Furnishing a Flotilla for the Mississippi
CHICAGO, May 7, 1861
To the Hon. Simon Cameron Secretary of War, Washington:
DEAR SIR:--We are the owners of six Steam Tugs, which we are using in towing vessels in and out of this harbor. We send a list herewith, with a brief statement of the power of each and size. It has been stated frequently to us, that they would answer for gunboats very well. We believe they are urgently needed at Cairo at this time. they can all be taken through the Michigan and Illinois Canal, except the McQueen. They are in profitable use here, but any of them, or all of them, are at the service of the Government, if wanted. They are all built very strong. The "Sturges," "Rumsey" and "Union" are new boats. The Union will not be ready for sea before the last of next week, unless we put a double set of hands at work upon her. The Mulford and Chase are five years old, but they are sound. The McQueen is a very powerful tug, and the fastest boat known on the Lakes, can stand any sea, and can stand anything else that anything else can stand. We can deliver her in the Chesapeake Bay in twenty days from the reception of orders. The others can be at Cairo in about ten days (perhaps five to eight).
The present owners will either or both go with the boats, if wanted.
Your ob't serv'ts,