it out, and making general rules and orders for its control and management. Fourteen Mississippi River captains and pilots will never agree about anything after they once get under way. Moreover, as each ship will carry one gun, there will be some necessary arrangements for munitions of war, signals, &c.
They have already got to work upon some of the ships. I will send you a list of their names, with valuations, as soon as I receive the official report of the appraisers.
I sent Mr. Lee to Texas for the Vanderbilt powder. General Hebert, acting as he says, under necessity, had taken half the powder, and, taking into consideration all the circumstances, of their distance, their want of local means, and other facilities, I think it is about as well that he has done so. The other half is en route for this point, and will arrive in a week or ten days. Some forty boxes are wet, but these can be worked over at our mills.
The securities by Mr. Angoman (Charles Koch & Co.) have withdrawn their names, as they consider it impossible for him to bring in the 75 tons of powder.
The steamer Calhoun, on her here from Havans, with 50,000 pounds of powder, 400 bags of coffee, &c., was abandoned last week near the mouth of the river most unnecessarily and timidly, and fell into the hands of the enemy. She will prove a great pest on the coast, as she is very fast of light draught. Her crew tried to set her on fire, but in their fright and haste they failed to do so effectively. It was an unfortunate piece of business.
I sent General Johnston, after the defeat of Crittenden, 200,000 cartridges, 400 double-barreled shot-guns, and 16 tons of lead, as he telegraphed me that he was out of that article. I will also send up to him the five Mississippi companies that Governor Pettus sent me for coast defense when it was understood that General Polk had declined to send back the Third Mississippi Regiment as soon as I can have them put through the measles; a process which they are now undergoing, one-half of them now being sick.
In your letter of the 6th instant you indicated particularly the duties which it was proposed to assign to General Trimble, but he has never made his appearance here as yet. The nature of the proposed duty requires a young and active man, but I will gladly receive any assistance that you can spare. General Cooper telegraphs, in reply to my question, that no order has been issued transferring General Trimble to this department. There must be some mistake about it.
I beg that you will advise me at your early convenience as to the time and means of paying for the steamers seized here, as the parties annoy me considerably.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
RICHMOND, VA., January 28, 1862.
General MANSFIELD LOVELL,
New Orleans, La.:
Your letter of the 20th received. Make the best arrangements you can for the Tennessee. It is impossible to put credits abroad, but we can make any proper advances on this side.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
52 R R-VOL VI