MOBILE, August 13, 1864.
General G. J. RAINS:
Monitor Tecumseh was sunk by torpedo in thirty seconds.
F. S. BARRETT.
Richmond, Va., October 21, 1864.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States:
HONORED SIR: By one of those strange coincidences, doubtless under the inscrutable eye of Providence, whilst inditing my remarks for the inclosed, my attention was attracted to a letter unopened lying on my table from a female, a lady friend in Mobile, Ala. ; and as it seems to give the best answer thereto, it is forwarded for your perusal, believing it will give much satisfaction to the writer in learning such disposal. In the enemy's report published in the New Orleans Picayune newspaper, of 9th of August last, the fact is stated by themselves that the Tecumseh was sunk by a torpedo "so rapidly that two acting masters who escaped from the top of the turret stepped off directly into the water; " and is it probable that they would so publish a statement without facts to sustain it, calculated to demoralize their navy in all our ports? A person of the first respectability writes me from Mobile: "The only serious damage done the enemy's fleet passing our forts was done by a torpedo, which sunk one of their monitors. A man who was her bottom had been knocked entirely out. It is very, very strange that torpedoes are not relieved on more by the Government, because in this war they have done the enemy more harm than our forts and Navy together. " From my own observation no smoke nor fire becomes visible from 1,500 pounds of gunpowder exploded at about thirty feet deep under water, though its effects are otherwise decided and immediate. It is no wonder, therefore, that Captain Whiting saw no more than he did. The time of submersion determines whether shot or torpedoes sunk the vessel. We have no evidence that her magazine was penetrated, and how otherwise could a short her sinking in half a minute?
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
G. J. RAINS,
MOBILE, October 10, 1864.
DEAR GENERAL: Your most welcome letter in answer to mine has remained unanswered this long on account of my having heard of the advent here of your aide-de-camp, Andrews. I wanted to see him before I wrote, but the fates have ordained it otherwise. He called one night, but like an owl I had gone to rest if not to sleep when he came, but the doctor has seen and had a long talk with him and I will wait no longer before writing to my old friend. I ought rather to say dear friend, but you know custom makes it proper to call our best friends our old friends. Captain Andrews told the doctor that General Maury