War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0796 OPERATIONS IN W.FLA., S.ALA., S.MISS., AND LA.Chapter XVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 6, 1862.

Honorable S. R. MALLORY,

Secretary of the Navy:

SIR: I have the honor to inclose, for your perusal, two letters* from General Bragg, which I beg may be returned to me.

Without desiring for a moment that any authority should be assumed over the vessels and officers of the Navy by any military commander, it does seem to me that small craft in harbors and shore waters should to some extent be made subordinate to commanders of departments charged with he coast defenses, and I beg to call your attention to the subject and to ask for your views.

I may be permitted to add that General Withers on a former occasion represented the naval officers in command of the gunboats in Mobile Bay as being utterly inefficient and unreliable. I do not even know their names, and of course have no knowledge on the subject beyond the report of the military commanders; but as you cannot have chosen your best officers for such unimportant commands, I think it not improbable that there is ground for the complaints.

Yours, very respectfully,

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 6, 1862.

Major General MANSFIELD LOVELL,

New Orleans, La.:

SIR: Yours letters of the 24th and 29th ultimo are received. I have to announce to you that the President has authorized the appointment of Colonel Duncan as brigadier-general, and his nomination will be sent to Congress to-morrow.

The President desires that you assign General Trimbel tot he command of the district stretching from the Rigolets to Pascagoula, and confide to him that part of your department, furnishing him one or two light batteries, well equipped, for active movement, and such number of troops as may be sufficient for checking marauding parties that may attempt plunder. It is not, of course, expected that he can desist an army; but you can furnish him with sufficient force to encourage and inspirit the people on the sea-shore, cut off communication of evil-disposed persons with the enemy, and check boating parties attempting to carry on a predatory warfare.

I am sorry to hear of the destruction of the powder-mill, with its contents, as we have not a pound to spare. You will be good enough to send me at once a statement by which I can discover which of the saltpeter shipments have failed to reach you, as you seem to be short at least 20,000 pounds by your letter of the 29th.

I will see if I can send you a good inspecting officer. I think Major Pickett is disposable, and the only one we have at present not in active and important service.

I have taken all the powder (said to be 45 tons) just arrived by the Picket and telegraphed you to that effect. Please have it inspected, so as to be sure that we are not paying such an enormous price as $2 per pound for damaged powder, and aid the owners in having it all brought

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

*Probably those of December 29, 1861, and January 4, 1862, pp. 789, 793.

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