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[63] to the South, because of his having to fight two governments, ‘and because of the wharfingers' orders not to ship or deliver, by land or water, any goods marked W. D., without first acquainting the honorable Board of Customs.’

It seems to us, after carefully examining the whole of Major Huse's letter, not that the charge made against Mr. Davis, of slowness in procuring arms from Europe, was untrue, but that his agent there, whatever may have been his merit otherwise, was totally unequal to the task assigned him. Had the orders to purchase arms, ammunition, etc., for the Confederacy been confided to the house of John Frazer & Co., who had power, influence, and enterprise enough in England, even to purchase ‘a fleet of armed vessels,’ and offer it to our government—the Southern armies, at that time and all through the war, would have been as thoroughly and as promptly armed and equipped as the Northern armies; and Mr. Davis would have had no cause to lament the destitute condition of our men, or to write to General J. E. Johnston, in September, 1861: ‘One ship-load of small arms would enable me to answer all demands, but vainly have I hoped and waited.’1

In the selection of Major Huse, as agent, Mr. Davis seems to have been pursued by the same evil fate which almost always caused him to assign men of inferior ability to positions requiring great discernment and capacity. Major Huse asserts that in December, 1861, he was incapable of shipping arms to the Confederacy; whereas the entire country knows that, in 1861, there existed no blockade of our ports, worthy of the name, and that blockade-runners, throughout the years 1862, 1863, and even 1864, entered the ports of Charleston and Wilmington, with almost unbroken regularity; that provisions and stores of all kinds were thus brought in by private individuals and commercial firms; and that the government—which, it seems, had succeeded in purchasing one small blockade-runner of its own2—could, with perhaps fewer impediments in its way, have done likewise, in the matter of arms and ammunition. And here we might bring to light the contradiction existing between Major Huse's letter and the assertions of Mr. Davis on the same subject: If, as late as December

1 ‘Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government,’ vol. i. p. 441.

2 Ibid. vol i. p. 479.

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