Mr. Harvey to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have just received information that the rebel cruiser Georgia, the recent depredations of which are reported in my No. 236, boarded the British steamer Braganza, which arrived here yesterday, on Sunday last, about one hundred and fifty miles from this port. The Georgia was then proceeding to the northward and eastward.
I enclose a copy of a telegram which I have now despatched to Captain Winslow, of the United States steamer Kearsarge, at Brest. Being entirely ignorant of the orders under which he is acting, and knowing of the presence of the Florida at Brest, I did not feel at liberty to do more than give this information, supposing, also, that he has discretion, or instructions, for all such contingencies.
The sloop-of-war St. Louis is about to go to Cadiz for stores, which, it appears, have been sent there. I beg to say in connexion, again, what I have endeavored to impress before, that it is of the first importance to the public interests that our naval force in Europe should be so organized as to be available for these frequent emergencies. Cadiz is a pleasant port, presenting various attractions which tempt our ships-of-war there much oftener than is needed for the good of the service. It is frequently difficult of entrance, and all officers agree that the opportunities of such intelligence as is wanted are far more limited than here, where greater advantages in every respect are offered. Our small strength abroad is thus frittered [Page 1306] away by the want of some simple and systematic plan for its regulation, and without which it is really worse than useless, because large expense is incurred for its maintenance, while no substantial benefit is conferred.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington City.