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The Case of the

The Case of the

Pending these proceedings, Colonel Taylor, of the rebel army, entered our lines at Arlington (July 8th), under a flag of truce, as bearer of dispatches to the Federal Government. The wildest rumors flew over the country regarding the nature of this mission. Offers of peace, threats of retaliation, pro

under the United States | ents, of the requisites to esflag was piracy. In law tablish such rights, of the this was a ust construc- law and usages regarding tion, and its enforcement was confidently letters of marque and reprisal. Thus the prolooked for; but, several circumstances con- ceedings assumed international rather than lospired to render the law one of standing cal importance; and American citizens heard menace rather than of fact. The early con- or read expositions of law of which but few cession, by England and France, of bellige- had any proper conception, rent rights to the Confederate Government, at once placed it on a semi-national footing, throwing over it the ægis of the law of nations, and depriving the United States of the right to execute, as pirates, Southern privateers, unless the Federal Government saw proper to defy the laws of nations and to force acquiescence in its construction of rights. Had Eng-posals for a general rule of exchanges, and land and France made no declaration on the subject at all, had they left us to manage our affairs in our own way, Northern juries would have made quick shrift of the "privateers" captured during the summer of 1861. As it was, a boat's crew or two of those caught and brought to Northern seaports for arraignment, were, after a several weeks' attendance upon court, remanded to military prisons to await the fortunes of war. Their cases were suspended on the Court records, to be called again when the General Government should demand. Eventually, they were considered prisoners of war, and, as such, were exchanged for Federal officers held by the Confederate authorities as hostages for the safety of the "pirates." Thus, in this matter, and in the general exchange of prisoners finally ordered or adopted, the rebels gained a semi-recognition of belligerents even from the Federal Government.

The capture of the privateer Savannah, by the blockading squadron, off Charleston, early in the war, gave the first case for action under the proclamation of the 19th of April. The men were arraigned and put upon their trial for piracy. A long and very laborious consideration of the case followed. The New York City journals, during June, 1861, devoted much space to the evidence adduced, to the points of law raised and to the arguments of counsel-several of the most ingenious and able lawyers in the metropolis having been enlisted in the defense. The trials called forth a masterly examination of the laws of nations, of the rights of belliger

many other purposes were attached to the
flag; but, its true nature only transpired
when Davis submitted the documents with
his message. The follow-
ing was the communication
of which Colonel Taylor
was the bearer :

Jefferson Davis to
Mr. Lincoln.

"RICHMOND, July 6th, 1861. "TO ARRAHAM LINCOLN, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States:



Having learned that the schooner Savannah, a private armed vessel in the service and sailing under a commission issued by authority of the Confederate States of America, had been captured by one of the vessels forming the blockading squadron off Charleston harbor, I directed a proposi tion to be made to the officer commanding that squadron for an exchange of the officers and crew of the Savannah for prisoners of war held by this Government, according to number and rank." To this proposition, made on the 19th ult., Captain


Mercer, the officer in command of the blockading squadron, made answer on the same day that the prisoners (referred to) are not on board of any of the vessels under my command.'

"It now appears, by statements made without contradiction in newspapers published in New York, that the prisoners above mentioned, were conveyed to that city, and have been treated not as prisoners of war, but as criminals; that they have been put in irons, confined in jail, brought before the

courts of justice on charges of piracy and treason, and it is even rumored that they have been actually convicted of the offenses charged, for no other reason than that they bore arms in defense of the rights of this Government and under the authority of its commission.

Jefferson Davis to
Mr. Lincoln.

"I could not, without grave | Confederate lines, on the James River, and discourtesy, have made the the American officers were soon after pronewspaper statements above duced.* Davis kept his word; and there is referred to the subject of this communication, if the every reason to believe he would have hung threat of treating as pirates the citizens of this Cona Federal Colonel or Captain for every “pifederacy armed for its service on the high seas, had rate" executed. The consciousness of not been contained in your proclamation of the this fact-after the battle of Bull Run had April last; that proclamation, however, seems to afford a sufficient justification for considering those filled the Richmond prisons with Northern published statements as not devoid of probability. officers and men-was not the least cogent reason urged for treating the privateers as prisoners of war rather than as pirates.

