placed at fifteen and a half millions by the Geneva Award, for losses inflicted by the Alabama, Florida, and Shenandoah, alone. One hundred and eight other ships were destroyed, the loss of which may be placed at five millions, but for which no damage was recovered. It is needless to say that the principle which governed the Alabama Claims, and the award made thereunder, though perhaps applicable to the United States and Great Britain in future wars, was not at the time, is not now, and never will be, a principle of International Law, and the rights of a belligerent to obtain ships, unarmed and without a crew, from a neutral nation, still exist. We have endeavored, briefly, and with scant justice, to put before you the irremediable obstacles that forbade the creation of an effective navy for the Confederate States. We have sought to break the ground, rather than till it, for the future discussion of particular engagements. Perhaps, with the king, in Alexander's feast, we have
Fought all our battles o'er again;Be this as it may, the past is a sealed book, and irreversible—its tragic memories live with us, and bid us hand to the youth of our land, the glorious history of our State, the gallant manhood of its men. This old Commonwealth, whose history is briefly summed in the title, ‘Mother of States and Statesmen,’ by agreement of opinion, stands easily first in the roll of warriors and statesmen she has given to the nation. In the beginning of this Government, when the differences of interpretation in its organic law gave rise to the two parties, Federalist and Republican, she gave, as leaders to the one, a Washington, a Marshall, to the other, a Jefferson. When, after sixty years of conflict of opinion, that stirred the nation to its depths—looking in vain for that justice in the Union, of right, our heritage, we submitted these questions to the arbitrament of the sword, she gave as leaders, to the North, a Farragut and a Thomas, to the South, a Lee and a Jackson. Though wasted with the ravages of war, dismembered in her old age, and shorn of territory, of which she was ever prodigal, for the general good, the brilliant galaxy of her great men, her warriors and statesmen, encircle her brow with a halo of glory which time cannot dim, and proclaim to the nation that the glory of her house is not yet departed. Your
And thrice we routed all our foes, and thrice we slew the slain.