Report of the Yankee Secretary of the Navy.
This document occupies some twelve columns, closely printed matter, in the Philadelphia Inquirer
It presents an extensive reference to the various exploits of the Abolition Navy
since the commencement of the war, including the fight in Hampton Roads
, the fall of Roanoke Island
, New Orleans, Newbern
, Forts Henry
&c. He says that:
"since the commencement of national difficulties, four powerful squadrons have been collected, organized, and stationed for duty, on our maritime frontier, with a rapidity and suddenness which finds no approach to a parallel in previous naval history, and which, it is believed no other country but our own could have achieved."
He adds that these squadrons have been incessantly maintaining a strict blockade, of such gigantic proportions that eminent foreign statesmen in the highest scenes of legislation did not hesitate at its commencement publicly to denounce it as a ‘"material Impossibility."’ And yet, after this most imposing naval undertaking had been for a period of eighteen months in operation, and after its reach had been effectively extended along the entire sweep of the Atlantic
and Gulf coasts, the same eminent authorities, with a list in their hands of all the vessels which had evaded or escaped the vigilance of the blockading forces, could not refuse in their official statements to admit, with reluctant candor, that the proof of the efficiency of the blockade was conspicuous and wholly conclusive.
The capture of New Orleans is alluded to as an undertaking of the greatest difficulty and of the greatest importance, and its accomplishment as the grandest achievement of the war, and as one of the most remarkable triumphs in the whole history of naval operations, and one which struck ‘"just terror"’ to the heart of the whole rebellion.
The operations of our privateersmen has greatly dected the sensibilities of the Yankee Secretary
, speaking of the ‘"290,"’ which he terms a ‘"piratical privateer,"’ he says
"she was built and fitted in British ports, in flagrant violation of British law and of the royal proclamation of neutrality, and I have reason to believe that her crew is command almost exclusively of British subjects, or prisons who, pursuing a lawful voyage, would be untitled to ship and receive protection as British seamen;"
"to what extent, under these circumstances, the Government
of Great Britain
is bound in honor and justice to make indemnification for the destruction of private property which this lawless vessel may perpetrate, is a question that may present itself for disposal.
It is alluded to now and here, not only from a sense of duty towards our commercial interests and rights, but also by reason of the fact that recent intelligence indicates that still other vessels of a similar character are being fitted out in British ports to depredate upon our commerce."
He says, further, that the Department has dispatched vessels to effect the capture of the ‘"290,"’ and there is now quite a fleet on the ocean engaged in pursuing her.
The amount of expenditures for the year ending June 30, 1862, is represented by the Secretary
to have been $42,200,529.96. The amount expended includes the payment for the construction of fifty-two steamers; the purchase, alterations, and armament of one hundred and seventy-five steamers and sailing vessels; all the charter money paid by the Department, together with all the increased expenses incident to the enlarged navy.
The amount appropriated for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 1863, is $52,804,359.07. The estimates submitted for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1864, amount to $68,257,255.01.