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Our blockade-runners and our naval officers.

There is one singular fact connected with our blockade-running vessels, to which, we think, the attention of the Navy Department ought to be directed, if it has not already been. Only a single one of them has been lost while under the command of officers of the navy! Officers of the navy, in the meanwhile, have commanded many of them and made many trips. The Coquette, for instance, which was the most indifferent of all our ships, and which has now been sold, made nine round trips under the command of Lieutenant Carter, and saved them every one, clearing for the Government at least six hundred thousand dollars. The Robert E. Lee, the best ship we had, was successful in all her numerous trips, as long as she was under the command of Lieutenant Wilkinson. The first trip she made after the command had been transferred to a person who was not an officer of the navy she was beached and captured, or sunk.

While the officers of the navy have been successful in all their many trips except one, every ship not commanded by an officer of the navy has been lost. The inference is irresistible. None but officers of the navy ought to command our blockade ships. They are skillful seamen, good navigators, men of standing and character; the cause is their cause, and they are above all the suspicion that can be attached to others less favorably situated.

We would not thrust advice upon the department, but we venture to hope that some attention will be paid to the striking fact we have laid before the public in this article.

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W. W. Wilkinson (1)
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