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[27]

Foreign allies Here in the harbor of Alexandria, Va., the crew of the Russian frigate “Osliaba” have climbed into the rigging to view with the officers on the bridge the strange land to which they had been sent on a friendly mission. England was almost openly hostile to the North at the beginning of the war, while France better concealed its sympathies. Its diplomats were highly in favor of joining with Germany and Italy to aid Maximilian in setting up his monarchy in Mexico. The Federal navy was confronted from the start, not only with the problem of the blockade, but with that of providing sufficient fighting-ships to enable it to contend successfully with the navies of foreign powers in case complications arose. When Emperor Alexander ordered his warships to proceed to American waters, there was an end to rumors of foreign hostilities; and when one division of the Russian fleet entered New York Harbor and the other the Golden Gate, feasts of welcome awaited both officers and men who had come to augment the Federal navy at its most critical period.

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