In reply You answered, as stated in Your indorsement of January 3rd, referring the subject to Colonel Hutchins. Colonel Hutchins and, I think, Colonel Broadwell, both declined to send out the cotton, 150 bales, for that purpose, as they needed it to pay debts at home. There that transaction terminated, but as General Smith, previously to the instructions from the War Department on the subject of agents, had given his assent for me to send upon my own responsibility the Harriet Lane, Clifton, Sachem, &c., to be sold abroad, and such cotton as could be procured to be sent in them, also to be sold for the purpose of bringing in arms and other supplies, it of necessity conferred upon me the power to send captains, crews, pilots, officers, &c., to carry into execution the plan which I had previously submitted to him. When the plan was first proposed the services of Lieutenant Leon Smith could not be spared from this coast, but as the forts progressed toward completion, the guns from the gun-boats were transferred to the forts, and Lieutenant Smith, in whom I had greater confidence than in any other captain of a sea-going steamer, became available. I therefore directed him to proceed to London to command the blockade-runner, which was to be built or purchased by the money derived from the sale of the Harriet Lane, Clifton, Sachem, &c., and their cargoes. This had nothing whatever to do with the proposition declined by Colonel Hutchins and Colonel Broadwell, and Lieutenant Smith was not charged with the purchase of any steamer whatever, but only to command one, to carry out arrangements made with the knowledge of General Smith before any instructions were received from the War Department with reference to agents. Through courtesy, however, I telegraphed my intentions to the commander of the department and after waiting several days and receiving no reply I gave Lieutenant Smith his orders. Had I possessed the coin properly disposable for this purpose I should have ordered the proper officer to advance Lieutenant Smith sufficient pay, in specie, to enable him to execute his orders, which is the course I Confederate authorities in the many instances which I have heard of and which had been removed from under the orders of the district commander and placed exclusively under those of the department, to advance four months' pay in specie to Lieutenant Smith with the usual mileage. This they very properly did, but had they declined Lieutenant Smith would have Remained in the district. Brigadier-General Slaughter States in his letter accompanying these papers that a request from a superior to an inferior officer is generally looked upon as an order. This is true when the junior is under the command of the senior, but never when the junior has by special orders, as in the case of the cotton office, been removed from the command of the senior. Had that been the case my request that the cotton from the Bayou City might be appropriated to purchase a steamer to bring in arms would have been answered affirmatively by the cotton office, but it was a simple and ordinary request on my part and a proper compliance on their part.
When Lieutenant Smith arrived at Havana, having learned that the ship was about to sail, or had already sailed from London, he did not proceed any farther. Whilst awaiting in Havana the arrival of this ship, a pilot of the Confederate steamer Wren, bound for Galveston, as I was informed by a letter from Major Helm, shamefully deserted her. Neither the captain nor any of her crew knew the coast of Texas. Major Helm requested Lieutenant Smith to take passage in her and