War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1086 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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were disposed at this time to give trouble; some of them went so far as to threaten, and upon Lieutenant Greer being informed by me of this fact he ordered the marines to clear the passage-way of the cabin, but as Mr. Slidell had now come out of his state-room through the window where we could get to him the order to the mariness was countermanded by Lieutenant Fairfax. Mr. Slidell was removed to the boat by Mr. Grace and myself, and no more force was used than would show what would be done in case of necessity. Mr. Mason was taken charge of by Lieutenant Fairfax and Third Assistant Engineer Hall. The two secretaries walked into the boat by themselves.

While we were on board of the Trent many remarks were made reflecting discreditably upon us and the Government of the United States. No one was more abusive than the mail agent, who took pains at the same time to inform us that he was the only person on board officially connected with Her Britannic Majesty's Government who, he said, would in consequence of this act break the blockade of the Southern U. S. ports. Another person supposed to be a passenger was so violent that the captain ordered him to be locked up. A short time before leaving the steamer I was informed by one of her crew that the mail agent was advising the captain to arm the crew and passengers of his ship, which I immediately communicated to Lieutenant Greer. About 3. 30 p. m. we returned to the San Jacinto.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. HOUSTON,

Second Assistant Engineer, U. S. Steamer San Jacinto.

[Inlcosure Numbers 6.]

U. S. STEAMER SAN JACINTO, At Sea, November 13, 1861.

Captain CHALES WILKES,

Commanding U. S. Steamer San Jacinto.

SIR: In obedience to your order of the 11th instant I respectfully make the following report of what came under my observation on board the mail steamer Trent whilst hove to under our guns on the 8th instant:

I boarded the steamer in the third cutte under the command of Lieutenant Greer. Immediately on reaching the steamer's deck I stationed four men (an oiler, assistant oiler, and two firemen) who accompanied me in the port gangway. I then went into the cabin where I saw Lieutenant Fairfax surrounded by a large number of passengers and the officers of the ship. He was conversing with Mr. Mason and endeavoring to get him to come peaceably on board this ship. Mr. Mason refused to comply unless by force. Lieutenant Fairfax said he would take him by force and taking hold of Mr. Mason's coat collar gave an order, "Gentlemen, lay hands on him. " I then laid hold of him by the coat collar, when Mr. Mason said he would yield under protest. I accompanied him as far as the boat which was at the port gangway.

Returning to the cabin Lieutenant Fairfax was at Mr. Slidell's room. After a short time Mr. Slidell came from his room through a side window. He also refused Lieutenant Fairfax's order to come on board the ship unless by force. I with several of the officers then caught hold and used sufficient power to remove him from the cabin. He was accompanied to the boat by Second Assistant Engineer Houston and Boatswain Grace. I then received an order from both Lieutenants Fairfax and Greer to retain the boat until Messrs. Eustis and