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and returned to the condition of a private citizen, with no more obligation resting upon me, than upon any other citizen. The Federal Government, itself, had formally released me from the contract of service I had entered into with it, and, as a matter of course, from the binding obligation of any oath I had taken in connection with that contract. All this was done, as the reader has seen, before I moved a step from the city of Washington; and yet a subsequent Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Gideon Welles, has had the hardihood and indecency of accusing me of having been a deserter from the service. He has deliberately put this false accusation on record, in a public document, in face of the facts I have stated—all of which were recorded upon the rolls of his office. I do not speak here of the clap-trap he has used about treason to the flag, and the other stale nonsense which he has uttered in connection with my name, for this was common enough among his countrymen, and was perhaps to
to the taste of the b'hoys, in the work-shops, by publishing malicious caricatures of him. Even the Federal Government denounced him, in grave state papers; Mr. Welles, the Federal Secretary of the Navy, forgetting his international law, if he ever knew any, and the courtesies, and proprieties of official speech, and taking up itell him that he must do it at once, that was, indeed, rubbing the humiliation in. And then, where was the Congress, and the Massachusetts legislature, and Mr. Secretary Welles, and all the plate, and all the resolutions? Posterity will wonder, when it comes to read the elaborate, and lengthy despatch, which Mr. Seward prepared oeral Government should have saved its honor, the moment the affair came to its notice, by a frank disavowal of it. But, as we have seen, the b'hoys had shouted; Mr. Welles had spoken approvingly; Congress had resolved that their officer was deserving of thanks, and even Mr. Seward, himself, had gloried over the capture of rebels,
adiz I saw the first annual report of the Federal Secretary of the Navy since the breaking out of the war. Old gentleman Welles was eloquent, and denunciatory when he came to speak of the Sumter. The vessel was a pirate, and her commander everythingt the same time that these denunciations were hurled against the Captain of the Sumter, gallant naval officers, wearing Mr. Welles' shoulder-straps, and commanding Mr. Welles' ships, were capturing little coasting-schooners laden with firewood, plundcommanding Mr. Welles' ships, were capturing little coasting-schooners laden with firewood, plundering the houses and hen-roosts of non-combatant citizens along the Southern coast, destroying salt-works, and intercepting medicines going in to our hospitals. But I must be charitable. Mr. Welles was but rehearsing the lesson which he had learneMr. Welles was but rehearsing the lesson which he had learned from Mr. Seward. What could he know about pirates and the laws of nations, who had been one half of his life editing a small newspaper, in a small town in Connecticut, and the other half serving out to Jack his frocks and trousers, and weighing ou
tors in the war of 1776, but what was attempted to be done by Mr. Gideon Welles, their own Secretary of the Navy, in the year of grace 1861. heir memories on both these points, and first, as to the latter. Mr. Welles attempted to do, nothing more nor less than the Confederate Statee course of which he stated the fact I have charged, to wit: that Mr. Welles endeavored to make a contract with him, for building some Federaly new orders, to be done in so short a time—as that prescribed by Mr. Welles, for it seems that he was in a hurry. The explanation probably is, that we had offered Mr. Laird better terms than Mr. Welles, and this is the only reason why the Alabama was a Confederate, instead of a Federal press, knowing nothing of these secret transactions between Mr. Welles and Mr. Laird, had been denouncing the latter for building the Al the ships of her enemy, so could the Confederate States. And if Mr. Welles, the Federal Secretary of the Navy, could go into the ship-yards
e steamer Bahama, from Nassau. The Alabama, then known as the 290, had proceeded, a few days before, to her rendezvous, the island of Terceira, one of the group of the Azores. The name 290 may need a word of explanation. The newspapers of the enemy have falsely charged that the Alabama was built by 290 Englishmen, of rebel proclivities, and hence, they say, the name. One Parson Boynton has written a book, which he calls the History of the Navy, but which is rather a biography of Mr. Secretary Welles, his Assistant Secretary Fox, and several ingenious mechanics. Judging by this attempt, parsons are rather bad hands to write histories. Speaking of the Alabama, this gentleman remarks: Insultingly, this vessel was named 290, to show, by the large number that contributed to fit her out, how widespread was the English sympathy for the rebel cause. The Alabama was not regarded as a rebel vessel of war, but as a British pirate, or rather, perhaps, as an English man-of-war, sent forth
