ness, and fairness I more implicitly rely. He sympathizes also with our cause most fully, and does not advise the purchase of the 13,000 flint-locks, although they might be had for about four florins ($ 1.66) each, nor does he strongly advise the purchase of the 6,000 smooth-bores. This gentleman came to me upon the supposition that I might be authorized to act in this matter. As I am not, however, I prefer not to make inquiries at the Department of Foreign Affairs here, lest I should be interfering with what the party acting in the matter has chosen to keep from me, and therefore take this course. If the Government should deem it worth while to reply to this, and I should still be here at the time, it would give me great pleasure to execute my Government's wishes, which I think my acquaintance with the language and people here would enable me to do with advantage.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
ANDREW TEN BROOK,
U. S. Consul.
NEW YORK, Wednesday Evening, November 21, 1861.
MY DEAR SIR: Mr. Mure, British consul at New Orleans, left this morning by the Persia for England. He spoke freely of the state of things at New Orleans, not from any love for us, but from indignation at the recollection of what he had suffered there. The substance of his statements is this: The number of troops at New Orleans when he left six weeks ago was about 3,000, ill disciplined; the city defended toward the river bar at that time; entirely open on the side of Ship Island. The presence of a U. S. force sufficient to offer protection would be hailed with delight. The planters had already sent down 30,000 bales of cotton, but the Confederate Government interposed, and with a high hand suspended bringing more. The captains of the steam- boats, angry at being compelled to be idle, are all Union men; so are nearly all or rather all the neighboring sugar-planters. The cotton-planters in the neighborhood are divided, but so many are in favor of Union that the market would be amply supplied by them with cotton, and the secessionist planters would be irresistibly tempted by their example and by high prices to bring down their crops. The possession of New Orleans would go far, very far, toward dissolving the Confederacy. The treatment of himself he represented as violent. His life was repeatedly in danger from his interposing to rescue British subjects from the ranks of the Confederate Army.
You may,perhaps, have heard all this from him in Washington; if so. I only put you to the trouble of reading what has no value, but if you have not heard it, I thought it important enough to be reported to the Government.
Excuse me if, as a looker-on, wishing the Government perfect success in restoring the Union, I add an opinion which I believe is your own, and which here is adopted by the considerate, that little is gained by a number of petty local attacks, which fritter away the strength of the Army. The country is much pleased with the victory in South Carolina, but it longs to see the line between Washington and the low country of Virginia broken through, and next to that it looks with hope to the capture of Memphis and New Orleans, which last may be reached by an attack on its rear from the sea, and of which the occupation is of incalculable importance.
I remain, my dear sir, with great respect, yours, sincerely,