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[34] their owners in damages for the loss of a market, which was caused by the official warning.

The concession of warning to neutrals at the port, if it had continued through the war, would have rendered the blockade to a great extent inoperative. Vessels would have been able to approach the coast without risk of capture, and to have lain about the neighborhood until a good opportunity offered for running past the squadron. In other words, the first risk of the blockade-runner would have been a risk of warning, instead of a risk of capture; and the chances in his favor would have been materially increased. The courts, as well as the cruisers, disregarded the proclamation as soon as the blockade was fairly established, and held, in accordance with English and American precedents, that warning was unnecessary where actual knowledge could be proved.

It is probable that when the blockade was proclaimed it was thought that the measure could be adequately carried out by stationing a small squadron at the principal commercial ports, supplemented by a force of vessels cruising up and down the coast. The number of points to be covered would thus be reduced to four or five on the Atlantic and as many more on the Gulf. Had this expectation been realized, the blockade would have been by no means the stupendous undertaking that it seemed to observers abroad. Acting upon such a belief, the Government entered upon its task with confidence and proceeded with despatch. The Niagara, which had returned from Japan on April 24, was sent to cruise off Charleston. The Brooklyn and Powhatan moved westward along the Gulf. Before the 1st of May, seven steamers of considerable size had been chartered in New York and Philadelphia. One of these, the Keystone State, chartered by Lieutenant Woodhull, and intended especially

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