War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0811 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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with a cargo of inestimable value for the C. S. Army, with instructions to proceed to Teneriffe and coal, and then to go to Nassau to meet Mr. Helm. We had difficulty in procuring coal at Teneriffe, in consequence of the large number of French and Spanish steamers taking in coal for the Mexican expedition, and we were finally compelled to leave with an insufficient quantity. We reached Nassau on Monday, the 9th of this month, and to our great annoyance Mr. Helm was not there. The weather we had just before running into Nassau was of a magnificent character for running the blockade, but unfortunately we had no pilot, nor, indeed, had the captain authority to deviate from the prescribed course. On our arrival we found the steamer Isabel, from Charleston, the captain of which was kind enough to let us have his excellent pilot. It was necessary to make some alterations to the machinery in order to increase her speed, and to take a few tons of coal on board. This would have detained us until Thursday morning. On Wednesday morning, to our great disgust, the Federal steamer Flambeau, mounting two guns, came into port, and the Gladiator was effectually blockaded. The captain did not dare venture out, as the Flambeau is a much faster vessel and would overhaul the Gladiator without trouble. The great mistake, indeed, has been to essel on such an expedition. Thinking that if no other vessels came to the assistance of the Flambeau it might not be impossible to send some vessel which might be more than a match for her and extricate the Gladiator from her embarrassment, I arranged with the officers before leaving a series of signals by which she could be informed by any vessel sent to her relief of her character before entering the harbor, and could in return inform her if there were any more Yankee gun-boats in the harbor and the number of guns they carry. From what I heard of vessels outside I fear this will be of no use, but should the information be desired I would readily communicate - nay, if desired, would even accompany an expedition sent out with prospects of success.

I remain, respectfully,


Athens, Ga.

[DECEMBER 23, 1861. - For Milton to Benjamin, in relation to organization of Florida troops for Confederate service, see Series I, VOL. LIII, p. 202.]

AN ACT to authorize the President to confer temporary rank and command on officers of the Navy doing duty with troops.

The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to confer on any officer of the Navy ordered to do duty on shore with troops such temporary military rank and command, and with such limitations and restrictions, as he may deem proper.

SEC. 2. Any officer of the Navy on whom military rank and command shall be conferred, in virtue of the foregoing section, shall retain his rank in the Navy, and shall be entitled only to the same pay and emoluments that he would have received if no such rank and command had been conferred on him.

Approved December 24, 1861.