"It is the desire of this Government so to conduct the war now existing as to mitigate its horrors, as far as may be possible; and with this intent, its treatment of the prisoners captured by its forces has been marked by the greatest humanity and leniency consistent with public obligation; some have been permitted to return home on parole, others to re

main at large under similar conditions within this Confederacy, and all have been furnished with rations for their subsistence, such as are allowed to

our own troops. It is only since the news has been received of the treatment of the prisoners taken on the Savannah that I have been compelled to withdraw these indulgences and to hold the prisoners taken by us in strict confinement.

"A just regard to humanity and to the honor of this Government now requires me to state explicitly, that, painful as will be the necessity, this Government will deal out to the prisoners held by it the

same treatment and the same fate as shall be experienced by those captured on the Savannah; and if driven to the terrible necessity of retaliation by your execution of any of the officers or crew of the Savannah, that retaliation will be extended so far as shall be requisite to secure the abandonment of a practice unknown to the warfare of civilized man, and so barbarous as to disgrace the nation which shall be guilty of inaugurating it.

With this view, and because it may not have reached you, I now renew the proposition made to the commander of the blockading squadron, to exchange for the prisoners taken on the Savannah an equal number of those now held by us, according to rank. I am, sir, yours, &c.,


Secret Legislation.

The legislation of the rebel Congress was all done in secret session. The doings of their own lawgivers were closed to the scrutiny of the people, and they only learned what was "the law" when Congress so far raised the seal of secrecy as to promulgate its acts for their enforcement. A sterner, less relentless tyranny, never was inaugurated in the name of Liberty. The resolve to prosecute the war with their greatest ability was then the firm, fixed idea of the Southern leaders, and the processes of legislation were not openly subject to observation and discussion. Davis could have been proclaimed in law, as he was in fact, Dictator, and the people would have known nothing of the affair until all was ready for its consummation.

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"President and Commander-in-Chief of the Army ton the great salvator. As Southern men and Navy of the Confederate States."

A reply never was returned; and those prisoners of war, whom Davis stated he had ordered into close confinement-" whose fate must necessarily depend upon that of the prisoners held by the enemy"-were released only one year thereafter, having been, during all that time, subjected to the rigors of severe and close confinement. In July, 1862, the privateers were finally sent within the

believed, with a faith stronger than their faith in future punishments and rewards, that Cotton was King, it is not strange that the idol of their faith should be addressed in the hour of need. Did not the Romans tread the temple of Janus in times of war in the proud

*Colonels Corcoran and Wilcox were among

those set apart by lot as hostages for the safety of the privateers.

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consciousness of his supremacy over all earthly powers? and was not Cotton the equal of Janus in art, in science, in moral, social and commercial position? Quite equal; and Confederate law-givers grew eager to make the representative of human slavery do the work of revolution. The ideas entertained on the means necessary to render the product most available were various; and, eventually, resulted in the formation of the bureau of the "Cotton and Produce Loan." Of this Mr. DeBow was made Superintendent -a position for which he was presumed to be peculiarly qualified.* During the session of Congress he issued the following Circular: RICHMOND, August 15th, 1861.

The Cotton and Produce Loan.


and they are still being received in a ratio which warrants the belief that every want of the treasury will be anticipated as the war advances.

"Tennessee has not yet had the opportunity to

respond, and the appeal is now made to her patriotic citizens. Those who will undertake in the sev

eral counties of the State to solicit subscriptions

will confer a public benefit and greatly aid the


"The form adopted for subscriptions is annexed. "The agency of the press is earnestly solicited in calling attention to the above.

