him not to abandon the place unless forced. Shall we go on dismounting all smooth-bore guns and sending them to Montgomery and then abandon the place, or shall we hold it as long as possible? Beg you to excuse my telegraphing you directly. It is difficult and takes time to communicate through General Bragg. Will inform him that I have telegraphed you. Telegraph.
Richmond, Va., March 22, 1862.
Major General MANSFIELD LOVELL,
New Orleans, La.:
SIR: Before turning over the affairs of this Department to my successor I am anxious to give you full replies to your letters of the 6th, 9th, and 10th instant, as well as those remaining unanswered in your letter of the 27th ultimo.
1st. I send you a remittance of $350,000, which will enable you to pay 60 per cent. of the value of the fourteen steamers seized for the public use. I applied to Congress for a further appropriation of $500,000,which will, it is hoped, suffice to complete all payments for these vessels.
2nd. I have seen Colonel Gorgas on the subject of the works at the Marine Hospital. Your action in this matter is fully approved, and nothing is more gratifying than the zeal and activity you have so intelligently applied to remedying the deficiency under which we labor in the conduct of this war. Exercise your discretion in concentrating all our resources for the public defends, and feel assured of executive support and approval.
3rd. The nomination of Colonel Smith as brigadier-general was sent to the Senate more than a week ago, but from some cause it has not yet been confirmed. I shall inquire into the difficulty immediately.
4th. No more calls will be made on you for any supplies. Your assistance to the army in Tennessee has been most timely and valuable, and exceeded what I had hoped. I informed you by telegraph this morning that I had ordered 44,000 pounds of powder from Columbus to you. This is part of the cargo of the Florida, which brought 64,000 pounds. The remaining 20,000 pounds have been sent to Mobile, so that the whole cargo goes to the Gulf. My main purpose in sending it was to enable you to supply the new iron-clad steamers just about to be completed. From the recent experiment of the Virginia and what I hear of the steamers at New Orleans I feel confident that, if even one of them can be got ready before you are attacked, she will disperse and destroy any fleet the enemy can gather in the river above or below. The naval officers say that Tift's steamer is far superior to the Virginia, and the Virginia's performances were more extraordinary than the printed reports exhibit. If she had only drawn 5 feet less water she would certainly have captured the Minnesota. She is in perfect order and will soon make another dash, and our officers are confident of taking or sinking the Monitor.
5th. We have received from the Gladiator and Economist altogether 190,000 pounds of powder. The Florida's I send to New Orleans and Mobile. A large quantity of powder, nearly 100,000 pounds, was lost in our disasters at Forts Henry and Donelson and the evacuation of Nashville. If, with the powder from the Florida, you are still short, I must try and have part of that received from England forwarded to you; but I hope this will not be necessary. We have contracts out for several