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[374] transparent sea, her dazzling white streets and houses glittering in the sunlight, as if rejoicing in her newly-acquired commercial importance. We found the place teeming with business and speculative excitement. Previous to and after the war it was an insignificant little town, situated on an unproductive island of very limited extent, but during the times of which I am speaking it was the point of arrival and departure for the blockade runners plying constantly between there and Wilmington, Charleston, and occasionally other southern ports. When within this neutral territory they were, of course, safe from molestation by the Federal cruisers. Here, too, arrived from Europe, and, to a limited extent, from the North also, sub rosa, supplies intended for the Confederacy, and from here was shipped in return to Europe the muchcoveted cotton which had been run successfully through the blockade. It may readily be imagined that the profits of this trade were enormous. The speculators never lost sight of the cardinal principle of their occupation, to buy cheap and to sell dear, so that a few successful ventures often made them a fortune. The consequence was the place had awoke from its siesta of life-long quietude to find itself famous; not being born great it had had “greatness thrust upon it” for a time. Atonce, on arriving in the harbor, you felt that you were among friends; everyone was “secesh,” and glad to welcome you — not the least enthusiastic in this respect being the negroes, who were fully alive to the advantages of the commercial “boom” that had burst in their midst. It was another illustration that what is one's loss is another's gain; the residents of the Island, some refugees from the South, and adventurers of all nationalities (not excepting the inevitable, omnipresent New Englander), were making money fast out of the pressing necessities of the blockaded combatant, who was heroically grappling with his gigantic enemy in a death-struggle. No wonder that they were glad to see one; that they expressed such ardent, devoted affection for the South; that they were ever ready to drink deep at one's expense the good health of the Confederacy; that they were longing to do anything in the world for you — for a valuable consideration; we were their bonanza — their gold-mine.

I had been provided with a letter of introduction, and credit by a New York house on the principal firm in the place. These I presented and requested assistance in procuring a passage by the first blockade-runner for the South. This they arranged for me by a steamer to leave two days afterwards. I was informed that the usual fare charged for the trip was $300 in gold, but the price was fixed for me at $100 in gold, because I was going as a recruit to the Confederate army. As the premium

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