which have been unwisely spent in obstructing the river and building batteries on its banks.
Satisfied of the necessity and property of occupying the city with Confederate troops, arrangements have been in progress to do so. The principal hindrance has been the want of guns, which can now be obtained, as you will perceive by reference to the letter of President Davis of the 25th of September, herewith submitted, in connection with a correspondences upon the subject between General Cobb, the President, and myself.
I also send by the bearer of this letter a petition sent to me by loyal citizens of Apalachicola and bearing upon this subject, and to which I call your particular attention. After examination, I will thank you to return it by the bearer.
I have the honor to be, general, respectfully,
Governor of Florida.
[Sub-inclosure Numbers 1.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Tallahassee, August 17, 1863.
DEAR SIR: * * * Send me to-morrow morning a list of arms you may need, and the guns and size necessary to enable you to occupy Apalachicola.
If the drift-wood intended to obstruct the Apalachicola River should be floated into the Saint Mark's River, it would be sufficient to obstruct it permanently, and prevent its use by the enemy to attack Apalachicola in the rear. The troops, so sickly on the river and at the arsenal, if it can be done with propriety, should occupy Apalachicola City, where they would enjoy health and render efficient service. * * *
[Sub-inclosure No. 2.]
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF MIDDLE FLORIDA, August 17, 1863.
His Excellency JOHN MILTON,
Governor, &c., Tallahassee:
SIR: In answer to the inquiry contained in your letter of this date, I would state that I can take and hold Apalachicola if I had the necessary guns for the defense of the place. The guns required, in addition to those I now have, are two rifled guns of caliber not less than 6 inches, and one 8 or 10 inch columbian. With these guns and with the privilege of keeping the troops I found here and those I have since raised and an now raising. I feel confident I could take and hold Apalachicola.
I will add that it is, in my judgment, the proper point to hold for the defense of the river. It is the only healthy point, as the experience of the post clearly shows.
* * * *
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.