"J. D. B. DEBOW, 'Superintendent of Cotton and Produce Loan." As one half of Tennessee was then closely guarded to keep down open revolt against the Confederacy, the "unparalleled unanimity" might be classed with the "humors of the campaign," were it not that, with the au

"To the People of Tennessee: "You have responded with unparalleled unanim-thor of the Circular, falsification was a chronic ity to the calls of your country in furnishing troops to repel the invaders from our soil and to defend the common liberties.

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"The Government proposes to every planter and farmer to receive from him a subscription in advance of his crop of any portion thereof exceeding one hundred dollars in value, and will pay him in Confederate bonds when the crop shall be made and sold. The illustration is simple: You subscribe one thousand bushels of wheat, one thousand bushels of corn, one thousand bales of cotton, &c., &c., or less, and specify the place of delivery; you or your own merchant will sell it and receive for the same Confederate bonds to the amount.

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weakness rather to be pitied than laughed at. To the Circular the form of subscription was appended. It read:

"We, the subscribers, agree to contribute to the defense of the Confederate States the portion of our crops set down to our respective names; the same to be placed in warehouse or in our factor's hands, and sold on or before the first day of next; and the net proceeds of sale we direct to be paid over to the Treasurer of the Confederate States, for bonds for the same amount, bearing eight per cent. interest.

N. B.-The agent in charge of this subscription will fill the blank as to date of sale, with the month best suited to the locality of the subscriber, in all cases selecting the earliest practicable date."

This discloses the whole scheme of that cotton loan enterprise. It forms one of the most absurd chapters in the history of the revolution. Stupendous in its sublime assurance of Confederate success, it was equally stupendous in its folly. Who would purchase the cotton and produce? The Confederate States. What would it pay in? In bonds. What would become of the produce and cotton? The Confederate armies would consume the first and fire would consume as much of the cotton as the Federals did not seize. Result: bonds, and nothing else. There was, we should say in extenuation of the apparent absurdity of this financial scheme, a sublime faith in the early recognition of the independence of the South

Faith in Foreign Recognition.

That the leaders of the revolution lived long enough to be disabused of this impression, and the contributors to the "Cotton and Produce Loan" lived long enough to see their "contributed" property waste away without rendering them any return, history

Sesquestration of Northern Property.

ern States; then the blockade would be raised | ers and commercial operators. To American and the cotton would be sold for English apprehension it was sophistical and disingold. The same blind infatuation regarding genuous; any ordinarily informed schoolboy the value and importance of their staple pre- could have refuted its facts and gainsayed its vailed to render the claim of the South for figures; but, it was directed into channels recognition, in their estimation, absolutely where any refutation would have been chargimperative. England and France must have ed to illiberality or partisan spite, and therecotton; therefore they must break the block-fore it was safe. It was well for the peace ade, and thus throw down the gauntlet of of Europe in 1861, that the Southerners' defiance to the Federal Government. sophistries did not prevail to open a “direct communication with the Confederate States." Another act of that session was that providing for the sequestration of all Northern property found in the South. It confiscated to the Confederate Government all property, moneys, claims and interests of the "alien enemy" found in the South; required all persons, attorneys, agents, partners, or guardians, to divulge the existence of any such property, &c., known to them under penalty of $500 for non-exposure; provided for a receiver for such property, &c., for its sale and entire disposition. The Attorney-General, in his instructions for enforc ing the act, designated those who were subject to its penalties, viz:

has to record.

The Labors of
T. Butler King.

"1. All citizens of the United States, except citizens or residents of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, or Missouri, or the District of Columbia, or the Ter ritories of New Mexico, Arizona or the Indian Territory south of Kansas.

