Mobile, Ala., January 26, 1865.

 [General S. COOPER:]

GENERAL: In accordance with instructions from the Navy Department, communicated to me by Commodore Farrand, that officer transferred to my command the torpedo-boat Saint Patrick, built on a contract with the Government by a man named Halligan. This boat was to have been ready for action in July last, and I hoped to use it against the enemy's fleet off Fort Morgan. I therefore caused every possible assistance to be given to Halligan in building her, and urged her early completion. It was not, however, till the month of ---- Halligan arrived here with the boat, and from his whole course I became convinced he had no real intention of attacking the enemy, and that the only practical purpose the Saint Patrick was serving was to keep Halligan and her crew of six able-bodied men from doing military duty. I therefore had him supplied with every means to move against the enemy, and notified him that if he did not attack at once I would place an officer in charge of her who would. In the course of a few days I found it necessary to supersede Halligan, who then placed his affairs in the hands of a lawyer and procured from Richmond a transfer of his boat to the naval commander on this station. Impressed with the importance of using so formidable a vessel as this is said to be, I have continually and repeatedly urged Commodore Farrand to make Halligan attack or to place the boat in charge of one of the many clever young officers of the navy or army who have been pressing for the command of her. This, however, he did not do until, in consequence, I presume, of my official reports to higher authority he was ordered to transfer the Saint Patrick to me. I immediately asked him to let me have Lieutenant Walker, of the navy, to command her. And on placing that officer in charge of the vessel, now lying under the guns of the eastern shore, he found that Halligan had been absent from her for two weeks, and had taken off with him several essential parts of her machinery. After some search Halligan was found comfortably established in the Battle House, and Mr. Walker, by energetic and good management, has recovered from him the necessary machinery and thinks he can operate to-morrow night. I inclose a note written by me to Commodore Farrand some weeks ago. From the tenor of a letter of the honorable Secretary of the Navy to Commodore Farrand, I regret to perceive the impression has been made on his mind that a cordial desire to cooperate with each other may not exist here between the naval commander and the district commander. Our relations have always been pleasant and our intercourse free, and I shall not permit any private feelings to interfere with the business before us. When I find the commodore disagrees with my views of what is required I shall refer the matter to higher authority.

I am, general, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

[ Indorsement. ]

February 18, 1865.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.

The person complained of in the within communication, John P. Halligan, was exempted January 26, 1864, upon recommendation of the Secretary of the Navy and by direction of the President, until July 1, 1864, to construct a submarine torpedo-boat. The exemption was at the expiration of said time extended while the boat should be bona fide engaged in operating against the enemy. General Maury represents Halligan as having prolonged the completion of his work with no object in view save to evade military duty. Every facility was afforded him to complete his work; he failed to avail himself of any of them. Upon application of General Maury he was removed, when he carried off several essential parts of the machinery. After some search these were recovered.

 H. L. CLAY,

 Assistant Adjutant-General.


Mobile, Ala., December 5, 1864.

 Commodore E. FARRAND,
Commanding, &c.:

COMMODORE: Every opportunity and facility having been afforded Mr. Halligan to enable him to use his boat against the enemy, and he evidently not being a proper man to conduct such an enterprise, please order a suitable officer of your command to take charge of the Saint Patrick at once, and attack without unnecessary delay. I am not willing Halligan should be intrusted with any such business. He may go on the boat with the officer you will appoint to command it; and I presume the pecuniary reward granted by law on account of destruction of enemy's vessels will be secured for Mr. Halligan in case of the successful use of his invention. Pray inform me at once of your decision in the premises, as several officers of my immediate command are urgent applicants for the service we have so long been endeavoring to have accomplished.

Very respectfully, yours,


 Major-General, Commanding.

The war of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Series 1 - Volume 49 (Part I), 1897, U.S. Government Printing Office


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