Mississippi, be ordered back to New Orleans. The wretchedly-armed green troops sent here from Mississippi cannot supply the place of Gibson's regiment,armed by me. We are here entitled to that regiment, and I should have urged that they should not have been permitted to leave if the implied promise of General Polk had not been given that they would be returned when needed. They are needed.
Yours, very truly,
THO. O. MOORE.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT Numbers 1, New Orleans, La., January 1, 1862.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 23rd ultimo, with its inclosure, relative to the defense of the Mississippi coast. You have suggested the propriety of making a new department out of the district between Pearl River and Pascagouola, and have asked my views about it. I do not see the necessity of such a step, as Pearl River is of necessity a part of Department Numbers 1, and Pascagoula of General Bragg's department. The country between (the piney woods district of Mississippi) is a sandy barren, running back 40 or 50 miles, with a poor, sparse population, and is utterly destitute of any supplies which might be necessary for troops. Nearly all that is of value is the line of fine summer residences just troops. Nearly all that is of value is the line of fine summer residences just on the beach, and as long as the enemy has full command of the water he can at any time land under fire of his heavy guns and take possession of these houses at Bilozi, Mississippi city, &c. The companies of infantry to be stationed as suggested by Mr. McRae would be more than useless, as a couple of light-draught gunboats with a few 8-inch shells could at any time drive them back from the beach, leaving in the enemy's possession all that is really of any value, viz, the fine houses, &c., on the shore, and the opposition, inefficient though it would be, would give the enemy, in their own judgement, good cause for committing excesses.
We can, however, station troops in such a manner as to prevent much communication with the enemy by our own people; but in this we should have the assistance of the Navy Department, as we have no armed vessels to use for that purpose.
I have telegraphed General Johnston to send me back the Third Mississippi Regiment form Columbus, so that I can again place them on the sound coast. I have a regiment of infantry and a battery of artillery at Bay Saint Louis and Pass Christian. The regiment that I removed