Lapas attēli

planation given by Commander Preble of his conduct, the report of Admiral Farragut thereupon, and an order from the Secretary of the Navy dismissing Commander Preble from the naval service. This last act is a startling exercise of power on the part of the Executive Government, not having been preceded by any court-martial or formal inquiry, by which Commander Preble might have had an opportunity of justifying his conduct.

I have, &c.,


[Inclosure in No. 39.]

[Extract from the National Intelligencer of September 22, 1862.]

Dismissal of Commander Preble, of the United States naval service.


NAVY DEPARTMENT, September 20, 1862.

Dismissal of Comlowing it.

Commander George Henry Preble, senior officer in command of the blockading force off Mobile, having been guilty of a neglect of duty in permitting the armed steamer Oreto to run the blockade, thereby not only disregarding article 3, section 10, of the articles of war, which requires an officer to mander Preble for al "do his utmost to overtake and capture or destroy every vessel which it is his duty to encounter," but omitting the plainest ordinary duty committed to an officer, is, by order of the President, dismissed from the naval service from this date. The commander of each vessel of war, on the day after the receipt of this published general order, will cause it to be read on the quarter-deck at general muster, together with the accompanying reports, and enter both upon the vessel's log. (Signed)

Secretary of the Navy.

Pensacola Bay, September 8, 1862.

SIR: I regret to be compelled again to make another mortifying acknowledgment of
apparent neglect, viz: the running of the blockade at Mobile by a 10-gun gun-boat,
supposed to be Laird's gun-boat, Captain Bullock. You will perceive, however, from
Captain Preble's report, herewith inclosed, that there was no want of vigilance. They
saw her in good time, but failed to sink or capture her. Why Captain Preble did not
fire into her after she failed to stop or answer his hail I cannot imagine. The com-
mander of the Rachel Leaman says, and I believe they all admit, that there never
was a finer opportunity for stopping a vessel until she passed them. Then,
[74] *however, when it was too late, they commenced firing; the Oneida first, the
Winona next, and the Rachel Leaman last.
Very respectfully, &c.,

Rear-Admiral, Commanding West Gulf Blockade.


Secretary of the Navy.

September 4, 1862.

SIR: I regret to inform you that a three-masted steamer, wearing the English red ensign and pennant, and carrying four quarter boats, and a battery of eight broadside guns, one or two pivots, and having every appliance of an English man-of-war, ran the blockade this afternoon, under the following circumstances:

I had sent the Winona to windward to speak a schooner standing in under sail; the smoke of a steamer was discovered, bearing about southeast, and standing directly for us. Observing she was burning black smoke, I immediately got under way, and stood toward her, signaling the Winona to "chase at discretion." We soon neared the stranger in company with the Winona, who, as we supposed, gradually hauled to the windward.

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When abeam of him, about 100 yards distant, I hailed him, but received no answer. I then fired a shot across his bow. He still ranged ahead without stopping; but still thinking him an English man-of-war, I fired two more shots across her bow, and then directed a shot at him, which went over between his fore and maiumast.

He soon hauled down his flag, and waived his guns to bear on us, but having no flag to fight under, was afraid to fire.

We continued firing at him, assisted by the Winona and one of the mortar schooners, but he made sail, and by his superior speed and unparalleled audacity managed to escape. We sent our shot all around and over him, and are certam that several of our shell, and the Winona's, struck him.

With great mortification, yours, &c.,



Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron.

Rear-Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT,

Report from Gov

No. 40.

Mr. Elliot to Mr. Layard.

DOWNING STREET, October 39, 1862. (Received October 31.) SIR: With reference to your letter of the 2d August, I am directed by the Duke of Newcastle to transmit to you the copy of ernor Bayley, Vessel a dispatch from the governor of the Bahamas, stating that has left Nassau. the Oreto had left the harbor of Nassau; but that if she should return under an English flag, she would be detained under the instructions sent out in pursuance of Earl Russell's suggestion.

