War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0856 OPERATIONS IN W.FLA., S.ALA., S.MISS., AND LA. Chapter XV.

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RICHMOND, VA., March 13, 1862.


New Orleans, La.:

You are requested to proclaim martial law in my name over the parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, Saint Bernard, and Plaquemine.


[Repeated March 15.]

FORT MORGAN, March 14, 1862.


The temporary command of the Army of Mobile having been turned over to me by Colonel Villepigue by telegraph, I respectfully report the same and await your instructions.


Colonel, &c.


Mobile, Ala., March 15, 1862.


Jackson, Tenn.:

GENERAL: On the receipt of your telegram ordering me to relieve Colonel Villepigue and send him to you as soon as possible I left Pensacola on the morning of the 13th, and arrived here about midnight. Colonel Villepigue, to whom I telegraphed my intention of starting on the 13th, left here en route for your headquarters a few hours before I arrived.

I left Colonel Thomas M. Jones at Pensacola to carry out your instructions, ordering him to hold the place, if possible, until all the public property is removed. The damage to the railroads, and the panic produced in the community by the report that the place was to be evacuated, which got abroad before your instructions reached me, greatly retarded my operations. I trust that Colonel Jones will be able to move all the most valuable stores remaining there when I left. Besides the ordnance and other stores they you directed to be first moved there was in Pensacola and about 15 miles out of town a quantity of very valuable navy stores, the loss of which could probably not be supplied, which I though it proper to remove; also a quantity of valuable machinery int he navy-yard, which, if moved to a place of security, might be used in the manufacture of guns, which I was removing. As the railroad could not furnish sufficient transportation, the steamer Time was loaded and sent up the Escambia, which was so unusually high as to enable the steamer to reach Bluff Springs on the 13th in about forty hours from Pensacola. She would return and carry up another load. All necessary preparations were made before I left to disable the guns, burn all the buildings, and carry out fully the work of destruction you directed. On the night of the 10th I ordered Lieutenant Colonel Beard, of the First Florida Regiment, to take with him 100 men of his regiment and proceed by steamboat up to East Bay, Blackwater, and the Escambia, and burn and destroy all saw-mills, lumber, and boats that he could find. I directed him not to commence burning the mills until after daylight on the 11th. He was ordered to communicate with the officer having charge of the two gunboats nearly completed at or near Milton, and, if practicable, tow them up the Escambia, but if that could not be