against us, but none which I can now look upon as formidable, unless they are willing to run greater risks than heretofore, by passing our forts and batteries. Such an attempt is hardly probable, and any move upon Mobile or this point by land is scarcely within the bounds of Yankee enterprise.
Affairs about Mobile are improving, and the information you give me in yours of the 9th, received yesterday, is cheering. With the cheerful and cordial aid of Governor Shorter we shall probably get out at least 1,000 armed militia-men who have held back, but will come out rather than give up their army.
On the arrival of General Jones I propose turning over to him the immediate command here, so as to give my entire time to the affairs of the department. But I shall be much here, not intending to change my headquarters, but to be more free to move and to be more at Mobile.
General Walker's superior rank to General Jackson will embarrass the use of the latter somewhat, but I will try to arrange them so as to make both as serviceable as possible. Jackson is a man of great nerve and energy, and with a good staff, which I hope to give him, will soon make his mark on any raw command.
I am happy to report a decided improvement in our prospects of re-enlisting the twelve-months' men. So far as I have been able to visit and address the regiments orally, they are doing finely. It will be continued until I see them all. One thousand will be allowed to be absent at a time, and their arms are being reserved for them-to be used, of course, in case of emergency by the unarmed men here. This seems to be a sine quad non, and has more effect than all else in securing them. So great is the disposition for change, that but few remain if they felt in getting arms elsewhere.
The question transferring the regiment, Louisiana infantry, Colonel Adams, for the balance of their three years, from the State to the Confederate service, is exciting much interest with the officers. I trust it may soon be settled. The twelve-months' men, about half the regiment, are freely re-enlisting.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
MOBILE, January 14, 1862.
MY DEAR GENERAL: I wrote you on the 11th instant, since when the first two men we sent off for information have returned and confirmed the report made by telegraph from Ocean Springs, particulars of which I gave you in my last, and they further state that on their way from Ocean Springs they landed last Saturday on Ship Island, some 6 miles to the eastward of the Ship Island anchorage, and on Sunday were within 4 miles of the west end of Ship Island; that but four vessels were there; these were war steamers; that from information they obtained from the sailors of the launch of the French war steamer Milan, with 18 men and 4 officers, which landed at Pass Christian, but about 5,000 troops were then on the island, as far as they could judge from the mast head of their vessel, and that the sailors understood that much sickness prevailed among the Yankee troops. Our men speaking French fluently, the Frenchmen communicated freely with them. They are much exasperated against the Yankees for firing into their ship, the ball passing through both wheel-houses, causing much damage, which they are repairing at Ship Island anchorage.