The career of the Confederate Cruiser “Stonewall.”
[The history of the Confederate vessels which, despite great obstacles, made themselves the terror and the scourge of the merchant marine of the United States
, and forced her powerful navy to treat them with respect, would form a most interesting chapter in the true story of our great struggle.
The career of the “Stonewall
” was a glorious one, and our readers will thank us for the interesting narrative of the gallant Captain Page
In presenting this blurred picture of the “Stonewall
,” its imperfections should be attributed more to the shortcomings of the artist than to the absence of intrinsic worth in the subject represented.
,” a small twin-screw ironclad man-of-war, was built in France
by the then most eminent constructor in the Empire
Her tonnage, twelve hundred; armament, one three-hundred pounder and two seventy-pounder guns, and crew about forty men.
Thus equipped, this little craft was seen one fair morning, after much negotiation, bearing the beautiful Confederate flag in place of the Danish
, under which she had arrived from the region of the North
sea. She was built with the knowledge and sanction of the late Emperor
, and on the eve of her completion and readiness for delivery it was rumored that she was designed for the Confederate Government.
Every ship then being built in Europe
acquired this reputation.
This rumor reached the ears of the Emperor
, and he was officially informed, from high authority, that if this or any other such vessel should be permitted to leave France
and fall into the possession of the Confederate Government, Mexico
would be made untenable ground for French troops.
However impotent such a threat may have been at that time, it had the desired effect.
was truly sensitive on this Mexican
His policy there was unpopular in France
, and he was not the man to long debate which of the two to choose when compliance with his word pointed to the right and self-interest to the left.
He ran no risk in laying an injunction on his friend and ship builder, that no vessels, under his construction, should pass into the hands of the Confederate Goverment
Whatever may have been his
sentiments individually, policy constrained him to consult those of the French
people, who may not have comprehended his aim and object in measures of such remote bearing.
He had been