The Confederate Depredations on Yankee commerce.
--A document of unusual interest was lately published in the Congressional proceedings, which gives an alphabetical list of vessels captured by Confederate privateers, reported up to January 30, 1864, with the port of clearance, destination, place of capture, and tonnage, prepared by Capt. J. H. Upton
, Secretary American Shipmasters' Association.
This list, far from being complete, gives as the total number of vessels captured 193; total tonnage 89,764; value of vessels at fifty dollars per ton $4,485,200; value of cargo at one hundred dollars per ton $8,970,400; total value $13,455,600. Of the vessels thus captured thirty-five were from New York, and their tonnage was 19,361, which, at the estimated value in the table, amounted to $968,050; the cargo to $1,936,100. Twenty-three of the captured vessels cleared for New York, the tonnage of which amounted to 12,312, worth $615,600, the cargo $1,231,200. The N. Y. News
Thus in tonnage to and from New York there has been a loss of $1,583,650; in cargo, of $3,167,300 showing a total loss of $3,755,950 caused by the few vessels of the Confederate navy, so often sneered at by those whose voice is still for war, as long as a shoddy contract is to be given, or shoulder straps bestowed as a reward for supporting the Administration.
With but a limited commerce, the Confederates
have suffered comparatively little in comparison with our own shipping interest.
Of the one hundred and ninety-three vessels thus captured, all save seventy-four fell a prey to the three famed Confederate steamers--Alabama
, and Florida
capturing sixty two, the Sumter
twenty-six, and the Florida
twenty two--in all, one hundred and nineteen vessels, by three Confederate cruisers.
With but a limited commerce, the South
, in the loss of vessels, has suffered comparatively nothing.
Most of the blockade-runners captured by the Federal fleet were owned in England
Two successful trips, at the high prices the South
pays for English goods, will pay for loss of vessel and cargo in a third unsuccessful voyage, and still leave a large margin of profit.
While the people of the United States
are taxed, and the Treasury bled to the amount of more millions to build and buy ships and support the navy than it would cost to pay the whole expenses of the Government
in time of peace, still we have the record of Capt. Upton
to show a loss of one hundred and ninety-three vessels, worth in vessel and cargo over thirteen and a half million dollars. The Confederate Government scarce pretend to have a navy, and all they have has been improvised since the war commenced.
Over one half of the vessels captured were prizes to a single vessel — the Alabama
— which the Federal
navy has been in pursuit of since first she was launched, but managed never to catch.--The loss is startling; yet great as it is, we doubt not if the whole truth were told it would be much greater.