Richmond, Va., April 27, 1862.
General SAMUEL JONES,
Commanding, &c., Mobile, Ala.:
GENERAL: In reply to that portion of your letter to the Department of the 15th instant which relates to the public property and defenses at Pensacola I would state that it is deemed expedient to remove at once all Government property, including guns, munitions of war, &c., not necessary for present service, to some place of security, and to make every preparation for concentrating the whole available force of your command at Mobile, should occasion require it.
Such of the heavy guns as are not needed in your department could be sent to Montgomery or other safe point and a portion of them assigned to defense of the interior of Florida. General Joseph Finegan, commanding the Department of Florida, can inform you what may be required for the defense of the Saint John's, Chattahoochie, and other rivers.
Everything of value that it is possible to remove should be sent away, and what cannot be secured should be destroyed when you withdraw from the position, to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy. As much as in your power deceive the enemy as to your real intent, keeping a bold front and doing the work of the removal with all the secrecy possible.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
CAMP MOORE, LA., [April] 27, 1862.
General SAMUEL JONES:
I evacuated New Orleans, the fleet having anchored opposite the city. Send all heavy guns you can to Vicksburg with great dispatch.
RICHMOND, VA., April 28, 1862.
of New Orleans, La.:
I deeply sympathize with your situation, and recognize with pride the patriotism of the citizens of New Orleans.
Your answer to Commander Farragut leaves to you all the chances and rights of war. General Duncan may prevent re-enforcements to the enemy, and General Beauregard has been informed of your condition, and will aid you as he may.
My prayers are with you. There is no personal sacrifice I would not willingly make for your defense. Maintain firmly the position you took in your reply, and let us hope for a successful issue.
TANGIPAHOA, LA., April 30, 1862.
General VAN DORN:
Just returned from New Orleans. The men at forts refused to hold out longer, and Duncan had to surrender. The enemy will therefore occupy the city under his guns. All seems quiet and orderly, and I