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The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The capture of Mason and Slidell. (search)
the British steamer Trent, and the capture of Slidell and Mason, and their secretaries, George Eust honor of suggesting the capture of Mason and Slidell must be awarded to our boatswain, J. P. Grace passengers and crew. Should Mr. Mason, Mr. Slidell, Mr. Eustis, and Mr. McFarland be on board,ons to effect the arrest of Messrs. Mason and Slidell, and their secretaries, Messrs. Eustis and Mc a young lady, whom I afterward learned was Miss Slidell, sprang on to a companion-way skylight, andthere been an English man-of-war in sight! Mr. Slidell stepped forward, and said: Do you wish to she encountered an obstacle in the person of Miss Slidell who, filling the doorway, said: Mr. Fairfaxke in loud tones. From where I stood I saw Mrs. Slidell approach the door and beg Mr. Fairfax to goe companion ladder to the boat. Meanwhile, Mr. Slidell had recovered his equanimity to an extent w had previously taken his seat alongside of Mr. Slidell in the stern-sheets of the boat. Our objec[12 more...]
ance proved that the panic extended itself over the whole network of sea islands between Charleston and Savannah, permitting the immediate occupation of the entire region, and affording a military base for both the navy and the army of incalculable advantage in the further reduction of the coast. Another naval exploit, however, almost at the same time, absorbed greater public attention, and for a while created an intense degree of excitement and suspense. Ex-Senators J. M. Mason and John Slidell, having been accredited by the Confederate government as envoys to European courts, had managed to elude the blockade and reach Havana. Captain Charles Wilkes, commanding the San Jacinto, learning that they were to take passage for England on the British mail steamer Trent, intercepted that vessel on November 8 near the coast of Cuba, took the rebel emissaries prisoner by the usual show of force, and brought them to the United States, but allowed the Trent to proceed on her voyage. The
s Corinth campaign Halleck's mistakes Toward the end of December, 1861, the prospects of the administration became very gloomy. McClellan had indeed organized a formidable army at Washington, but it had done nothing to efface the memory of the Bull Run defeat. On the contrary, a practical blockade of the Potomac by rebel batteries on the Virginia shore, and another small but irritating defeat at Ball's Bluff, greatly heightened public impatience. The necessary surrender of Mason and Slidell to England was exceedingly unpalatable. Government expenditures had risen to $2,000,000 a day, and. a financial crisis was imminent. Buell would not move into East Tennessee, and Halleck seemed powerless in Missouri. Added to this, McClellan's illness completed a stagnation of military affairs both east and west. Congress was clamoring for results, and its joint Committee on the Conduct of the War was pushing a searching inquiry into the causes of previous defeats. To remove this in
n dissatisfaction with the Confederate government Lee General-in chief J. E. Johnston Reappointed to oppose Sherman's March value of slave property gone in Richmond Davis's recommendation of emancipation Benjamin's last despatch to Slidell condition of the army when Lee took command Lee attempts negotiations with Grant Lincoln's directions Lee and Davis agree upon line of retreat assault on Fort Stedman five Forks evacuation of Petersburg surrender of Richmond of November he had recommended the employment of forty thousand slaves in the army — not as soldiers, it is true, save in the last extremity — with emancipation to come. On December 27, Mr. Benjamin wrote his last important instruction to John Slidell, the Confederate commissioner in Europe. It is nothing less than a cry of despair. Complaining bitterly of the attitude of foreign nations while the South is fighting the battles of England and France against the North, he asks: Are they det
dred and fifty or three hundred rebels, in a cornfield, twenty miles south of Cameron, in Ray County, Missouri. The advance guard of nine of the National troops routed them, the rebels seeking refuge in the timber. The guard was then reinforced by thirty of the cavalry, when they completely drove the rebels from that section, killing eight and taking five prisoners. Four Federals were wounded and one killed. The steamer Theodora ran the blockade of Charleston, with Messrs. Mason and Slidell, and their secretaries, on board, destined for Cardenas, in Cuba, it being their intention to proceed to Europe by steamer from Havana.--N. Y. Evening Post, October 30. This night an attack was made on the United States fleet lying at anchor near the South-West Pass, by the rebel fleet, consisting of six gunboats, the battering ram Manassas, and a large number of fire-ships, which filled the river from shore to shore. The United States fleet consisted of the steamers Richmond, Huntsvi
