other small craft and sank them in the channel to prevent the escape of ships from the navy yard.
There were at the navy yard at that time 4 ships of the line, 3 frigates, 2 sloops of war, 1 brig and the steam frigate Merrimac
, and some 780 marines and other armed men.
On the 18th of April, Governor Letcher
called out the militia of Norfolk
and vicinity, and dispatched Maj.-Gen. William B. Taliaferro
to take command of the same and endeavor, by a rapid movement, to secure the navy yard.
After having done this he asked Governor Pickens
, of South Carolina
, to immediately send 2,000 troops to Norfolk
to aid the Virginia
Pickens at first declined, as ‘it might appear intrusive,’ and besides, ‘we stand at present on the defensive.’
He said he would ask President Davis
The latter wired Letcher
for information as to his object in asking for troops.
He replied that it was to secure the Gosport navy yard, where the Merrimac
, the Cumberland
, the Pennsylvania
, and perhaps other vessels were at that time; that the channel was partially obstructed and it would require 5,000 men to take the place.
On the 19th the Confederate
secretary of war informed Governor Brown
, of Georgia
, that 2,000 troops had been ordered from South Carolina
, to report to General Taliaferro
, and asked that several companies be sent from Georgia
to the same place, to go at once, or they would be too late.
replied to Letcher
, on the 19th, that he had ordered sent him two regiments from South Carolina
and some companies from Georgia
; also that the resolution of the Virginia convention for an alliance had been received and accepted.
On the 19th, Letcher
: ‘As we need powder, keep an eye to securing that article.’
On the 20th the governor of Georgia
reported that he had four companies ready to start for Virginia
The Seaboard railroad furnished facilities for sending these South Carolina
troops directly to Norfolk
, on the 19th of April, ordered Capt. H. G. Wright
, of the engineers, to proceed to the Gosport navy yard to aid the commodore there in command, in designing and. executing a plan of defense; instructing him to call at Fort Monroe
and consult Colonel Dimick
regarding the sending of a regiment of infantry to assist in the defense of the navy yard, but to ‘bear in mind that, although the navy yard and its contents are of very ’