taken a strong objection to Bermuda. Mr. George Wigg, formerly of New Orleans, and a very intimate personal friend, expects several steamers here, but is unwilling to divert them to Bermuda unless at a difference of freight, which I consider to be admissible. Still, he is anxious to further the interests of Government and will give us the preference of room over all other parties. If Mr. Porter should be blocked in his operations at Bermuda I have counseled him to send a cargo here, which I could dispatch in a very brief period.
Captain Malcolm, the naval commander at this station, assured me the day before yesterday that the Federal cruisers have received express instructions from their Navy Department not to molest neutral vessels bound from a neutral to a neutral port, even if laden with munitions of war, unless the course of the vessel should justify a reasonable suspicion that she intended to violate the blockade. To use his own language, she would be in the legal prosecution of her voyage, and her seizure under such circumstances would be decidedly illegal. This source of apprehension removed, it might perhaps be good policy to divert some of the some accumulation of stuff at Bermuda to this place, so as to get in into the Confederacy at the earliest moment. The steamer Antonica, one of George Wigg's vessels, have been sent to her to proceed to Havanna, where she will take a pilot and run the blockade at Mobile. She is a clear eleven and a half knot boat, and has a very valuable cargo, consisting in part of 22,000 pairs of shoes, 30 tons of gunpowder, blankets, &c. The steamers Pearl and Eagle (paddle), sixteen to eighteen miles an hour certain, are expected here every moment. The Thistle (a fast screw) will be due in eight days. Then there is a new screw, under a builder's guaranty of $5,000 to run fourteen miles an hour, carrying 700 tons of cargo, which will be out on the 20th proximo. All these are George Wigg's vessels, so that you willcilities offered for the transshipment of cargo. In addition to these there are no less than six steamers expected to make their appearance within the next sixty days. Before that time no less than 100,000 pairs of shoes and a vast quantity of blankets will reach this place, irrespective of some private ventures which will increase the amount.
I have mentioned these matters so that in case the necessity arises you will appreciate the reasons that may compel Mr. Porter to send some of the Government property from Bermuda to this place. Mr. Porter has no doubt addressed the War Department fully on the subject, and any instructions that may be deemed requisite to carry out its views here will be promptly obeyed.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[DECEMBER 12, 1862. -For Pickenst to Davis, and Davis' reply (14th) in relation to execution of conscript law in South Carolina, see Series I, VOL. LIII, p. 269.]
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 104.
Richmond, December 13,1 862.
I. Encampments of troops near towns and villages must be avoided where it is not indispensable. Whenever it is so, a sufficient force for guards and outposts must be selected from the best disciplined