to avoid it if possible, and therefore I respectfully request that three other companies be ordered here as a garrison. The two companies are not sufficient to man the guns. I have seven guns in barbette and six on navy carriages, and it will require three full companies to afford a relief in working them.
In my judgment the commissary and quartermaster's departments of the garrison should also be under the control of the officer commanding the fort. If it should become necessary at any time for the infantry companies to retreat, the garrison, if it remained behind, would be left without provisions.
I have bomb-proofs for storing provision in case our supplies should be cut off, but I have no control over the commissary department, and of course cannot lay in supplied.
I know it is the wish of the Government that this place should be held to the last extremity, and it shall be done if I can have control of the garrison; but if the senior officer of the three infantry companies outside can order my men from the guns or come into the fort and take command of it, I must respectfully request to be relieved from the responsibility of defending it.
I most respectfully urge the settlement of this question, as I think that the efficiency of the fort depends upon it. It seems to me most desirable and necessary that the garrison should feel identified with the fort and with the commander of it; should look to him alone for orders, and not be constantly in doubt whether they were to act as infantry or artillery, and whether it best comported with their interest or inclination to obey my orders or those of the senior officer of the battalion outside, each man judging for himself whether he should attack himself to the infantry force or to the garrison in case of a fight.
I have written thus fully on the subject, general from a sense of duty, and because I am sure that the case has never been brought fairly before the Department before; otherwise such a state of things would not have been allowed to exist.
I would also respectfully call your attention to the fact that all the guns of this fort are long-range guns and all mounted on the water front. I am moving some of the 32-pounders to the land side, but short guns of that caliber and carronades on siege carriages would be much more effective. Five 32s of twenty-seven hundredweight or thirty-three hundredweight and two carronades would, I think and two carronades would, I think, be sufficient.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
J. M. MAURY,
Captain, C. S. Army, Commanding.
In strict official propriety this communication should have been addressed to General Lee, but I knew the many delays it might have been subject to before reaching him, and I throughout it important that it should be acted on immediately. So I have presumed upon old acquaintance-ship to address to have it brought to his early attention.
Wight great respect, your obedient servant,
J. M. MAURY.
FORT HUGER, April 21, 1862.
Lieutenant Colonel F. HL. ARCHER, Brigade Commander, Smithfield:
COLONEL: I understand the there has been some difficulty between the commander of this post and the commander of Fort Huger respecting