Mr. Harvey to Mr. Seward
Sir: Anticipating yesterday that the United States steamer Sacramento would be in a condition to leave this port without much further delay, and that there would be anxiety on that account owing to the presence of a rebel ram at Ferrol, I addressed the following telegraphic despatch to my colleague at London, with a view of having the information transmitted to the department by the Cunard packet which sailed yesterday:
“Lisbon, February 18—1 o’clock.
“Hon. Charles Francis Adams, Minister of the United States, London:
“Please inform department immediately that Sacramento will start to-night or to-morrow to join Niagara at Ferrol, where rebel ram is still reported.
“JAMES E. HARVEY.”
The repairs to the Sacramento were pushed forward night and day, and whatever influence I could exert personally to urge expedition was applied. I have now the satisfaction of announcing that she has just left the Tagus, bound for Ferrol, which place ought to be reached within two days. This fact is now on the way to Commodore Craven, of the Niagara, who has been anxiously calling for the aid of the Sacramento.
There were other duties which claimed attention in these waters, and for which I should have requested the service of the Sacramento under a different condition of things; but as the case at Ferrol seemed to be regarded as the most urgent, all the resources at command have been turned in that direction, though at the hazard of some exposure elsewhere. There are but two United States ships-of war in Europe, and they are both at one spot.
If the reports which have reached me from various sources are to be credited, the “ram,” which has excited so much apprehension, is effectually disabled, and cannot be made seaworthy without going into dock and being entirely overhauled.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.