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Fort Pickens, with 200 U. S. soldiers, and mounting 212 guns, is commanded by Lieut. Slimmer, a native of New England, who refuses to surrender.
A deserter of it says:
Under the protection of its immense batteries the ships of an enemy could make good their harbor in the Bay of Pensacola, or if they did not care to run the risk from shore batteries, which could not be in very dangerous range, they could land forces and supplies on the fort to the eastward on Santa Rosa Island, which is some forty miles long, and thus throw in reinforcements and rendezvous even an army at the fort without interruption, unless of a force intrenched on the island itself, in the rear of the fort — which, however, is almost if not quite as defensible from rear as front.
If we are to have war, the seizure of this stronghold is, of course, of the first importance, for unless it is occupied by us it will secure to the enemy a base of operation along our whole Gulf coast, and keep