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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., The Union and Confederate navies. (search)
not privateers, however, but commissioned ships-of-war of the Confederacy. Captain James D. Bulloch resided in England as the Confederate naval agent, and his skill and enterprise resulted in the acquisition of the Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Shenandoah, all of which made successful commerce-destroying cruises. Attempts to secure other vessels, including the Alexandra, the Pampero, the iron-clad contracted for by Captain North on the Clyde, and the two armored rams built by the Messrs. Laird, failed through the intervention of the British Government. Of the six vessels built in France, including four corvettes and two iron-clads, only one of the latter, Stonewall, passed into the hands of the Confederates, and this was acquired so late in the war as to be of no value. In its personnel, the Confederate navy was more fortunate than in its vessels. The Secretary was Stephen R. Mallory [see p. 106], who had been for several years before the war the chairman of the Naval Commit
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 2., Chapter 21: slavery and Emancipation.--affairs in the Southwest. (search)
where she was watched by the Tuscarora. Early in the year 1862 she was sold, and thus ended her piratical career. Encouraged by the practical friendship of the British evinced for these corsairs, and the substantial aid they were receiving from British subjects in various ways, especially through blockade-runners, the conspirators determined to procure from those friends some powerful piratical craft, and made arrangements for the purchase and construction of vessels for that purpose. Mr. Laird, a ship-builder at Liverpool and member of the British Parliament, was the largest contractor in the business, and, in defiance of every obstacle, succeeded in getting pirate ships to sea. The first of these ships that went to sea was the Oreto, ostensibly built for a house in Palermo, Sicily. Mr. Adams, the American minister in London, was so well satisfied from information received that she was designed for the Confederates, that he called the attention of the British Government to th
l Banks was menacing Alexandria, and they decided to sacrifice one of the two places to hold the other. The troops have already reembarked, and are on the way to Alexandria. Fort De Russy takes its name from Colonel De Russy, who formerly commanded in this vicinity, and lives not far distant. Lieutenant-Colonel Bird was in command, though he reported to General Walker, whose headquarters were at Alexandria. The following officers are prisoners: Captains Stevens, Morran, Wise, Wright, Laird, and King; Lieutenants Denson, Fuller, Fogarty, Claydon, Trumbull, (Eng.,) Burbank, Hewey, Assenheimer, Fall, Hauk, Ball, Little, Barksdale, Spinks, Bringhurst, and Stout. From various sources we gather that the rebels here have about abandoned the idea of defending any of their navigable streams. When asked to account for their apparent neglect of so important a fort, they reply that this was considered merely as an experiment in engineering, (certainly a very creditable one, and one wh
tain Jones, (master of the Deerhound,) and with some of the Alabama's officers, and from information gleaned in other quarters, I am enabled to furnish you with some interesting particulars connected with the fight between the Alabama and the Kearsarge. The Deerhound is a yacht of one hundred and ninety tons and seventy-horse power, and her owner is a member of the Royal Yacht squadron, at Cowes, and of the Royal Mersey Yacht Club. By a somewhat singular coincidence, she was built by Messrs. Laird & Son, of Birkenhead, and proof of her fleetness is furnished by the fact that she steamed home from the scene of action yesterday at the rate of thirteen knots an hour. On arriving at Cherbourg, at ten o'clock on Saturday night, by railway from Caen, Mr. Lancaster was informed by the captain of his yacht, which was lying in harbor awaiting his arrival, that it was reported that the Alabama and the Kearsarge were going out to fight each other in the morning. Mr. Lancaster, whose wife,
g a Navy the Sumter at sea alarm her captures James D. Bullock Laird's speech in the House of Commons the Alabama Semmes takes command might find in a clear conscience. He contracted with the Messrs. Laird, of Birkenhead, to buld a strong steam merchant-ship—the same whichthe case claims at my hands a somewhat extended notice. The senior Mr. Laird was a member of the British Parliament, and, because of the co to be finished complete, with guns and everything appertaining. Mr. Laird continued: On the 14th of August I received another letter from tope your friends will tender for the two iron-plated steamers. Mr. Laird then said that, while he would not give the name of his correspon Referring to the Alabama, as she was when she left the Mersey, Mr. Laird said: If a ship without guns and without arms is a dangerous gh the agency of some most influential persons. The speech of Mr. Laird, exposing the hypocrisy of the representations which had been mad
