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[552] The secret came out after the engagement. The Kearsarge had a concealed armour, that completely protected her from the thirteen or fourteen shots received in or about her hull. Her midship section, on both sides, was thoroughly iron-coated. This had been done with chain constructed for the purpose, placed perpendicularly from the rail to the water's edge, the whole covered over by a thin outer planking, which gave no indication of the armour beneath. This planking had been ripped off in every direction by the shot and shell of the Alabama, the chain broken and indented in many places, and forced partly into the ship's side. She was most effectually guarded, however, in this section from penetration; and in the hour's contest the Alabama little knew that she was fighting a mailed enemy, with scarcely a single chance in her favour.

In commenting on this discovery, the Richmond Dispatch referred to a certain custom of chivalry, that when a knight was discovered in concealed armour his spurs were hacked off by the public hangman. The Northern public, however, could scarcely be expected to take so fine a notion; and Capt. Winslow, the North Carolinian, who commanded the Kearsarge, easily entitled his exploit among the sensations of the day, reached the American coast to find himself famous, was overwhelmed with receptions and dinners in Boston, and had his physiognomy recorded on the first pages of the New York pictorials.

Capture of the privateer Florida.

A few weeks later another naval exploit of the enemy was practically to terminate the privateering service of the Confederates, and to give one of the most extraordinary illustrations of the enemy's utter disregard of means in obtaining any desirable result in the war. An account of this event is properly preceded by an anecdote told in the New York newspapers, of Admiral Farragut, the naval hero of the North. When the Russian Admiral, in 1863, wintered in New York with his fleet, it was an occasion of receptions and banquets, at one of which occurred the following conversation with Admiral Farragut. The latter was complaining of the American officer who did not capture a Confederate steamer in a neutral port. “Why, would you have done it?” asked the Russian. “Yes, sir,” was the prompt reply. “But,” said the Russian, “your Government would have broken you.” “Of course it would,” replied Admiral F.; “but wouldn't I have had her /” The New York journals reported this among the heroic anecdotes of their heroic men; when it was simply the brutal expression of advantage, the disowning of all international conscience, the characteristic Yankee bluster of might against right.

This curious exposition of international law by the Federal Admiral

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