War of the Rebellion: Serial 006 Page 0893 Chapter XVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

[Inclosure No. 2.] WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, April 17, 1862.

Major General SAMUEL JONES,

Commanding Dept. Alabama and West Florida, Mobile, Ala.:

SIR: The inclosed copies of a report from Commander E. Farrand, C. S. Navy, and a letter from Secretary of the Navy to the President, in reference to the destruction of two unfinished gunboats at the head of Pensacola Bay by your order, have been referred to me by the President, and you are requested to make a report of the facts of the case.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War.

[Inclosure No. 3.] NAVY DEPARTMENT, C. S., Richmond, April 12, 1862.

The PRESIDENT:

SIR: I have the honor to submit for your information the report of Commander Farrand. He was charged with the duty of constructing naval vessels on the inland waters of Florida, and he details the destruction, under the orders of the military commandant at Pensacola, of two fine gunboats on the bay of Escambia.

So far as I am advised the destruction of these vessels was uncalled for, and I have the honor to request that the officer under whose authority they were burned may be called upon to report why it was done.

The Government loses the entire value of the vessels; but apart from this, they were built with express reference to service in the waters near Pensacola and Mobile, and would have been of important service.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

S. R. MALLORY,

Secretary of Navy.

[Inclosure No. 4.] NAVY DEPARTMENT, C. S., Richmond, April 11, 1862.

Honorable S. R. MALLORY,

Secretary of War:

SIR: Upon my return from Jacksonville to Pensacola, on the 17th ultimo, I found that the two gunboats that were being constructed at the head of Pensacola Bay, under my superintendence, had been burned by military authority on the 11th of March. It was done by an armed force of 100 men, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel W. K. Beard, of the First Regiment Florida Volunteers, and, as Colonel Beard informed me, by order of Brigadier [Major] General Samuel Jones, commanding the Confederate forces at Pensacola.

The progress and condition of the gunboats at the time they were destroyed were as follows:

The one that was being built by F. G. Howard was yet on the stocks, but might have been, if necessary, put into the water at the moment, and would, in her regular course of progress, have been ready to launch in six or eight days, and, with the exception of machinery, would have been ready for her armament in twenty or twenty-five days, and would have carried two 10-inch guns of 9,000 pounds.