War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0347 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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into Texas and then distributed by land conveyance to any part of the Confederate States. This might be attended with some expense, but in time of need we must do the best we can. I presume the Government of Mexico, would throw no unnecessary impediment in the way. Of course, the whole proceeding would have to be managed in the most secret manner and the part of the Government of the Confederate States not known [in] it.

Hoping you will receive these suggestions in the spirit with which they are dictated,

I am, yours, most respectfully,

WM. F. ROBERTSON.

MILLEDGEVILLE, May 21, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

Your letter received. The saltpeter and sulphur now worth in market twice what the State paid. You must take it and the ordnance and ammunition and boat together at the price the State paid for all. Will accept C. S. bonds for price of boat; balance in cash.

JOSEPH E. BROWN.

MONTGOMERY, ALA., May 21, 1861.

Hon. JEFFERSON DAVIS,

President Confederate States of America:

SIR: Desirous of contributing by every means in my power to the defense of my country, and believing I had perfected a plan by which the enemy's blockading navy might be driven from our coasts, I have visited the capital, bringing with me my plans and models, which I have for several days had exposed before the Secretary of the Navy. I am not informed if that gentleman thinks favorably of them or not, or, if he has, what he deems a more feasible plan than mine which he can put in execution in a reasonable time. I have had a long experience as a boatman on all the rivers of the South. I also have some experience with gulf and sound navigation, and basing my calculations upon experience and not upon theory, I assure you that I am satisfied of the success of what I propose. We have time, place, or means to build an effective navy. Our ports are, or soon will be, all blockaded. On land we do not fear Lincoln, but what shall we do to cripple him at sea? In this eeing that he is arming many poorly adapted vessels, I have for two months past been entirely engaged in perfecting plans by which I could so alter and adapt some of our heavy and powerful tow-boats on the Mississippi as to make them comparatively safe against the heaviest guns afloat, and by preparing their bow in a peculiar manner, as my plans and model will show, render them capable of sinking by collision the heaviest vessels ever built. I had hoped to have been able to have satisfied the proper Department of the Government to have fit out three such boats as I propose (which would be sufficient), inasmuch as the expenditure would be of the whole, including purchase of the boats, alterations, and outfit, only about $200,000. I have examined nearly all of the boats and propellers about the port of New Orleans. There are not may well adapted on account of their machinery; still there is sufficient amongst them for our use. I would not contemplate going far to sea; it would not be necessary; still our boats would be competent