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United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 32
nition of a blockade, invalid under the Treaty of Paris-England denied both belligerent navies the right to refit-or bring in prizes-at her ports. Now, as the United States had open ports and needed no such grace, while the South having no commerce thus afforded no prizes-every point of this decision was against her. Equally at recruiting; for, if men were not actually enlisted on British soil and under that flag, thousands of emigrants males only; with expenses and bounty paid by United States recruiting agents — were poured out of British territory each month. When France sent her circular to England and Russia, suggesting that the time had comeeenbacks; and the Confederacy bought theseoften the product of illicit traffic — from the runners themselves, at from twenty to one thousand dollars C. S., for one U. S.! Such is the brief, and necessarily imperfect, glance at the triple blockade, which steadily aided the process of exhaustion and ruin at the South. Such were
Kentucky (Kentucky, United States) (search for this): chapter 32
ingenuity and audacity. It needed but careful guard over the third side — the inland border from river to coast — to seal up the South hermetically, and perfect her isolation. That perfection had long been attempted. Fleets of gunboats ploughed the Potomac and all inland water-approaches to the southern frontier. A shrewd detective system, ramifying from Washington, penetrated the disaffected counties of Maryland; spying equally upon shore and household. The borders of Tennessee and Kentucky were closely picketed; and no means of cunning, or perseverance, were omitted to prevent the passage of anything living, or useful, into the South. But none of this availed against the untiring pluck and audacity of the inland blockade-breakers. Daily the lines were forced, spies evaded, and bold Johnny Reb passed back and forth, in almost guaranteed security. Such ventures brought small supplies of much-needed medicines, surgical instruments and necessaries for the sick. They brough
Mississippi (United States) (search for this): chapter 32
ce to discuss General Pemberton's abilities-his alleged disobedience of orders — the disasters of Baker's creek and Big Black; or his shutting up in Vicksburg, hopeless of relief from Johnston. Suffice it, the dismal echo of falling Vicksburg supplemented the gloom after Gettysburg; and the swift-following loss of Port Hudson completed the blockade of the Mississippi; and made the trans-river territory a foreign land! The coast of Maine met the waters of the Ohio, at the mouth of the Mississippi; and two sides of the blockade triangle were completed, almost impervious even to rebel ingenuity and audacity. It needed but careful guard over the third side — the inland border from river to coast — to seal up the South hermetically, and perfect her isolation. That perfection had long been attempted. Fleets of gunboats ploughed the Potomac and all inland water-approaches to the southern frontier. A shrewd detective system, ramifying from Washington, penetrated the disaffected co<
Belle Boyd (search for this): chapter 32
n a glimpse of home again; and it gave a vast mass of crude, conflicting information, such as must come from rumors collected by men in hiding. But its most singular and most romantic aspect was the well-known fact, that many women essayed the breaking of the border blockade. Almost all of them were successful; more than one well nigh invaluable, for the information she brought, sewed in her riding-habit, or coiled in her hair. Nor were these coarse camp-women, or reckless adventurers. Belle Boyd's name became historic as Moll Pitcher; but others are recalled --petted belles in the society of Baltimore, Washington and Virginia summer resorts of yore — who rode through night and peril alike, to carry tidings of cheer home and bring back news that woman may best acquire. New York, Baltimore and Washington to-day boast of three beautiful and gifted women, high in their social ranks, who could — if they would-recite tales of lonely race and perilous adventure, to raise the hair of the
Pierre G. T. Beauregard (search for this): chapter 32
royer with the finance, of the southern cause. The once fair cities of Charleston, Savannah and Wilmington suffered most from the blockade, both in destruction of property and demoralization of their populations. The first--as hot-bed of treason and equally from strategic importance — was early a point of Federal desire; but the fleet had been compelled to stand idly by and witness the bloodless reduction of Sumter. Later-when strengthened armaments threatened constant attack-Lee and Beauregard had used every resource to strengthen defenses of the still open port. What success they had, is told by the tedious and persistent bombardment-perhaps unexampled in the history of gunnery; surely so in devices to injure non-combatant inhabitants. On the 30th January, 1863, the two slow, clumsy and badly-built rams, under Captain Ingraham--of Martin Koszta fame-attacked the blockading squadron and drove the Union flag completely from the harbor; but re-enforced by iron-clads, it retur
