serious extent are, beyond the power of active protection by us, and cut off from supplies through their regular avenues of trade (almost entirely by water or the railroad) by the enemy, some barter or trading for the supply of their necessities is almost inevitable and excusable. As far as there is any effort to establish a general trade with the enemy, especially with articles such as tobacco and naval stores, specially prohibited to be sold to the North, it should be stopped. The rule I have adopted and generally acted on has been to give no permits or license to trade with the enemy, but that when goods were seized by the military to have such as were available for the Army selected and paid for at a moderate valuation not exceeding an allowance of 75 per cent. profit on cost to the owner, and the rest left to his own disposition, unless the Secretary of the Treasury intervened to claim them as forfeited, which so far he has never done. This course you may continue to pursue when you have no special reason to suppose the parties spies, or so disloyal as to be dangerous characters, in which event they should be sent to Richmond, to General Winder, with a report of the causes and grounds of suspicion. Should there be among the parties so found trading any by their nativity and age liable to conscription, they should be detained and sent forward as conscripts. Marylanders are not liable to conscription, and of course could not properly be detained.
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
NASSAU, NEW PROVIDENCE, January 10, 1863.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: My last communications to the War Department were under date of the 12th and 14th ultimo, in original and duplicate, per steamers Antonica, Leopard, and Giraffe, since which I have learned through the public papers that you have been assigned by the President to the post made vacant by the resignation of the Hon. G. W. Randolph. Not having the pleasure of a personal acquaintance, I must refer you to your predecessor and to the Hon. J. P. Benjamin for any information you may desire in relation to the duties of this post, besides which my correspondence on file will apprise you of the course I have pursued as Government agent since my arrival here.
The greater portion of the goods belonging to Government have been shipped, with the exception of the field artillery, which I declined to send forward, under the impression that it was not greatly needed at home. On this head I would refer to my letters of the 12th November and 26th July last, and will await your instructions. I have on hand 230 boxes and packages steel, under orders to be sent to Captain F. L. Childs, Charleston Arsenal; some 200 boxes fixed ammunition, and a quantity of lead, portions of which I should have dispatched by this conveyance but for a sudden advance in the rate of freight that hardly justified me to ship without conferring with you on the subject. Hitherto the price has been $500 Confederate currency per ton, payable on arrival of the goods, whereas now it has been fixed at pounds 60 per ton, payable here in advance. This is equivalent to fully $900 at home, and to be paid, moreover, whether the goods arrive or not. I think it quite possible that some modification of these terms