War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1192 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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Stoeckl congratulating our Government upon its late adjustment of the Trent affair. The letter you will perceive is well written and very favorable in its tone to our Government.

He asked what I thought of its publication here within a week. I said it was somewhat unusual, but the British Government had published diplomatic correspondence before it was complete by arrival at its destination. He added if I thought it would aid us in this crisis of public formation of opinion in Europe that he would have it then put in the official paper, being the Saint Petersburg Journal. I told him I liked the style and spirit of the letter and believed it would greatly forward our interest by its immediate publication. He responded that he was anxious to do us all the good offices possible (withou interfering directly in our home troubles) as the great American nation and that he would then publish it at once.

He then repeated to me his wishes for the restoration of the Union. He expressed his fears if any reverse should happen to us that England would at once make common cause with the South, acknowledge her independence and finally break down the power of the Republic. He said in addition that if we should succeeded in conquering the South that we would have a sore and discontented population upon our hands which would ever prove a source of weakness, and that he felt that we ought to make a generous offer of reconciliation to the South. I responded that I agreed with him; that we were always and were now ready to deal justly and generously with the Soth should she be willing to listen to reason, but failing to hear our appeals that we would war it out to the bitter end before we would allow our natural boundaries to be broken by them.

I must confess that I very much fear England's interference. My first impressions in Europe are not changed nor weakenedngthened. Nothing but quick and effective success will save us from foreign enemies. If slavery could be rooted out of our system I think any sacrifice of life and money now would not be too much to pay for such consummation.

But as it seems now to be determined to stand by slaveholders' rights though all others may perish I confess I think that urgent appeals ought to be made at once to the South to save itself by accepting anew the Constitution and the Union with all guaranties of slavery as of old uneqivocally expressed. This should, however, be a secret and confidential proffer of the administration without making its publication demoralize the troops and the country. For my part I venture to suggest that the President send one of his most able diplomatists to Jeff. Davis's government in an unofficial way with the olive branch, ready upon the gaining of any victory of importance on our part of win him back to allegiance.

You think you can trust England. I do not. So I would prepare at once for a war with that power as an inevitable result of any reverses which would prevent a subjection of the South before the 1st of April next. But you may have sources of forming an opinion which are not open to me. I tell you simply how I look at this issue. One thing is certain: war or no war Portland Harbor ought to be at once fortified in the most permanent and effective manner.

The tones of European Governments are greatly changed since the rendition of Mason and Slidell. If England now seeks a quarrel with us we will have all liberal Europe on our side. But she never cares what people think when she sees her way open to success. Upon our own strong right arm we must rest.