Saint John, New Brunswick. This is to cover in case the Kate should be overhauled on the voyage. Since the Trent affair Federal cruisers will hesitate to interfere with British vessels, unless caught in the very act of violating the blockade. By the transshipment of this portion the Gladiator has been lightened one foot aft and eighteen inches forward. It may be perhaps to try and run her in after she has got rid of a further portion, as I have no doubt her speed will be increased in consequence of her lighter draft.
Previous to the receipt of your letter I sold the cotton at 22 cents per pound. It was the very best I could do, and there has been no period since when the offer would have been repeated. I shall have to make an allowance of ten pounds per bale for damage. My relations with the authorities here are of the most friendly character. I receive ntions, which I value as going to show the increased cordiality of feeling toward the Confederate Government. In cultivating this disposition I feel that I am doing some service to my country. The British line-of-battle ship Conqueror (101 guns), which went ashore on Rum Cay a few weeks ago, has gone to pieces in the late gale. There are in port now the British gun-boat Steady (six guns) and sloop-of-war Greyhound (seventeen guns). No Yankee vessels here.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Richmond, January 31, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a letter addressed to you by Mr. Goodman, which has been referred to me for consideration and remark. The several subjects to which it refers have already received that attention from this department which their importance demanded, and to some extent the suggestions presented by Mr. Goodman have been carried into effect. Contracts have been made with the railroad companies, generally, by which a preference has been secured to all Government freights, both as to time of transit and use of cars. Every possible arrangements has been adopted to secure prompt transportation of public stores, and to this end many of the railroads have been employed to their utmost capacity. Delays and difficulties have occurred in many instances, but no arrangements can be made so complete as to entirely prevent their recurrence. A uniform standard of charged for Government transportation, deemed to be both just and economical, has been agreed upon with many of the leading railroads, and the rates thus established will, it is supposed, meet the concurrence of all the companies. This is equivalent to the prescribed terms of a written contract, and by it hereafter uniformity in the charges for transportation will be secured. I doubt greatly the propriety of appointing Government freight agents and messengers, as proposed by Mr. Goodman. Competent persons to fill such positions cannot readily be procured, nor are they necessary. They would interfere seriously with the management of details, which should be left entirely to the control of trained and experienced railroad employees. They would, moreover, remove from the railroad companies and their agents that direct responsibility to the Government