ul investment to realize from fifteen hundred to two thousand per cent. on its first cost. Still, even this profit as against the average of loss-perhaps two cargoes out of five-together with the uncertain value of paper money, left the trade hazardous. Only great capital, ready to renew promptly every loss, could supply the demand-heretofore shown to have grown morbid, under lost faith in governmental credit. Hence sprung the great blockade-breaking corporations, like the Bee Company, Collie & Co., or Fraser, Trenholm & Co. With capital and credit unlimited; with branches at every point of purchase, reshipment and entry; with constantly growing orders from the departments-these giant concerns could control the market and make their own terms. Their growing power soon became quasi dictation to Government itself; the national power was filtered through these alien arteries; and the South became the victim-its Treasury the mere catspaw — of the selfsame system, which clear sigh
and shell into the coveted town for six terrible weeks. Failing reduction, they withdrew on June 24th; leaving her banners inscribed-Vicksburg vicrix! In May of the next year, another concentration was made on the key of the Mississippi; General Grant marching his army one hundred and fifty miles from its base, to get in rear of Vicksburg and cut off its relief. The very audacity of this plan may blind the careless thinker to its bad generalship; especially in view of the success that ats upon the strong works at Vicksburg-so freely criticised on his own side, by army and by press — were but preface of a volume, so bloodily written to the end before Petersburg. Under ordinary combinations, Johnston had found it easy to crush Grant and prevent even his escape to the distant base behind him. But, unhappily, Government would not re-enforce Johnstoneven to the very limited extent it might; and Mr. Davis promoted Pemberton to a lieutenant-generalcy and sent him to Vicksburg. B
e proclaimed closed. Their Government declared-and the southern people believed — that such nominal blockade would not be respected by European powers; and reliant upon the kingship of cotton inducing early recognition, both believed that the ships of England and France-disregarding the impotent paper closure-would soon crowd southern wharves and exchange the royal fleece for the luxuries, no less than the necessaries, of life. When the three first commissioners to Europe-Messrs. Yancey, Rost and Mann-sailed from New Orleans, on March 31, 1861, their mission was hailed as harbinger to speedy fruition of these delusive thoughts, to which the wish alone was father. Then-though very gradually-began belief that they had reckoned too fast; and doubt began to chill glowing hopes of immediate recognition from Europe. But there was none, as yet, relative to her ultimate action. The successful trial trip of the Nashville, Captain Pegram, C. S. N.-and her warm reception by the British pr
s lost opportunity the Treaty of Paris view first southern commissioners doubts the Mason Slidell incident Mr. Benjamin's foreign policy Deleon's captured despatches murmurs loud and deep Eknock 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 g which might some day be light, would send hopeful despatches; or before the hopeful eyes of Mr. Slidell, would rise roseate clouds of promise, light with bubbles of aid-intervention-recognition! Slar delusion at the South. This was shared, to a certain extent, even by her government; and Mr. Slidell's highly-colored despatches would refan the embers of hope into a glow. But while Napoleon, njamin refused to view the European landscape, except through the Claude Lorrain glass which Mr. Slidell persistently held up before him. The expose of Mr. Yancey, the few sturdy truths Mr. Mason la
Edwin DeLeon (search for this): chapter 32
enial of all that its precedent had carried. Still, constant promises with no fulfillment, added to limited private correspondence with foreign capitals, begat mistrust in elusive theories, which was rudely changed to simple certainty. Edwin DeLeon had been sent by Mr. Davis on a special mission to London and Paris, after Mr. Yancey's return; his action to be independent of the regularly established futility. In August, 1863, full despatches from him, to the southern President and State. Benjamin refused to view the European landscape, except through the Claude Lorrain glass which Mr. Slidell persistently held up before him. The expose of Mr. Yancey, the few sturdy truths Mr. Mason later told; and the detailed resume sent by Mr. DeLeon and printed in the North-all these were ignored; and the wishes of the whole people were disregarded, that the line begun upon, should not be deviated from. There may have been something deeply underlying this policy; for Secretary Benjamin wa
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