now loaded with most valuable Government stores. My men, who ought to be at their work and at their drill, have to be transformed into boatmen and wreckers, and at night have to stay in these wrecks to keep off the enemy's boats. This is peculiarly a naval duty. What is it for the navy to burn fishing smacks off New England if they lend no hand to defense at home, and this, too, when they are, to a man, eager and anxious to aid?
Three nights since the enemy, with a fleet of barges and a gun-boat of light draught, made an attempt to destroy the Condor, which lies on the north reef, with very valuable stores on board. Colonel Lamb had a guard of eighteen men on board, and, as usual, his channel batteries manned. At the same time the steamer Annie, from Halifax, with cargo of provisions, finding the enemy with their launches on the bar, attempting to move, grounded. The captain sent his boats to the Condor, and the guard, mistaking them for the enemy, fired. The accident saved both the Annie and the Condor, for the fort opened at once, and the enemy, finding all on the alert, withdrew. A chance shot struck the gun-boat and sunk her instantly; her wreck now lies on the bar. I mention this only to show what sort of work this little garrison is daily and nightly at, and to justify me in demanding aid from some naval force afloat. Fortunately they did not get out his moon, and they are safe here for a week or ten days at least. Before they can get out there will no doubt be such a fleet as will keep them here altogether; but they are still impressing coal from vessels which have little or none to spare and thereby endangering their safety. We have already paid for the expedition of the Tallahassee with ten or eleven of the best ships, for the four lost during the last ten days are due to the great increase of the fleet brought about by that unfortunate cruise. The difficultly of getting in supplies is trebled. Both bars swarm with boats; we can't see them from shore. At what better work can this naval force be put, with or without their vessels, than operating against the enemy at our own door? I beg you to consider this, in thre name of this place, which has a smaller force than ever in the whole war and less prospect of more, and in the name of the community which is unanimously and bitterly opposed to it.
W. H. C. WHITING,
OCTOBER 19, 1864.
Respectfully submitted in conformity with General Whiting's request to the consideration of the President.
J. A. SEDDON,
OCTOBER 21, 1864.
Returned to the Secretary of War.
It is to be regretted that in presenting his views General Whiting should so frequently have violated the courtesy due to the naval arm of the military service. The vessels referred to are not "privateers," and such an offense to the Navy as was committed in so calling them should have caused the return of his letter as one not entitled to a place on the files of the War Department. His strictures on the cruise