His grace desires me to observe that the error noticed by Governor Bayley in his grace's dispatch, and which was also contained in the letter from this office to the Foreign Office, of the 31st July, was corrected in the report of the law-officers of the Crown, transmitted to this office in your letter of the 14th August, which was sent to the governor in a dispatch dated the 19th August.

I am, &c.,


[Inclosure in No. 40.]

Governor Bayley to the Duke of Newcastle.


Nassau, September 23, 1862.

MY LORD DUKE: In reply to your grace's dispatch of the 8th August, I have the honor to inform your grace that the Oreto, after her liberation by the admiralty court, left this harbor three or four weeks ago, and that she is supposed to have since been finally transferred to the service of the Confederate States.

[75] *2. If that is so, she is entirely out of my jurisdiction; and I could no more legally seize her, were she to re-enter the port, than I could seize any man-ofwar belonging to the Government of the United States. But if she into the Florida at return under an English flag, I will promptly execute your grace's orders.




Escape from Mobile.

3. Will your grace permit me to correct an accidental error in the phraseology of the despatch now under acknowledgment? I sanctioned the seizure of the Oreto, not "on suspicion of having on board stores intended for the use of the Confederate States," but on suspicion of her having violated the foreignenlistment act, by arming and equipping herself for belligerent purposes in an English port. I should have had no right to seize her for merely carrying mercantile stores to the Southern States.

I have, &c.,


No. 41.

Lord Lyons to Earl Russell.

WASHINGTON, February 24, 1863. (Received March 9.)

MY LORD: I have the honor to transmit to your lordship copies of a note, and its inclosure, which I have received from Mr. Seward, relative to a complaint that undue partiality has been shown at Nassau to the confederate steamer Oreto, or Florida. I have also the honor to inclose a copy of a note which I have written to Mr. Seward in reply. I shall send copies of both notes to the governor of the Bahamas Islands. I have, &c., (Signed)


[Inclosure 1 in No. 41.]

Mr. Seward to Lord Lyons.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, February 16, 1863.

MY LORD: I inclose extracts from a letter of the 26th ultimo, addressed by the United States consul at Nassau to the Secretary of the Navy, from which it appears that undue partiality has been shown by the authorities there to the insurgent steamer which left England under the name of the Oreto, but now claims that of the Florida. You will much oblige me by making inquiry in regard to the representations of Mr. Whitingham on this subject.

I avail, &c., (Signed)


[Inclosure 2 in No. 41.]

Mr. Whiting to Mr. Welles.

UNITED STATES CONSULATE, Nassau, New Providence, January 26, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to inform you of the arrival at this port this morning of the
Confederate steamer Florida, late the noted Oreto, Maffit, late of the
United States Navy, commander.

Arrival of the Florida at Nassau, Janu

ary 26, 1963. Allowed

to coal. Complaint

of United States con


This pirate-ship entered this port without any restrictions, with the secession flag at her peak, and the secession war-pennant at the main, and anchored abreast Her Britannic Majesty's steamer Barracouta, Maffit and his officers landing in the garrison-boat, escorted by the Port Adjutant Williams, of the 2d West India regiment.

The privateer, soon after anchoring, commenced coaling by permission of the authorities, an evidence of the perfect neutrality which exists here, where the United States ship Dacotah, but a few months since, was only permitted to take on board twenty tons of coal from an American bark off Hog Island, and only then on Captain McHuistry and myself pledging ourselves in writing that within ten days after [76] leaving this port she would not be cruising within five miles of any island of the Bahamas government.

I have, &c.,

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United States Consul.

[Inclosure 3 in No. 41.]

Lord Lyons to Mr. Seward.

WASHINGTON, February 19, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 16th instant, inclosing a copy of a despatch addressed by the United States consul in the Bahamas

Islands to the Secretary of the Navy, in which certain statements are made concerning the reception of the steamer Oreto or Florida at Nassau. I will, in compliance with your request, make inquiry with regard to those statements, and I will, without loss of time, do myself the honor to communicate the result to you.

