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prevailed between the two countries during the period of the insurrection which has heretofore greatly disturbed the relations of the United States with many of the foreign Powers. The undersigned is still further informed that while Spain will receive from the United States, as they heretofore offered to pay, an indemnity of $16,000, the amount of the expenses which the Captain-General of Cuba incurred in obtaining possession of the Stonewall, yet the surrender is tendered without making it dependent on such reimbursement as a condition. Mr. Tassara's communication has been submitted to the President of the United States, and the undersigned has now the pleasure to inform Mr. Tassara that orders will be promptly given for the bringing away of the Stonewall from Havana, and the reimbursement of the sum of $16,000 to the Spanish Government. It only remains to be added that this Government appreciates equally the promptness, the liberality, and the courtesy which have marked the proceedings of her Catholic Majesty's Government on this interesting subject, and that the proceedings will have a strong tendency to confirm and perpetuate the ancient and traditional friendship of the two nations.
The undersigned avails himself of this occasion to offer Mr. Tassara renewed assurance of his highest consideration.
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. To Senor Don Gabriel Garcia y Tassara,
Minister Plenipotentiary, etc.
Jubilation in the United States at the loss of the Alabama.
Admiral Farragut's criticism on the action. The moral law inoperative in time of war.—The United States and privateering.-- United States precedents favourable to the Confederates.Difficulty of settling the affairs of the Alabama and supplying her place.—The Sea King, afterwards the Shenandoah.—Correspondence respecting the Shenandoah and the Laurel, with the instructions to the officers concerned.—Smallness of the crew of the Shenandoah.
- Volunteers from her prizes. —Her cruise amongst the whalers.Means taken to stop her proceedings at the end of the Civil War. -Her return to Liverpool and delivery to the United States representatives.- Loyalty of the crews of the Confederate cruisers. -Inactivity of the United States Navy.-Summary of the injury done to American commerce by the cruisers.
When the Alabama's graceful bends and the supporting timbers were torn and shattered by the great 11-inch shells of the Kearsarge, and the famous little craft settled down to the bottom of the English Channel with much gurgling of water through her riven sides, and a great sigh as the wind escaped from her open hatchways, there was much jubilation among loyal' Americans. The despatches of Mr. Seward, the reports of Mr. Adams, the exultant congratulations exchanged by members of the United States Consular corps, the comments of the Northern press which immediately followed that seafight off Cherbourg when its result was known, appear to have been out of all proportion to the magnitude of the struggle and the national glory which can be claimed for the victory.
That the merchants of New York and Boston should have proved unable to suppress their exuberant delight, is not perhaps surprising, because a Confederate cruiser roving at will upon the high seas meant loss of trade and high premiums, and her destruction held out a faint promise of relief from loss, and a restoration of commercial profits and prestige. But the excitement was not confined to the mercantile classes, nor was the stimulus to Mr. Seward's acrid temper and pungent pen the only effect. Captain Winslow's achievement aroused the ardour and animated the patriotism of the United States Navy in an extraordinary degree. Even Admiral Farragut, calm as he generally was, and capable of daring and skilful effort, lost for a brief time at least the accurate poise of his judgment, and was so completely aroused by the general enthusiasm as to be entrapped into that popular style of expressing delight at a triumph, which was commonly practised by the majority of the • Union commanders' and the loyal press.' Writing to his son * on July 20th, 1864, the gallant Admiral says:
* The victory of the Kearsarge over the Alabama raised me up. I would sooner have fought that fight than any ever fought on the ocean. Only think ! it was fought like a tournament, in full view of thousands of French and English, with a perfect confidence on the part of all but the Union people that we would be whipped. People came from Paris to witness the fight. Why, my poor little good-for-nothing Hatteras would have whipped her (the Alabama) in fifteen minutes, but for an unlucky shot in her boiler. She struck the Alabama two shots for one while she floated. Winslow had
* See Life and Letters of Admiral D. G. Farragut,' by his son, Loyall Farragut, p. 403.
my first-lieutenant of the Hartford, Thornton, in the Kearsarge. He is as brave as a lion, and as cool as a parson. I go
for Winslow's promotion.' At the date of the above letter the Admiral was lying off Mobile in command of a powerful fleet, composed of fourteen wooden ships and four Monitors, which formed his line of battle in the attack upon the Confederate defences a few days afterwards, and six or eight gunboats besides. He was naturally in a martial and combative humour; but the criticism upon the action off Cherbourg breakwater appears to be rather overdrawn and unprofessional.
As a matter of fact, not a score of people knew from a Confederate source that the engagement would take place, or when, and the thousands of French and English' who are said to have witnessed it, must have been either the floating and idle population of a seaport, the majority of whom probably did not know one ship from the other, or they were persons who got their information from the United States Consul, and who were therefore hopeful, if not confident, that the Kearsarge
would win. There were a few naval officers who went to the best points of observation with the expectation that there would be an opportunity to take some interesting and useful notes ; but as the ships steamed away from the land some seven miles* to get well beyond the “ line of jurisdiction ' before the action began, but little of the effect could have been seen. The
* Captain Winslow says seven miles. The estimate of Semmes and his officers was that the action was fought nine miles from Cherbourg
allusion to the Hatteras, and the hypothetical prediction that she would have whipped the Alabama in fifteen minutes, but for an unlucky shot in her boiler,' can hardly be considered as a fair—it certainly is not a judicious-professional criticism, the simple facts being that the fire of the Confederate ship reduced her adversary to a sinking state in less than fifteen minutes, while she herself received so little injury from the two shots for one' fired at, but apparently not into her by the Hatteras, that she would not have gone into port except for the necessity of landing the prisoners which she picked up out of the water, without leaving a man of them to drown.
Semmes made no pretence of having performed a great naval exploit in sinking the Hatteras, and Lieutenant - Commander Blake was in no way disgraced by his defeat ; but any fair and competent naval critic will admit that when one ship sinks another in thirteen minutes in a night engagement, and handles her boats so well as to pick up all hands, the feat is creditable to the victor. The Kearsarge practised upon the Alabama for about one hour and ten minutes, with two 11-inch pivot-guns, two 32-pounders, and a 28-pounder rifled gun, in broad daylight and smooth water, before placing her hors de combat; and when the latter ship foundered, so slowly that there was time to get all of her own wounded into a boat, the remainder of her crew would have drowned if it had not been for the fortunate proximity of an English yacht and two French fishing-smacks.
If there was either rhyme or reason in suggesting an hypothesis, I might say that it is far more likely that the Alabama would have 'whipped' the Kearsarge in fifteen minutes if the 100-pounder shell had exploded