War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0481 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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[Sub-inclosure Numbers 1.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

London, November 22, 1861

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: At about 1 o'clock yesterday, being the 21st of November, I received a telegraphic communication from Captain Britton, the consul of the United States at Southampton announcing the painful intelligence of the arrival at that port of the steamer Nashville, which had run the blockade at Charleston and had brought in the captain, twenty-seven seamen and one passenger of the U. S. merchant ship Harvey Birch, which it had forcibly seized on the high seas whilst on her voyage from Havre to New York and had set on fire and burnt. I imedaitely sent a direction to Captain Britton carefully to collect all the facts in connection with the affair and to transmit them to me at as early a moment as practicable. At about 5 o'clock in the afternoon I received a a visist from Captain Nelson the mater of the Harvey Birch, who had been sent up from Southampton to see me and to communicate such information as he possessed. So important did the substance of it appear that I requested him to perptuate his testimony in the form of a deposition reguarly taken by Mr. Morse the consul at London in order that I might make it the basis of a formal application to the British Government for its intervention.

So great has been the delay in preparing the paper which has not yet come t hand that I find that I shall not be able to mature all the necessary documents in season for the dispatch bag which goes to Liverpool in about an hour from this time. I will, however, endeavor to get all the papers copied to go in the general mail to Queenstown to-morrow night.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.

[Sub-inclosure No. 2.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

London, November 23, 1861

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I seize the opportunity of the departure of Judge Goodrich to send by him the papers which I had intended to commit to the general mail. These consist of a copyof a note of yesterday's date addressed by me to Lord Russell* on the subject of the outrage committed by the Nashville and a copy of the deposition of Captain Nelson which accompanies it. it is matter of regret that some vessel cannot be spared to be present on this side to deter adventures from the commission of such wanton acts; but unless it comes commanded by thoroughly good officers it were far better to be without any. At present the indignation among the American marine now here is general, and I doubt not when this news arrives in America it will spread far and wide over the seaboard. In my opinion this is the greatest mistake the insurgents have yet committed. The owner of the destroyed vessel has heretofore been I am told oneof their best friends and is himself a large slave owner in Texas.

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*Omitted.

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31 R R-SERIES II, VOL III