The demand for small-arms is urgent from all sides, and in their distribution it is endeavored to supply those points most seriously threatened. The general hopes that you will spare no efforts to collect all the private arms possible to be obtained, and endeavor in this way to arm the new troops in Florida. By telegram of 19th instant you were instructed to forward Dilworth's regiment at once to Corinth, which it is hoped is by this time with General Beauregard, where it is much needed. As regards the defenses of the Apalachicola, which forms the subject of your letter to General Cooper, he agrees fully with you in regarding them to the utmost importance, and wishes you to strengthen the works at Ricco's Bluff, or such other points as you may select, as much as your means will admit. General Samuel Jones, commanding Department of Alabama and West Florida, has been directed to send you any guns taken from Pensacola, which he can spare from the defenses of Mobile, for the purpose of defending the Apalachicola, Saint John's, and other rivers. You will make such distribution of the number he may send you as may appear most judicious, and correspond with General Jones as to what guns he can spare you and the best plan of transportating them to your department.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. TAYLOR,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF MIDDLE AND EAST FLORIDA,
April 29, 1862. (Received May 13, 1862.)
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector-General:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 19th instant, and in conformity thereto have respectfully to report, for the information of the general commanding that after the removal of the First Florida Cavalry, now under orders for the West, and of the Third Regiment Florida Volunteers, now en route for Corinth, it would not be prudent to send more armed troops out of the State at present.
Most of the new regiments recently organized by the State for Confederate service are without arms and hence not available for service against the enemy. The enemy have been in full possession of the Saint John's River since they first entered it, and frequently go up as far as Palatka with their gunboats. There are two 8-inch columbiads at Volunsia, some 125 miles above Jacksonville. If I can evade the vigilance of the enemy I will get these guns down the river and place them in battery below Jacksonville at a suitable point on the river selected for that purpose.
I leave here to-morrow for the Apalachicola River to select a proper site for another battery.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA,
Charleston, April 29, 1862.
Brigadier General N. G. EVANS,
Commanding Third Military District:
GENERAL: General Ripley will send you at once a regiment to take