War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0479 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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the first of the double screws. She could have been brought ten days ago for L 24,000, but after the trial trip they put up the piece to L 25,000, yet as three other parties were talking of her and to decide next day, I feared I might lose her by delay. I think you will be pleased when you hear of her arrival in the Confederate States. These two vessels, to commence loading next week, will carry the goods already bought by Major Ferguson, which he estimates as 300 tons, and will be the half of each cargo to which your Department is entitled. One-fourth of this cargo I shall purchase for the Navy Department, under Mr. Malorry's advice that he has arranged with you to take one-fourth interest in each vessel; the other fourth of each cargo will, of course, be on our own account. Inasmuch as these goods were borough by Major Ferguson before I entered into this arrangement, and have in may instances already paid a commission, we will not make any charge on them, but will in future always charge 2 1/2 per cent. commission on the Government portion of each cargo by these vessels. I hope you will agree with me that is strictly in accordance with our agreement, and it is not amiss, I think, to observe that the Government has rarely failed to pay a commission on its purchases here. In this connection pardon me for adding that I shall not regret a comparison of our invoices and the quality of the goods we send with what have heretofore gone forward, though it is generally understood here that many thousand dollars' worth of goods have been sent to our Government without any invoices. You will known whether or not this is so, and the reasons for it.

Mr. Mason finished me to-day with L 55,000, which will meet the Government's three-fourths of the two steamers' cargoes, but we will want more money very soon to send cargoes out to Nassau to meet them on their return. I hope I shall be able to obtain Major Huse's aid in obtaining it for you Department, and Captain Bulloch's for the Navy.

Permit me, in conclusion, to say that I should be very sorry if the arrangement made your Department with me should result to the prejudice of our Government, but that although it meets with some opposition here (I mean that although Major Huse seems to think it a bad one), yet I am more than ever satisfied that it will result in much good to our Government and people, in this, that the good will be brought here at least as cheap and laid down in our ports at much less cost than ever before. In considering this question may I suggest that it might be well for you to inquire the expense heretofore incurred on Government goods at the islands, as it is reported that a charge of 5 per cent. On invoice coast has been frequently charged there. I cannot believe that it is so, but it is worth inquiring into.

Hoping soon to have the pleasure of writing you by the two new steamers.

I remain, your most obedient,


P. S. -I find that I have omitted to say that of the three vessels I had united consideration when I last wrote only one would have suited before our messenger returned she was sold. I have already written you how heartily Mr. Mason approved of the arrangement the Government has made with me. He took occasion to repeat his hearty indorsement.

W. G. C.