From the Official Records War of the Rebellion.
Captain John H. Brannan, First U.S. Artillery, commanding Fort Zachary Taylor, Key West, Florida.
JANUARY 14, 1861: This was four days after the State of Florida seceded. Capt. Brannan had placed his entire command at Fort Taylor with plans of defending it. However, he had just 44 men.
JANUARY 26, 1861: He reported that no effort had yet been made to take the fort, but he expected one any day. "If my company was filled up with a hundred men, and a sloop of war stationed in this harbor, there would be no danger of any successful attack."
JANUARY 31, 1861: At this time, Capt. Brannan reported that he had about sixty men, mechanics and laborers who would defend the fort which was still under construction. The USS Macedonian passed by the previous night and the USS Brooklyn arrived this morning and was going to depart tomorrow night.