CUSTOM-HOUSE, COLLECTOR'S OFFICE, New Orleans, May 25, 1861.
Hon. L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War, Montgomery, Ala.:
SIR: Your dispatch of yesterday came to hand last night. My purpose was quickly taken, viz, to ask unlimited control of the light schooner W. R. King; to transfer her to a British subject, and clear her under the British flag for Santiago de Cuba or some port in the West Indies in ballast, and dispatch her under sealed orders in charge of a reliable man, to cruise in the line of the course indicated for the Windsor Forest. My arrangements are all made, stores are ordered, my men selected, and one of our most respectable English merchants has agreed for the time being to assume the ownership of the vessel. I now only wait an answer to my dispatch of this morning for authority to act. The schooner by good fortune is now lying at Berwick's Bay, making her departure more secure and certain. In all this I have acted in consultation with Commander Semmes, in whose good judgment and discretion I have great confidence. I consider this plan safe, expeditious, and economical. The property of sending a fast steamer to take the Windsor Forest in tow or to convoy her to some safe port will be the subject of a future letter.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. H. HATCH,
[MAY 25, 1861. -For Harris to Walker, in relation to the organization of troops in Tennessee, and their disposition in view of the military situation, see Series I, VOL. LII, Part II, p. 108.]
HEADQUARTERS VIRGINIA FORCES, Richmond, Va., May 26, 1861.
His Excellency Governor BROWN,
SIR: I deem it proper to call your attention to the fact that many of the volunteer companies from your State have arrived at Richmond without arms. The demand upon Virginia has been so great that all arms have been exhausted, except the old flint-lock muskets. It is apprehended that the troops thus provided will not do themselves justice, opposed to an enemy whose arms are so much superior. I thought it probable that you would like to provide the men of your State with such better arms as may be at your disposal, and therefore take the liberty of bringing this matter to your notice. The proximity of Virginia to the scene of action has induced the organization of a large force of cavalry, in consequence of which all the cavalry arms and equipments have been exhausted. If, then, you have to spare any pistols, carbines, or equipments for that arm, you would greatly further the common cause by sending them to Richmond. Allow me to express the hope that you will give these matters your early attention.
I am, &c.,
R. E. LEE,