Rear-Admiral Scott to Captain Whiting.
Key West, December 14, 1873.
Sir: In accordance with the Navy Department’s instructions, copies of which are herewith inclosed for your guidance, you will proceed with the United States steamship Despatch to Bahia Honda, Cuba, on the night of the 14th instant, and there receive the steamer “Virginias,” as directed.
You will take from the Pawnee a crew for the Virginius, and on receiving her place Lieut. A. Marix in command, and order him to take her to Tortugas, accompanying her with the Despatch, and giving such assistance as may be necessary.
On arriving at Tortugas, you will place Lieut.-Com. D. C. Wood-row, of the Ossipee, in command of the Virginius, and such other officers as you may deem necessary to take her to New York, using every exertion to put her in proper condition for the voyage. Direct the officer in command to proceed direct, and in no event to touch at any port on the way, unless compelled by extreme necessity. You are authorized, to take from the Ossipee any articles of stores or provisions that you may deem necessary for the Virginius, and when she is ready for sea order Commander Walters, commanding the Ossipee, to convoy her to New York with all dispatch, and there report, as directed by the Department’s instructions.
The Department desires to be informed as soon as the Virginius is in our possessions. You will, therefore, advise me of the fact as early as possible.
To your good judgment and energy are intrusted all details in carrying out promptly the Department’s instructions.
Wishing you a pleasant trip,
Rear-Admiral, Commanding United States Naval Force, North Atlantic Station.
Capt. W. D. Whiting, U.
Commanding United States Flag-Ship Worcester, and Chief of Staff, Key West.