The orders for the arrest of Mason and Slidell.
The following is a copy of the orders issued by Captain Wilkes
, of the San Jacinto
, to Lieut. Fairfax
, executive officer of that vessel, for the arrest of Messrs. Mason
"U. S. Steamer San Jacinto, At Sea, Nov. 8, 1861.
You will have the second and third cutters of this ship fully manned and armed, and be, in all respects, prepared to board the steamer Trent
, now hove to under our guns.
"On boarding her you will demand the papers of the steamer, her clearance from Havana
, with the list of passengers and crew.
"Should Mr. Mason
, Mr. Slidell
, Mr. Eustis
and Mr. Macfarland
be on board, you will make them prisoners, and send them on board this ship immediately, and take possession of her as a prize.
"I do not deem it will be necessary to use force — that the prisoners will have the good sense to avoid any necessity for using it; but, if they should, they must be made to understand that it is their own fault.
They must be brought on board.
"All trunks, cases, packages and bags belonging to them, you will take possession of and send on board of this ship.
Any dispatches found on the persons of the prisoners, or in possession of those on board the steamer, will be taken possession of also, examined, and retained if necessary.
"I have understood that the families of these gentlemen may be with them; if so, I beg you will offer some of them, in my name, a passage in this ship to the United States
, and that all the attentions and comforts we can command are tendered them, and will be placed at their service.
"In the event of their acceptance, should there be anything which the captain of the steamer can spare to increase the comforts in the way of necessaries or stores, of which a war vessel is deficient, you will please to procure them; the amount will be paid for by the paymaster.
"Lieut. James A. Greer
will take charge of the third cutter, which accompanies you, and will assist you in these duties.
"I trust that all those under your command, in executing this important and delicate duty, will conduct themselves with all the delicacy and kindness which becomes the character of our naval service.