War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0819 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

cruisers. I have no means of giving any special instructions as to the best course to be pursued in Nassau, but will be very glad to hear that you have confided the matter to your own discreet agents, who, however, would of course not act without the concurrence of our agents if present in Nassau. If by the time of the arrival of the Carolina in Nassau news should reach there of war between England and the United States, it would be better not to remove the cargo from the Gladiator, as in that event she would probably be able to get convoy from some vessel or vessels of the British fleet. Please inform me of any arrangements you may make at your earliest convenience.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War.

CHARLESTON, December 30,, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War, Richmond:

DEAR SIR: We are to-day favored with your letter of the 28th instant, and shall make every effort to accomplis your wishes in relation to the cargo of the Gladiator. We hope no attempt will have been made to get her out of Nassau. She is so slow a vessel that it would be a desperate risk. We apprehend some difficulty in the transshipment of the cargo, but our agents, Messrs. Hy. Adderly & Co., will managed everything with the utmost discretion, and will overcome this difficulty if it is possible to do so. We think the goods and vessel will have to be cleared for Saint John, New Brunswick. The Carolina and Cecile, steamers, will be dispatched for Nassau with as little delay as possible. The former has met with some detention and cannot now depart before Monday next. The Cecile will follow very soon. Other arrangements had been made for return cargoes for both these vessels, but we recognize the paramount importance of promoting the plans of the Government, and will change our arrangements as far as it may be in our power to do so, and bring a portion of the cargo of the Gladiator by each of these vessels. If our plans can be carried out, both will be put under the British flag. The Ella Warley has already had her nationality thus changed, and if she is fortunate enough to get home in safety we will send her back immediately. We will thank you to send us a letter to the person having the control of the Gladiator's cargo, authorizing and directing him to deliver the same (or such portions as may be called for) to our order. He may be unwilling to deliver it without the sanction of your authority. Should war have been declared against the United States by England, we agree with you that it would be better not to disturb the cargo; but if no other freight offer we hope you will not object to the steamers bringing over a part of the goods, as we are setting aside other arrangements to accomplish your wishes. The freight charged by these vessels will be the same as we before stated for similar business, viz, for the entequal to the value of the steamer, and for a smaller quantity a proportionate sum. The value of these two steamers is $ 65,000 each. Captain John N. Maffitt is willing to go out in command of the Cecile (as a merchant ship) if the consent of the Navy Department be given. May we ask you to procure this for us from the Secretary? We suppose a furlough is all that is necessary.

Yours, most respectfully,

JNO. FRASER & CO.