therefore suggest that the hostages held for our privateers should not be sent forward until the negotiation is concluded.
On yesterday evening General Wool informed me that owing to the interruption of telegraphic communication with Washington he had not heard from his Government but would inform me as soon as he should hear. How long shall I wait upon him?
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. S. STEAMER SUMTER, February 26, 1862.
Honorable J. M. MASON,
Commissioner Confederate States, London.
SIR: I have the honor to inform you that since the date of my last letter to you the facts in the case of the arrest of Paymaster Myers have assumed a more definite shape. They are briefly as follows: Upon returning to the French packet steamer lying in the bay of Tangier he was arrested by Moorish soldiers upon the requisition of the U. S. consul, who claimed jurisdiction over him as a citizen of the United States under a treaty with Morocco. In my letter to you of the 24th instant I inclosed copies of letters which I had addressed to the Governors of Tangier and Gibraltar on the subject. I now send you annexed copies of letters* which have since passed between Mr. Hay, the British charge resident at Tangier, and myself.
These letters together with those already sent will put you in possession of all the facts of the case, prominent among which is the apparent apathy and indifference of the diplomatic officers whose mediation had been asked in the absence of the recognition of our Government and of an agent of our own. Notwithstanding the strong precedent established by all Europe in the Trenth affair as to the legality and propriety of friendly interference between a neutral and a belligerent to preserve the peace Mr. Hay has deemed it his duty not only to preserve silence but to take especial pains to make his silence known to the Government of Morocco.
I have the honor, &c.,
Commander, C. S. Navy.
MONTGOMERY, February 26, 1862.
General L. POLK, Columbus:
Large number of prisoners at Tuscaloosa recently. Have no notice of removal. If removed could accommodate number mentioned, not otherwise.
JOHN GILL SHORTER.
RICHMOND, February 27, 1862.
Major General BENJAMIN HUGER, Norfolk:
Please send me as promptly as possible another copy of General J. E. Wool's letter+ inclosed in your letter of the 14th instant, accepting my proposal for exchange of prisoners.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
*Omitted here; they appear as inclosures Nos. 1. and 2, in Semmes to Mallory, March 3, pp. 809, 810.
+Wool to Huger, February 13, p. 259.