C. S. COMMISSION, London, March 18, 1862.
Honorable SECRETARY OF STATE OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES
SIR: Delay in the departure of the steamer Pacific enables me to send a further dispatch. I transmit with this reports from Captain Semmes,* of the Sumter, at Gibraltar to the Secretary of the Navy. They were sent to me open for perusal and contain (inter alia0 details of the late arrest and imprisonment of Paymaster Myers of that ship and of Mr. Tunstall, a citizen of the Confederate States who was with him, by the U. S. consul at Tangier with the aid of the Moorish authorities, and of the final delivery of these gentlemen as prisoners on board of the U. S. slop of war INumbers I had all the papers relating to their arrest copied and sent them to Earl Russell with a note stating that I did so after observing that this transaction had been made the subject of inquiry in the House of Commons. In my note to Earl Russell I did not ask for any action of or intervention by this Government.
I inclose also with this a slip+ from the London Herald of this morning, containing a like inquiry by a question put last night in the House of Commons to Mr. Layard, one of the under secretaries, with his answer. The subject was dropped after the answer of Mr. Layard, who as will be observed did not respond to the query in the closing paragraph of the question.
In a late note to Mr. Slidell I suggested that these gentlemen being passengers on board a French packet steamer and having landed only for a walk on shore (animo revertendi) while the ship remained at Tangier might be considered as remaining under the protection of the French flag, and thus the Emperor be disposed to take up the quarrel. A letter from him which crossed mine en route showed that he had anticipated the view I suggested, but did not say whether he would present it to Mr. Thouvenel. It is certainly a gross outrage on the feebleness of the Moorish Government, and although neither England nor France may interfere yet it brings the Government of the United States under the grave condemnation of all Europe. I should have stated above that soon ence was known here a question was put by a member of the House of Commons to the under Secretary of State inquiring whether the Government had any information concerning it, when the reply briefly was that the Government had been informed by telegraph but accompanied by a statement that the prisoners had been subsequently released.
I have the honor to be, &c.,
J. M. MASON.
HEADQUARTERS, Memphis, March 18, 1862.
Colonel THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.
COLONEL: In reply to your letter of the 17th instant instructing me to exchange a Federal surgeon for Surgeon Vanderville I have the honor to say that in compliance with instructions in General Orders, Numbers 2, from headquarters Second Grand Division, Army of the Mississippi, I sent all the Federal prisoners (sick excepted) to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on the 9th instant and advised you by mail. I have sent a copy of your letter to Tuscaloosa. Upon their arrival I shall comply with your instructions.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, C. S. Army, Commanding.
*See Semmes to Mallory, March 3, and its inclosures, p. 809 et seq. +Not found.