sounds, and thus gain entrance into our Confederacy when larger craft could not succeed. The vessels sent out to these depots should always go and return with some kind of cargo, so as to disguise the naditions. The agents might be authorized to purchase or charter at the respective depots suitable craft for shipping the supplies thence to some port, sound, or inlet of the Confederacy, and it would be advisable to have at each of the depots some reliable navigators and pilots familiar with our coast. If the Government should deem it advisable to make an experiment I would feel great pleasure in furthering their views, as I have facilities and business connections all over Spain, and particularly in the city of Barcelona, that would enable me to render essential service. In fact, I am now contemplating a visit to Spain, my native country, by way of the West Indies, and might make the necessary business arrangements while there. The payments could be negotiated by means of credits on England or France for the monthly amount that the Government may desire. In Spain the custom is to make the drafts on France at from eight to thirty days sight, and on England from sixty to ninety days after sight. However, shipments to some extent could be made of lead, shoes, blankets, flannels, broadcloths, and all kinds of leathers without using the aforesaid credit, by borrowing, as is customary in Spain, from the captain or owner of the vessel designated for the shipment the amount, by a mortgage, to be refunded at the port of destination in the West Indies, together with the marine interest and the freight. In these kind of shipments the captain or owner of vessels run all marine risks on the goods thus shipped, and the Government will save all banking commissions. I could also undertake to procure for our Army coffee shipped on the same terms from Rio Janeiro and other places of South America to the island of Saint Thomas, a free port in the West Indies. As to the agents to be selected I would take great pleasure in recommending friends at either of the locations named, Southerners by birth, upon whom the Government may fully rely. Should my suggestions be deemed worthy of attention, I will feel great pleasure plaining more in detail my views on this subject.
With great respect, I remain, your obedient servant,
[JANUARY 3, 1862. - For Milton to Benjamin, in relation to the organization of troops in Florida, & c., see Series I, VOL. LIII, p. 206.]
[JANUARY 3, 1862. - For Sibley to Cooper in relation to establishing satisfactory relations with Mexican States, & c., see Series I, VOL. IV, p. 167.]
[JANUARY 5, 1862. - For Benjamin to Bragg, in relation to universal suffrage in the Army, & c., see Series I, VOL. VI, p. 794.]
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, January 5, 1862.
Messrs. JOHN FRASER & CO.,
Charleston, S. C.:
GENTLEMEN: Your favor of the 30th instant [ultimo] was received in due course, but I could not well answer it, as I was advised that