Mr. Uhl to Sir Julian Pauncefote .

No. 20.]

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 8th instant, relative to fires on cotton ships in certain ports of the United States, and to apprise you of the receipt of a letter from the Acting Secretary of the Treasury, of the 21st instant, upon the subject.

It appears from a letter from his honor the mayor of Savannah, Ga., that every possible means is being exerted to ferret out the perpetrators of the fires on shipboard at that port in November last. It is unofficially stated to the Treasury Department that the Savannah cotton fires all occurred on the same night and were the acts of incendiaries. The loss was not great, however; the fires on all but two of the vessels were quickly put out. No fires except the eight in November last have occurred on cotton ships at that port during the past year. Detectives are still endeavoring to ascertain, if possible, the incendiaries, for whose apprehension a large reward has been offered.

The investigation of the New Orleans fires is not yet completed.

I shall be glad to acquaint you with all additional information on that subject that may reach the Department.

I have, etc.,

Edwin F. Uhl,
Acting Secretary.