May 1st Letter from Commandant French Forrest to Maj. Gen. Walter Gwynn

Gosport, Va., May 1, 1861.

Major-General GWYNN,
Commanding Forces, Norfolk, Va.;

SIR; Believing it to be the design of the late United States to make a descent on this station in order to correct their recent error, I feel called upon to suggest to you, in view of the immense value of the public buildings, guns, and other stores exposed, that a competent military force be placed near to resist all efforts on their part. I have, in fact, indirectly learned that the full powers of the late Government will be directed to this point, probably via Pig Point. Could you, general, place such a force in this neighborhood as in your judgment could properly repel them? Last night we could muster only seventy-three men under arms in the yard, and scarcely forty men from the town appeared, and only two with suitable arms.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,



The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Vol. LI, Part II. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1897.