a fine sperm, and was a big strike, and had already been denuded of much of its blubber when we got alongside. He naturally concluded, he said, when he saw the United States colors at our peak, that we were one of the new gunboats sent out by Mr. Welles to protect the whale fishery. It was indeed remarkable, that no protection should have been given to these men, by their Government. Unlike the ships of commerce, the whalers are obliged to congregate within small well-known spaces of ocean, than half a dozen principal whaling stations on the entire globe, and a ship, of size and force, at each, would have been sufficient protection. But the whalers, like the commerce of the United States generally, were abandoned to their fate. Mr. Welles did not seem capable of learning by experience even; for the Shenandoah repeated the successes of the Alabama, in the North Pacific, toward the close of the war. There were Federal steam gunboats, and an old sailing hulk cruising about in the C
ereign grant, but resulting from the superior skill, energy, industry, courage, and perseverance of the Yankee whaler, who is, perhaps, the best specimen of a sailor, the world over. Later in the same afternoon, we chased a large ship, looming up almost like a frigate, in the northwest, with which we came up about sunset. We had showed her the American colors, and she approached us without the least suspicion that she was running into the arms of an enemy; the master crediting good old Mr. Welles, as the master of the Ocmulgee had done, with sending a flashy-looking Yankee gunboat, to look out for his whalebone and oil. This large ship proved to be, upon the master being brought on board with his papers, the Ocean Rover, of New Bedford, Massachusetts. She had been out three years and four months, cruising in various parts of the world, had sent home one or two cargoes of oil, and was now returning, herself, with another cargo, of eleven hundred barrels. The master, though anxious
ry, and plunder, and other blood-and-thunder expressions, ran through their resolutions in beautiful profusion. These resolutions were sent to Mr. Seward, and that renowned statesman sat down, forthwith, and wrote a volume of despatches to Mr. Adams, in London, about the naughty things that the British Pirate was doing in American waters. The Alabama, said he, was burning everything, right and left, even British property; would the Lion stand it? Another set of resolutions was sent to Mr. Welles, the Fede ral Secretary of the Navy, and that old gentleman put all the telegraph wires in motion, leading to the different sea-port towns; and the wires put in motion a number of gunboats which were to hurry off to the banks of Newfoundland and capture the Alabama. Whilst these gunboats were going from New York to cruise among the cod-fishermen and icebergs, the Alabama was jogging along, under easy sail, toward New York. We kept ourselves, all the time, in the track of commerce; what t
the report of Assistant Surgeon E. S. Matthews, by which you will observe that five men were wounded and two killed. The missing, it is hoped, reached the fleet at Galveston. I shall communicate to the Department, in a separate report, the movements of myself and my command, from the time of our transfer to the Alabama until the departure of the earliest mail from this place to the United States. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, H. C. Blake, Lieutenant Commanding. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington. Setting aside all the discourteous stuff and nonsense about a rebel steamer, and a piratical craft, of which Captain Blake, who had been bred in the old service, should have been ashamed, especially after enjoying the hospitalities of my cabin for a couple of weeks, the above is a pretty fair report of the engagement. I am a little puzzled, however, by the Captain's statement, that he could use but four guns on a side. We certainly understood f
rived for me to stretch over to the Cape of Good Hope. I had been three months near the equator, and on the coast of Brazil, and it was about time that some of Mr. Welles' ships of war, in pursuance of the tactics of that slow old gentleman, should be making their appearance on the coast in pursuit of me. I was more than ever astps is condensed. A cruiser, under easy sail, stretching backward and forward across this road, must necessarily get sight of nearly everything that passes. If Mr. Welles had stationed a heavier and faster ship than the Alabama—and he had a number of both heavier and faster ships—at the crossing of the 30th parallel; another at of water, in a cosy little nook of the bay, sheltered from all winds. There was no Yankee man-of-war at the Cape, nor had there been any there for some months! Mr. Welles was asleep, the coast was all clear, and I could renew my depredations upon the enemy's commerce whenever I pleased. There is no finer sheet of land-locked w
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