MISSISSIPPI TROOPS WITHOUT THE STATE, 1861—AT PENSACOLA—FIGHT AT SANTA ROSA ISLAND—THE REGIMENTS IN VIRGINIA—THEIR SERVICE AT FIRST MANASSAS AND LEESBURG.
THE first troops sent out of Mississippi were not designed to make war upon a friendly power or to invade any State of the old Union, but were sent to the assistance of a seceded State, Florida, in whose territory the United States persisted in maintaining forts threatening the independence which that State had resumed. At Pensacola, when the navy-yard and mainland fortifications passed into the hands of Florida, January 12th, Lieutenant Slemmer with the garrison occupied Fort Pickens and refused to surrender on demand of the governors of Alabama and Florida, declaring that "a governor is nobody here."
A military force was then assembled at Pensacola for the defense of the port and the reduction of the hostile work. Among the troops called out for this duty by President Davis he asked 1,500 men of Mississippi, and the State honored the requisition by sending 20 companies, which reached their destination early in April, 1861. These were the first soldiers sent out of the State by Mississippi to serve in the cause of the Confederate States. They were organized at Pensacola in April, 1861, in two regiments, the Ninth and Tenth Mississippi infantry, and were so numbered, presumably because the organization of the eight regiments within the State provided for by the ordinance of the convention, January 23d, had not then been completed and was not completed till the month of August following. Their numbering,