War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0483 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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the Harvey Birch was in flames and the second lieutenant returned on board the steamer with his boat which was secured, but the ship's quarter boats which had been used in communicating were cast adrift. Captain Pegram now said, "Now, as it is all over we will give her a gun," or words to that effect, and a gun was discharged at the ship but without apparently hitting her. The steamer then was put on an easterly course, the crew of the ship having previously been put in there signed at the request of the captain a document stating that we would not take up arms against them while in their custody, he having said that I and my officers should have our liberty on board when we had signed it. I was frequently told that an oath would be exacted of us "not to take up arms against the Confederate States" before I could be liberated but I was liberated without any such being taken.

The steamer steamed up the English Channel and arrived at Southampton at about 8 a. m. on the 21st instant and came to anchor in the river. Captain Pegram then told me that I and my crew were at liberty and might go ashore, but he refused to put us ashore and I therefore employed a steam-tug at my own expense and landed my crew in Southampton docks between 9 and 10 a. m. and they were taken charge of by the U. S. consul there. Repeatedly while on board the steamer in conversation with the officers I was told that she was not fitted out as a vessel of war; that she was on a special mission to England but naval officers were in command of her. I was told byone of the crew that the crew originally signed articles at Charleston, S. C., to go to Liverpool but that before sailing the officers were al changed and new articles were brought on board which the crew were compelled to sign by threats of force. I was also infomred that the crew was composed of English and Irish and Colonel Peyton, a person who came from Charleston in her, informed me that her officers were coming here to alter the vessel and to have her converted into a man-of-war and to take command of two other vessels now fitting out in Great Britain as men-of-war.

The chronometer and barometer belonging to the Harvey Birch were taken by Captain Pegram who refuses to deliver them up. The Harvey Birch was a ship six years old and of 1,482 tons register. Before we lost sight of the ship her masts had gone over the side and her hull was burnt to the water's edge.

W. H. NELSON.

Sworn before me, in the consulate of the United States at London, this 22nd day of November, 1861.

[SEAL]

F. H. MORSE,

Consul of the United States of America, London.

[Sub-inclosure Numbers 3.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Madrid, January 4, 1862

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, &C., Washington.

SIR: I have a telegram saying the privateer steamer Sumter has just cast anchor at Cadiz, coming from Rio de Janeiro. On the way she has destroyed three vessels and has forty-two prisoners on board.

I have seen Mr. Calderon, who promised me to immediately telegraph the authorities at Cadiz to apply the provisions of the royal decree of