so long a time, since every day my presence is necessary in connection with the business which I have in hand. I must therefore trust everything to the master of the ship, who is certainly entirely trustworthy and competent, but who cannot feel himself possessed of that complete control of the property that he would if he were a commissioned officer of either the Army or Navy.
The Bahama will be commanded by Mr. Tessier, late master of the Bermuda. It is almost impossible to combine in any one ship the qualities necessary in running into a port of the Confederacy and for crossing the ocean. Vessels having the speed requisite for the former service require so much space for coal as to leave almost no room for cargo, while all the screw steamers, the only class fitted for carrying cargo so great a distance, are quite slow. I am quite at a loss what destination to give to the Bahama. My conviction is that York River is the point for which she should run, but I do not think that the master of the ship will be willing to attempt the blockade, at any rate, and Id to send her to Bermuda or Nassau. I beg to suggest to the Department the importance of everything relating to these shipments being kept entirely secret. From the evidence given in the case of the Stephen Hart, I am confident that, no matter what may be the character of the flag, munitions of war belonging to the Confederate Government will be held by U. S. officers liable to capture, no matter where they may be found. My next shipment of arms I shall endeavor to make by the Havana mail steamer from Southampton. My steps are so narrowly watched by the agents of the United States wherever I may go, and such efforts are made by the numerous U. S. ministers and consuls all over Europe to prevent munitions of war going to the Confederacy, that I am of the opinion that Confederate property will be unsafe on board of any other than a regular mail packet. I adopt every precaution, such, for example, as having everything done by British merchants, but I do not feel that even the property now at sea is safe from capture. If it be asked why I do not insure the cargoes against capture, I have to answer that the rate of insurance is high, and that I do not think that the money would be paid in case of capture, the insurance being entirely illegal. Moreover, it is an undignified position for a Government to occupy, that of paying individuals of another Government to insure its property.
The last remittance that I received (&80,000) was insufficient to discharge the indebtedness I had incurred. It would be impossible at the present time to obtain anything for the Confederacy on credit, with all the losses in the field its Army has sustained, and I shall therefore be unable to do more than send forward the rifles and accouterments that I have under contract; and, for the want of money, I am obliged to direct the manufacturers to hold back in their deliveries as much as possible. The rifles of the London Armory Company are so greatly superior to all others that I have made an effort to obtain the control ofan make within the next three years. The contract of the company with the British Government is about expiring, and I have requested the managing director not to apply for a renewal of it until I can receive instructions from the War Department, and have also requested him to tender to me a proposal for supplying 50,000. I have not received his formal reply, but it will be in substance as follows: The price to be the same as to the British Government, which I think is 60 shillings, say $15; rifles to be delivered in London, payment on delivery. The sum of &15,000 to be deposited on interest as a penalty to be forfeited in case of non-