brought on board this ship and received by me. Two other boats were then sent to expedite the removal of their baggage and some stores when the steamer, which proved to be the Trent, was suffered to proceed on her route to the eastward and at 3. 30 p. m. we bore away to the northward and westward. The whole time employed was two hours and thirteen minutes.
I inclose you the statements of such officers who boarded the Trent relative to the facts and also an extract from the log book* of this ship.
It was my determination to have taken possession of the Trent and send her to Key West as a prize for resisting the search and carrying these passengers whose character and objects were well known to the captain, but the reduced number of my officers and crew and the large number of passengers on board bound to Europe who would be put to great inconvenience decided me to allow them to proceed.
Finding the families of Messrs. Slidell and Eustis on board I tendered them the offer of my cabin for their accommodation to accompany their husbands. This they declined, however, and proceeded in the Trent.
Before closing this dispatch I would bring to your notice the notirious action of her Britannic Majesty's subjects, the consul-general of Cuba and those on board the Trent in doing everything to aid and abet the escape of these four persons and endeavoring to conceal their persons on board. No passports or papers of any description were in possession of them from the Federal Government, and for this and other reasons which will readily occur to your I made them my prisoners and shall retain them or board here until I hear from you what disposition is to be made of them.
I cannot close this report without bearing testimony to the admirable manner in which all the officers and men of this ship performed their duties and the cordial manner in which they out my orders.
To Lieutenant Fairfax I beg leave to call you particular attention for the praiseworthy manner in which he executed the delicate duties with which he was intrusted. It met and has received my warmest thanks.
After leaving the north side of Cuba I ran through the Santaren Passage and up the coast from off Saint Augustine to Charleston, and regretted being too late to take a part in the expedition to Port Royal.
I inclose herewith a communication from Messrs. Slidell, Mason, Eustis and Macfarland with my answer.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
U. S. STEAMER SAN JACINTO, At Sea, November 8, 1861.
Lieutenant D. M. FAIRFAX, U. S. Navy,
Executive Officer, San Jacinto.
SIR: You will have the second and third cutters of this ship fully manned and armed and be in all respects prepared to board the steamer Trent now hove to under our guns.
On boarding her you will demand the papers of the steamer, her clearance from Havana with the list of passengers and crew.
Should Mr. Mason, Mr. Slidell, Mr. Eustis and Mr. Macfarland be on board you will make them prisoners and send them on board this ship immediately and take possession of her as a prize.