crew of the British schooner Louisa Agnes I have the honor to inform you that immediately upon its receipt Flag-Officer Goldsborough was directed to investigate the circumstances of the alleged ill-treatment of the crews of Louisa Agnes and also of the British schooner Revere by the officers of the U. S. S. Cambridge, and I inclose herewith the reply of Commodore Goldsborough together with copies of the papers therewith inclosed being reports of the officers of that vessel and of the prize masters who carried the schooner into port.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
U. S. FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA, Hampton Roads, November 19, 1861.
Hon. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy.
SIR: In reply to your communication of the 15th instant in relation to the treatment of the crews of the British schooners Revere and Louisa Agnes I have the honor to transmit to you herewith papers numbered from 1 to 4 inclusive just received from Commander William A. Parker, of the Cambridge.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. M. GOLDSBOROUGH,
[Inclosure to sub-inclosure, No. 1.]
U. S. STEAMER CAMBRIDGE, Newport News, Va., November 18, 1861.
Flag Officer L. M. GOLDSBOROUGH,
Commanding N. Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Hampton Roads.
SIR: In reply to your letter of the 17th instant I have to state that two of the crews only of the captured vessels (which were suspected of an attempt to break the blockade) were sent home in their respective vessels by order of Flag Stringham.
The irons were placed on board for the protection of the prize masters and to be used by them when deemed necessary.
I forward herewith the statements of Messrs. Maies and Wells, the prize masters of the Revere and Louisa Agnes, as also a statement signed by the offices of the Cambridge who were on board at the time in question relative to the treatment of the crews while retained by me.
I am very certain that no unnecessary harshness or unkindness was used toward either the masters or crews of the captured vessels while on board the Cambridge. They were permitted to move about the decks in perfect liberty through the day. At night a sentry was placed over them for safety; they were not otherwise confined but had all the privileges of passengers; were regularly served with full rations and had as good accommodations as the ship could afford. I understood that when they left this vessel the captains and their men expressed themselves highly pleased with their treatment.
I can assure you, sir, the parties in question were not subjected to any unnecessary restraint; neither were they regarded in the light of prisoners of war; on the contrary they had full communication with the whole crew of this vessel. I am astonished at their complaints of ill-treatment and emphatically deny their assertions. I frequently enjoined on Lieutenant Gwin (first Lieutenant and executive officer) that I wished the captured crews to have every indulgence their case