It is not uninstructive, in this connection, to turn to the labors of agents sent abroad by the Confederacy to lay its claims before European governments. Among other envoys, Dudley Mann and Mr. Yancey were commissioned to England, and Mr. Rost and Thomas Butler King to France.* The latter was financier-general for the diplomats, and was looked upon as their director-general. His own chief efforts were devoted to the French throne. He laid a communication before the Minister of Commerce, in June, 1861, setting forth the commercial claims of the Southern States to direct commercial relations with Europe. The document was a pamphlet, printed in French, and, though addressed to the Minister of Commerce, really was designed for every court in Europe. It was an able plea, at once specious and imposing in its figures and assumed facts. To foreign apprehension it was a complete argument of justification, and served soon to raise up hundreds of friends to the Southern cause, particularly of Columbia, as shall commit actual hostilities among the wealthier classes of manufactur

*These Confederates practiced their chronic duplicity in Europe. Thus, Mr. King preferred to act as the "Commissioner" of Georgia to " Great Bri

tain, France and Belgium." Nothing was openly said of his relations to the Confederate Government. Yet the correspondence afterwards obtained from a mail-bag seized in transitu from Havana to Savannah, proved Mr. King's position of caterer-general to the whole band of Confederate agents abroad.

"2. All persons who have a domicil within the States with which this Government is at war, no matter whether they be citizens or not. Thus, the subjects of Great Britain, France or other neutral nations, who have a domicil or are carrying on business or traffic within the States at war with the Confederacy, are alien enemies under the law.

"3. All such citizens or residents of the States of

Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky or Missouri, and of

the Territories of New Mexico, Arizona, and the Indian Territory south of Kansas, and of the District

against the Confederate States, or aid or abet the United States in the existing war against the Confederate States."

The condition of affairs

Feeling in the South

in the rebellious States, after July.

prior to the battle of Bull
Run, if not discouraging to their cause was
not fruitful of good promise. The necessity
for gigantic preparations, for extraordinary
sacrifices, impressed even the unreflecting




with a feeling of despondency. Behind the nition of the fact of a permanent dissolution outward show of martial spirit stood the sad of the Union. Hence, the vast importance soul which peopled the future with spectres. which hung upon the events of the first conThe blood, the suffering, the sacrifices, the test. Bull Run came from its muddy obscuruin, necessary to obtain independence, even rity to give to the rebel cause its bloody if it could be won at all, made many question blessing; and, thereafter, no hope of peace if a mere political separation were worth such lit up a hill or valley of the South. In its cost. A victory to the Federal arms on the stead burned the lurid light of commingled first great battle-field, would, in all probabil- scorn, hate and pride. The wish for peace ity, stay the tide of war, and restore peace. was gone; despondency was banished as unA victory to the Confederate arms would re-worthy; and every Southern household set store confidence in their Government, in their its goods in order as if to prepare for all the resources, in their power to compel a recog- contingencies of distress or death.





Rosecrans in Com. mand.

MCCLELLAN having turn- | "withdrawing" towards Lewisburg, when ed over his command to Western Virginia was pronounced by RoseBrigadier-General Rose- crans free of Confederate occupation. It crans, by orders dated Grafton, July 25th, the was not free, however, as the Federal General new commander soon announced the assign- was soon to learn. ment of his brigades, preparatory to clearing the rebels out of the Kanawha country, thus to complete the work so successfully commenced by McClellan, of relieving Western Virginia from rebel thraldom.

McClellan, in his report of July 12th, announcing his victory at Rich Mountain, said: "I trust that General Cox has by this time driven Wise out of the Kanawha Valley. In that case I shall have accomplished the object of liberating Western Virginia." General Cox had not, however, been as rapid as his commanding General seemed to expect. Governor Wise was not made to abandon his post at Charleston until the 25th, when he fell back upon Gauley river, from which place he was pushed by Cox (July 29th)-Wise

Ex-Governor Wise a Brigadier.

To ex-Governor Wise had been assigned the duty of bringing rebellious Western Virginia back to its Old Dominion loyalty, and to Confederate obedience. Armed with the commission of a Brigadier-General in the Confederate army, he proceeded at once to the seat of hostilities, taking the Kanawha Valley for his line of occupation," with head-quarters at Charleston. His aid and avant courier, Evermont Ward, issued this rather unique address or command to the Western Virginians :

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