. Kemper, General, 103, 273. Kennon, Lt., Beverly, 185. Report of loss of Governor Moore, 186. Kent, Chancellor, 227. Kentucky, subversion of state government, 395-99. Kernstown, Battle of, 97. Kershaw, General, 131, 361, 451, 452-53, 454, 563, 564, 565. Keyes, General, 72, 105, 106. Kilpatrick, General, 423, 426, 539. Raid on Richmond, 424. King, Preston, 417. Kingsbury, Lieutenant, 54. Kirkland, General, 435. Kollock, Dr., 605. L Lafayette, Marquis de, 404. Laird, Messrs., account of building of the Alabama, 208-10. Lamb, Colonel, 548. Lane, General, 297. James H., 417. Law, General, 284, 285, 361. Lawton, Gen. A. R., 110, 133-34, 265, 272, 281,284, 285,550, 569. Lea, Lieutenant, 198. Lee. Captain, 82. Charles, 426. Edmund I., 448. Gen. Fitzhugh, 271, 279, 281, 284, 300, 302, 449, 544, 556, 558, 563. Gen. G. W. C., 85, 424, 426, 562, 563-65. Gen. Robert E., 84, 99, 101, 103, 106, 120, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 269, 270, 276, 278, 279, 283,
, and cannot be denied. They were given to the public by Mr. Laird, the gentleman who built the Alabama, and who was the par whom the Federal Navy Department endeavored to treat. Mr. Laird was a member of the British Parliament, and having been awhole year before the Alabama was built, to contract with Mr. Laird for the building of iron-plated, and other ships, and tha the only reason why the contract was not made, was, that Mr. Laird had taken already so much work in hand that he could not hurry. The explanation probably is, that we had offered Mr. Laird better terms than Mr. Welles, and this is the only reasona Confederate, instead of a Federal ship! This speech of Mr. Laird caused no little merriment in the House of Commons, for, hing of these secret transactions between Mr. Welles and Mr. Laird, had been denouncing the latter for building the Alabama,or ships of war, to be finished complete, in the words of Mr. Laird's correspondent, with guns, and everything appertaining,
Lord John Russell had been intimidated to such an extent, that the ship came within an ace of being detained. But for the little ruse which we practised, of going on a trial-trip, with a party of ladies, and the customs officers, mentioned by Mr. Laird, on board, and not returning, but sending our guests back in a tug, there is no doubt that the Alabama would have been tied up, as the Oreto or Florida had been, in court. She must have been finally released, it is true, but the delay itself wngage in the steam-packet service, accompanied me. Bullock had contracted for, and superintended the building of the Alabama, and was now going with me, to be present at the christening of his bantling. I am indebted to him, as well the Messrs. Laird, for a very perfect ship of her class. She was of about 900 tons burden, 230 feet in length, 32 feet in breadth, 20 feet in depth, and drew, when provisioned and coaled for a cruise, 15 feet of water. Her model was of the most perfect symmetr
erefore, resolved, that a Committee of ten be appointed to take into consideration the foregoing, and to report, at a special meeting to be called for the purpose, what action it becomes this Chamber to take in the premises. How astonishing it is, that these gentlemen when they were denouncing Great Britain for supplying the Confederates with men and munitions of war, did not think of the supplies they were themselves drawing from the same source. I have before referred to a speech of Mr. Laird, the builder of the Alabama, in the British House of Commons. I now refer to another passage of the same speech, as a sufficient answer to Mr. Low's complaints:— If a ship without guns and without arms, [he is alluding to the Alabama when she left the Mersey,] is a dangerous article, surely rifled guns and ammunition of all sorts are equally—(cheers)— and even more dangerous. (Cheers.) I have referred to the bills of entry in the Custom-houses of London and Liverpool, and I find ther<
lties attendant upon the manufacture of these large Blakely guns were so great, even in England, that the contract would not be executed. The danger of foreign war, moreover, had never appeared so imminent. The celebrated iron-clads, built by Mr. Laird, for the rebels, were lying in the Mersey, nearly ready for sea. It was thought that the British Government would refuse to interfere to prevent their sailing, and generally understood that such an event would result in a war with England; eitthis act of the British Government a casus belli, or from the recognition of the Confederate Government by England and France, which would follow upon the breaking — up of our blockade of the Southern ports, which it was deemed certain that those Laird rams would accomplish. It became, therefore, imperative that an agent from this State should proceed to England to look after its interests; and the Governor detailed Colonel Harrison Ritchie, his senior aide-de-camp, for that duty. Colonel R
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