Sunday, March 26, 2017

Joseph Holt & Isaac Touchy to James Glynn et al, January 29, 1861

WASHINGTON, January 29, 1861.

To JAMES GLYNN, commanding the Macedonian; Capt. W. S. WALKER, commanding the Brooklyn, and other naval officers in command; and Lieut. ADAM J. SLEMMER, First Regiment Artillery, U. S. Army, commanding Fort Pickens, Pensacola, Fla.:

In consequence of the assurances received from Mr. Mallory in a telegram of yesterday to Messrs. Slidell, Hunter, and Bigler, with a request it should be laid before the President, that Fort Pickens would not be assaulted, and an offer of such an assurance to the same effect from Colonel Chase, for the purpose of avoiding a hostile collision, upon receiving satisfactory assurances from Mr. Mallory and Colonel Chase that Fort Pickens will not be attacked, you are instructed not to land the company on board the Brooklyn unless said fort shall be attacked or preparations shall be made for its attack. The provisions necessary for the supply of the fort you will land. The Brooklyn and other vessels of war on the station will remain, and you will exercise the utmost vigilance and be prepared at a moment's warning to land the company at Fort Pickens, and you and they will instantly repel an attack on the fort. The President yesterday sent a special message to Congress commending the Virginia resolutions of compromise. The commissioners of different States are to meet here on Monday, the 4th February, and it is important that during their session a collision of arms should be avoided, unless an attack should be made or there should be preparation for such an attack. In either event the Brooklyn and the other vessels will act promptly.

Your right, and that of the other officers in command at Pensacola, freely to communicate with the Government by special messenger, and its right in the same manner to communicate with yourself and them, will remain intact as the basis on which the present instruction is given.

Secretary of War.

Secretary of the Navy.

SOURCES: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 1 (Serial No. 1), p. 355-6; Samuel Wylie Crawford, The Genesis of the Civil War: The Story of Sumter, 1860-1861, p. 401-2

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