[Inclosure No. 1.]
COMMITTEE OF SAFETY,
Mobile, March 25, 1863.
His Excellency JOHN GILL SHORTER:
SIR: The committee have instructed me to call your attention to the fact that no less than six of our river of bay steamer-boars are at this moment fitting out to run the blockade and carry cotton to Cuba.
The committee are deeply impressed with the conviction that it would be unwise and dangerous to permit these vessels to go out. They form an important part of the tonnage of this port and of these rivers; if lost, of they do not return out. Several of them have been lost or greatly injured this winter. We cannot build new engines and boilers, if we could hulls, which last may possibly be done. These boats would furnish relief in case of accident or seizure of the line of railroad to Montgomery. They may be needed for the transportation of troops or provisions up and down the river. Their machinery may be needed for gun-boats or other vessels of defense.
They may be needed to tow floating batteries into position and for many other such purposes. Again, being of light draft and built for these waters, if captured they would form no small beginning of a feet of transports, such as would greatly aid the enemy in transporting troops and munitions of war along the coast and in the bays and bayous about the entrance of this bay. Again, the committee are decidedly of the opinion that it is bad policy to permit the exportation of cotton in this way and at this time. If foreign vessels can be tempted into the trade it may answer some good purposes, but we do not approve of it in this form. A good deal can be said pro and con in relation to the export of cotton at all. We
respectfully call your attention to this subject and trust you will lend your aid to put a stop to these enterprises. We have not stopped to consider whether you have power forcibly to interfere, but we know that your remonstrances with General Buckner and at Richmond will have their influence. We can but think that this matter will strike you in the same light it does us, and we venture to suggest that you will at once let your sentiments be known to those having authority in the premises. We to-day present our remonstrances to General Buckner on this subject and hope influence will soon follow to sustain us.
Chairman Executive Committee.
[Inclosure No. 2.]
Montgomery, Ala., March 28, 1863.
Major Gen. S. B. BUCKNER,
SIR: I am in receipt of a letter from P. Hamilton, esq., chairman of the executive committee of the Committee of Safety for Mobile, in which he says that "No less than six of our river of bay steam-boats are at this moment fitting out to run the blockade and carry cotton to Cuba," and he officially advises me that it would be unwise and dangerous to permit these vessels to go out. " The Committee of Safety are of opinion that we have no greater number of steam-boats in our waters