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reputation of Confederates for candor and sensibility to kindness to risk it for the miserable gratification of writing a libel for popular passion.
I shall ever retain a pleasant and grateful recollection of the treatment I, in common with all the prisoners, obtained on board the Connecticut, and the humane courtesy of her commander, John J. Almy. I had all the accommodations and attentions usually given to a passenger, was provided with a state-room, took my meals in the ward-room, and-what was the most grateful surprise of all-never had my ear assailed with the epithet of "rebel," or any of the dirty phrases which I had supposed to be common in Yankee conversation whenever it alluded to the Confederacy. I was told by those who had more experience in the matter than myself that the officers of the old navy of the United States are remarkable for their decorous manners towards prisoners, and, in this respect, presented a striking contrast to the coarse vulgarity of the Yankee army.
On the bright twelfth of May, the Connecticut was moving up the estuary of the James from Fortress Monroe to Newport News. The men-of-war and iron-clads which thronged the stream afforded an exhibition of the enemy's naval power, which made us smile to think how little all this brave show of ribbed guns and armaments had accomplished against the stark spirit and beggarly resources of those who fight for liberty.
The pilot who boarded us off the Capes (a fellow with a bilious skin and greased hair, who claimed to be from Maryland), brought a wonderful story of the progress of the war in Virginia. "The New York Herald had news as big as his fist: Beauregard's army cut in two; Lee on a foot-race to Richmond; ahead, everywhere," etc. I had heard such stuff before, and having had some experience of dissecting Yankee lies with pen and scissors, was not easily imposed upon by the pilot's resurrection of such from the columns of New York journals.
At our mess in the ward-room, a fellow-prisoner was tempted to ask the pilot if there were any Virginia pilots employed in the bay or river. "Not one," was the fellow's reply; and a flush of shame might have passed on his cheek on observing the proud and meaning glance which three of the prisoners, Virginians, exchanged at the announcement. I had heard before that the Virginia pilots, without a solitary exception, had abandoned their livelihoods and professions, spurning the temptations of the enemy and the gains they might have made from dishonor; but here was the unquestionable testimony of their self-sacrifice from the lips of an enemy and a rival. I do not know that the State of Virginia has ever done anything for these noble men, turned adrift from their employment, many of them I know earning scanty bread about Richmond, by the pitiable shifts of the refugee. Surely, such sacrifices as they have made should be gratefully recognized, and, as far as possible, rewarded; for they are another public decoration of the honor of the "Old Dominion" in this war.
CURIOSITIES OF THE YANKEE BLOCKADE.-Correspondence with Lord Lyons, &c.
My sense of the personal kindness of Captain Almy and his officers certainly did not disturb my conviction that the Connecticut had done a monstrous wrong, and that these persons were the instruments of a despotism at Washington, that, among other indignities of the war, was imposing upon the world the monstrous lie of a blockade, which was, in fact, an ill-disguised system of piracy.
There were in my mind certain questions touching the practical conduct of that blockade, which I was satisfied had not been pressed upon the attention of European Governments; which made what lawyers call "a case" for the Greyhound, and which might possibly result, through the timely and determined protests of some one, in the rescue of the vessel from her captors. I determined to risk my liberty in the attempt to make the issue. I had my opportunity of escape in suppressing my name and keeping quiet; but my convictions of justice to the vessel, and my confidence in the eventual triumph of principles, determined me to risk my case, not on a disguise, but on the truthful grounds that myself and vessel were legally exempt from capture. I had already written to Lord Lyons claiming my release, and having resolved to make a similar issue for the vessel, I avowed to Captain Almy the necessity of my being sent to Boston, where the prize proceedings were to be held, to make the proper protests in behalf and in the interest of the owners of the Greyhound. I was sent on board the Greyhound, and soon secured the means of a free communication in my own name and that of the Captain with Lord Lyons: the result, a correspondence which must here anticipate my narrative of events. Little did I know what that correspondence was to cost me in the resentment of the Washington Government; for in it I had pre
sumed to denounce the cheat of the blockade, and to attempt to rescue from Yankee clutches a prize worth scarcely less than a million of dollars. What I was to endure for the temerity will follow in the course of the narrative, which the correspondence below anticipates, inserted here, if of no other interest, as an independent chapter on the curiosities of the Yankee Blockade.
LORD LYONS, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary for Her Britannic Majesty, near Washington, United States:
MY LORD: I have respectfully to represent to you that I was arrested yesterday on the high seas, by the United States steamer Connecticut, from the deck of the British steamer Greyhound, in which I was a passenger for Bermuda, en route for England, the Greyhound, at the time of capture, being about one hundred and fifty miles out at sea, and flying the British ensign. Having passed out of the lines of blockade, and of contested territorial jurisdiction, my right as a passenger became, as I conceive, analagòus and tantamount to those of asylum under the British flag, and, in this respect, I invoke its protection, and that I may be permitted to pursue my way to England.
I was on board the Greyhound in the simple and exclusive character of a passenger. When arrested there on the high seas, I was proceeding to England to fulfil an engagement for a literary work on the Confederate States, &c., with publishers in London, who had already printed two volumes I had composed of a similar nature; and also to discharge a private and domestic duty in visiting the relatives of my wife, who is a native of England and a subject of Her Britannic Majesty. I am not connected with the military service of the Confederate States, and am charged with no public office or trust on their behalf. These facts may be readily established by appropriate evidence; and in consideration of them, I submit to your Lordship that, if interposition be necessary, I may be
protected in those very obvious rights, which I invoke in the character of an innocent passenger on the high seas, under the British flag.
I have the honor, &c.,
Your obedient servant,
EDWARD A. POLLARD.
ON BOARD BRITISH STEAMER Greyhound,
NEW YORK, May 16, 1864.
LORD LYONS, Envoy Extraordinary, &c., near Washington, D. C.
MY LORD: The Greyhound, on which I am now held as prisoner, having been ordered to Boston, and stopping here to coal, I take the opportunity to enclose to your Lordship the duplicate of a former letter, written while I was a prisoner on board the U. S. Steamer Connecticut, and placed in the hands of Commander John J. Almy, commanding said steamer, for ⚫ transmission: using the opportunity thus to insure communication.
It is, doubtless, unnecessary to encumber the statement I have already submitted to your Lordship with any argument. But there is one view of the matter which it may not be unnecessary or presumptuous to bring to your Lordship's attention.
It must frequently happen (as it has occurred in my case) that the Confederate States, from obvious considerations of military prudence, deny all communications through the United States, or other adjoining territory, by land, and that, then, the only possible mode of egress is by sea on vessels which pass through the line of blockade. If, on board of one of these vessels, which carried the British flag, and had passed out of the jurisdiction claimed by the United States, I was not protected from arrest, then it follows that the passenger (be he Englishman or Confederate) is made the victim of a necessity which he could not avoid, and for which he is not responsible. Such a rule would involve the rights of your own countrymen, my Lord, and any passenger, whose misfortune it was that he could not get out of the Confederate States, without crossing the ocean, might be, after he had passed out of the lines of