War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0808 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA., S.ALA.,S. MISS., AND LA. Chapter XVI.

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have been cut off to equal lengths and bored out to the caliber of the old United States rifle (54th of an inch). [.54.]

It was reported yesterday that Lieutenant Foster, of the United States Navy, had been in the city as a spy some days since. Should I arrest a Federal officer under such circumstances is he to be published with death? I ask, having in view Tyler's case, of our Army, who was arrested in Cincinnati last summer, but has never been tried as a spy.

When our large powder-mill blew up we got to work upon the machinery of the mill that I ordered to be removed from Handsborough, and yesterday a charge was put in. This mill turned out on its old site about 1,200 or 1,500 pounds per day. The city mill has had a 20-horsepower engine placed in it, which will increase its capacity considerably. I sent Mr. Thomas B. Lee, of this city, agent to Texas, to bring over the Vanderbilt powder as soon as I got your dispatch.

Feeling satisfied some time since that letters were being sent to the United States conveying intelligence by the private express carrying mails via Havana and Mexico, I ordered all such letters to be examined, and appointed Messrs. Greenwood and Benochi, two gentlemen of high standing here, as an examining committee.

In addition to the defense stated in my letters of the 5th ultimo, we are now erecting eight small batteries at Manchac and on the lake shore where the Jackson Railroad skirts the water, so as to prevent interruptions of that line of communication by the enemy. These batteries are for two guns each-sixteen in all.

Major Rains took on a propositions from me about the steamer Tennessee. He telegraphed that you approved the plan; but I have had no official authority to guarantee half the value of the ship or to raise funds for the purchase of our half of the return cargo.

I am engaged in organizing the independent companies into two regiments, and will send on the names of the officers in a few days. It is difficult to find good officers who will take the positions for the short time (six months) that these troops will have to serve.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. LOVELL,

Major-General, Commanding.

RICHMOND, January 15, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL,

New Orleans:

I have ordered back the Third Mississippi Regiment, but cannot take the Louisiana regiment away from Columbus at this moment.

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War.

RICHMOND, VA., January 15, 1862.

General MANSFIELD LOVELL,

New Orleans, La.:

Will take the powder if delivered at an early day. Will let you know to-morrow whether we will send you specie or notes.

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War.