operations illustrated the importance of these suggestions; for after holding Pensacola
many months with a large force, it was abandoned.
and no advance of Federal troops was ever made from that quarter.
The early occupation of Columbus
, or country adjoining, with a strong force would have saved Forts Donelson
Such speculations are of no value now, and the subject is only introduced as showing how actively General Gorgas
entered into all matters pertaining to the conduct of the war. When the Confederate Government was removed to Richmond
, General Gorgas
removed to that place, and within twenty-four hours after his arrival, he had located the workshops, armories and buildings which were occupied by his department during the war.
He immediately recognized that ‘Cotton was not King
,’ in the sense in which this had been urged by those who insisted that the true policy was to destroy cotton and tobacco, and thus destroy the North
by financial embarrassment.
He insisted upon the right to use these articles to procure the supplies which were essential to maintain his department, and at once arranged for the purchase of the fine blockade steamers R. E. Lee
and ‘Cornubia,’ and for the shipment of large quantities of cotton and tobacco on these and other vessels, with the proceeds of which he purchased arms, ammunition, lead and all other similar necessary supplies.
He even brought out skilled workmen from England
, and as the Confederate
currency depreciated, procured necessary supplies of food and clothing for his workmen in order to retain them.
, in some notes on the Ordnance Department, published in the Southern Historical
XII, page 79, says:
It soon became obvious that in the Ordnance Department we must rely greatly on the introduction of articles of prime necessity through the blockade ports.
As before stated, President Davis early saw this, and had an officer detailed to go abroad as the agent of the Department.
To systematize the introduction of the purchases, it was soon found advisable to own and run our own steamers.
Major Huse made the suggestion also from that side of the water.
Accordingly, he purchased and sent in the Robert E. Lee, at a cost of £ 30,000, a vessel capable of stowing six hundred and fifty bales of cotton.
This vessel was kept running between Bermuda and Wilmington, and made some fifteen to eighteen successive trips before she was finally captured—the first twelve with the regularity of a packet.
She was commanded first by Captain Wilkinson, of the navy.
Soon the Cornubia, named the Lady Davis, was added, and ran as successfully as