War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0546 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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BRITISH CONSULATE, New York, September 20, 1861.

[Right Honorable Lord LYONS.]

MY LORD: Referring to my dispatch of the 13th instant and your lordship's reply of the 16th instant I have the honor to acquaint your lordship that I yesterday visited the British sailors imprisoned at Fort Lafayette, and beg leave to report that there are four seamen who formed part of the crew of the schooner H. Middleton, bound from Charleston, S. C., to Liverpool, which was captured on the 21st ultimo shortly after leaving Charleston by the U. S. ship Vandalia. These men who were imprisoned at Fort Lafayette on the 7th instant are respectively William Simms, aged forty-nine, a native of Chichester, a married man having a wife and children at Portsmosth; William Williams, aged twenty-two, a native of Liverpool; Joseph Clifton, aged nineteen, a native of Montreal, and Richmond Revel, aged twenty-five, a native of Wexford.

Simms and Williams arrived at Charleston from Liverpool on board the American bark Susan G. Owen about the end of April and were paid off there. They remained unemployed and unable to leave Charleston until the 6th of August when in order to reach England they shipped in the H. Middleton, being the first vessel which left Charleston for Liverpool after the blockade. Clifton arrived at Charleston in the American ship Amelia from Havre about the end of January and was paid off there and remained there unemployed with the exception of a few days' labor until the 9th of August when he shipped in the H. Middleton also in order to reach England. Revel arrived at Charleston from Havana on the 10th of June in the schooner Victoria and was discharged there. He also remained unemployed until the 9th of August when he shipped in the H. Middleton with the view of returning to England.

In addition to these four seamen Bernard Coogan, aged twenty-six, a native of Gulway, was a passenger from Charleston to Liverpool. He had gone out to Charleston by the Columbia, arriving there on the 12th of March and intending to remain with a brother who is settled there. Finding no encouragement to remain and being unable to bear the expense of a journey northward he took advantage of the H. Middleton, the first vessel by which he could return home, and in which the captain gave him a passage. The master of the H. Middleton, a very intelligent man, corroborated the statement of the seamen and Coogan. Having closely examined them myself I see no reason whatever to doubt the truth of these statements.

Besides these men of the H. Middleton I found in the same room with them four other British seamen named William Smith, aged seventeen, a native of Henley-on-Thomas; John Angus, aged twenty-four, a native of Shetland; Charles McClenahan, aged twenty-two, a native of Belfast and William Perry, aged forty-four, a native of Manchester, married and having a wife and three children at Manchester, who were taken by the U. S. ship Jamestown on board a small coasting craft called the Colonel Long near Charleston about the 4th instant, and were imprisoned at Fort Lafayette on the 13th instant.

Smith, Angus and McClanahan were part of the crew of the British bark Prima Donna bound from Havana to New York, which was wrecked on the Florida coast during the hurricane of the 16th of August. Having after much labor and many privations reached a small settlement called Miami where they remained some days a small coasting