Government. Before this letter reaches you most of these arms will probably be placed in the hands of troops actually mustered into the service of the Confederate States. The pressing necessity under which I labor has forced me to assume this responsibility, and I trust the Department will see that I could not have acted otherwise. The people of Georgia are at this moment in the greatest alarm at the intelligence, which seems reliable, that the mammoth expedition now being fitted out in New York is intended for Brunswick, on the lower part of the coast of Georgia. Thousands of able-bodied men are offering their services for the defense of the soil, but Georgia has been stripped of all arms intended for war purposes, and she has on the frontiers of Virginia. This arrival by the Bermuda at such a juncture seems to them providential, and I could not be responsible for the consequences if the attempt is made to remove them all from the State at such a critical moment. I trust that my action may be approved and that I may be notified at once by telegraph to quiet all apprehension on the subject. I will endeavor to confine myself in the distribution of these arms to the use of 3,000 of the Enfield rifles and six pieces of rifled cannon, and will be happy to direct the shipment of the remainder to such places as may be indicated. In order to insure prompt delivery of this communication and early attention to its contents, I send it by the hands of my volunteer aide-de-camp, Captain Duncan L. Clinch, who is fully possessed of my views in the premises, and can give explanations and take charge of such communication as you may desire to make in reply.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. R. LAWTON,
[SEPTEMBER 25, 1861. -For Benjamin to Polk, authorizing the organization of troops at Columbus, Ky., for local defense, see Series I, VOL. IV, p. 425.]
WAR DEPARTMENT, ORDNANCE OFFICE,
Richmond, September 26, 1861.
Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith, in obedience to request contained in your letter of the 22d, statements as follows, viz: (1) Statement of ammunition subject to the order of the Ordnance Department, with the places of deposit. (2) Statement of small-arms subject to order of Ordnance Department, and where deposited. (3) Statement of artillery subject to the order of Ordnance Department, and where deposited. (4) Statement of outstanding contracts for small-arms and artillery given by the Ordnance Department. (5) Statement of establishments for the supply of ammunition, small-arms, and artillery under the control of the Government.
All of which are respectfully submitted.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Ordnance.