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The only Confederate cruiser afloat.

We were now the only Confederate cruiser afloat, and as we continued our course around the world, passing from ocean to ocean, meeting in turn ships of various nationalities, I always felt that whenever our nationality was known to neutral ships the greetings we received rarely warmed up beyond that of a more or less interested curiosity, and while we had many friends ashore who were most lavish and generous in welcoming us to port, underlying it all there appeared to exist a wish of the authorities to have us ‘move on.’ And yet the right of self government, as I understood it, was the only principle involved in that war. The issue was not the liberation of the slaves, but the enforcement of a union, and only when [118] the South proceeded to withdraw, and when the North insisted upon blocking the way, did the parties come to blows. In regard to slavery, which was merely incidental to the struggle, Mr. Lincoln, in his inaugural in 1861, pointedly said: ‘I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so.’ And when on January 1, 1863, he issued his emancipation proclamation it was nothing more than a war measure, or, as he called it in the proclamation, a ‘military necessity,’ and the sentimentality we hear of now about the ‘apostle of freedom’ and ‘striking off shackles with the stroke of a pen,’ etc., came afterwards. The North freed the slave not from sympathy for the slave, but as a military move to weaken and conquer the South.

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