Great Britain and the American Civil War eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 825 pages of information about Great Britain and the American Civil War.

[Footnote 318:  A few facts about Southern privateering not directly pertinent to this chapter are yet not without interest.  There was no case during the Civil War of a vessel actually going out as a privateer (i.e., a private vessel operating under government letters of marque) from a foreign port. (Adams, “Seward and the Declaration of Paris,” p. 38.) No Southern privateer ever entered a British port. (Bernard, Neutrality of Great Britain, p. 181).  As a result of Seward’s general instruction of April 24, a convention was actually signed with Russia in August, but it was not presented by Seward for ratification to the United States Senate.  Schleiden in a report to the Senate of Bremen at the time of the Trent affair, Nov. 14, 1861, stated that the Russian Ambassador, von Stoeckl, inquired of Seward “whether the U.S. would equip privateers in case war should break out with England and France.  Seward replied ‘that is a matter of course.’  Mr. Stoeckl thereupon remarked that in any case no American privateer would be permitted to cruise in the northern part of the Pacific because Russia, which is the only state that has ports in those regions, would treat them as pirates in accordance with the Convention of August 24.  Mr. Seward then exclaimed:  ’I never thought of that.  I must write to Mr. Clay about it.’” (Schleiden MS.)]



The diplomatic manoeuvres and interchanges recounted in the preceding chapter were regarded by Foreign Secretaries and Ministers as important in themselves and as indicative of national policy and purpose.  Upon all parties concerned they left a feeling of irritation and suspicion.  But the public knew nothing of the details of the inconclusive negotiation and the Press merely gave a hint now and then of its reported progress and ultimate failure.  Newspapers continued to report the news from America in unaccustomed detail, but that news, after the attack on Fort Sumter, was for some time lacking in striking incident, since both sides in America were busily engaged in preparing for a struggle in arms for which neither was immediately prepared.  April 15, Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers, and three weeks later for 42,000 additional.  The regular army was increased by 23,000 and the navy by 18,000 men.  Naval vessels widely scattered over the globe, were instructed to hasten their home-coming.  By July 1 Lincoln had an available land force, however badly trained and organized, of over 300,000, though these were widely scattered from the Potomac in the east to the Missouri in the west.

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Great Britain and the American Civil War from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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