War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0840 OPERATIONS IN W. FLA.,S.ALA.,S.MISS., AND LA. Chapter XVI.

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RICHMOND, VA., March 5, 1862.

Major General MANSFIELD LOVELL,

New Orleans, La.:

Your dispatch of the 5th received. Send 10,000 pounds of musket powder and 10,000 pounds of cannon powder, with an agent, to force it on by express.

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War.

RICHMOND, VA., March 6, 1862.

Gov. THOMAS O. MOORE,

New Orleans, La.:

The Nashville brought no arms.

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA,

Near Pensacola, Fla., March 6, 1862.

Major General BRAXTON BRAGG,

Jackson, Tenn.:

GENERAL: I telegraphed you yesterday asking that I might be allowed to retain the Twenty-seventh Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, Colonel Jones, a few days beyond the time you fixed for the evacuation of the post, and mentioned the same in my letter of yesterday, but had not time to give my reasons. I am convinced that the enemy on Santa Rosa Island is not prepared to attack this place at present. I have never believed the force as large as reported, and I have reason to believe it has been recently reduced. A large transport steamer came in some days since and left the next day. A large sailing vessel left the same day, and between the arrival and departure of the steamer a large number of the tents on the island struck. I have watched the island carefully, and see very few men there.

I believe if we keep up even the appearance of being prepared to defend the place the enemy will not attack it. The governor of Alabama informs me that by the end of this week he can send me 1,000 men engaged to serve for thirty days, and by the middle of next week more, engaged for the same period, and before their time expires he can replace them by more than double the number of war troops. Under these circumstances I believe that Colonel Jones, with his regiment and the men who can be collected here before I can possibly send off all the troops you have called for can keep up such an appearance of preparation to defend the place as to to deter the enemy from attacking. The importance of holding this point is so great that it will, I think, justify the risk of allowing the navy-yard in its present dilapidated condition and a few 24, 32, and 42 pounder smooth-bore guns to fall uninjured into the hands of the enemy.

Your instructions are, that I shall destroy the guns, except the shell and rifled guns, and burn everything from Fort McRee to the Junction that can be of service to the enemy . These guns would be of but little value to an enemy who has an abundance of much better guns, and the houses could only contribute a little to their comfort, and you know how readily they can make thousands comfortable at this place. But there is no reason why the guns and houses should fall uninjured into their