this was seen and the course adopted.
To manage this difficult and important work a man of professional ability, clear business capacity, wise judgment and discretion in selecting and dealing with men, a knowledge of maritime and international law, calm equanimity and great sagacity was needed.
To find such a man meant such a measure of success as all the difficulties and counteracting efforts would admit of. To select the wrong man meant foreign entanglements, prejudice of cause and failure.
For this work the Confederate Government selected Captain James D. Bulloch
, formerly an officer in the United States Navy, from Georgia
, who, when the war began, commanded a merchant steamer running between New York and a Southern port.
They might have searched the world over and would have failed to find another combining all the qualifications needed, as preeminently as he did. His heart was thoroughly in the cause and he threw his whole body and soul into his work.
To his judgment, sagacity, energy and tact, was due the possession and fitting out of the Alabama
, Georgia, Florida
, and the building of the ironclad rams at Liverpool
and the vessels in France
Such of these vessels as took the sea, took it not as privateers, as they were called by some; not as pirates, as our enemies opprobriously spoke of us, but as armed government vessels of war, commanded and officered by men born in the South
and holding commissions in the Confederate States
Navy, of a government whose belligerent rights were acknowledged by the kingdoms of the earth—commissions as valid as those held in the United States Navy.
The Confederate States
had, as I said, no naval vessels and none or very few that could be converted into cruisers.
They had, however, a fine, loyal, able and true personnel, composed of officers educated and commissioned in the United States Navy before the war. They were Southern-born men, who represented their respective States in the United States Navy, just as their representatives in Congress and other governmental branches represented them in their respective spheres.
The expense of educating and qualifying them for their positions was borne from the general fund collected from all the States, their respective States bearing their just proportion for the qualifying