I have, &c.,

No. 42.


Mr. Hammond to Sir F. Rogers.

FOREIGN OFFICE, March 17, 1863.

SIR: I am directed by Earl Russell to transmit to you, for the information of the Duke of Newcastle, copies of a despatch and its enclosures from Her Majesty's minister at Washington,1 relative to a complaint which has been made by the United States consul at Nassau, that undue partiality had been shown by the authorities to the confederate steam-vessel Oreto.

I am, &c.,


No. 43.

Sir F. Rogers to Mr. Hammond.

DOWNING STREET, March 26, 1863. (Received March 27.) SIR: I have laid before the Duke of Newcastle your letter of the 17th instant, respecting a complaint which had been made by the United States consul at Nassau, of undue partiality shown by the authorities there to the confederate steamer Oreto.

I am to request that you will inform Earl Russell that no report of the occurrence referred to by the consul-has been received from the governor, and that he will be called upon for his report,' should it not arrive before the departure of the next mail.

I am, &c.,


No. 44.

Complaint of

Lord Lyons to Earl Russell.

WASHINGTON, March 30, 1863. (Received April 13.)

MY LORD: With reference to my dispatch of the 24th ultimo, I have the honor to transmit to your lordship copies of further United States' Gorte correspondence relative to the complaint made by Mr. Sewpartiality at Nassau. ard that undue partiality had been shown at Nassau to the confederate ship Oreto or Florida.


I have, &c.,

1 No. 41.


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WASHINGTON, February 26, 1863. SIR: I have the honor to transmit to your excellency copies of a note and its inclosures which I have received from the Secretary of State of the United States, and which contains allegations that undue partiality has been shown by the authorities at Nassau to the confederate steamer Oreto or Florida. I have also the honor to transmit to you a copy of the answer which I have made to the note of the Secretary of State.

I shall be much obliged if your excellency will furnish me with any information on the subject which it may appear to you to be proper that I should communicate to this government.

I have sent copies of the three inclosures in the present dispatch to Her Majesty's secretary of state for foreign affairs, and have informed his lordship that I also send copies to your excellency.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 44.]


Governor Bayley to Lord Lyons.


March 11, 1863.

MY LORD: I have the honor to acknowledge your lordship's dispatch, inclosing a complaint from the United States consul at this port to Mr. Seward, the Secretary of State, respecting undue advantages alleged to have been given to the confederate steamer Florida in this harbor.

In reply, I beg leave to state that no undue advantages were accorded to the Florida. She arrived in our harbor, having steamed over the bar without a pilot early in the morning of the 20th of January. I was not aware of it till 8 or 9 o'clock a. m. About that hour Captain Maffit called (I think in company with the fort adjutant) to explain that he was ignorant of my proclamation requiring that permission should be formally asked before any man-of-war belonging to either of the two belligerents could enter the harbor. I did not see him; but in a very short time I received a letter from him, of which I transmit your lordship a copy, along with the copy of the memorandum indorsed on it by myself before I sent it to the colonial secretary. The Florida remained in harbor about twenty-six hours, during which time I neither spoke to nor saw Captain Maffit.

So far from any advantage having been accorded to the Florida which was not accorded to United States vessels, she did not receive privileges equal to those which I granted to the United States gun-boat Stars'and Stripes. That vessel entered the harbor without permission, (which she asked for after she had come in.) Her commander then asked for an extension of the permission, which I also accorded; and she remained in harbor, if I remember rightly, three or four days, for the alleged purpose of undergoing repairs.

I regret that the Secretary of State should have given credence to the misrepresentations of a person of such infirm judgment and excitable temperament as Mr. Whiting has proved himself to be.

I have, &c.,


[Inclosure 3 in No. 44.]

Commander Maffit, C. S. N., to Governor Bayley.

January 26, 1863.

SIR: As this vessel is in distress for the want of coal, I very respectfully request permission to anchor in the harbor for the purpose of obtaining the same.

I am, &c.,



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