Document 2 transcript Capt Charles E. Sherman } Office of Chief Agent of Impressment Special Agent } Mobile July 11 1864 Mobile } Sir Authentic intelligence received by the Commanding General leaves no doubt of the fact that the enemy intend to attempt to force their way into Mobile Bay within a few days The defences in the lower bay require the immediate presence of a large laboring force to place them in a condition of complete defence, and another force of greater numbers to complete and finish the fortifications around the city.It is impossible to procure them in time from the various counties in the state in which negroes are now being impressed. Under the pressure of this necessity and to protect the city on all sides from the imminent danger of the contemplated attack, which if successful, must give the enemy control of all South Alabama, I am directed by Genl. Maury to order you to proceed to the Salt works in Clark & Washington Counties, and to procure from the owners of slaves there employed one half of the negroes engaged at said points in labor. I am satisfied that it is only necessary to apprize the owners of said Slaves of the paramount necessity now existing for their labor, in order to the preservation of the city of Mobile and thereby the southern portion of the State embracing their Salt works, to secure their full united and patriotic co-operation with you in furnishing the required labor. In addition to this negro force, the Commanding General requires Mules, Wagons and other vehicles of transportation, reserving such as may be necessary for the use of the one half left at the works.You will make known to the proprieter of the (page 2) Salt works and others having negroes at work of the over-ruling necessity for the labor of their hands & teams.-- It will be obvious to them that if the enemy succeed in capturing our city that not only will their present occupations be destroyed, and the possession of their slaves endangered and that the only course left for them to pursue, consistent with duty and patriotism is to aid readily in all measures which the military authorities deem necessary for the protection and preservation of their property. It is proper that they should be assured that the use of their property will be limited by the duration of the necessity which requires it, and that their negroes and teams shall be restored to them so soon as it ceases.-- In the meantime as rapidly as the negroes arrive from the country, impressed by the agents of this office in the different counties, the negroes now directed to be taken shall be returned to their owners. I need not remind you of the necessity of exercising a calm and courteous demeanor in the performance of the duties imposed upon you by these orders, and in inviting the cordial and efficient co-operation of the owners of the property now so urgently needed, in making it immediately useful and available to the Military Au= =thorities charged with the defence of this portion of our State. I send with you Col A. B. Wright to aid you in the prompt and rapid execution of these orders. I am very Respectfully Your obt. servant, (Signed) F. S. Blount (page 3) Copy Capt Charles E. Sherman } Office of Chief Agent of Impressment Special Agent & C } Mobile July 16th 1864 Clarke County Ala } Captain You will not send any negroes from the State Salt Works for the defence of Mobile until you receive further orders from me. Genl Maury at the request of Col B. M. Woolsey State Commissioner desires to learn from Govr Watts his views on the subject before taking action against the Negroes in the employment of the State Very Respectfully & C "Signed" F. S. Blount On back of letter: Col. F. S. Blount July 16/64 Impressments Genl Riggs will answer J.H.W gov Ansd July 18th The Governors views will be found in a Telegraphic Message sent you today A. Riggs, Adj. Gen'l
Letter from Col. F.S. Blount to Capt. Charles E. Sherman, 11 July 1864," Alabama Salt Commission, General correspondence, SG5979, folder 25, Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama..