leaving the matter to your disposal. Unless it is sold it will be left on an evacuation of the place to any one who chooses to take it, as the city as occupied almost exclusively by poor whites, who have come in from the surrounding country to avoid starvation and the conscription. Very few of the Pensacola people remain in the place.
Very respectfully, yours,
Pensacola, January 2, 1863
Commanding Naval Forces in the Gulf:
DEAR ADMIRAL: On the 24th ultimo I sent an expedition of 25 men, under Lieutenant Stewart of the Ninety-first New York Volunteers, to seize a steamer lying in the Choctawhatchie River about 300 miles from its mouth.
At East Pass Mr. Bruner,of the blockading schooner, volunteered to join the party to seize a schooner lying near the steamer. During the march of 41 miles Mr. Bruner was very earnest to return, as citizens said there were several companies of rebel cavalry in the neighborhood but my officer refused to retreat. At 23 miles from the vessel they were assured that she was sunk, and Mr. Bruner insisted upon a retreat. My officer said he would a piece of the steamer if he had to dive for it, and immediately started off on a gallop, only a guide accompanying him and pushed through without sleeping and seized the steamer at daylight the next morning. My officer sent word back to the party by a citizen, and proceeded immediately to haul the vessel into the middle of the river and to make the wheel-house bullet-proof, as he expected to be attacked by guerrillas.
In about twenty-four hours the party arrived. My officer took on board some articles from Mr. Bruner's vessel and proceeded to this port. On hiss arrival here Mr. Bruner took the steamer to the navy-yard to land his things, telling my officer that he would return her next day at 1 p.m., since which time I have not seen him or the steamer.
I addressed a note to the senior naval officer inn command on this station, but he declines to take the smallest notice of it, retaining the steamer. The schooner was in the river, but Mr. Bruner declined to take it along, on the ground that there was not time.
I am sure, my dear admiral that you will not countenance this proceeding unless you think it right and proper.
I am, very truly, yours,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, January 2, 1863.
Hon. E. M. STANTON
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of letter of the 18th ultimo, inclosing letter from Department of State. In accordance with its instructions the inclosed order has been published.
Very respectfully, you obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,