This certificate shows that Mr. Willard, the naval coal agent,s tasted that the coal taken in July last from Power, Low & Co., and referred to by Mr. O'Reilly, was used for the steamers Florie and Let her B, and that after the abandonment of the expedition for which they were designed, what had not been consume din going up and down thriver had been transferred to the Tallahassee. In addition to the evidence of these certificates in support of the statement mad eyou inform me that "Power, Low & Co. were part owners and agents of the vessel; it was their duty to accumulate coal for the use of our vessels by taking small quantities from each one which had a surplus for supplying those which wee short. To this common head the Advance contributed as others, and when she came to sail this heap, destined as well for her and the others of the line, had been taken by the Navy Department," &c. Thus it appears that the Navy Department neither took coal from the Advance nor any coal belonging to her or designed for her exclusive use, but that the coal which it took from Power, Low & Co. for the Let her B in July last might possibly have been used for the Advance in the following September, if other vessels, equally entitled to it, had not in the meantime consumed it.
With all respect for your own convictions upon this subject. I am unable to perceive that the charge advanced in your message is sustained by the certificates or by the foregoing explanation now presented.
In my previous communication I adverted to that statement in your message in which the captures made by our cruisers out of Wilmington wee characterized as "a few insignificant smacks," and presuming that so strange an error of fact and one so unjust to the offices and men of these cruisers could only have found a place in your message from want of information upon the subject, and that it correction would promptly follow a presentation of the acts, I invited your attention to it and submitted a schedule of the captures in question, numbering forty-six and embracing nineteen square-rigged vessels. I regret that while your derisive reference to a "few insignificant smacks," is being circulated throughout the country, its correction with the facts before you had escaped your attention.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
OFFICE TORPEDO BUREAU,
Richmond, January 28, 1865.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: To meet the requirements of this Bureau there exists an absolute necessity for the articles specified in the accompanying bill, which cannot be obtained in the Confederacy. I therefore respectfully ask that fifty bales of cotton and transportation for the same to Nassau, New Providence, be furnished by the Government, with passports and authority to send Lieuts. James C. Frank and George McGinly, of this Bureau, in charge of the same, to make the required purchases; also an order on the Government agent at Nassau for transportation for the articles on return. On calculation, fifty bales of cotton, or its equivalent in specie, will be found to approximate the costs as per schedule. Transportation is also asked for ten additional bales of cotton, which