War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0498 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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it would be inhuman in the Government to permit this question to be determined only by the actualities of experience. This conclusion having been arrived at after giving to the question all the consideration which its importance demanded, the Quartermaster's Department has been directed to provide clothing for the Army, feeling satisfied as I do that no army should be left to the hazards of chance or the possibilities of individual supply for either raiment or food.

Very respectfully,


Secretary of War.

HAVANA, July 24, 1861.

The Honorable President of the Confederate States of America the Hon. JEFFERSON DAVIS and the MEMBERS OF HIS RESPECTIVE CABINET:

In compliance with the terms of a contract made and entered into on May 18, 1861, in Montgomery, Ala., we left New Orleans on the 4th of June following for Vera Cruz, Mexico, to take either the Spanish or English steamer for the port of Havana. Upon our arrival in Vera Cruz we found the steamers under their summer arrangements, and were compelled to remain there until the 2d of July, when we took the British steamer Clyde for the port of Havana, where we arrived on the 6th of July. During our stay in Vera Cruz we ascertained some 2,000 stand of arms could be procured there. Through our friend, Mr. Charles Fuentes, of the mercantile firm of Messrs. Fuentes, Carran & Co., we procured samples thereof, which were shown to Colonel Theo. Lewis, your confidential agent on our mission, and approved of by him, both in quality and price. The owner of the arms resided in Mexico, and in order to effect a purchase thereof an offer had to be submitted to him, which was done by an express on the condition that an answer was to be received by the 1st of July. Fully understanding Colonel Theo. Lewis to approve the arms and price, we made a direct offer of $ 17 for the lot - 1,000 smooth-bore muskets and 1,018 rifled muskets - and had an answer been received by the time named a purchase of the above-named quantity would have been made. So sanguine were we of getting them we made arrangements with Captain Peterson, of the schooner Zora Colorado, for the safe arrival and delivery of the same within the limits of the Southern Confederacy for and in consideration of $ 1,500. owing to heavy and almost unprecedented rains the express was prevented from returning in time, in consequence of which we were unable to get the arms at that point for shipment. Subsequent to the whole of this Colonel Theo. Lewis informed us in examining the arms and naming the price ($ 17) he did so with a view of only ascertaining how low they could be had and not to pay for the same. After Colonel Theo. Lewis had accepted the arms, both in price and quality, we made a direct and positive offer of $ 17 for the same, and in so good faith was the offer made by us and our friend, Mr. Fuentes, that we each and all considered ourselves bound to the house for the amount of the purchase money, and should certainly insisted on having the amount paid then and there. And to more fully set forth our position in Vera Cruz we beg leave to inform you when it was anticipated that the arms could not be shipped prior to the 2d of July, Colonel Theo. Lewis required of Mr. Fuentes security for the faithful shipment of the same, as we had