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[55] would necessitate the employment of more troops than we could well spare at the time, and that it was not in ports and harbors, but in the field, that the battles upon which hung the fate of the Confederacy must be fought. He thought it wiser to leave the disadvantage of garrisoning the fort upon the enemy, than to take the task upon ourselves. He maintained, furthermore, that, as we had yet no navy, and no commerce with the exterior world, Pensacola harbor could be of no use to us at this juncture; and that, should we occupy Fort Pickens, we would, in all likelihood, be forced, ere long, to withdraw our troops from it, to employ them more usefully in other parts of the Confederacy. He suggested that, meanwhile, a school of military practice and instruction should be established at Pensacola, under General Bragg, where all raw troops might be organized and properly prepared, before being forwarded to their ultimate destination. General Beauregard's reasons finally prevailed, and he was sent back to Charleston, the news from Washington indicating a general war, and a strong determination on the part of the Federal government to retake possession of Fort Sumter.

A deputation of gentlemen from New Orleans had recently arrived from that city, to direct the President's attention to its unprotected condition. They urgently requested that General Beauregard should be sent thither at once, to take command and organize a system of defence, which, they were convinced, none could do so well as himself. He would have gladly accepted such an order—so many ties were drawing him back to Louisiana—but the President deemed his presence imperatively necessary at Charleston, then the most threatened point of the Confederacy, and therefore persisted in his former determination.

While journeying from Charleston to Montgomery, General Beauregard met Mr. W. L. Trenholm, whose father, George A. Trenholm,1 was a partner in the great firm of John Frazer & Co., of Charleston and Liverpool. This gentleman, as he informed General Beauregard, was the bearer of important propositions from the English branch of their house to the Confederate government, for the purchase of ten large and powerful steamers, then just built in England for the East India Company, which, no longer needing them, was desirous of finding a purchaser; the ships

1 The Hon. George A. Trenholm was appointed Secretary of the Treasury after the resignation of Mr. Memminger.

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