Today in History:

108 Series I Volume L-II Serial 106 - Pacific Part II


the State of National Government, but the State cannot equip them. Will the General Government aid us in this emergency? Will the General Government aid us to maintain the Constitution and assert the power of our Government? Will they give us arms and equipments to putof loyal men whose services can be commanded for any and every emergency? There are arms at the Benicia Arsenal which would be of great service to the State at this time. Now, general, if, say 10,000 stand of muskets and accounterments or their equivalents in such other arms as might be required can be issued, I will guarantee that in three months we will have upon rolls of organized companies the name of a loyal citizen for every musket issued, who shall be preparing for service. Cannot this be done? This will be handed you by Brigadier-General Ellis, to whom you are very respectfully referred for a corroboration of the statements contained herein. I do most respectfully urge you, general, to give this subject early consideration and action. The arms will be duly receipted for and returned after the war if you should so determine.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Adjutant-General State of California.

ALCATRAZ ISLAND, CAL., September 10, 1862.

Lieutenant Colonel R. C. DRUM,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Dept. of the Pacific, San Francisco:

COLONEL: In view of the existing difficulties at home and the threatening aspect of our foreign affairs, I deem it my duty, as the commander of this most important post, to call the attention of the commanding general to the condition of its defenses. At present the caponiere at the entrance of the fortification, defending the approach from the wharf, is occupied by the guard and prisoners; the latter being so numerous they entirely fill the casemate on the right of the entrance, rendering it necessary that the guard should occupy the corresponding one on the left. For this reason the howitzers intended for the defense of this approach have never been mounted, nor can they be until some other arrangement is made for the care of the prisoners. I would therefore urge the immediate erection of a building suitable for this purpose. I have already called the attention of Lieutenant Elliott, the engineer in charge, to this difficulty, and he has promised to apply for the necessary authority to erect a building, but I would respectfully suggest that the delay involved in procuring this authority should, if practicable, be avoided, as this point is for several reasons the most vulnerable of the island. The only subsistence store-house is a small wooden building, hastily constructed last sumner by order of General Sumner, not large enough to contain a full supply for three months for the present garrison, the balance (of this supply) being stored outside of the wall of the fortification, and in the event of any threatened danger this last building must necessarily be immediately destroyed. I would therefore earnestly suggest the immediate construction of suitable store-houses capable of containing supplies for a garrison of 600 men for six months.

Lieutenant Elliot has forwarded to Washington a proposition for supplying the post with water by means of pipes laid under water from the city of San Francisco. This plan may be successful, but I believe it open to serious objections, the most evident being the ease with which a besieging force might cut off the supply of water; moreover, the