October 24. Mr. Shufeldt, U. S. Consul at Havana, telegraphed to Capt. Wilkes, of the U. S. sloop San Jacinto, at Trinidad, to bring his vessel to Havana, in view of the numerous Confederate vessels finding refuge there, and remaining there unmolested to ship cargoes and return; perhaps, also, in view of the presence there of the rebel commissioners Mason and Slidell, en route for Europe.--National Intelligencer, November 1. An interesting correspondence between Gen. McClernand and the Confederate Gen. Polk, on the subject of a recent exchange of prisoners, was made public.--(Doc. 105.) Capt. H. L. Shields, of Bennington, Vt., was arrested, charged with having carried on treasonable correspondence with the rebels. He obstinately denied the charges made against him, and promised to bring sufficient evidence of their falsity. He was conveyed to Fort Lafayette. Capt. Shields graduated at West Point in 1841, served ten years in the regular army, and was twice brevetted
rosecution of the war. It is, however, the true policy of this country not to interfere in the strife, although we all wish to see it ended, and the Americans again resume their position as a purely peaceable and commercial people. --London Post, Oct. 30. Letters of this date from New Orleans, represent that city as completely ruined by the rebellion.--N. Y. Times, November 11. The Richmond Examiner of this date says: By this time our able representatives abroad, Messrs. Mason and Slidell, are pretty well on their way over the briny deep toward the shores of Europe. We commit no indiscretion in stating that they have embarked upon a vessel which will be abundantly able to protect them against most of the Yankee cruisers they may happen to meet, and the chances are consequently a hundred to one that they will reach their destination in safety. The malice of our Yankee enemies will thus be foiled, and the attempt to capture them fail of success. Great will be the mortificat
only man remaining being too drunk to get away. There were a number of negroes remaining, however, who stated that the inhabitants had left in the utmost hurry, fearing the advent of the Yankees would be their immediate destruction. The slaves had broken open some houses for the purpose of plundering. Capt. Wilkes with the U. S. steam sloop of war San Jacinto, overhauled the English mail steamer Trent in the Bahama channel, and demanded the surrender of the rebel emissaries Mason and Slidell, passengers on board that vessel. Resistance on the part of the Trent was impossible, as the San Jacinto was prepared to enforce the demand, and against the violent protest of the English captain the commissioners and their secretaries were transferred to the San Jacinto.--(Doc. 139.) The Court of Inquiry, in the case of Col. Miles, made its report. About fifty-eight witnesses were examined, and their evidence presents the most extraordinary conflict of testimony. Twenty-eight swear
e Doodle and the Star-Spangled Banner to be included in the list. The trial match to come off when Buckner and his army have been taken prisoners, or as soon thereafter as practicable, the challenged party to have the choice of ground, provided every thing be peaceable. Any communication sent to Major W. F. Robinson, First Wisconsin Volunteers, Louisville, Ky., will meet with prompt attention. U. S. Steamer San Jacinto, Capt. Wilkes, arrived at Fortress Monroe with Messrs. Mason and Slidell, prisoners, on board.--N. Y. Time, November 17. Fast day, in the rebel States, was observed with religious services in the various churches of the South. In the Broad street Methodist church, of Richmond, Va., Rev. James A. Duncan preached a sermon, taking his text from the prophecies of Isaiah, fifty-first chapter, ninth and sixteenth verses. We make the following extract from his remarks: The enemy boasted of his eighteen millions who were to come down and overwhelm us, but whos
districts. A motion to lay them on the table was lost by a vote of fifty-six to seventy, and the further consideration of them was postponed until the next Tuesday. Messrs. Campbell and Stevens also offered resolutions of similar import. Mr. Roscoe A. Conklin submitted a resolution calling upon the Secretary of War for information in regard to the responsibility of the disastrous movement at Ball's Bluff, which was adopted. On motion of Mr. Odell, the President was requested to order John Slidell into close confinement, in return for similar treatment of Col. A. M. Wood, of the Fourteenth regiment N. Y. S. M., who was taken prisoner at Bull Run. A resolution of similar import in reference to James M. Mason, in return for the treatment to Col. Corcoran, was unanimously passed. The bark Samuel Moxley, partly owned in Appalachicola, Florida, was seized under the confiscation act by the collector at New London, Conn. The vessel had just arrived there in ballast from Sligo Island
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