--The inconsistency of the North
has never been more strikingly manifested than in its determination to treat the privateers of the South
It had always maintained, up to the very hour of dissolution, that privateering was a legitimate arm of national defence, and has so employed it in every war in which it has been engaged.
In this very contest, the largest portion of its own naval power is composed of an armed merchant marine.
It can give no reason for treating the captives on sea differently from those taken on land.
And yet it undertakes to treat them as pirates, and consign them to an ignominious death.
The whole civilized world would stand aghast at such unparalleled inhumanity.
In the late war with England
, the privateers of the North
infested every sea, and inflicted incalculable injuries upon British commerce.--Yet Great Britain
never treated them as pirates, and never sentenced a single captive privateersman to the gallows.
If it be pretended that this was because the United States
was not regarded by Great Britain
as a rebel, why did she not treat privateers as pirates in the Revolution?
Northern privateering began with the very beginning of the revolutionary war, and never stopped till its close.
British commerce was waylaid and attacked even in the British
channel, and yet there never was a case in which one of our captives was treated by the British Government
as a pirate.
It remained for the North
, which had employed this arm of national defence in the Revolution and in the late war, to proclaim privateering to be piracy, and to prove itself more cruel and inhuman than the empire which it had denounced as the most cruel and inhuman of all earthly Governments.
Whether it will execute its demoniac purpose, remains to be seen.
Our gallant sailors are in its power, and are prepared to meet their fate like patriots and heroes.
But woe to the Yankee
inmates of our Southern prisons when a halter is put upon the neck of a Southern privateersman!