previous next

[406] estimated at two millions of pounds, to put the fleet on the coast, ready for action—a sum which would have been covered by forty thousand bales of cotton out of the three or four millions of bales which the Government had at that time under their hand, and which would not have cost them, at 6d., in their own currency, more than two millions of dollars. There would have been no difficulty in getting the ships to sea, * * * etc., and there is room for reasonable doubt that within six months at furthest of the acceptance of the offer being received, the fleet would have appeared off Boston and swept the coast thence to the Gulf—an achievement which would have compelled the prompt recognition of our Government and the triumph of our cause. I have always understood that the proposition was considered and rejected by the Confederate Government, but I never had any communication from them on the subject.

‘This is a correct and simple statement of the facts, which are, as far as regards this side of the water (Belgium, Prioleau to Beauregard, September 25, 1880), necessarily better known to myself than to any other living person, and concerning which my memory is perfectly clear and reliable. It occupied my mind almost exclusively for some time, and I built the highest hope upon the success of the scheme. It is true many of the ships were of too great draught of water to enter some of our ports, but that was a matter of comparatively little importance. What was wanted, in my views, was the moral effect which could have been produced everywhere by such a blow as could have been struck by even half of the whole number—an effect which I have always and will always believe would have gone very far towards determining, if it had not reversed, the result of the struggle.’

We learn from Colonel Roman's book that the Confederate Government considered with no favor so enticing and at the same time, apparently, at least, and on its very face so feasible a proposition, and rejected it without the slightest hesitation, notwithstanding the most strenuous efforts on the part of General Beauregard to have it adopted. Why it was deemed radically impracticable (for no other reason can be supposed for the almost contemptuous indifference with which it was treated) we are not told. It was, however, evidently of supreme importance. It will be an interesting point to be elucidated in the appreciation of past events, of still born measures, of projected and unaccomplished plans, by the future historian of our civil war, and praise or censure will be distributed where it is due, and with an impartial hand. There was, on this occasion, a very striking disagreement in the views of General Beauregard and the

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.
Belgium (Belgium) (1)
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.
G. T. Beauregard (3)
Alfred Roman (1)
Prioleau (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.
September 25th, 1880 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: