DEAR SIR: By great exertions, within less than six days from the
time the subject was broached in the office of the President, a war steamer sails from this port; and the Atlantic, built under contract to be at the service of the United States in case of war, will follow this afternoon with 500 troops, of which one company is sappers and miners, one a mounted battery. The Illinois will follow on Monday with the stores which the Atlantic could not hold.
While the mere throwing of a few men into Fort Pickens may seem a small operation, the opening of a campaign is a great one.
Unless this movement is supported by ample supplies and followed up by the Navy it will be a failure. This is the beginning of the war which every statesman and soldier has foreseen since the passage of the South Carolina ordinance of secession. You will find the Army and the Navy clogged at the head with men, excellent patriotic men, men who were soldiers and sailors forty years ago, but who now merely keep active men out of the places in which they could serve the country.
If you call out volunteers you have no general to command. The general born, not made, is yet to be found who is to govern the great army which is to save the country, if saved it can be. Colonel Keyes has shown intelligence, zeal, activity, and I look for a high future for him.
England took six months to get a soldier to the Crimea. We were from May to September in getting General Taylor before Monterey. Let us be supported; we go to serve our country, and our country should not neglect us or leave us to be strangled in tape, however red.
M. C. MEIGS.