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[23] superior to the ironclad gunboats of the enemy; was convinced that their cost would be one-third less, and that they could be constructed in a much shorter time than the crafts then being built in Charleston. General Beauregard informed the Government that the South Carolina authorities were highly in favor of the new ram, and had already appropriated the sum of $50,000 for its construction; but that, should the Navy Department take the matter in hand, the result would be better and sooner attained. If successful in Charleston harbor, General Beauregard thought similar rams could be built for the Mississippi and James rivers, and for Port Royal and Savannah. This point he strongly pressed upon the consideration of the War Department, and earnestly recommended Captain Lee for his zeal, energy, and capacity as a practical engineer.

Full and comprehensive orders were given, on the 13th and 14th, to Colonel Walker, and Generals Gist and Mercer, to hold their troops in readiness, with the usual instructions as to provisions and ammunition; and railroad transportation was prepared to take reinforcements to Colonel Walker at a moment's notice. On the same day General Mercer was also ordered to have made a careful reconnoissance of the Ocmulgee, with a view to its effectual obstruction and protection by a fort.

About this period a remarkable occurrence took place which is worthy of note. When New Orleans was about to be evacuated, in April, 1862, the civil and military authorities advised the banks and insurance companies to put their funds in security beyond the reach of the enemy. They nearly all did so, and, among them, the wealthiest of all, namely, the ‘Bank of Louisiana,’ which sent its assets, mostly of gold and silver, to the extent of some three millions of dollars, via Mobile, to Columbus, Georgia, under the care of its president. These funds were given in charge by him to Mr. W. H. Young, President of the Bank of Columbus, Georgia, with the belief that they would there be perfectly safe. To General Beauregard's surprise, on the 11th of October the following telegram was forwarded to him from Richmond:

Take possession of the coin of the Bank of Louisiana, in the hands of W. H. Young, President of the Bank of Columbus, Ga., and place it in the bands of John Boston, the depositary of the Government, at Savannah. A written order will be sent immediately, but don't wait for it.

G. W. Randolph, Secy. of War.

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