I am constrained, in behalf of the service we are held responsible for, and especially of these defenses of such great importance tothe Gulf of Mexico, to make formal protest against this interference, and I do not hesitate to assert that every deviation from the course that the engineer officer would have pursued under his instructions, which has been caused by these irregular proceedings, has necessarily increased expenditures, as well as injuriously delayed operations essential to strength and efficiency. Regulations require that all vouchers for disbursement by engineer officers shall, before being submitted to the auditions of the Treasury to be passed to the credit of the disbursing officer, be approved by the chief engineer; but I shall have to instruct the engineer officer in this case that he must keep separate all expenditures that he has made in obedience to these orders out of money granted for Fort Jefferson from those properly charged to that work under instructions received from this department, because, being illegal, they cannot be approved in this office. If they can be passed at all, in face of the prohibition of the law, it must be under the approval of some other authority. Although my duty to the engineer service constains me to enter this protest, I do not ask any action in reference to the circumstances stated above. The authorities will decide whether it is necessary to guard the special operations of the engineer department from such interference, or to protect disbursing engineers from the pecuniary difficulties that the execution of illegal orders must entail.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOS. G. TOTTEN,
Brevet Brigadier-General and Colonel of Engineers.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
June 25, 1861.
Respectfully forwarded to the Adjutant-General for the information of the Secretary of War.
There are no records in this office of the authority given Colonel Brown in the case. Colonel Brown has been directed to order back Lieutenants Reese and McFarland as soon as their services can be spared at Fort Pickens.
E. D. TOWNSEND,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FLORIDA,
Fort Pickens, June 18, 1861.
Captain WILLIAM W. McKEAN,
Commanding Naval Forces off Pensacola:
CAPTAIN: On the 25th of May,* on your first arrival at this post, I sent you a copy of the following document, the original of which was offered to your perusal by the assistant adjutant-general of this department:
WASHINGTON, EXECUTIVE MANSION,
April 1, 1861.
All officers of the Army and Navy to whom this order may be exhibited will aid by every means in their power the expedition under the command of Colonel Harvey Brown, supplying him with men and material, and co-operating with him as he may desire.
* See VOL. I, p. 418.