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[329] entirely in favor of the North, to which a stream of mercenaries from all parts of the world was constantly flowing, and to secure something like equal treatment to the Confederate States, especially as regarded their navy. French commercial interests, I well knew; made the mercantile world lean toward the South, and in fact, it is difficult for me even now to comprehend how England and France could, from the first, submit to a mere paper blockade, in direct opposition to some of their most important commercial and manufacturing interests, when they might have set it aside by a mere stroke of the pen, without probably ever firing a gun over it.

My journey was, after due consideration, finally decided on. In order to give more weight to my presence abroad I asked General Kirby Smith to allow my chief-of-staff, Major T. C. Moncure, to accompany me; and Governor Allen said he would avail himself of this opportunity to write a letter to the Emperor of France, of which his aide-de-camp, Colonel Ernest Miltenberger, should be the bearer. It lay within the sphere of authority of General Kirby Smith to grant Major Moncure and myself a leave of absence of six months. Neither the chief of the War Department nor President Davis had to be consulted in the matter, and in point of fact they were not.

I did not read the letter which Governor Allen wrote, and, therefore, cannot speak ‘de visu’ of its contents, but in a letter addressed to the editor of the Washington Post, bearing date Washington, March 16th, and published in that paper under the heading, ‘Lost Chapter in History,’ I note the passage:

“A paper was prepared, which I read, to be presented to Napoleon III, quoting the third article of the treaty of Paris, ceding Louisiana to the United States,” etc., etc.

There was no other paper prepared than Governor Allen's letter, and since the correspondent of the Washington Post has read it, he knows as well as I do that it contained no such bargain as that suggested by the Washington Post—viz., the retrocession of Louisiana to France in return for armed intervention, nor does he assert it verbatim.

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