it was not alone for the purpose of saving much valuable public property, but I hoped whilst doing so to gather a sufficient force to repel any attack I believed the enemy capable of making at that time, and to hold the place until the men I hoped to collect could be armed, organized, and instructed, and put in condition to hold it against any attack the enemy might be induced to make after ascertaining that nearly all the troops that had so long held it securely had been withdrawn. About 1,000 armed and 500 unarmed men were retained. Of these only about 330 had any experience or instruction in the use of heavy artillery. The governor of Alabama has sent to Pensacola about 2,000 unarmed and unorganized men. Other unarmed men might have been and may now be sent there, but I have not thought it advisable to do so without some assurance that I could procure arms for them. One hundred very inferior old Spanish muskets, brought in by a schooner that ran the blockade, and 200 or 300 shot-guns and rifles furnished by Governor Shorter, are the only arms I have yet been able to procure. Colonel T. M. Jones, commanding at Pensacola, has now about 3,500 men, including one cavalry company. More than half of them are unarmed, and he has no field artillery. If the Government can furnish arms, this force can, I believe, be very soon increased to 5,000 or 6,000 men, and if to that is added the two companies (one of artillery and one of cavalry) which General lee informs me, by letter of the 31st October, the commanding officer at Tallahassee had been ordered to send to Pensacola, if they could be procured, Colonel Jones would, I think, be able to defend his force would be increased beyond the mere addition of numbers by the encouragement and confidence it would inspire in the officers and men. Heretofore they have been greatly discouraged and depressed, regarding themselves as detained at their post only to keep up the appearance of holding it, but in reality to offer but a feeble resistance if attacked, and then to escape or fall into the hands of the enemy, whilst their more fortunate companions were sent to Tennessee to meet the enemy. But unless the garrison can be increased to near 5,000 infantry, and one or two companies each of light artillery and cavalry added, the place is constantly in imminent danger of falling into the hands of the enemy.
It is for the Department to judge whether it is better to hold it by so uncertain and insecure a tenure, or to move to a place of security the large armament of heavy guns remaining there and then abandon the place. Colonel Jones undertook the task I assigned him in the best possible spirit, and has had many difficulties to contend with. He has held his post more than a month beyond the time appointed for its evacuation, and has thus saved a large amount of valuable Government property. He has performed the duty assigned him so far in a manner deserving high commendation.
This place is but little, if at all, more secure than Pensacola. When the Army of Mobile was withdrawn garrisons were left in Forts Morgan and Gaines, and two companies with the battery at Cedar Point; two cavalry companies, one patrolling from Fort Morgan to the Perdito, the other, near Old Portersville on Bayou Labatre, patrolling the coast; one light artillery company, just organized and ready for service, and another with field guns, but no horses. A battalion of the First Confederate Regiment, now reduced to two companies, was sent over from Pensacola to man the batteries near this city, the total present for duty being about 2,360. Of this force, one regiment-the Twenty-fourth