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[20] army, there was no question as to naval action, which was to close the Southern ports and cut off the Confederacy's supplies from the Southwest by occupying the Mississippi.

In comparison with the blockade, such war as there was to be upon the high seas was a negligible matter. There were to be Southern cruisers which preyed upon merchantmen of the North, and the losses of these were considerable, but the actual money value of such losses was but half the value of ships and cargoes captured or destroyed by the blockading ships. The injury to our carrying trade which came from destruction of ships only hastened, a moderate number of years, the end to which we were already rapidly tending through our adherence to the sailing ship and our inability, which still continues, to develop oversea lines of steamers. The Alabama and her kind were but a trifling element in causes already in full action; causes which will continue operative as long as our present Cromwellian laws stand in the Federal statute-books.

After the destruction of the Merrimac, it was not until the very end of the war that there appeared an iron-clad Confederate vessel which could give the North real concern as to what might happen at sea. This ship was the Stonewall, built in France. Before she could act on this side of the Atlantic, the war was over. Under the able and energetic Confederate naval agent in England, Captain Bulloch, two more of like character had been built by the Lairds at Birkenhead, but England by this time had become wiser than at the time of the advent of the Alabama, and they never flew the Confederate flag. Such damage as the Confederate cruisers which earlier got to sea caused, never decided a war.

The blockade of the Southern coast, south of North Carolina (this State and Virginia not having yet seceded), was declared April 19, 1861; eight days later it was extended to that of North Carolina and Virginia. The force with which

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