War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0890 OPERATIONS IN W.FLA., S.ALA., S.MISS., AND LA. Chapter XV.

Search Civil War Official Records

have made any difference against ships of war, but the people, not understanding this, case censure upon me.

The city fell from three causes:

1st. The carrying away of the river obstructions at the forts by the storm and flood a few nights before the attack.

2nd. The want of a sufficiency of heavy guns, which I tried in vain to procure from Mobile and Pensacola.

3rd. From inefficiency and want of proper co-operation on the part of those who were building and those who were to use the naval defenses when ready.

I have asked for an official investigation. My conscience is clear.

Yours, truly,



RICHMOND, VA., May 13, 1862.


Pensacola, Fla.:

In case you evacuate the navy-yard, destroy such machinery as cannot be removed, but do not destroy the dwelling-houses.


Secretary of War.

BROOKSVILLE, MISS., June 20, 1862.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I send with this a letter in reply to one addressed to me by the Secretary of War, calling on me to report the facts regarding the burning of two unfinished gunboats by my order in Pensacola Bay, on the 11th of March last. When I wrote the letter I was preparing to leave Mobile and go to Corinth in obedience to an order from General Lee, and in the press of business on me just then in turning over the command of the department and other matters I omitted to forward the letter to its address. It was sent in my valise to the rear a short time after I reached Corint, and I now avail myself of the first opportunity to forward it with this explanation of the delay, which have to ask you to make known to the Secretary.

Events which have transpired since my letter was written show, I think, that it the destruction of the unfinished gunboats was uncalled for on the 11th of March, it would have been called for a little later, and that by destroying them when I did I at least saved the Government the additional expense which would have been incurred by longer work on the boats, which could not have been completed before Pensacola was in the hands of the enemy.

I have been detained here a week by an attack of sickness, but expect to rejoin my division in a few days.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,