some time since and again very recently, by a refugee who escaped three days ago from the rebel side, that the Governor of Alabama keeps a reserve of about 6,000 men at Pollard (where there is an arsenal or depot for powder and munitions of war), about 35 miles by railroad Pensacola, these troops, &c., to be sent to Mobile or Pensacola when either place is attacked. The report that the rebels opposite had abandoned their line of defense, forts, batteries, navy-yard, and Pensacola, is unfounded. from my own observation and the best information I have been able to obtain they have never abandoned their forts, batteries, &c., opposite, but have always kept there one regiment of old troops - a Mississippi regiment, about or 1,000 strong, commanded by Colonel Jones, a graduate of West Point, which was soon re-enforced by 2,000 or 3,000 new levies with rifles and shot-guns. The strength of the enemy, however, does not consist in numbers, but in his position, forts, &c., and having a small force against him, occupying a defensive position on an island separated by a boast sheet of water, with no suitable transportation nor naval co-operation. The Navy has not had for the past two months any vessel of war off this harbor that could assist me in any offensive movement, and none whatever except the sloop of war Vincennes, and she but a small portion of the time.
I will act on the offensive as soon as I have the means of doing so; till then it would be folly to attempt it, if not impossible to do so. I desire to call the attention of General Hunter to the great necessity of furnishing my chief quartermaster with a steamboat of 200 or 300 tons, drawing not over 10 feet of water, for a dispatch boat, to tow flats with troops on board, &c., and some additional surf-boats and oars.
I have under my command about 2,000 men, on and island, and not a steamboat or sail vessel of any kind, and not surf-boats enough to land stores for the command. I directed my chief quartermaster to require of the Quartermaster's Department a steamboat from 200 to 300 tons burden for a dispatch boat, and twelve surf-boats 30 feet long, and one hundred oars 15 feet long, in February last, but have received no response.
When Flag-officer Farragut has taken New Orleans his squadron will be available to co-operate with the Army against Mobile and Pensacola; both places should be attacked, or one threatened and the other attacked, at the same time, on account of the easy communication between them.
I inclose a letter* of mine to Brigadier-General Brannan relative to his sending one or two regiments to, me from Key West. I shall want more troops if I take the offensive.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. G. ARNOLD,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
Edisto Island, S. C., May 3, 1862.
Captain A. B. ELY,
A. A. A. G., Hdqrs. Northern Dist., Hilton Head, S. C.:
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that nothing of interest has occurred within the limit of my command since the date of my last communication.
* Not found.