made to them now appear to us of the most vague and inconclusive character.
The President has great confidence in Captain T. P. Leathers, and if he can be induced to go as commander of the expedition you are requested to put him in command of the whole, Captain Montgomery second, Captain Townsend third, and the remainder in such order as may be fixed by Captain Montgomery.
The list of captains recommended by Montgomery and Townsend is as follows, viz:
January 15, Captain John A. Stephenson.
January 26, Isaac Hooper.
January 27, Burdett Paris.
January 28, John H. Burke.*
January 29, James Bevelry Smith.
January 30, James C. Delancy.
January 31, Joseph Davis McCoy.
February 1, William H. H. Leonard.*
February 2, James Henry Hurt.
February 3, George Willholland Phillips.
February 4, William W. Lamb.
February 5, Joseph A. Sturtevant.*
The three against whose names stars (*) have been placed are said by some of the citizens of New Orleans to be unreliable. If you could replace them (the last especially) by some captains acceptable to our people, with the consent of Montgomery and Townsend, it would be well. I do not myself find sufficient reason for distrusting the parties, but public opinion ought to be satisfied if possible. In relation to these three parties you will use your own discretion.
The expedition ought to go as promptly as possible, subject to the orders of General Beauregard as regards the service required of it (but of course without any interference in their organization), and the relative rank of each officer settled in a general order, which you are hereby authorized and requested to issue to them in conformity with the foregoing instructions.
I have sent you $300,000 on account of the expenses of this expedition, and will send you further remittances very promptly. As soon as I can get one moment I will answer the rest of your letter; but I conclude by saying that your whole conduct of your department justifies the confidence reposed in you, and that I have not yet found a single act of yours which I disapprove in the smallest degree.
Your obedient servant,
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
P. S.-If Captain Leathers will not go, then give the command to Montgomery. If you can get Captain Holmes to take charge of one of the boats I would be gratified. He is an excellent officer. The expedition is in no event to be put under control of officers of the Navy.
HDQRS. SECOND GRAND DIVISION, ARMY OF THE MISS.,
Jackson, Tenn., March 12, 1862.
Brigadier General SAMUEL JONES,
Commanding Dept. Ala. and West Fla., near Pensacola, Fla.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 5th instant was not received until this morning. Owing to a heavy pressure of business the general has instructed me to reply.