previous next
[62] what number of ‘arms’ Major Huse was at first instructed to purchase, or at what time he was sent, though he asserts that it was ‘soon after’ Captain Semmes had left for the North. As to the first point, the reader has nothing further to learn; Major Huse's own testimony, corroborated by the distinct statement of Mr. Toombs, leaves no doubt as to how many small arms (rifles) were to be purchased, at that time, for the service of the Confederacy. With regard to the second point, we positively allege that it was after the fall of Fort Sumter—and therefore not prior to the 13th of April—that Major Huse passed through Charleston, on his way to Europe.

It appears from Mr. Davis's book that Major Huse ‘found’ but ‘few serviceable arms upon the market. He, however, succeeded in making contracts for the manufacture of large quantities, being in advance of the agents sent from the Northern government for the same purpose.’ This, Mr. Davis evidently thinks, was wonderful forethought, and a great display of energy, on the part of our government; though the sequel so painfully shows how the first were the last and the last became the first.

The only conclusion to be drawn from the foregoing passage is, that Major Huse was written to by his government, after his departure from Charleston, and was given additional instructions. Mr. Davis, after reflection, may have found out that 10,000 rifles would scarcely be enough for the armies of the South.

A letter of Major Huse is also given in Mr. Davis's book,1 to show how false was ‘the charge made early in the war that’ the President ‘was slow in securing arms and munitions of war from Europe.’ This letter bears date December 30th, 1861; that is to say, at least eight months after Major Huse's passage through Charleston. It was written prior to the final settlement of the Trent affair, for in it we find the following passage: ‘If the prisoners are given up, the affair will result in great inconvenience to us in the way of shipping goods.’ Major Huse had, clearly, no great faith in the mission of Messrs. Mason and Slidell to Europe, and considered his own functions as of infinitely more importance to the cause. The letter states, further, that Major Huse had steamer-loads of arms, ammunition, and accoutrements, in divers warehouses of London, but that he could make no shipments

1 ‘Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government,’ vol. i. p. 482.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Europe (3)
London (United Kingdom) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Huse (9)
Jefferson Davis (4)
Trent (1)
Robert Toombs (1)
Slidell (1)
Thomas J. Semmes (1)
A. P. Mason (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
December 30th, 1861 AD (1)
April 13th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: