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
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
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
, 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
, 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
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