War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0500 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

putting a false construction thereon. Whether we succeeded or not we cannot say. We, however, let two days pass over without consulting him in relation to anything.

In the meantime we learned through another channel that large quantities of ammunition were here and could be had, the first item of which was 6,000 or 8,000 kegs cannon and rifle powder. We almost immediately called upon Colonel Lewis and made known to him the fact; told him the price would not exceed $ 7 per keg, and desired to know if it would be paid for and freight advanced or deposited for same. In regard to the purchase he gave us no definite assurances. In regard to the freight he positively declined to make any deposit. Seeing the utter impossibility of our doing anything without first getting his consent, we demanded to know if in case prices could be agreed upon which he would consent to pay, together with freight and fee money, if he would buy, as we very positively informed him unless prices could be agreed upon our mission must end. We desire you to particularly understand us that all those conditions were made contingent upon his approval of the articles of war and ammunition, he having in every instance the power and privilege to reject anything he thought not worthy. He desired a list of goods and their prices, which we gave to him on the eve of Friday, July 19ng communication, which is a true copy of the original:

HAVANA, July 19, 1861.

Colonel THEO. LEWIS,

Confidential Agent of Confederate States of America:

SIR: It is in our power to procure, in accordance with our contract of May 18, 1861, with Major J. Gorgas, for and in behalf of the Confederate States, at the request of the Hon. Jefferson Davis, President thereof, viz, 6,500 infantry muskets. Spanish pattern, at $ 13 each; 500 minie rifles, with bayonets, at $ 26 each; 500 sabers (cavalry), complete, at $ 12 each; 500 sabers (cavalry), without belt, at $ 10. 50 each; 5,000 kegs cannon-powder, 25 pounds each, at $ 6. 50 each; 2,000 kegs HFg rifle-powder, 25 pounds each, at $ 6. 50 each; 50,000 pounds lead, at 9 cents per pound; 10,000,000 percussion-caps, at $ 5 per thousand; 500 artillery muskets, with bayonets, at $ 12 each; 1,000 cavalry sabers, without belts, at $ 8 each; 500 artillery sabers, at $ 5 each; 500 cavalry revolvers, American pattern, latest improved, at $ 35 each; 100 dozen 12-inch bowie knives, at $ 9 per dozen; 2,500 Enfield rifles, new and complete, in transit, at $ 32. 50 each.

If the foregoing prices meet your views samples of everything can be seen, and subject to your approval or rejection. If the prices do not meet your approbation there is no use negotiating further. Should purchases be made to any extent we desire to know positively whether you will make a deposit of the amount of freight which will have to be paid, as we can make no arrangements except on this basis. And we desire to further know if in case it becomes necessary to fee any officials to let the vessel or vessels depart in peace, you will pay such amount as may be necessary. As we informed you a few days ago that we should return to Richmond as soon as we knew what your final disposition was, we desire an answer before or by 8 o'clock this p. m., July 19, as it is our intention to take the first opportunity to return that presents itself.

Yours, respectfully,


J. E. CHALARD, Agent.

The foregoing communication was read to Colonel Lewis and his answer personally requested, as we explained to him at the time, as we had promised to give some parties from whom part of the things enumerated had to be purchased a definite answer if we would take them or not. He declined giving us an answer, as requested, and entered into a general conversation as to the goods, consenting to the prices named, excepting all the sabers; said he would pay or make a reasonable deposit of freight and pay all legitimate expenses. In order