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[649] the campaign which Semmes had undertaken. Out of ninety sailors there were only ten who refused to follow him, and they were finally reconciled; all the others, allured by promises of high pay and the prospect of an adventurous life, enlisted in the service of the Confederate government.

This government possessed at last a real man-of-war. The Alabama was admirably constructed for the part she was about to play in the war. She was a vessel of nine hundred tons, seventy-four metres in length, ten metres in width, and drawing five metres of water; she had an engine of three hundred horse power, with a condenser for supplying fresh water; she was, moreover, an excellent sailer, while her speed under steam averaged ten knots an hour. Her armament consisted of six thirty-two pounders, one of Blakeley's one-hundred-pounder pivot-guns, and one eight-inch howitzer. The complement of her crew was one hundred and twenty men and twenty-four officers. Owing to the reputation she soon acquired, she was able to make up this complement by means of new enlistments, at the very first ports she put into.

Among the Confederate privateers, those that caused most damage to the commerce of the United States were the Sumter, the Florida and the Alabama. In giving an account of the end of the first and the first appearance of the other two, it is proper that we should show the differences existing between them in a legal point of view, arising from their origin and the manner in which they had been fitted out.

The Sumter had belonged to the Confederates since the beginning of the war; she had run the blockade of the Mississippi at her own risk and peril, carrying off her guns, her crew and her commission. She, therefore, would have been entitled to claim the treatment of a belligerent in neutral ports, if it had not been proved that in capturing American vessels she did not observe the technical rules of international law. Instead of sending them to a Confederate port to be adjudicated, which was somewhat difficult, it must be acknowledged, she burnt them on the high seas. Thus, from a privateer, she had become a pirate, and Semmes pleaded in vain as an excuse the fact that he respected American vessels with neutral merchandise on board. In thus acting he

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