or bonding their captures.
To those who, nevertheless, desired them, letters of marque were granted by us, and there was soon a small fleet of vessels composed of those which had taken out these letters, and others which had been purchased and fitted out by the Navy Department.
They hovered on the coasts of the Northern states, capturing and destroying their vessels, and filling the enemy with consternation.
The President of the United States had already declared in his proclamation of April 19th, as above stated, that any person, who, under the pretended authority of the said (Confederate) States, should molest a vessel of the United States, or the persons or cargo on board, should be held amenable to the laws of the United States for the prevention of piracy.
This was another violation of international law, another instance of arrogant disregard for universal opinion.
The threat, if meant for intimidation, and to deprive the Confederacy of one of the usual weapons of war, was u
re entitled to no amelioration from the punishment of death, except such as might proceed only from the promptings of mercy.
On April 17, 1861, I issued a proclamation in which I offered to grant letters of marque and reprisal to seamen.
On April 19th President Lincoln issued a counter-proclamation, declaring that, if any person, under the pretended authority of said States, or under any other pretense, shall molest a vessel of the United States, or the persons or cargo on board of her, suche the newspaper statements above referred to the subjects of this communication, if the threat of treating as pirates the citizens of this Confederacy, armed for its service on the high-seas, had not been contained in your proclamation of the 19th of April last.
That proclamation, however, seems to afford a sufficient justification for considering these published statements as not devoid of probability.
It is the desire of this Government so to conduct the war now existing as to mitigate it
when the dark shadows which gathered round us foretold the coming night.
General Hampton finding his troops had been included in the surrender, endeavored to join me to offer his individual service, and to share my fate whatever it might be. He accidentally failed to meet me.
I must now recur to two extraordinary statements made by General J. E. Johnston in regard to me while at Charlotte, North Carolina.
Johnston's Narrative, pp. 408, 409. The first is that at Greensboro, on the 19th of April—
Colonel Archer Anderson, adjutant-general of the army, gave me two papers, addressed to me by the President.
The first directed me to obtain from Mr. J. N. Hendren, Treasury Agent, thirty-nine thousand dollars in silver, which was in his hands, subject to my order, and to use it as the military chest of the army.
The second, received subsequently by Colonel Anderson, directed me to send this money to the President at Charlotte.
This order was not obeyed, however.
As only the mil