Havana, August 25, 1864.
Captain T. P. GREENE,
Commanding East Gulf Blockading Squadron.
SIR: The Anglo-rebel steamer Mail (or Susanna)
sailed yesterday morning.for Galveston. The Denbigh is ready to leave at any
moment, and carries a very valuable cargo. She cleared for Bermuda; may go to Wilmington;
but the information I have is that her destination is Galveston.
1 accompany herewith a copy of a letter that
reached me yesterday from Nuevitas, in this island. I have sent no answer to the
writer, because I have no authority to to make the pecuniary arrangement which he
proposed. Are you authorized to enter into it, and would you do so? The man is
unknown to me, and I am unable to say how reliable he may be. If he can give the
information which he says that he posesses, and is willing to furnish us, the price
demanded is not large, but I do not feel at liberty to pay it on account of the
Government. [There follows a letter from an informant offering military intellegence
on Confederate naval operations in exchange for $4,000 in gold.]
Please to advise me immediately what you think about it
and whether you would enter into the arrangement proposed by the writer of the letter.
The steamer Frances [also known as Marian
and Zephine], of New York, has been sold here to an Englishman named George
Thomas Watson residing here. She is of 679 tons, of iron, I believe, and probably fast,
built at Wilmington, Del. The bill of sale was for £26,000. 1 have no doubt she is to be
used as a blockade runner. The latest date [i.e., newspaper] we have from New York is to
the 13th, in the Nassau papers; they give accounts of the doings of the privateer Tallahassee.
She burned six vessels, some about 60 miles from New York; is represented as a very
fine, fast steamer.
I beg of you to return me an immediate answer to this
letter, that I may know what to say to the writer of the letter from Nuevitas. How would
it do to send a trustworthy person there to see the writer, and if everything is
satisfactory, make the arrangement, provided that you have authority to pay such a sum of
money as the man calls for? Our latest date from New Orleans is of the 8th. We are anxious
to get news from both New York and Mobile. May I ask of you the favor to send me late
papers if you have any.
With much respect, I am, sir, your obedient servant,
N.B. -- The Denbigh can not make over 8½ miles per
hour, and her boilers are in a bad condition. Thirteen schooners, I am advised, lately got
safe into the Suwanee River, west coast of Plorida.