Secret Agent Man

mssEC_07_081 - rebel mail being sent from ny cropped.jpg

New York Apr. 22nd 1863
New York April twenty two for
Hon. P. H. Watson Asst Secy
of War Washn I have information
from one of my detectives that
the Steamer Corsica which will sail
from this Port for Nassau N
P on the twenty fifth inst
is to carry a large Rebel
mail my informant has two letters
which will go in it in
what form the mail is to
go or to whom directed I
have no knowledge H. S. Olcott
Special Commissioner of the War Dept

Henry Steel Olcott is better known today as a cofounder of the Theosophical Society and a major proponent of Eastern religions in the United States in the last quarter of the 19th century. During the Civil War, though, he served as a Special Commissioner of the War and Navy Departments, investigating fraudulent claims and corruption within the Union. In this message he reports on a secret mail packet being sent from New York to Nassau in the Bahamas by way of a steamer. As is often the case, it is difficult to tell whether there was any followup to this piece of intelligence.



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