War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0360 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

Finding that I could get no satisfactory or truthful statement from him but still suspecting that he was in the interest of the so-called Confederate States I suggested to Captain Robert Ritchie, commanding the U. S. steamer Saranac, that he order the young man on board his ship, as he claimed to belong to the Navy, which that officer accordingly did when the fact was disclosed by the production of a letten from the Secretary of the Navy which he had about his person that his resignation had been accepted. He was then permitted to return on shore and the next day (10th instant) he proceeded to Aspinwall whence he sils for New York to-morrow as I learn from our consul at that port on board the steamship Ariel.

Since the departure for Aspinwall of Ruggles I have learned from my brother D. M. Corwine, agent of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company at this place, that General Johnston's wife is now in California, having accompanied her husband to that State some months since via Panama, consequently the letter left at this consulate to the address of that office could not have been written by that lady as alleged by Ruggles. Mr. Robinson, the consul at Aspinwal, informs me that he has taken measures to have him arrested immediately upon the arrival of the Ariel at New York as he thinks with me that Ruggles is a secret agent of the rebellious States and that his arrest in the United States may lead to the establishment of the fact.

There can be no doubt of the intentions of the rebels to seize the treasure from California and it is not unlikely that they will attempt it should a favorable opportunity offer outside the harbor of Aspinwall. This they could do with impunity as there is no armed vessel of the United States at that port at present except the store-ship Falmouth which is dismantled and unfit in her present condition for sea service. There are now in Aspinwall two gun-boats, English and French, but it is questionable whether they could render any assistance in case of our steamers being attacked by privateers since Great Britain is understood to have declared its purpose to recognize the rebellions States as bellingerents entitled to all the rights of war. I respectfully suggest therefore that a vessel of war be dispatched to Aspinwall with as little delay as possible. A steam vessel would be much more effective than a sailing vessel.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

AMOS. B. CORWINE.

CONSULATE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Aspinwall, New Granada, June 15, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

SIR: I think it a matter of duty to inform the Department of the following facts: On or about the 7th instant a young gentleman entered this consulate and introduced hismself as Mr. Ruggles, a midshipman in the U. S. Navy. He told me that he bad been ordered to join the U. S. transport steamer Morgan at this port; than the Morgan was originally the Star of the West; that after her seizure by the rebels her name was changed to Sumter; that she was recaptured by the Crusader in the latter part of April and taken to Havana, Cuba, and her name was then changed to Morgan and had sailed from Havana for this port on the 9th of May; that she was to meet here General A. S. Johnston and his command from California and convey him to the