HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
Fort Gaines, Ala., March 10, 1865.
Captain J. C. BRAMHALL,
Of the Schooner Wenona, off Fort Gaines, Mobile Bay:
MY DEAR SIR: In my own behalf, as well as in behalf of the officers of my staff, I desire to express to you, to your mate, Mr. James, and to your crew, my personal and official thanks for the humane, disinterested, and heroic efforts through which the lives of Captain Barrett and Doctor Waters, of my staff, and the persons accompanying them were saved, while they were attempting yesterday evening to cross the bay in a small boat, having in charge important dispatches for Admiral Thatcher. The boat had filled with water, and was fast drifting out toward the ocean; her late occupants had been clinging to her side for upward of half an hour, every wave passing over them and threatening them with destruction, when you saw them, and without hesitation or reflection acted upon the impulse of your generous heart. In the midst of a terrible storm and at the imminent risk of losing your property and even your lives, you sent your mate and four of your crew in the yawl boat, leaving only one man besides yourself to take care of the vessel, and it is my firm belief that but for the steadfast, heroic endurance which was exhibited by every man during these trying hours, several valuable lives would have been lost, not to speak of a most serious delay in the transmission of important public dispatches.
With a sincere wish for your well-deserved happiness and prosperity, I remain, my dear sir, very truly, your friend and obedient servant,
E. R. S. CANBY,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Pensacola Bay, Fla., March 10, 1865.
Brigadier General C. C. ANDREWS,
Commanding Second Division, Thirteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: Pursuant to instructions from headquarters of the District of West Florida and South Alabama, you are ordered to occupy Pensacola for the purpose of repairing the central wharf, establishing a depot with store-houses, &c., to be used in future operations of our troops, and constructing a railroad. The central wharf is selected as the one that may be most easily repaired, and you are directed to push the work as rapidly as possible, for it is expected that cavalry from New Orleans and railroad material from the North will soon arrive, which must be landed there. The chief assistant quartermaster be required and mechanics, if necessary; but it is presumed that you will find enough of them in your own command to complete this work. It is also enjoined upon you to prevent, so far as possible, all intercourse with the enemy by which they may obtain information in regard to our movements. A close espionage should be kept over all boats, fishing smacks, &c., plying on Pensacola Bay, and no crossing of the lines either way allowed except for military purposes. Hucksters and market people generally should be kept away from Pensacola for the present.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,