HDQRS. DEPARTMENT ALABAMA AND WEST FLORIDA,
Mobile, April 21, 1862.
General R. E. LEE,
C. S. A., Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I am under somewhat conflicting orders at present.
By your telegram of the 9th instant, received on the 11th, I am ordered to turn over this department to Brigadier-General Forney and report in person as soon as practicable to General Beauregard. General Forney arrived and reported to me, but with his wound and general health such that he could not enter on duty, but on surgeon's certificate applied for and obtained a leave of absence-sick leave. I so telegraphed you, and you replied on the 17th that I could not leave here until relieved by Forney. An hour or so before I received this last telegram of yours I received one from General Bragg, this department being attached to his command, saying if I could not go immediately to Corinth not to go at all; from which I inferred that if I could not go on to Corinth immediately, it was intended to assign me, and I presume that has been done, as I have since received various telegrams from Generals Bragg and Beauregard, and no allusion is made to my leaving here. One just now received from General Bragg directs me to do certain things in this department which he would not direct me to do if he contemplated my going to Corinth.
But as matters now stand I am under orders from you to go to Corinth and report to General Beauregard when General Forney can relieve me, and from General Bragg not to do so, and both orders were received within a few hours of each other.
Under the circumstances I shall await further orders from you, and I shall be glad if you will give them as soon as you can conveniently do so. It is not probable that General Forney will be well enough to enter on duty before I can hear from you, particularly if you reply to this by telegraph, and I shall be glad if you will do so; and if before answering you will have the kindness to read a letter of yesterday's date which I addressed to General Cooper I shall be obliged. It contains some suggestions which I desire you to see. It is rather long and I have not time now to recapitulate it.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Richmond, Va., April 22, 1862.
General SAMUEL JONES,
Commanding, &c., Mobile, Ala.:
GENERAL: It is represented by General Lovell that he needs heavy guns for the defenses of the city of New Orleans. He states that but three of those removed from Pensacola were sent him, while fourteen 10-inch columbiads were kept at Mobile. I desire to know if you cannot spare him some of those in your command, and, if so, request that you will cause them to be forwarded to New Orleans without delay. It is all the more important that he should have them, because, when in position, he will be able to send the iron-clad steamers up the river, where they would render most efficient service. You will therefore please send
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