War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0127 Chapter LXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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batteries and three companies. The remainder of the command (four companies) and the parts of the batteries which could not or would not be taken by the schooner to the Webster were assigned to the Rusk. Major French concurred in all my views and acts. I inclose a copy of the contract,* which these my reasons, which I hope he will deem sufficient to warrant my act, and to forward with his approval to the Secretary of War the contract, for final action.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. J. PORTER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[1.]

STEAMER DANIEL WEBSTER,

New York Harbor, March 30, 1861.

ASSISTANT ADJUTANT GENERAL,

Headquarters of the Army, Washington City:

SIR: I have the honor to inclose, for the consideration of the General-in-Chief, a communication from Captain J. M. Brannan, First Artillery, late commander and now present at Fort Taylor. Had there been apparent any attempt or preparation to carry into immediate effect a contemplated investment of Fort Taylor, or occupation of the island by other forces than those of the Federal Government, I would not have hesitated to use the name of the General-in-Chief to cause the three companies on this ship to take post at Key West Barracks. The occupation opposite Fort Pickens of the Confederate troops will preclude any attempt, for the present, against Fort Taylor, and a messenger at Key West can cause troops coming from Texas to be landed.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. J. PORTER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure.]

FORT TAYLOR,

Key West, Fla., March 8, 1861.

Major F. J. PORTER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Tortugas, &c.:

MAJOR: Since you left here I have thought considerably concerning the defense of this work, and also in reference to the preservation of the barracks and the prevention of a landing of an enemy on the upper part of the key beyond the range of Fort Taylor guns. I would suggest that if you have the authority, you would leave two companies of infantry to occupy the barracks with French's light battery. Some thirty or forty horses could be sent, which would be sufficient to move the battery to any point on the island. This additional force would give great security to a large majority of the residents here, who are Union men and want the protection of the General Government. Two companies of artillery would be all that is absolutely necessary to live in the fort to prevent it being surprised. If the policy of the Government is to hold Fort Taylor, they must give protection to the inhabitants of the town, and I do not think it can effectually be done with less force than five companies, as I have suggested. I give you these ideas to reflect upon on your passage to Key West.

Very truly, yours,

J. M. BRANNAN,

Captain, First Artillery, Commanding.

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*Omitted.

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