My dear Wife: We left New Orleans on Friday. Saturday night at 12 o'clock we reached here, after a stage ride of 48 miles from this side of Mobile Bay over a very bad road.
According to my notions things here are in a most deplorable condition, and that was the reason for sending me; you know it has been my fate all through life to build up for somebody else. Our troops are raw volunteers, without officers, and without discipline, each man with an idea that he can whip the world, and believing that nothing is necessary but to go it and take Fort Pickens and all the navy. All this will give way, I hope, to good counsel, and good sense, but it will require great firmness and management. Some of the privates are men of large means and high position; two of them are just from Washington—Members of Congress. Unless the United States troops attack us, no fighting can occur here for a long time, as we are totally unprepared for anything of the sort, and if they are sensible they will keep us so. Fort Pickens cannot be taken without a regular siege, and we have no means to carry that on, and cannot get any without their Navy will allow it to pass it.
You will be surprised to hear of the very cordial messages I hare received from our old friend President Davis. He says with such men as Beauregard and Bragg at Charleston and Pensacola he feels easy. I hope he may have no cause to change his mind.
SOURCE: Don Carlos Seitz, Braxton Bragg, General of the Confederacy, p. 31-2