[336] *Mr. John Slidell to Mr. J. P. Benjamin.


Sir: Commodore Barron and Captain Bullock have fully advised the secretary of the navy of the reasons which induced CaptainFountleroy not to avail himself of the tardy and ungracious permission for the sailing of the Rappahannock. They may be summed up in the inadequacy of the number of men which he was allowed to retain, the impossibility of shipping and dispatching from England or elsewhere the pemainder of the crew, the presence of four of the enemy’s cruisers in the neighborhood of Calais, the inability of the ship to carry more than five days’ full supply of coal, and her general unfitness for the service in which she was to be employed.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,


Hon. J. P. Benjamin,
Secretary of State.