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Thomas C. DeLeon, Four years in Rebel capitals: an inside view of life in the southern confederacy, from birth to death., Chapter 31: the Chinese-Wall blockade, abroad and at home. (search)
rried public opinion to his side; and-while the Government could then do nothing but persist in effort for recognition, now so vital — the people felt that dignity was uselessly compromised, while their powerless representatives were kept abroad, to knock weakly at the back door of foreign intervention. Slight reaction came, when Mason and Slidell were captured on the high seas, under a foreign flag. Mr. Seward so boldly defied the rampant Lion; Congress so promptly voted thanks to Captain Wilkes, for violating international law; the Secretary of the Navy-after slyly pulling down the blinds-so bravely patted him on the backthat the South renewed her hope, in the seeming certainty of war between the two countries. But she had calculated justly neither the power of retraction in American policy, nor Secretary Seward's vast capacity for eating his own words; and the rendition of her commissioners — with their perfectly quiet landing upon British soil-was, at last, accepted as sure
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 16 (search)
to them. The first topic of conversation which came up was the unfriendliness of our relations with England the first year of the war, and especially how near we came to an open break with that power in regard to the Trent affair, in which Commodore Wilkes, commanding the U. S. S. San Jacinto, had taken Slidell and Mason, the Confederate emissaries, from the English vessel Trent, upon which they were passengers. Mr. Seward said: The report first received from the British government gave a most exaggerated account of the severity of the measures which had been employed; but I found from Commodore Wilkes's advices that the vessel had not been endangered by the shots fired across her bows, as charged; that he had simply sent a lieutenant and a boat's crew to the British vessel; that none of the crew even went aboard; that the lieutenant used only such a show of force as was necessary to convince the contraband passengers he wanted that they would have to go with him aboard the San Jac
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 f
ncountering any opposition, or seeing any thing to lead to the belief that there were any masked guns along the river. They found the village entirely deserted by white people, the 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
he music to be played shall be selected by both parties, Yankee 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 eight
Commissioners of the Confederate States. Congress unanimously ratified the convention entered into between the Hon. R. M. T. Hunter, for the rebel Government, and the Commissioners for Missouri.--Richmond Dispatch. A banquet was given to Capt. Wilkes and the officers of the San Jacinto, at the Revere House, in Boston, Mass. Capt. Wilkes made a brief speech, recounting the incidents of the cruise after the rebel Commissioners, and he was followed by Gov. Andrew, Lieut. Fairfax, Chief-JusticCapt. Wilkes made a brief speech, recounting the incidents of the cruise after the rebel Commissioners, and he was followed by Gov. Andrew, Lieut. Fairfax, Chief-Justice Bigelow, and others. The Nashville (Tenn.) Courier of this date says: We learn that a squad of twelve men were sent to Franklin yesterday, to arrest some Lincolnites who were said to be committing depredations in that neighborhood. They had collected to the number of twelve or fifteen at the house of one of their number, one Bell; and defying, the party fired at them, killing one man, said to be Lee, of Louisville, and wounding one or two more. Our men then charged the house, and set fi
prisoners. Their names were Dennis H. Williamson, who was wounded; Cornelius Lowe, and Hiram R. Parsons, all of the Second regiment. The other five escaped. The Fourth and Fifth regiments of the Irish brigade, under command of Acting Brigadier-General, Col. Thomas Francis Meagher, left New York to-day for the seat of war. In the House of Representatives, at Washington, D. C., to-day, Mr. Vallandigham, of Ohio, offered a resolution commending the bold and patriotic conduct of Captain Wilkes, of the U. S. steamer San Jacinto, in seizing the rebel emissaries, Mason and Slidell, while on board an English steamer, and urging the President to approve and adopt the act, in spite of any menace or demand of the British Government. The resolution was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.--(Doc. 228.) The Eleventh regiment of Connecticut volunteers, under the command of Colonel Kingsland, left Hartford for the seat of war.--The Fortieth regiment of Ohio volunteers, comm
ion of international law involved in the seizure of Messrs. Mason and Slidell, was made public. The first document is a note from Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams, in which the case is briefly mentioned, and in which Mr. Seward says that the action of Capt. Wilkes was without any instructions from the Government, and he trusted that the British Government would consider the subject in a friendly temper. Then follows a note from Earl Russell to Lord Lyons, dated November 30, reciting the English version of the case — declaring that the act of Captain Wilkes was an affront to the British flag, and a violation of international law; and announcing that the liberation of the four gentlemen named, and their delivery to your lordship, together with a suitable apology for the aggression, alone could satisfy the British nation. To this Mr. Seward responds in a paper, addressed to Lord Lyons, under date of the 26th inst., in which he analyzes at great length the principles of public law involved in th
ight derive a consolation for the loss by considering the ineffaceable disgrace that falls on the enemy. Never, since the humiliation of the Doge and Senate of Genoa before the footstool of Louis XIV., has any nation consented to a degradation so deep. If Lincoln and Seward intended to give them up at a menace, why, their people will ask, did they ever capture the ambassadors? Why the exultant hurrah over the event, that went up from nineteen millions of throats? Why the glorification of Wilkes? Why the coward insults to two unarmed gentlemen, their close imprisonment, and the bloodthirsty movements of Congress in their regard? But, most of all, why did the government of Lincoln indulge a full Cabinet with an unanimous resolution that, under no circumstances, should the United States surrender Messrs. Slidell and Mason? Why did they encourage the popular sentiment to a similar position? The United States government and people swore the great oath to stand on the ground they had
rebels under the command of Gen. Jackson, who was driven back at all points, with a loss of a large number of prisoners.--(Docs. 104 and 199.) City Point, on the James River, Va., was completely destroyed by the National gunboats under Commodore Wilkes. For some time the rebels had been firing into the transports passing up and down the river, and Commodore Wilkes sent them word that if it was not discontinued, he would destroy their rendezvous. To-day the rebels brought down to City PoiCommodore Wilkes sent them word that if it was not discontinued, he would destroy their rendezvous. To-day the rebels brought down to City Point eight cannon and about two hundred riflemen, and attacked the Federal flotilla, which at the time was abreast of the place, whereupon the gunboats opened fire upon them, demolished every building in the town, and dispersed the rebel force. Twenty men of the Second (Union) Virginia cavalry, under the command of Lieutenant Montgomery, attacked seventy-five rebel cavalry at Shady Springs, ten miles from Raleigh Court-House, Va., and completely routed them, taking five prisoners.--The Union
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